Thursday, May 3, 2012

Reviewing the Adventist Review

April 19, 2012
Vol. 189, No.11

WORLD NEWS AND PERSPECTIVES is an important section of each magazine. I don’t usually report on its contents because it is available at the online address I provide with every review.

With this issue, I have more comments that reviews. However, Hyveth Williams’ ANOTHER STORY ABOUT MARY is a MUST READ. She suggests some needed changes in the Church Manual and Minister’s Handbook.

“Our Church Manual asserts that “Scripture recognizes adultery and fornication (Matt. 5:32) and abandonment by an unbelieving partner (1 Cor. 7:10-15) as grounds for divorce.” Are we to interpret “adultery” as inclusive of sexual misconduct and domestic violence? For no mention is made there, or in the Minister’s Handbook, regarding the prevalent and pervasive acts of intimate and domestic violence such as spousal, child, sexual, verbal, physical, and spiritual abuse—not to mention rape and other such behaviors as grounds for divorce.”

On a lighter note, Mark A. Kellner reveals how his great-great-grandfather became a “Kellner”, courtesy of a boarder guard.

Kudos to the editors for allowing new young writers to contribute their enthusiasm and ideas. However, editorial assistance is often required before publication. LOST SHEEP? by Addison Hudgins reads like a term paper. Phrases like “Friends creepingly became less interested in church,” are a call for editorial assistance.

In the same vein, a far more egregious piece of writing was THE SINNER’S RIDE by Derrick Nelson.

“I have found that when God becomes the only factor for making a decision, it never negatively affects other factors in my life. However, when I consider other factors along with God, things become confusing. I see it most vividly in situations in which various decisions all seem acceptable to church or society. For example, many young adults, Christian equally with non-Christian, change their cars—their majors, I guess—multiple times through college. Society likes your track—the fact that you are in college; and church or family members may be impressed with the car (the discipline) you chose. But how should youth decide on majors in the light of our definition of sin?”

Nathan Brown’s WHY DO ANGELS COME IN THREES: THE THREE ANGELS’ STORY turned a scary violent event into a gentle call for introspection. The three illustrations featured beautiful young people in spiritual trances.

TAKING REASON ON FAITH is a Cliff Goldstein essay that explicates the obvious. “In all that we know, even that which we are certain of, a level of contingency exists. Not that reality itself is contingent; it’s just that our knowledge of reality is. Which means that whatever we know—or think we know—must be taken, to a certain degree, by faith.”

Readers waiting for Cliff to conclude with a theological homily, like myself, were disappointed. Perhaps “Establishing Faith by Faith” will be an upcoming essay.

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