Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reviewing the Review

October 11, 2007
Vol. 184, N. 28

Reviewer’s Note:
For those of you who get the Review electronically, this review might seem late. However, I am only comfortable writing reviews when I have the actual magazine beside me. I just got it yesterday.

LETTERS These letters refer to articles and editorials in July and August! This is October! Why the lag time? Just today, on our town’s Alzheimer’s Walk, one of my Grace Connection friends told me that he enjoys reading Letters. Then, without reading further, he often tosses his Review in the trash because the letters refer to articles and editorials two months old!

The responses to the June 14 articles on the church’s position on the War in Iraq, while differing in support of non-combatant status, all shared a basic unease about American foreign policy. I’m more than uneasy; I want us out of Iraq ASAP.

Don’t we citizens get it? Everyone who pays federal taxes is “supporting the war”. I wonder what would happen if all the Adventists in America refused to pay taxes because, as conscientious followers of Christ, we cannot support a national policy of killing our enemies and causing the inevitable “collateral damage” of war. Talk about bringing on “The Latter Rain”! That would do the job in a hurry!

Ken Albertson, a letter writer from Scottsdale, “cannot visualize Christians rioting and burning buildings just because some ‘pagans’ misuse the Bible in some irreverent way". Ken, Christians have been guilty of that and a lot worse down through history. In fairly resent times German Christians planned and carried out the Holocaust, and Rwanda was the most “Christian” nation in Africa. By the way, a Rwandan Adventist church leader is a convicted war criminal.

BILL KNOTT’S EDITORIAL Bill, I was with you all the way until you said, “We should all rightly dread the day when policies are crafted to quiet critics, or positions taken only to ward off the darts of bloggers.” (These words seem to be an aside, written to avoid the wrath of a “conservative constituency”.) We “critics” and “bloggers” may speak corrective truths on occasion.

Come on, Bill, we are looking to you for leadership. Continue to be as unequivocal about truth and hypocrisy as you are in your last, paragraph: “Pray this day that the leaders you follow will have the courage to speak the truth as it is in Jesus—without fear, without change, without equivocation.”

WHEN YOU THINK YOUR PRAYERS AREN’T HEARD Wilona, how can you reference “Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith” when you write about the feeling that follows prayer? You “know that you are just fine. You are better than fine.”

ABUSE IN THE ADVENTIST CHURCH This Cover Feature deserves the billing. We as a church “must move forward to educate, to protect, and to provide healing environments for our hurting members.” Rene, Marciana, Gary and Linda, thanks for the reminder. THIS ARTICLE IS A MUST READ!

TRUTH, THE NEGLECTED VIRTUE This is a huge disappointment as “theology”. It’s difficult for me to believe that Rex Edwards was a university Dean. The language is cliché riddled, mangled almost beyond belief, and meaningless because terms are not defined and analogies are stupefying. Consider the following quotation:

“Self-will always repudiates a truth that challenges it. But however successful self-will may be, it’s never satisfied. That’s why the egotist is always critical. The head that wears the crown is uneasy—not because it’s tired of the crown, but because it’s tired of itself. It has it within its power to do anything it pleases, but living without boundaries and limitations becomes as dull and stagnant as a swamp.

“A river must be happier than a swamp, because it has banks and boundaries. A swamp is a valley of liberty that lost its shores and became liberal.”

Editors, do you just correct spelling?

PORTAGING THE CHINA CABINET Sari Fordham’s “Journeys” piece is a delightful, fresh read. She offers her analogy without heavy-handed moralizing.

PAULSEN: INCLUDE YOUNG ADULTS IN CHURCH, WOMEN IN MINISTRY The nine-panel member pastors featured in the September 13 interactive telecast are not identified by name, and the issues discussed are not close to resolution. It was particularly disheartening to read Jan Paulsen’s comment that even though the world church has never taken the position that the “concept” of ordaining women is rejected by the Bible or the writing of church cofounder Ellen G. White, “It’s just a question of ‘can we make this major change and still hold together as a global community?’”

ADRA preaches the Gospel message. Unfortunately, most of us just talk about it. Support ADRA

ADVENTIST/PRESBYTERIANS AFFIRM COMMON BELIEFS Of course we do; we are both Christian denominations. I hope the hotel accommodations were good and the other perks lived up to the expectations of the conference participants.

FAMILY WORSHIP A pretty standard homily. The notion that family worship started in the Garden of Eden conjured up, in my mind at least, a surreal vision of nudity and strategically placed fig leaves.

SEEKING AND BEING Seth Pierce realistically portrays grad school poverty along with the justifiable fear of what our wives had to say when we absent-mindedly forgot where we left our brains.

EMBRACED Lori Futcher reminds us of what a church family ought to be.

PUTTING THE “AWE” BACK IN Tompaul Wheeler asks us to make sure that our use of superlatives is not superlative.

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