Thursday, May 12, 2011

Reviewing the Adventist Review

April 28, 2011
Vol. 188, No. 13

This issue will offend no one. It’s full of good advice, and includes a bit of fascinating Adventist History, FATHER JOSEPH BATES, and a mission story, A CLOSE CALL, that almost never was. I also suggest a careful reading of the accreditation story detailed in World News and Perspectives.

La Sierra University is being subjected to scrutiny by the Adventist Accrediting Association regarding what the headline calls “Faithfulness to [the] Church’s Creation Belief.

In Bermuda, Adventist lay member Scott Smith has made the suggestion that churches shut their doors for a month and pastors and members take their ministry to gang members and their families.

The ADRA Board met on April 6 to acquaint themselves with the issues surrounding the agencies reorganization. Two new committees were established: a working committee to “consider the defining elements of ADRA, and a standing committee to oversee the group’s bylaws. “Questions about which level of governance—executive officers or the ADRA Board—was the right one to determine reductions in force had circulated since the February announcement” and has yet to be determined. A June financial report and future transparency in decision making were promised.

In OUT OF THE PICTURE, Gerald Klingbeil makes his argument for “real” church attendance.
“Don’t get me wrong: we are blessed with wonderful preachers and their easily accessible messages. However, church is not virtual. Church is people and fellowship and warm embraces, and yes—also somebody stepping on my toes. Church is local because that’s where our mission is. Church is a snapshot full of people—and when some are on their way out or even missing, the picture is not complete.”

SWEET TO THE SOUL is Kimberly Luste Maran’s encounter with suicide that has become a constant reminder “to be kinder and gentler with people, for I don’t know what they might be suffering with on the inside”.

Norman R. Gulley takes issue with anyone who argues that the Bible teaches predestination in WHO DOES THE CHOOSING?
“Jesus cried out to God in an utter sense of God-forsakenness. All human sin, yours and mine, plunged Him into that awful agony. In the depths of death the traditional divine decree is shattered, and replaced. It is not God who does the choosing—electing some, rejecting the rest; He chose to die for all. So all humans can elect or reject His gift. This stands predestination on its head and refutes the challenge of the great controversy. God respects human freedom to choose. What awesome love!”

Delbert Baker provides “a spiritual, responsible approach; an approach that is proactive versus reactive”.
  1. Deliberately affirm your faith, not your fears.
  2. Carefully watch world events (Matt. 24:42) and allow the signs that validate Christ’s words to affirm the sovereignty of God over the affairs of nations.
  3. Responsibly ask why these events are taking place.
  4. Know for yourself what Bible prophecies say about end-time events. Don’t depend on someone else’s interpretation. Study the books of Daniel and Revelation regarding the times in which we are living (Rev. 5. Embrace the empowering promise of the Holy Spirit’s presence to bring about revival and reformation in your life, and in the life of the worldwide church family.

“Seventh-day Adventists keep the Sabbath because God is our Creator, our Redeemer, and because we believe in His promise of a new earth. The Sabbath is our weekly reminder of His work of creation and redemption. Our name proclaims this beautiful message, a message of salvation and healing to be proclaimed “to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Rev. 14:6).”

Nathan G. Thomas writes about the very first Seventh-day Adventist, FATHER JOSEPH BATES.

“It would be hard to overestimate the significance of this great man in the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. With his energy and influence in the initial foundational period, and with his complete acceptance of Ellen White as a prophet, Seventh-day Adventism was given the jump-start it needed to succeed as a denomination.

Dateline Moscow: Editor Andrew McChesney’s Christian tolerance and courtesy is on the line! The newsroom is sympathetic but silent. Will virtue prevail?

“My newspaper’s managing editor called me just as I woke up. He said one of the world’s largest metals companies had called to complain about an article on the front page of that day’s issue.

“ ‘They asked for your cell phone number, but I refused to give it to them,’ ” he told me. “ ‘Can you call back their representative, Ilya?’ ”

“Now I was fully awake. The Russian-owned company in question has a hard-nosed reputation that makes journalists shudder. A phone call inevitably means a long-winded complaint and a demand for a correction or a retraction. Standing up to the company can lead to consequences. One of our reporters once bypassed the company’s press office to track down factory workers for comment, and company management blacklisted the newspaper for a year, stonewalling all questions.”

A CLOSE CALL is Lamar Phillips’ story about God's ability to use our efforts in ways He sees best. It’s a mission story that begins with his car stalled on train tracks in front of an onrushing train!

ETC. BOOKMARK is a book review of “The Case for the Investigative Judgment” (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2010), 350 pages, US$19.99, reviewed by Gerhard Pfandl, Ph.D., associate director of the Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of 
Seventh-day Adventists. Marvin Moore, longtime editor of Signs of the Times, responds to objections of critics, showing that the investigative judgment is in fact a biblical teaching.

THE PUMPKIN PIE INCIDENT by Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste that answers the question, “Does God really care about the mundane things in our lives?”

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