March 20, 2008
Vol. 185, No. 8
This is the edition of the Review to give to someone who wants to know about the historical beginnings of Adventism and our beliefs regarding the great controversy between good and evil.
James R. Nix, Director of the White Estate, does an excellent job of “Telling the Story” of Ellen White's “Monumental Vision” of the great controversy between God and Satan. Included are the personal accounts of Ellen White, Uriah Smith, and J. N. Loughborough. Ellen's description of that vision on May 23, 1858, is the foundation of the doctrinal canon of the Adventist Church. "Starting at 8:00 on Sunday morning—for what must have seemed like a very short four hours—Ellen White graphically related to the attentive audience the most significant vision God ever gave her during her 70 years of ministry as his messenger."
"Soon afterward the editor of the Advent review and Sabbath Herald (today known as the Adventist Review) vividly described the amazing reactions of those present that day: 'during the forenoon, sister White related a portion of the views she has had concerning the fall of Satan, the plan of salvation, and the great controversy between Christ and his angels and Satan and his. It abounded in startling facts and vivid descriptions. . .The course of the narration brought us down to the days of the first advent, the humiliation, the suffering, and finally the crucifixion of the Savior' . . .This was the first-- and apparently the longest-- public oral recitation of what today we call the great controversy vision."
“From Boys to Men” is the story of how Viya, the expert carpenter, and inexperienced teenagers built a coffin in one day for Youa’s mother. Jack McNeilus wrote this story while working at the Tokmok Training School in Kyrgyzstan.
“Learning to Let Go” by Connie W. Nowlan is the story of how a young girl learns to become a trapeze “flyer”. It's also a parable about trusting God and learning to “fly” free from fear.
Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones that come to life is the basis of Edwin Cook’s biblical study, “Dry Bones and Living Souls”. This ancient vision “provides hope for our disinterested friends and relatives”.
Dixil L Rodriguez survived a serious car accident with the help of a man who left a mysterious calling card. If the words “Puppy”, “We Care for People” and the Internet address “www.caring.ushv” mean anything to you, let Dixil know. She wants to say thank you. She made a rather extensive Internet search, as did I, and both of us “came up empty”.
“Letters” was a delightful and informative read.
Like mind met like mind, and the result is an outstanding essay. Clifford Goldstein’s “Flew’s Flight” is a well-written, thoughtful, even respectful piece about the intellectual journey of a man who used to be known as “the world’s most notorious atheist”. Anthony Flew has written that his “’discovery of the Devine has been a pilgrimage of reason and not faith’. Two things in particular helped him reason his way from atheism to theism: the teleological argument (the argument from design) and the cosmological one (the argument from first causes)”.
Flew has also written, “As I have said more than once, no other religion enjoys anything like the combination of a charismatic figure like Jesus and a first-class intellectual like St. Paul. If you're wanting omnipotence to set up a religion, it seems to me that this is the one to beat!”
Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center has a new CEO. As of February 25, Richard Hart is the boss.
“Kids View” signed in American Sign Language, should have preceded the Deaf History Month calendar and information about Helen Keller. Otherwise the pictures and format were creative and interesting.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported that “roughly 60% of Americans reared in what is defined as the “Adventist family” of churches, a grouping of Protestants dominated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, remain in that family as adults. . .However the bad news is “evidence of a dropout problem. The 2001 ARIS study found that 73 percent of those reared in the Adventist Church stayed in, and that has dropped to 60 percent. The tendency of new generations of Adventists not to bond with our denomination is accelerating”, according to Monte Sahlin.
There is a new academic building on the campus of Adventist-owned Valley View University in the West African country of Ghana. Columbia Union Hall was dedicated on February 18, thanks to the financial support of the Columbia Union Conference, Kettering Medical Center, and the Allegheny East Conference.
“The Wonder of Jesus”, a book by Roy Adams, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Md., 2007) is reviewed by Roy Gane. “This is a beautiful book. . .Adams cuts through clichés accumulated throughout the centuries to present an honest twenty-first century encounter with the Jesus of the New Testament.”
“Marry or Martha? by Wilona Karimabadi is a contemplative reflection on the personalities of Mary and Martha and “their examples as approaches to discipleship”.
“An Afternoon in Congress” is far more than a report of what happened on an afternoon spent in legislation hearings in Ontario, Canada. It is a brilliant essay that requires the reader to consider again what it means to be a Christian in a chaotic and terrifying world where our obsession with the ludicrous and trivial is the anesthetic of choice.