Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reviewing the Adventist Review

May 17, 2012
Vol. 189, No.14

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.

This issue has more than its share of thoughtful comment. I’m always happy to report that an issue can be handed to a nonAdventist friend without apology or explanation. This is one of those issues.

If you time is limited, read SUBMIT OR RESPOND? first. Shawn Brace is brilliant! I guarantee you will never read Ephesians 5:22 the same way again. Here is an extended quote.

“When a husband follows Paul’s imperative command to love his wife in a self-sacrificial way, the woman will naturally want to submit to her husband. So if your wife is not interested in aligning herself with you, dear husband, don’t lay the blame at her door—look in the mirror! Paul lays the blame at your doorstep. ‘Husbands, go all out in loving your wives,’ he says.

“’The sharpness of Paul’s address to the husbands in comparison with the soft manner of encouraging the wives indicates that Paul considers the men more reluctant to show love for their wives than for the wives to subordinate themselves to their husbands. . . . In my experience the church has used [this passage] to exhort women to be subordinate to their husbands and to men in the church. I suggest that we have misinterpreted the text. Paul wrote the text to exhort men to love their wives. Paul saw men as the problem, not women. We would do well to let Paul’s vision for men and husbands correct our distortions. The family crisis of our time, as I see it, is fundamentally a crisis of the male ego and role as husband, first of all, and then father.

“This interpretation, which may seem radically different from what we’ve thought before, is solid and based completely on the text itself.”

Gerald A. Klingbeil’s editorial, MEDIA BLITZ “is a plea to huddle together and think scripturally and consistently about all types of media and media content. If we fail to do so, we may not only face the potential loss of a new media-savvy generation of Adventists—we may ourselves get lost in digital nirvana. As a church we have not consistently thought together about how one is to live in an information age…

“I increasingly wonder about the adequacy of our stance toward media. True, the latest edition of the Church Manual (published in 2010) includes a significantly rewritten section on modern media (instead of only radio and television). But its passing reference to radio, television, and the Internet is hardly enough. As a church we surely need a more comprehensive vision of how we should deal with any media, including current social media and media we cannot even imagine right now.”

ADVENTIST AND SINGLE by Stephen Chavez is an objective look at the lives and aspirations of Adventists who are single adults in North America. It’s a MUST READ, even if you are not single. He concludes: “The singles I spoke to don’t see their “singleness” as a problem to be solved. With few exceptions they understand and appreciate God’s ideal of a lifetime relationship of love and commitment. But they also understand (some from firsthand experience) that being in a relationship with the wrong person can lead to a lifetime of regret.”

WHO’S OUT THERE? by Jaime Jacobson is a review of Internet computer dating cites. Her advice in a nutshell: “ was by far the largest and most professional Web site. However, I felt as though I could get lost among the thousands of users, many of whom were not Christian, much less Adventist. Although was a traumatizing experience, it was a safe Web site with options that I was comfortable were all already Adventist. If you’re looking for something neutral that helps you find other Christians, has nothing too extreme, and still has plenty of options.”

An aging fifty-six year old Cliff Goldstein reports on HEALTHY 100 CHURCHES, a program sponsored by Florida Adventist Hospital, is “specifically designed to help people optimize their health so that they, indeed, could live to be 100. The program was created ‘to equip churches with growing health ministries and empower congregations to live life abundantly, experiencing physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.’”

WALLS OF SALVATION is a cautionary report on domestic violence in the Adventist Church. Hyveth Williams outlines the strategies that laypeople and church employees can employ to lessen its physical and spiritual injury.

“Even though because of inadequate information, sometimes perverted theology, and incompetent pastoral practices we have often given wrong, destructive advice to this problem, the church can immediately employ several strategies. For instance, we can teach and learn to practice Christ’s command “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). We can disseminate, in sermons, enditnow programs, and other writings, insights about the cause and prevention of domestic violence. Ellen White suggests that these “precious souls” should be rescued (see Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 125), and we can do this by providing safe places for victims seeking sanctuary, or healing in its aftermath. We can cease shielding abusers and hold them accountable to the law of the land, as well as our religious rules that denounce this behavior.”

“MOMMY, STOP TEXTING AND TALK TO ME” is a charming piece designed to make us aware that there is no substitute for uninterrupted face-to-face communication.

No comments: