Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reviewing the Review

October 18, 2007
Vol. 184, No.29

I wish I could recommend this issue in its totality. In many ways it’s great: its articles are thought provoking, intellectually and emotionally honest, and beautifully edited.

I can’t make that recommendation for two important reasons. While the cover is eye-catching, graphically excellent, and even daring, it is a misleading advertisement for the outstanding, groundbreaking feature article. I can only guess that the words “From Itself” and the subtitle, “How Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer may have led it astray” were a sop to reactionary readers who won’t be happy with the cover and the article anyway!

The cover should have proclaimed, “Saving a Seinfeld Generation”. Those words would have properly introduced the excellent piece by Shawn Brace. If I were he, I would be very upset!

The second reason I can’t make a blanket endorsement of this edition of the Review is “Kids View”. I’m sure it was a well-intentioned attempt to reassure kids about “The Impending Time of Trouble”, but it simply reinforces the fear that it is intended to relieve. Read the words of the kids that were interviewed. The following is just one example.

Noelle: “Sometimes knowing that He’s with us isn’t always enough because you can’t see Him. So it’s still kind of scary. It’s not like it still can’t happen because it will.”

In addition, this kind of “Final Days Fright” undermines the credibility of the Church. While it is my sincere hope that Christ’s return is eminent, this subject is, at best, tangential to the Gospel message, and at worst, a shameless scare tactic! This “talk” scared and scarred my five-year-old mother to back in 1905! Wilona Karimabadi, what were you thinking? Editors, isn't there a child psychologists on your payroll?

As I said previously, everything else, every editorial, article, book review, bit of medical information, and devotional expression of faith made me proud to be an Adventist. I was particularly moved by what our Church is doing in Mozambique as it works with the government and other religious groups to fight malaria and to drill a well in every village. “Kids View” editors, take note.

1 comment:

Shawn Brace said...

Hi Andy,

I just stumbled across your blog and am grateful for your kind words about my article in the most recent issue of the Review. Just to let you know, however, I was the one who used the words "from itself" in the title, as I felt it most accurately reflected the point I was making in the article (our need to be delivered from our preoccupation with self). I did not, however, come up with the sub-title, and, though I am not saying it was horrible, I'm not sure I would have used it.

Thanks, again, for your compliments. God bless.