Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reviewing Spectrum

Winter, 2010
Volume 38, Issue 1

Let me first mention what was well written and worth reading: CREATION AND DEVOLUTION by Charles Scriven, LETTERS, ZOGBY SURVEY FINDS RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND MEMBERS AT ODDS, and Dr. James Londis’ response to Launa Rasmussen’ review of his book, FAITH BASED CAREGIVING IN A SECULAR WORLD. (The review itself was disorganized and difficult to follow.)

NEW DIRECTOR MERKLIN TAKES REINS OF ADVENTIST MUSLIM STUDY CENTER, reported by Rick Kajiura mentioned something I didn’t know. There are mission study centers operated by the office of Adventist Mission for Jews in Israel, Buddhists in Thailand, Hindus in India, and Secular and Post Modern folks in England.

ELLEN WHITE RETURNS HOME: THE ELLEN WHITE PROJECT by Beverly Beem was informative but longer than necessary. (I had to work at staying awake.) I hope the Muslims that William Johnson finds so attractive as he engages in GLOBAL FAITH INTERACTION don’t read the ROADMAP FOR MISSION. Adventist friendship is really only an “opening wedge”.

I wish I could say that the poetic JOY IN THE MORNING at least made me happy. It was too self-conscious and long, and never did give even a gentle hint about what to do to get “joyful” except wake up in the morning. John McDowell’s poem, BLUE, at least informed the reader that God’s eyes are blue.

I read EMBRACING THE STRANGER: TOWARD AN ADVENTIST THEOLOGY OF MIGRATION in the hope that it would outline practical steps that I could take to further my efforts to get a comprehensive immigrant reform policy enacted. All I got was the message, repeated over and over: be kind to immigrants. Lourdes E. Morales-Gudmundsson did supply a reading list at the end, but I wanted an expert to tell me what I could do to help change things for the better.

Matthew Burdette reviewed Charles Scriven’s book, THE PROMISE OF PEACE. I’ve read the book, and I liked many of the sentiments expressed, but this review doesn’t do the book justice: it’s poorly written and the criticism is equivocal. Consequently, the spirit of the book drowns in faint praise.

The page devoted to HEALTH-CARE REFORM 2009-2010 reported by Larry A. Mitchel was old news. MY VIEW OF THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE by Leland R. Kaiser was poorly written and so filled with new-age gobbledygook that I thought nothing that followed could be worse. I was wrong!

Bonnie, in your editorial, STAND UP AND CHEER, you called the pieces by the presidents of the Adventist Theological society and the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, “excellent”? They bored me to tears, their language obscured reason; the content was unbearably superficial and so over referenced that clarity was destroyed. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MOSES AND ELIJAH by Roy E. Gane and REPAIRERS OF BROKEN WALLS AND RESTORES OF GOD’S JUSTICE by Zdravko Plantak give theological discourse a really bad name!

Well, by now you must have realized that this issue of the magazine was a disappointment. I’m looking forward to the next one. Things have to get better!

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