Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reviewing Spectrum

Winter 2009
Vol. 37, Issue 1

Bonnie Dwyer, LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, and Charles Scriven, WOMEN AND MEN AND MINISTRY: A FAMILY STORY, got me excited. Then a single-page TIME AND TIME AGAIN, feedback page featuring a chart chronicling a 490-year prophecy (457 B.C. to 409) and one more email arguing that gay marriage is protected under the U.S. Constitution curbed my enthusiasm.

Next, AN INTERVIEW WITH DAN DAVENPORT by an old friend and college classmate, Bob Dunn, renewed my positive expectations. But, even with pictures of the Hallmark cast of Expecting and Miracle, the interview focused on script writing and once again my interest waned.

Fortunately, AMERICAN DREAMS COME TRUE chronicled the experiences of two writers, Aubin Fullton and Nicole Frazier, who attended the Obama inauguration, and I was hooked. So, to make a long story short, I kept reading and finished the issue in one session.

A PROPHET AMOS ON GAZA, re-versed by Douglas R. Clark is a poetic commentary on the mess in the Middle East. Clark’s apology to the prophet Amos should not be taken seriously. Amos on Gaza is Amosian, brilliant, and politically on target.

This poetic tour de force is followed by TOP TEN WAYS for the General Conference to Fix the Problem of Women’s Ordination and two pieces which argue that the Church policy that forbids the ordination of qualified women is indefensible. Loren Seibold and Eddy Johnson are rational and convincing. Unfortunately, General Conference committees or a constituent vote can’t right this wrong at the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta if the church leadership is silent. Now is the time for General conference, Union, and local conference leaders, worldwide, to demonstrate their support of women’s ordination by official words and actions, i.e. to demonstrate the intestinal fortitude to do what is right, not what is politically expedient.

ADVENTIST LIFE contributors Winona Wendth, Shasta Nelson, Herold Weiss, and Gary Gilbert reminded us of a time when “The Truth” demanded unquestioned obedience, and the declarations of the General Conference were the pronouncements of God.

I’m delighted that for forty years THE SPECTRUM STORY IN ART AND POETRY continues to be told.

David Pendleton’s review of THREE BOOKS ON CREATION, EVOLUTION, AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN—Bleached Faith, Monkey Girl, and Only a Theory—broke no new ground in terms of the intelligent design/evolution argument, but the piece was well written and an excellent introduction to the debate.

WILLIAM MILLER REVISITED is Leigh Johnsen’s review of God’s Strange Work and the End of the World by David Rowe. According to Johnsen, the author “meets Miller on his own terms and offers readers a plausible and compelling portrait”. (Publication by Eerdman’s Publishing not yet finalized.)

THE SILENT WORD is a poem by James J. Londis that appeared in the third issue of the first volume of Spectrum. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that forty years ago, Adventists were officially silent during the Vietnam War and are officially silent about the war in Iraq, today.

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