Sunday, June 7, 2009

Reviewing the Adventist Review

May 14, 2009
Vol. 186, No, 13

There is much to commend in this issue. The Cover piece, INTO THE GARDEN, by Ken Flemmer, may motivate you to get out there and plant some tomatoes and zucchinis. THE FROG-CRUSHING METHOD by Jeff Scoggins is thoughtful and well written. Clifford Goldstein earns EXTERNAL PROPS from me for an excellent editorial. COOKING SOLUTIONS FOR SINGLES by Bonnie McLean is tasty. And FINDING BALANCE AGAIN by Valerie N. Phillips turns an personal crisis into a beautiful metaphor. That said, I have a bone to pick with two of my favorite writers!

In A GOOD WORD ABOUT POLITICS, an otherwise excellent reminder that Seventh-day Adventists have been involved with politics since the Civil War, and more often than not, on the righteous side of the issues, Knott seems to assert that the Adventist Church speaks with one voice on the issue of gay marriage. It doesn’t. And Bill, when you write about “the divinely ordained institutions of home and marriage”, you don’t speak for all of us, and God, at least to my knowledge has not taken sides on this issue. (I personally believe that all marriages should be civil unions.) The Old Testament contains a variety of sanctioned marriage contracts, and I can find no prohibition of gay marriage in the New Testament.

Here is the quote in context.
“In order for the church to fulfill her mission, civil liberties must be preserved; hungry souls must be fed with real bread, as well as the Bread of Life; justice must be guaranteed to those without power or influence; the divinely ordained institutions of home and marriage must be preserved.”

The illustrations that accompany Roy Adams’ “EVERY THOUGT CAPTIVE” are as weird as any the Review has published. That aside, Roy, your use of the unqualified word “liberal” in the following context is offensive. The offence is compounded when it is included in the phrase, “There’s no one so intolerant as a narrow-minded liberal professor. . .” (If the word “liberal” had instead been “conservative”, I would be equally upset. If the word “liberal” had been omitted, I would “second” your statement—I have been a Cal State University professor for thirty-six years and am well aware of the sins of my colleagues.)

When you assert that “false science” “in some cases” is taught in “our own” educational institutions, without providing reference or attribution, your words further inflame the witch-hunt mentality of some folks who see the devil under the bed when the word “evolution” is mentioned, without regard for context or argument. See Unraveling a Witch Hunt: La Sierra Under Seige.

Here is the paragraph under discussion.
“In this respect one may think of the challenge posed by false science. Every Adventist Christian who enters a science classroom in a secular educational institution today—and in some cases, even our own—faces this challenge. There’s no one so intolerant as a narrow-minded liberal professor determined to foist upon their students the philosophy of a mechanistic universe devoid of God. The Christian weapons are directed against such targets.”

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