Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reviewing the Adventist Review

January 27, 2011
Vol. 188, No. 3

This is an issue you can proudly share with your non-Adventist friends. It’s generously ecumenical, provides some excellent advice, and includes four MUST READ selections.

In UNAVOIDABLY HIS, Bill Knott talks about how revival begins and continues. I wish this had been Ted Wilson’ inaugural sermon.

“We must make ourselves available to Jesus in new ways and for unaccustomed amounts of time. We must bow to Him and to each other with unfeigned and persistent humility. We must cultivate a culture of listening for His voice—in His Word, through the whisperings of the Spirit, wherever two or three are gathered in His name. And we must surrender ourselves to be held by Him and healed by Him in that reviving embrace that raises us—and all His body—to walk with Him in newness of life. That’s how the revival begins—and continues.”

Once again, Stephen Chavez speaks common sense. TO MAKE HIM KNOWN “a person-to-person witness is much more effective than any mass attempts to saturate society with God’s gospel message”.

Alberto E. Delanoe’s ON BEING HUMAN reflects a Christ centered theology that makes room for joyful spiritual freedom within a religious community. In that community every person is “more than a gear in economic machinery. We need to push hard to discover God’s image in people, especially in a world that tries to make us believe that marginalized individuals can be integrated into society only by supplying their material needs…Being human is something that cannot be bought or sold. Life, friendship, and joy, among others, are given or received as gifts”.

EYES WIDE OPEN, as defined by Delbert Baker is “basically, situational awareness is nothing more than paying attention to your surroundings and avoiding ‘being surprised’. When we’re surprised by an event, our ability to respond successfully is greatly reduced. Situational awareness increases our ability to anticipate and develop an effective response, because when we’re aware, we respond sooner and more intelligently, and we can more likely influence the outcome of an event and our corresponding actions”.

In OOPS! I GUESS I'M GOING TO HELL, Seth Pierce supplies a memorable quote from Morris Venden that speaks to more than just the effects of religious rejection. For me, a teacher for 45 years, these words speak to the psychological effects of community and societal bullying as well, and explain why so many young people and adults fail to achieve their God-given potential.

“We have been so sure that He was going to reject us because of what we are, that we keep on being what we are! We keep on sinning because we don’t believe we are forgiven. We remain defeated because we have no assurance that He accepts us even while we grow.”

In A MISSION TO OREGON Paul A. Gordon reveals a woman whose Christianity embraced everyone she spoke to or associated with. It’s a MUST READ.

“Ellen White was invited to speak to the prisoners held in the state penitentiary in Salem. Later describing the experience, she wrote, ‘When the time arrived for service, we were conducted to the chapel, which was made cheerful by an abundance of light and pure, fresh air. At a signal from the bell, two men opened the great iron gates, and the prisoners came flocking in. The doors were securely closed behind them, and for the first time in my life I was immured in prison walls.’ (Life Sketches, p. 233).

“Using 1 John 3:1 as her key text, Ellen White spoke on God’s love and His power to transform lives. In a letter to her husband, James, she explained, ‘I tried to imagine the youth around me as my boys, and to talk with them from a mother’s heart of love and sympathy, with no thought of lowering the standard to meet them in their sinful, lawless state, but to exalt the law and hold the standard of the cross of Christ high, and then show them the path of virtue and obedience’ (letter 32, 1878).

“She was again requested to speak at the Methodist church in Salem, where on Sunday evening, more than 700 people listened to her presentation on temperance. Afterward one of the Methodist ministers remarked that he ‘regretted Mrs. White was not a staunch Methodist, for they would make her a bishop at once; she could do justice to the office’ “

In GOD'S MATHEMATICS Andrew McChesney, our intrepid Moscow reporter faces a difficult test of his Christian charity. The account of his personal struggle to do the right thing is a MUST READ story of angry faith.

“Nikolai, who attends my church, approached me after the worship service with a request for a hefty sum of money to help a fellow church member in Siberia who urgently needed to buy medication. I had that exact amount in my bank account, tucked away for an emergency.”

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING is a story of initial disappointment and then renewed faith. In the end, Laurel Lafaut was able to “praise God for Christians who behave like Christ”!

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY does not disappoint. Drs. Handysides and Landless dispense important information about hormone replacement therapy and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a MUST READ.

ARE YOU A THERMOMETER OR A THERMOSTAT? is an important question for all followers of Christ. Mary-Allen Colon provides another MUST READ account of how the Presbyterian New Song Community Church in the Sandtown section of Baltimore, Maryland, was used by God to transform the environment of the community around it.

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