Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reviewing the Adventist Review

November 11, 2010
Vol. 187. No. 36

I guess in times like these, readers should expect that editorial writers might see the “glass half full” when speculating on the future. In this issue, Mark Kellner and Fredrick Russell provide the sobering assessments. The rest of the issue is standard Review fare—a combination of news, lifestyle advice, devotional essays, evangelistic pieces, and personal testimonies.

Lael Caesar, a religion professor at Andrews University is a new Associate Editor of the Review. He will replace of Roy Adams, the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Adventist Communicators, who has retired.

Rudi Maier is the new ADRA CEO, Derek Morris has been named the editor of Ministry magazine, Artur Stele was appointed the director-elect of the Biblical Research Institute, and a new Mission Board has been given the job of streamlining missionary processing.

WHEN A NATION FORGETS GOD is a Mark A. Kellner editorial that reminds readers that bad things happen when the politics of fear, expediency, and hatred are encouraged by irrational leadership. He recommends the book, “When a Nation Forgets God” by Erwin W. Lutzer as a thoughtful reminder.

“Before, during, and after the Hitler era, home schooling was outlawed, a prohibition that traces its roots to a nineteenth-century desire for ‘standardized’ education and societal advancement…We Adventists have a great refuge in our educational network. But our believers who do not have such access must have their right to instruct their children preserved.

“Those who naively believe a federally guided ‘village’ will raise their children with sympathy for Adventist values or Christian principles may well shed copious tears later when they discover their error. This world is not our home; its values are not the values of the Christian; and our great challenge—and high calling—is to stand athwart modern secularism and say, ‘No.’

A worthwhile warning. However, it is sobering to note that the Adventist Church, along with almost all other Christian denominations, supported the politics of National Socialism as Hitler came to power. This official Adventist position was opposed by many German Adventists who paid the ultimate price for their dissent.

It should also be noted that the Adventist Church hierarchy remained silent during the Civil Rights struggle in this country. It was this country’s “federally guided village” and individual Adventist members, not our church, that championed Christian values.

That said, I believe that Kellner’s distrust of “standardized education”, coupled with the politics of fear, is well founded wherever it is promoted.

In her editorial, A CHURCH STORY, Kimberly Luste Maran's tells the story of a 200 member church in which the middle-aged and elderly and youth and young adults “got along quite well” in spite of a few hiccups. Her final comment, “I wonder why I don’t hear more stories like this?” may be an appeal for some good news. How about flooding her mailbox with testimonies of harmony and good will?

VANISHED WITHOUT A TRACE by Susan Baker is a definition of and prescription for dealing with “ambiguous loss”.

“Ambiguous loss…occurs when a person experiences a loss, but the exact nature or some aspect of the loss is unclear. Confusion is related to the loss. Something valuable is gone and there’s no resolution, no finality, no reasonable way to come to terms with the loss, no sense of closure.” Baker provides “four keys from the Bible and Christian psychology that provide help in dealing with ambiguous loss:

Be Resilient
“Losses happen in this life—we have to accept that. And when bad things happen we can’t always answer the question “Why?” So to some extent we have to develop a level of comfort with the questions of life. Don’t try to explain everything…

Be Engaged
“The important thing is that you determine not to stay in the grief; you have to move on. Reengage with life and people. Moving on may mean that you have to forgive and refuse to live with bitterness and resentment…

Be Disciplined
“Ambiguous loss opens the door for fearfulness, loss of control, and pain to invade the thoughts and emotions. It takes discipline to resist being afraid, angry, and feeling helpless. Here is where the spiritual disciplines of consistent prayer, Bible study, devotion, and worship are so therapeutic…

Be Expectant
‘The last strategy is perhaps the most potent: being expectant for the glory to come. Doggedly hold on to your faith in God.”

THE CROSS AND THE CULTURE by Fredrick A. Russell is a warning that “it’s highly possible that we are heading for a time of violence in the streets of our cities. As I wrote in this column more than a year ago, the incivility of speech and discourse in the political arena would eventually lead to violence. I have no doubt that we are now going there—fast…We Christians are not champions of ideological views; we are champions of the cross.”

THE 4/14 WINDOW is a plea from Linda Mei Lin Koh, the Director of the GC Children’s Ministry Department “to tag children as an unreached people group and for the church to become a part of a global move to bring children to Christ…This relationship between the 10/40 and 4/14 windows should compel us to reprioritize and redirect our evangelism efforts to reach the most receptive group of children and youth today—the 4/14ers!”

