Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reviewing the Adventist Review

Vol. 188, No. 19
July 28, 2011

The sheep on the cover, along with the words, “I’d Rather Be a Sheep” didn’t motivate me to begin reading this issue, but when I got past the cover, I discovered an issue worth reading from cover to cover!

At the end of this review, I have a COMMENT and information about a LAWSUIT filed by three employees of La Sierra University against La Sierra University, the Pacific Union Conference, the North American Division, as well as against the president of the Pacific Union Conference and two officers of the North American Division.

Gerald A. Klingbeil’s editorial, UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS, was an admirably honest discussion of the Adventist Church’s failure to speak out against the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany and the lessons learned or not learned in the interim.

"I HAVE BEEN THERE TOO" by Sandy Eickmann makes the case for a Jesus with a very human emotional life.

Andrew McChesney’s is back and in top form. FACING THE MUSIC is an account of his encounter with noisy, tipsy neighbors in the middle of the night. AN UNLIKELY SANCTUARY by Jill Monikone is the story of her prayerful encounter with an injured woman in Walmart. And MUSINGS OF A MISSIONARY IN A BERRY PATCH, by Fred. L. Webb is a metaphor for effective witnessing. All three are recommended reads.

Jerry Lutz’s devotional reading, THE POWER OF TOUCH is a reminder that communion services are more than just symbolic reminders of The Last Supper.

SHOULD GOVERNMENTS TELL US WHAT TO EAT? Drs. Handysides and Landless provide a thoughtful and informative answer. It’s a MUST READ.

I'D RATHER BE A SHEEP is the cover article by Martin Klingbeil in which he offers a fresh look at Psalm 23. Unfortunately for him, his opening paragraph may get him and Southern Adventist University in some very hot water with the GC, not to mention the fundamentalist Adventist organization, Educate Truth.

“I was somewhere deep in the Early Bronze Age (3150-2200 B.C.), working vigorously at layers of ancient soil—with a paintbrush. The sun was beating mercilessly on my back, and there were clouds of dust flying all around me. Another day at Tell el-‘Umeiri I was participating in an archaeological excavation in the country of Jordan, east of the river Jordan, high up on the plains of Moab, close to Mount Nebo, where Moses had overlooked the Promised Land.”

Klingbeil assumes a time frame that places his dig sometime between the Universal Flood and the Tower of Babel according to official church chronology. Explanations for this faux pas can only be blamed on Review editors. Either they are not acquainted with current church doctrine, they are attempting to undermine church authority, or they wish to discredit Klingbeil and subject Southern to the fundamentalist attention of Educate Truth. (You know the outcome of their “attention” with regard to what’s happening at La Sierra University.)

While I will not usually comment on Church News, available online, I believe this story will make headlines. What follows in the Review’s report and this link to further information about the actual lawsuit.

Church says La Sierra Employee’s
Lawsuit is ‘Without Merit’
Outside counsel retained to defend school, leaders
by Adventist Review staff

A July 28 lawsuit filed by three employees of La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned tertiary institution against its board chairman, the university and two officials of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, is “without merit,” the church’s top attorney says.

“The litigation is without merit, and will be defended in the most appropriate manner,” says Karnik Doukmetzian, an attorney and the North American Division’s General Counsel. “External counsel has been retained through Adventist Risk Management which provides insurance coverage for the defendants involved, and will be defending the organizations and individuals named in the suit."

Law firm McCuneWright, LLP, filed the action on behalf of La Sierra employees Jeffry Kaatz, James Beach, and Gary Bradley, against La Sierra University, the Pacific Union Conference, the North American Division, as well as against the president of the Pacific Union Conference and two officers of the North American Division.

According to a news release issued by the plaintiffs’ law firm, the complaint stems from “actions taken against [the plaintiffs] and La Sierra University in a June 10, 2011 meeting,” during which the three were asked to resign their positions at the school.

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