Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reviewing the Adventist Review

May 12, 2011
Vol. 188, No. 14

This issue should make Ted and the boys and girls at the GC happy. Finley defends the literal six day creation week, and all the other articles should easily pass official censorship. As you might suspect, I believe Finley's "defense" requires a comment or two.

Lael Caesar's uses ALPHABET SOUP as a metaphor for the recurring, simple message that Isaiah delivers to the besotted leaders of Israel who don't understand that they are headed for disaster. With his closing admonition, Caesar, like Isaiah, seems to metaphorically address the leaders of the Adventistchurch as well as the members! "Take your soup, dear child of God. God knows you still need alphabet soup."

In UNALIENABLE RIGHT, Bill Knott calls for church membership to be "freely chosen--and regularly renewed...This is no call for simply “cleaning up the books” or hasty discontinuance of members who aren’t often seen. But it is a call to honor the real choices that individuals have made. When by statement, lifestyle, or specific behaviors they make clear that they aren’t walking with this people, we do them no favors by insisting that their names remain on our records in hope they one day change their minds. The freedom to join the fellowship of Adventism has a matching right: the freedom to leave."

James H. Park uses FALLINGWATER, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built over a waterfall, to remind the reader that "even a weekly osmosis of Living Water from Sabbath school and church is not enough to meet the needs of our spiritual lives that are daily challenged by the wilderness of the world."

In A STRUCTURE, A FOUNDATION, A HOME,Dixil Rodriguez talks about the necessity of building hope and faith and a home on a strong foundation.

To Be Seen TO BE SEEN is Elizabeth Haney's account of the way she helped her students at Southeast High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, "see" and help orphans in Uganda.

A REWARDING NEW CHAPTER: RETIREMENT! is the story of Larry and Carole Colburn active retirement near near Douglas Lake in Eastern Tennessee.

A CHOICE TO LOSE is Jimmy Phillips tribute to Chris Medina, a guy who didn't become the New American Idol, but whose life revealed "the highest form of love".

In CARING ENOUGH TO CONFRONT Steve Jencks reminds us of our Christian duty to be truth tellers.
"For too long we have viewed the words “confront” or “confrontation” as intimidating words. We seem to shun confrontation at every cost. We envision someone who confronts as reaming somebody out, letting them have it with both barrels, mowing them down. But confrontation is good and necessary when it is done with love and seeking redemption."

A LESSON OF HOPE by Deborah Fish is about her love for a horse called Hope. She had a bent nose and her imperfection made her worthless to almost everyone. However, Hope was needed as a companion to a lonely horse named Jade, and so her life was saved. It's a reminder that whatever our personal defects, we are saved by God's grace because we have a job to do.

BEYOND THE CREATION STORY is Mark Finley's defense of a literal six day creation.
"Seventh-day Adventists have been known for 150 years as the people of the Book. The Word of God is the foundation of all that we believe and teach. While we clearly recognize that all truth—including scientific truth— originates with God, we do not attempt to view the Bible through the eyes of science. Our understanding of biblical realities shapes our view of the world around us. While we may not always be able to fully explain every detail of the available scientific data, our interpretation of that data is informed by our understanding of Scripture...To exalt God’s gift of reason above God’s Word is catastrophic."

Eppur si muove.

Finley goes on to assume that people who don't believe that the Genesis 1 creation story is literally true, or prefer the other creation story in Genesis 2, must believe in Theistic or Darwinian evolution. The article also assumes that Adventists are in danger of losing their faith because there is a paucity of reasons to keep them from becoming agnostics or atheists. Both assumptions are ludicrous.

I believe this fanatical crusade in defense of creationism and the literal interpretation of the first eleven chapters of Genesis is the outgrowth of official fears that many of the fundamental doctrines of the Adventist Church are crumbling in the face of enlightened minds and reasonable doubts.


New: CUC Executive Secretary Dies
J. Neville Harcombe was 71.

New: Newbold College Board Appoints New Principal
The board taps Philip R. Brown, a vice president of Avondale College.

New: Religious Freedom Ambassador Keynotes Religious Liberty Event
Suzan Johnson Cook shares her vision.

New: Mission Board Reviews Plans to Centralize Mission Operations
Institute of World Mission to move to world headquarters.

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