In ANOTHER HILL FAR AWAY, Ray Minner visits Aysuluk, “a hill crowning the modern town of Selcuk, Turkey, [that] supports the ruins of a huge church built in the sixth century, destroyed by Tamerlane 900 years later…[where] the apostle John is believed to have spent his last days [and completed] the most important work of his life, sharing the Revelation”.

MOMENTS FROM DEATH is a story about Jimmy Jiamah V. Adil, Jr.’s underwater exploration of Blue Water Cave, a 90-minute ride from Mountain View College in the Philippines, that almost cost him his life.

DISCIPLINE BY DESIGN is another report from our intrepid Moscow reporter, Andrew McChesney, in which his kindness produced a brilliant solution to a problem and allowed him to effectively witness to a defensive employee and a former boss. In retrospect, he concluded that James was right: ‘Mercy triumphs over judgment’ (James 2:13).”

TOOLS OF THE TRADE is Monte Sahlin's latest roundup of great sources for ministry.

“The North American Division released this fall the comprehensive resource for discipleship that has been under development for the past few years. It’s called iFollow . . . because it is largely an electronic system published on DVD and via a Web site, and its focus is “I follow Jesus.” It’s a resource designed for pastors and lay leaders in local churches to use in small groups, seminars, midweek meetings, new member classes, and one-on-one.

The first edition released this fall in a special issue of The Pastor’s DVD, a regular production of the NAD Church Resource Center. Most conferences distribute this to all their pastors. Anyone who is interested can purchase a copy from AdventSource, the NAD’s distributor of leadership resources, at or (800) 328-0525. Users can also go to the corresponding Web site—www.ifollow—to download the original set of materials on the DVD.

THE BODY OF CHRIST: A BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CHURCH is reviewed by Reinder Bruinsma. The review is positive, and Bruinsma “found the chapter on the history of the doctrine especially interesting”.

We remember those who sleep in Jesus.
ALBERT, Wilbert F.—b. Apr. 12, 1932, Guyana, South America; d. Nov. 4, 2009, Ocala, Fla.
ANTONETTI, Mabyline H.—b. Apr. 5, 1928, Avery, Tex.; d. Mar. 28, 2010, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
BARRETT, William E., Jr.—b. Nov. 26, 1953, Toledo, Ohio; d. Dec. 27, 2009, Daytona Beach, Fla.
BARTLETT, Alvin Marbert—b. Apr. 20, 1910, Roswell, N.Mex.; d. Aug. 14, 2009, Yuma, Ariz.
BERTOLO, Hulda—b. Sept. 3, 1940, Parana, Argentina; d. Mar. 6, 2010, Apopka, Fla.
BROWNLOW, Harmon C.—b. Dec. 11, 1928, Winston-Salem, N.C.; d. Nov. 16, 2009, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
CARTER, Howard Wilson—b. June 13, 1928, Kodicanal, India; d. Nov. 23, 2009, Rogue River, Oreg.
CEBALLOS, Antonio Alejandro—
b. Santa Marta, Colombia; d. May 25, 2010, Silver Spring, Md.
CHILSON, Jerry Louise—b. Apr. 12, 1935, Takoma Park, Md.; d. Apr. 7, 2010, Walton, Oreg.
HESS, Alvin J.—b. Apr. 7, 1925, Hins-dale, Ill.; d. Feb. 3, 2010, Apopka, Fla.
HUMPHREY, Margaret J.—b. Chicago, Ill.; d. Feb. 2, 2010, Apopka, Fla.
JEMSON, Willard D.—b. Apr. 4, 1910, Nanaimo, British Columbia; d. Apr. 15, 2010, Port Charlotte, Fla.
LUTZ-BARTELSON, Vera—b. June 15, 1924, Wells County, Ind.; d. Feb. 10, 2010, Tavares, Fla.
MCPHERSON, Donnie—b. Oct. 1, 1944, Macclenny, Fla.; d. Dec. 6, 2009, Orlando, Fla.
MORGAN, Mary Elizabeth—b. Nov. 22, 1923, Everett, Mass.; d. Jan. 18, 2010, Avon Park, Fla.

Climbing THE TRAIL UP BONEY MOUNTAIN persuaded Art Kharns that it would take more than a few recreational climbs on Boney Mountain to prepare him for the climb to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.

GIVING LIGHT TO OUR WORLD is a report on the “outreach initiative in multiple NAD conferences based on the concept of church members carrying Adventist literature with them wherever they go and handing it out—free of charge—at every opportunity.

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