Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reviewing Adventist World, NAD Edition

April, 2012
Vol. 8, No. 4

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.

The contents of NEW FEATURES is of most interest to me. I’ll comment after I mention some other items that caught my eye.

Did you know that 28% of Adventists are lacto-ovovegetarian?

I am delighted to acknowledge that WHAT’S LEFT? Angel Manuel Rodríguez’ answer to this reader’s question, is a scholarly and clearly stated! “In many Bible versions the word “remnant” is not found in Revelation 12:17. Is it correct to insist that the passage refers to a remnant?” The answer is “yes”.

WHAT ABOUT VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS?by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless answers the following question in their usual authoritative and lucid language. The following is their summary:

So who should receive vitamin and mineral supplementation?

  • Those suffering nutritional deficiencies from an inadequate diet.
  • Pregnant women—folic acid supplementation has been proven to decrease neural tube deformities; also iron supplementation may be needed.
  • Those with dark skin and individuals with fewer than 15 minutes of sun exposure per day may benefit from supplemental vitamin D.
  • Those with gastrointestinal diseases, which cause decreased absorption of nutrients, e.g., celiac disease (gluten sensitivity).
  • Those undergoing cancer treatment (chemotherapy).

It doesn't seem that Mark A. Finley can talk about FAITH with out prefacing the word with END-TIME.

“In response to the action of the 2010 General Conference session, a Fundamental Beliefs Review Committee was established by the church to consider any adjustments that may be deemed necessary in the church’s 28 fundamental beliefs. General Conference vice president Artur Stele chairs that committee, and recently sat down with Adventist World editor Bill Knott and news editor Mark Kellner to talk about how the process will unfold.”

STELE: First of all, the task is not to rewrite the fundamental beliefs. The task is to see if the wording that we have used for a number of years requires a change. Language is dynamic, and in the more than 30 years since the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs was endorsed by the 1980 General Conference session, it’s possible that new language can better express what the church has historically believed on these points. We’re engaged in an editorial revision of the fundamental beliefs, not a rewriting of them.”

KELLNER: “You noted the special task that has been given the committee about Fundamental Belief No. 6, on Creation. How significant is that belief to the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? What Do You Think?”

STELE: Belief No. 6 is crucial, because the whole system of beliefs that we have as a Seventh-day Adventist Church is so interlinked. If you take one out, especially one as central as our belief in special creation, the whole building collapses. And No. 6 is one of the foundational beliefs that really undergird the entire structure of our beliefs. If you don’t believe in Creation, then you definitely will not believe in the biblical account of re-creation, the creation of new heavens and a new earth. If you don’t believe in Creation as described in the Bible, the Sabbath—of which it is the weekly memorial—quickly declines in significance. It’s vitally important that the language we choose to express our belief in Creation clearly articulates what we mean to express about what the Bible teaches.

There are two admissions in the following dialogue that are troubling. First, the Fundamental Beliefs Review Committee is only engaged in an “editorial revision of the fundamental beliefs, not a rewriting of them”. The second is the assertion that any official statement that does not support “Creation as [literally] described in the Bible” undermines and eventually destroys Adventist theology.

This “editorial revision” statement runs counter to the statement on page vii of What Seventh Day Adventists Believe, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, May, 1988.)“We have not written this book to serve as a creed, a statement of beliefs set in theological concrete.” This statement suggests that periodically, all beliefs should undergo a review, not just an “editorial revision”.

The assertion that the literal seven-day creation story found in Genesis is the cornerstone of all Adventist theology seems unwise given historical and scientific evidence to the contrary. Sabbath keeping can be justified using other Bible references and practical considerations.

In addition, if Belief #6 is revised to require Seventh-day Adventists to believe that the creation of the universe happened 6000 years ago, I along with many baptized members who joined the church before such a revision is contemplated will be excluded from membership. (In my case, I was baptized 34 years before all be one of the current 28 fundamental beliefs were written!) Will us old timers be grandfathered in?

“Individuals are invited to make suggestions for integrating the current Fundamental Belief No. 6 and “An Affirmation of Creation”, or for revising the wording of other statements by:

  1. Identifying the change of wording recommended.
  2. Providing a brief rationale of 150-200 words maximum.
  3. Sending suggestions by one of these methods:
    1. Mail: FBRC, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904-6600, U.S.A.
    2. E-mail:

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