Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reviewing Adventist World, NAD Edition

December, 2011
Vol. 7, No. 12

Adventist World is free online. For that reason, I only review or comment on articles that I believe to be of special interest. This includes editorials, special supplements, and NAD features not available online.

Check out the left-hand column of the World’s home page. Ted Wilson’s face and refrain, “Revival and Reformation” are the banner headline. These have become ubiquitous reminders that big brother is watching over his flock, and his essays unfailingly remind us who we are.

“It is gratifying to know that there are many, many faithful church members who are longing to see Jesus come, believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is God’s remnant church, wish to be very much a part of the world family of Seventh-day Adventists, accept the Bible as it reads, cherish the Spirit of Prophecy, and are participating in the worldwide mission of the Advent movement proclaiming the three angels’ messages.”

On the other hand, PLACE OF PRAYER is a reminder that Adventists, worldwide, are individual human beings who may or may not understand or even believe Ted’s “defining doctrines”, but know that they belong to a worldwide Christian family that cares about them. Very cool!

Angel Manuel Rodríguez’ cautionary remarks in THE LORD IS WONDERFUL earns kudos for his discussion of the elephant in the room when it comes to immigrant and Third World converts. Here is his response to the following questions posed by Gerald Klingbeil:

Are there theological issues arising out of the tremendous church growth we are seeing?
“What I think is probably one of the most important issues has to do with new converts. You see, the growth is so rapid that it’s very difficult even to keep up with it. Because of the speed, we need to really think for a moment about the dangers. And the danger I’m going to mention is a real one. It’s the danger of baptizing individuals coming from a different Christian tradition, or a non-Christian background, who are not well informed about the biblical message. They receive a brief introduction to the Adventist message, and they’re baptized. There is little follow-up. These people are Adventists—based on the little they’ve come to understand. They retain some of the ideas they brought in with them. There is almost an element of syncretism, because they’ve never understood Adventism well. Doctrinal and theological diversity is finding a place within the local congregation.

“Not long ago we blamed the theologians. They were the ones creating theological and doctrinal polarization. There is truth in that, I cannot deny that. But this is a new phenomenon because often the new converts do not really understand what Adventism is about.”

So, you are concerned about biblical discipleship?
“That’s correct. It’s not simply ‘Oh, yes, I’m emotional; I want to be baptized.’ No, this is about that which is important, teaching the person to understand the message and to be able to go and share the message with others.

ADVENTISTS AND ALCOHOL by Peter N. Landless is a MUST READ. He supports the following 6 reasons not to drink with persuasive scientific evidence.
  1. Alcohol is a toxin and damages the human body.
  2. Alcohol is potentially addictive.
  3. Alcohol is a proven carcinogen—
it causes various cancers.
  4. There is no safe level of alcohol intake to avoid its many serious side effects and consequences.
  5. Any purported benefit to heart health (coronary artery disease, specifically) is neutralized and eclipsed by the dangerous and proven harms associated with 
alcohol use.
  6. The global consequences of alcohol use are growing, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church has the opportunity and responsibility to educate, foster, promote resilience, and play a leading role in advocacy against alcohol use.
In OF SERPENTS AND SERAPHIM Angel Manuel Rodríguez reverts to his usual confusing silliness as he attempts to answer the burning question: “What were seraphim?”

They are “a symbol of evil that could stand for demonic powers operating within history. This may suggest that Lucifer was supported by seraphim.

“On the positive side, think about the reverence and humility displayed by seraphim, who, glorious in appearance, choose to cover their bodies in order to proclaim that only the One sitting on the throne deserves all glory.”

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