Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reviewing the Adventist Review

August 25, 2008
Vol. 185, No. 24

This issue is thoughtfully put together. The Cover Story, It’s Elementary, by Brad Watson has earned a Bouquet. It’s the amazing account of Asian Aid, an organization that has “been quietly sponsoring children for more than 40 years”.

“Foundational to Asian Aid’s work is the belief that through God all things are possible, and small seeds sown in the lives of young, poor children will result in blessings that are truly amazing. Without fanfare, without access to sophisticated marketing or celebrity support, and entirely through God’s grace, Asian Aid continues to grow and serve the Seventh-day Adventist Church in its global mission. In 2009 sponsorship is expected to reach 8,000 needy children, all of whom will be assisted in partnership with local churches and their institutions.”

Honorable Mention honors include Army Honors Desmond Doss With Hospital Guesthouse Naming reported by Kristin Ellis, and Are Medications Safe to Take? By Handsides and Landless. The Roy Adams editorial, Thinking Aloud About Laodicea suggests that it’s unwise to categorize all members of any church as Laodicean.

“Is it possible that there could be segments of the church, perhaps even large segments, that aren’t Laodicean at all? If we were to run into such a segment, would we recognize it? Or would we feel obliged to lay on them the Laodicean message with the same intensity as elsewhere?”

No piece earned a Black Eye. However, I do have three critical comments.

In Wilona Karimabadi’s editorial, Roll Out the Welcome Mat, she laments the fact that when she and her friends where ignored when they attended an Adventist church “far from home”

“When we entered the church—a group of strangers to this congregation and far from home—we were handed bulletins. That was it. Once inside the sanctuary, we stood around for a while trying to find seats, unassisted by a deacon or elder or any helper for that matter, until someone in a nearby pew scooted over and made room for all of us. Once the service ended we stood in the lobby for a few minutes and were approached by no one. Then after, as we perched ourselves prominently on the church property—again, a group of unfamiliar faces standing around in the heat—no one came by to find out who we were and what we were doing.”

Wilona, did it occur to you to introduce yourself to someone? To the preacher perhaps? Friendliness is a two-way street! Maybe it’s just me, but I’m tired of hearing this story from another Adventist.

In Clifford Goldstein’s My Wife’s Garden, he “gazed at the petals [of a flower] and pitied all Darwinists”.

“That flower makes fools of us all. Some can look at it and declare—backed by scientific proofs, formulas, and theories (all peer-reviewed, too, mind you)—that it was an accident, that it wasn’t designed, that it exists by chance. Me, I looked at it and saw, besides my own ignorance, undeniable evidence of God’s love. Something in that flower gave me a young Wertherian sense of trust in the divine, something beyond words, beyond explanation, and thus beyond refute.”

Cliff, I’m a creationist, and I understand that the argument for creationism is a deductive one and therefore “beyond refute”. Who is attempting to “refute” your argument? Surely not the readers of the Review! What I don’t understand is your sarcastic putdown of reputable scientific journals “scientific proofs, formulas, and theories”. It is highly probable that the inductive methods of science have made it possible for your “heart” to imagine (“I love my wife’s garden as long as I don’t have to work in it!”) “’the simple, harmless joys of the man who brings to the table a head of cabbage he has grown himself, and in a single moment enjoys, not only the vegetable, but all the fine days and fresh mornings since he planted it, the mild evenings when he watered it, and the pleasure he felt while watching it grow’”.
(A Goldstein quote from Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther)

Kid’s View has expanded into an eight-page magazine, and it looks pretty good for a first edition! I particularly liked Dr. James Appel’s story, One Doctor, One Horse, and One Boy. If I had been asked, I would have had two suggestions for Kimberly Maran and her staff. Reduce the clutter on the first page. And a modern soldier, dressed for combat, would have communicated “the armor of God” more effectively than a picture of a medieval knight that looked like a statue encased in metal!

1 comment:

Andy Hanson said...

Anne, may I post your comment. She said yes.

Hello Andy,
I enjoyed and was disturbed by your review of the Review paragraph on the unfriendliness of the Adventist church. I am sorry, but when I am a visitor in your home and you don't introduce yourself and invite me in, I won't be back!

I make it a practice when I visit an SDA church to look at it like I knew nothing about this group of people. How do the grounds look, how is the lobby - is it welcoming, attractive...greeters, bulletin etc.

Our most recent experience was being a member of a church for nine months (enough time to be a born-again), and the most we got was 'Happy Sabbath' from five different people in the lobby. The SS teacher never asked who we were, and what were our names. Yes, we did speak up and contribute to the discussions.

Someone phoned and asked me if I would help with the church booth at the county fair, and I was pleased to do so. The pastor came by that Friday night. I was at the table manning (womanning) the computer. The pastor chatted with the greeter lady, chatted with the physician (it was a health-related theme). I smiled sweetly at him twice when he looked my way. He never even came over to say hello, let alone 'I am sorry, I don't think we have met, I am pastor Clark. Thank you for helping us out in the booth...'

The worst was two years ago; we had just moved to Oregon and were looking for a church home. Visited one large church. The greeter was busy laughing with friends, and I stood there smiling at her, and finally asked for a bulletin. The SS time was spent by the conference evangelist demonstrating by little skits how to 'manipulate' your co-workers into coming the evangelistic series, without letting them know who was putting it on. Yes, he used the word 'manipulate.' If that was my first introduction to SDA's I wouldn't be back!

I could write a book...OK, I will now cease and desist my Friday night rant! Happy Sabbath...;<( er, make that ;<)

Anne Onymus