Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reviewing the Adventist Review

February 24, 2011
Vol. 188, No. 6

This issue has something in it for everyone.

M.A. Wilson asks this important question: “How do we justify the institutions we’ve created in Adventism just to support the machinery of the institution? In our system incredible amounts of tie, energy, and finances go to ministries and support staff, a lot of which never reaches the church at the congregational level?”

A featured highlight of Ted Wilson’s South Pacific visit to New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea, was his bible study with Sir Michael Somare, the Prime Minister of New Guinea.

Retired White Estate Associate Director and cofounder of Babcock University, Roger W. Coon, died on February 2. He was 83.

Dorothy Jones, a retired Adventist teacher and counselor, living in Nashville, sends birthday cards with a devotional message to more than 1,040 people around the world each year.

Both Nile Academy and Zeitoun Adventist School in Cairo, have temporarily suspended classes. 930 students have been affected by the political upheaval in Egypt.

A Ellen G. White Research Center has opened its doors at Central American Adventist University in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

In his editorial, WHISTLING IN THE LIGHT, Bill Knott assures his readers that “the gracious Lord will put before you some cause, some need, some project in which you may invest some bit of what He has given you”.

TRUE REPRESENTATION is a confession by Wilona Karimabadi that she never expected to be treated with respect by professors or her student colleagues on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. What do you suppose it was about her Adventist upbringing that produced this unwarranted concern? *

“On this secular campus, inside classrooms filled with people who don’t share my core beliefs, I have been enveloped in a true spirit of openness. When I have shared pieces that talk about my faith, I have never experienced any rolling of the eyes, condescending chuckles, outright shock and disbelief, etc. My classmates have read and evaluated my work with respect and genuine interest, asking honest questions in that same spirit. And in conversations outside of class, I have always been treated in that same way. Truthfully, I never expected that.”

* As a public school English teacher and university professor of education, I have often used Jesus as an example of what it takes to be an effective teacher. On only one occasion in 42 years has a student criticized my use of Jesus as a model. A former Adventist, a young man in his twenties, raised by Adventist parents in an Adventist community, loudly protested and dropped my Educational Psychology class.

In LESSONS JESUS TAUGHT, Mark Johnson describes the ideal Adventist church as “a place where the weak, the wounded, and the weary can rub shoulders with other people and find healing and acceptance, new direction and inspiration. I would rather have people who are having struggles in life in the church where they belong, hearing what Jesus has for them, than having them outside, wondering what in the world they are going to do”.

Andrew McChesney is Editor in Chief of the Moscow Times, an English-language daily newspaper. When he gave up trying to find THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD, it found him, thanks to the alert editors of the Adventist Review. Andrew’s love of God and his passionate concern for his Russian friends and employees continue to inspire me to be a better Christian. For me, he’s always a MUST READ.

The introduction to ADVENTISM'S FIRST BLACK FAMILY by James Nix and Lawrence Onsager promises a fascinating look at a remarkable family. It doesn't disappoint.

“Achieving a historic first is rarely easy. But achieving several such firsts is nothing short of newsworthy. Such is the legacy of the William J. Hardy family of Michigan, Adventism’s first African-American church members. In addition to the family’s being the first Black Seventh-day Adventists (despite their current anonymity), William Hardy is credited with being the first Black man elected to public office in Michigan, and Eugene, William’s son, was the first Black to graduate from high school in Michigan.”

(RELEVANT) NOW? by Linnea Helgesen offers some sensible advice to Adventists when discussing apocalyptic visions.

“In a world of fearful apocalyptic visions of environmental chaos and poverty, the sober Seventh-day Adventist approach, at times healthily skeptical of its own apocalyptic vision, can prove to be the present truth of our time. Because of our past, we have already tried different approaches to the apocalypse: fire and brimstone preaching, generous antichrist labeling (instead of appropriately focusing on systems rather than people), and some of us have even attempted to fit 9/11 into our prophecy charts. Been there, done that. We know we have made mistakes, and because of it we have a golden opportunity to avoid repeating them.”

GOD OF ALL HOPEFULNESS by David Marshall is a beautifully written devotional piece in which he reminds us that when tragedy strikes, ours is a “Lord of all Hopefulness, Lord of all joy”, and that message can be delivered by a most unlikely angel. It’s a MUST READ.

PREACHING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL TO ALL THE EARTH is Jason Canfield’s advice about “reaching out” to Mormons. “Truth alone is not likely to be enough to convert your average Latter-day Saint. The one thing that everyone can do is befriend Mormons. It is through friendship evangelism that it is possible to reach Mormons.”

It sounds to me like a standoff. Adventists don’t have much of a chance to convert Mormons, and they don’t have much of a chance to convert us. However, “befriending” each other might give the Holy Spirit a chance to make both Adventists and Mormons better people. I’m convinced it’s possible.

Editors, Delbert Baker needed more help. PREPARED FOR ANYTHING is a reasonable first draft, and he makes some excellent points when he discusses “situational awareness” and the dangers of “intricate theories and last-day scenarios preached by the TV preacher who draws straight lines from current events to Old Testament prophecies”, but the piece needed an editorial second effort before it was published.

In NEVER ALONE, Erica Ariza writes about the time when she “couldn’t pretend everything was fine”. She met a homeless man with Parkinson’s and Emphysema.

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