Thursday, January 3, 2008

Reviewing Adventist Review

December 27, 2007
Vol. 184, No. 36

GENERAL COMMENTS: it was great to see what you all look like, both editors and production staff. It's my hope that in the new year the editorial work will improve, particularly in the area of the selection of articles for publication. It is also my hope that editors will work with contributors to eliminate or modify words and phrases that detract from the overall intent of the article or editorial. (I question the word, "protagonist's" on page 23 and also the syntax of the sentence beginning "In the fast-food. . ." in the same column.) Happy New Year.

LETTERS: The letters this week reflect a wide range of personalities, religious orientations, and degrees of sophistication. I was particularly impressed by letters from Donald Lawrence and Brent Skilton.

Bill Knott's editorial, DANIEL'S BAND, reminded readers that people working to make the world a better place, no matter their religion or employer, should be honored by all of us. I was impressed by his reference to God as "the Merciful One". That term speaks volumes about love and inclusiveness. Way to go Bill.

IS THE WORLD FLAT? WITH TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY, FULFILLING THE GOSPEL COMMISSION HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER is thoughtful and important. Richard Osborn, President of Pacific Union College, is persuasive and comprehensive in his argument. Unfortunately, the article is two pages too long. This is not Spectrum. (Osborn writes like a college professor; I ought to know.)

Leo S. Ranzolin's THE NEW JERUSALEM is one man's heavenly fantasy. While it's not the Heaven of my dreams, I would certainly be happy living there.

It would have been great to get THE ADVENTIST REVIEW FOR KIDS, AND THOSE WHO ALWAYS WILL BE KIDS AT HEART before Christmas. There was at least one fun activity and some appropriate devotional thoughts that would have come in handy when I was visiting six of my grandchildren. Sadly, this excellent insert arrived after the tree was taken down.

Until the final two paragraphs of ALTERNATIVE HISTORIES, I thought Clifford Goldstein and I were going to agree on a fundamental Christian position. But then Clifford wrote, "This life, instead, comes only from the perfect righteousness of Jesus, wrought out 2000 years ago in Him, which He offers to us by faith. And the good news is that the moment we except it we have all the righteousness we need for salvation, because it's 'the righteousness of God' Himself." Clifford, righteousness is a magic act? Even medieval nobles were uncomfortable with this notion. It's why they built cathedrals. I was hoping you would say that the life of Christ defined the Gospel message, and you would conclude with a counterfactual of what this world would be like if we humans had decided to become citizens of Christ's Kingdom.

SEAN TAYLOR; SLAIN NFL PLAYER, HAD ADVENTIST TIES sets the record straight about the life and death of Sean Taylor. He was a good guy and a great football player. Mark Kellner reports the story with his usual humanity and attention to detail.

MONARCH LAUDS ADVENTIST WOMAN FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE, ADRA WORK. Joan Saddler received the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II on December 6. She is the second Adventist to receive the MBE in the last two years. Pastor John Arthur was also awarded the MBE in June 2006, for his work with ADRA.

ASK THE DOCTORS is another winner. MILK OR SILK? by MD’s Handysides and Landless. discusses soymilk, the history of peanut butter, fats and oils, and stress.

TAKING OUR MESSAGE TO THE WORLD by Ellen G. White is the admonition of a woman who lived this message. The last sentence is a bit of a jolt, however. "The end is near!" was and written in 1890.

LIFT by Larry Bucher is a moving tribute to medical professionals who serve the Lord and humanity in the Third World.

Valerie N. Phillips' WINDOWS ON BROKENESS is a lovely parable illuminated by broken glass.

MAKING THINGS RIGHT, NOW is a delightful example of using personal experience to make a relevant spiritual statement. Thanks to Jimmy Phillips, my communion foot washing experience has important, added meaning.

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