Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reviewing the Adventist Review

August 19, 2010
Vol. 187, No. 27

This issue is classic Review. It’s got thoughtful advice, inspirational stories, religious insight, and questionable “clear biblical teaching”.

Gerald Klingbeil has some advice for all Adventists with “do-it-yourself attitudes who believe WE CAN FIX IT, no matter what crisis the Church faces, all by ourselves. He recommends “more humility and less swaggering”.

“At the end of the day, it is God’s Spirit and His guidance that we need, not do-it-yourself attitudes and another seminar on strategic thinking. In a time of utmost national crisis following the exile in Babylon, the best antidote against the we-can-fix-it mind-set can be found in the words of the prophet Zechariah: “‘Not by might nor  by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” Zech. 4:6

LOSS OF CIVILITY is not the only loss that concerns of Sandra Blackmer
“Along with other obviously harmful and even destructive aspects—such as easy access to pornographic and other immoral sites, the loss of privacy, and rampant deceit—I see the lack of civility as a leading Internet causality…Criticisms and accusations often include no credible verification—but great damage is done in spite of this, even if the “cause” is noble. Tragically, having the label “Christian” doesn’t always appear to make much difference either.

“When Jesus in John 13:35 said that others will recognize Christians “if you love one another,” I can’t help but believe He’s largely referring not to how we treat those who love and agree with us, but rather, those who don’t.
Nana Boyde offers LET US PLAY AND PRAY as a realistic assessment of what constitutes healthy Sabbath keeping.

“The process of deciding how to spend Sabbath effectively requires some intentional effort on the part of couples. It begins with having a discussion about what kinds of activities each partner experiences as “’prayful play’—how they feel most connected to each other and God...We all bring our own experiences, biases, and expectations to what Sabbath should or should not look like. It can be challenging to find common ground, but well worth the effort.

“It is only in a state of rest that we are able to appreciate ourselves and those around us for who we are rather than for what we do…Sabbath allows us to view each other outside of our roles. We are given the space in time to focus on who God created us specifically to be.”

Andy Nash fails to reference Romans 14:5, 6 in his discussion of THE SABBATH AND COLOSSIANS 2. He might have done so in light of his statement: “When people are taking a hard look at the Sabbath, it’s important that we provide clear biblical teaching”. He then argues that Colossians 2:16, 17 does not “challenge to the perpetuity of the seventh-day Sabbath”.

Because there is scholarly confusion as to whether or not the “Sabbath” referred to in Colossians 2 is ceremonial or weekly, is it possible that Paul might have explained himself more clearly in Romans 14: 5, 6? Here are the passages.

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2: 16, 17

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. Romans 14: 5, 6

TO FORGIVE OR NOT TO FORGIVE, that is the question posed by Karen Green. She makes the case for forgiveness, and once you have made that decision, “how you go about doing this is as varied as each unique situation”.

Hyveth Williams asks, WHERE IS THE LOVE on the internet?
“This revolutionary convenience that we should be using to shower the world with our magnificent message as the leaves of autumn is being used to destroy reputations and sully characters, especially when it comes to doctrinal orthodoxy and practice. Godly men and women, professors, preachers, and teachers are bludgeoned in blogs by careless criticism, unchecked facts, or alleged character flaws that have no basis in fact. Some statements parlayed in e-mails are downright lies, words deliberately taken out of context and spun to fit the acerbic thoughts of the sender, often under the guise of Christian concern. And this, even before the accused is contacted according to Jesus’ prescription for dealing with differences described in Matthew 18.”

LESSONS FROM LIFE’S HARD KNOCKS is Michael Stango’s account of what happened when he prayed, “Jesus, You lead and I will follow.”
Michael Yancey encountered a HIGHWAY SAMARITAN when he and his wife found themselves “sitting off the highway in our car with a tree branch protruding through the rear passenger window, right behind my wife.
CHURCH TRENDS, ETC. is Monte Sahlin’s latest report on “the current attitude toward Adventist Christian education among Seventh-day Adventist parents in North America. Some voices would have you believe it’s negative, or at least slipping—but real data from surveys present a different picture…In the average congregation four out of five parents are already convinced and have remained convinced over the past two decades.

“The new study, entitled Adventist Families in North America, is available from the Center for Creative Ministry, which conducted the research for the Family Ministries Department. You can get a copy at or (800) 272-4664. If you send me an e-mail request, I will share with you the 2004 report on attitudes toward Christian education. Also, your local conference Office of Education is available to meet with a group of parents in your congregation or to provide a facilitator for serious, long-range planning on this topic with your church board or school board.
“Most important is to be clear about the mission of Adventist schools. They cannot thrive if that mission is seen in a self-centered way, if it is about only “my” children and not all  God’s children.”

Monte Sahlin is a director of research and special projects for the Ohio Conference. You can suggest resources to him at or (800) 272-4664.

Dick Rentfro assures us that WE ARE GOD’S MATERPIECES.

“God loves each of us more deeply than we can begin to imagine. Some people mistakenly believe that God the Father is austere and unapproachable, and that Jesus’ role is constantly to placate His wrath. This is not what the Bible teaches. When the disciples asked Jesus to tell them what God was like, His simple answer was: ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’” (John 14:9).

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