Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Reviewing the Adventist Review

April 24, 2008
Vol.185, No. 12

This issue is a solid one. There are two pieces you don't want to miss. The first is a MUST READ editorial by Stephen Chavez, Call Me Christian. The second is a disturbingly misogynistic Goldstein essay, Justice From the Dust.

COVER STORY by Michael D. Peabody
Peabody makes the argument that our church has survived because the majority of us share a sense of mission. He argues that a pragmatic approach to church unity is the best way to preserve that sense of mission.

"Some members will fear that developing a practical or pragmatic approach that respects the value of philosophical differences will place too much at risk. But pretending that discussion and debate do not exist on controversy issues is even more dangerous because it drives the argument underground and encourages the sides in passive-aggressive sniping at each other. Failure to a knowledge and encourage in this process places the mission of the church at risk, and is a chief cause of Laodicean stagnation or mindless authoritarianism."

The Body fo Christ--Everyone Has a Place in It by Ellen G. White
As usual, Ellen White successfully champions independent thought with church unity. "Church relationship is not to be lightly canceled; yet some professed followers of Christ will threaten to leave the church when their path is crossed, or their voice has not the controlling influence which they think it deserves. . .They themselves would be the greatest sufferers; for in withdrawing beyond the pale of its influence, they subject themselves to the full temptations of the world."

Running the Family Business by Carolyn Macumber
In this parable the Christian virtues of respect, kindness, loyalty, obedience, and love defuse a potentially explosive situation.

A Metaphor for Prayer by Norman Johnson
Johnson compares the necessity of prayer with the necessity of breathing.

Vegan Versus Vegetarian by Drs. Handysides and Landless
Once again, the docs do a great job of answering questions about vegan versus vegetarian diets and HDL cholesterol. They continue to amaze!

Adventist readers continue to respond intelligently to what the Adventist Review has to offer. It's too bad that their letters are reactions to articles printed in the March 20 edition. So readers, either keep your magazines for at least two months if you want to discover whether or not you agree with the opinions expressed, or check out my review of the article!

Kids View
If only my copy of this edition had arrived before Mother's Day. Unfortunately, the April 24 and May 22 additions of the Review arrived on May 15, and my grandchildren missed out. Now that Kimberly Luste Maran is the Content Editor, the production quality of Kids View has improved considerably.

World News and Perspectives
"Oakwood University, the Seventh-day Adventist school, captured the top prize at the ninetieth and you will Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, billed as 'the largest annual academic competition between the nation's leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Assessment Office Seeks Highest Quality Level for World Church
Paul Brantley is the Adventist world church's director of the new Office of Assessment and Program Effectiveness.

2007 Sees Record Thirteenth Sabbath Offering Increase
The offering increased 10.4 percent to US$8.9 million in 2007, and mission projects on three continents benefited.

Clifford Goldstein
See my review of this essay here.

Lessons Learned by Valerie N. Phillips
A bottle of cereal-fortified formula finally quieted the cries of a fussy baby. We, like infants, often have difficulty communicating our needs. Fortunately “our God sees past our posturing, the pretense, the selfish bravado, and hears our wounded cries for what the are.”

Second Chances by Andrew McChesney
All to often people are not granted a second opportunity be selfless and compassionate in difficult situations. Thankfully, McChesney was granted that second chance.

Call Me Christian by Stephen Chavez
This editorial is a MUST READ. Not only is Chavez a brilliant writer, he is a brilliant Christian. You can read the entire editorial online, and that strongly recommend that you do. The following words only suggest the beauty of his writing and the generosity of his Christian experience.

"My understanding of Christianity, as well as my practice of it, is defined by Jesus, and Jesus alone. The church, Adventist or otherwise, is useful only to the extent that it faithfully reflects Jesus character to our wider communities. If we ever discover that our loyalty to the institution hinders our loyalty to Christ, we have to stop, re-examine our priorities, and return our focus to Christ."

It's All in the Numbers by Carlos Medley
Medley summarizes the US Religious Landscape Survey of 35,000 adults over the age of 18. This Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examines "major denominational groupings, retention rates, and demographic data (such as age, income, and education levels)." His editorial includes the following statistics:

"Adventists had a larger percentage of women [members] then the Protestant average. We are also younger and have a lower average income than the total sample."

"Of all Protestant churches, Adventists, Lutherans, and Baptists retained the highest proportion of members from childhood to adult. . . 59 percent."

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