Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reviewing the Adventist Review

June 28, 2012
Vol. 189, No.18

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 inspired more wry comments than usual. But before I get to those, I want to recommend the following: Andrew McChesney’s NO SECURITY CLEARANCE TO HEAVEN—an account of what it took to get by security that was “tougher than it was for Vic President Joe Biden”, in order to attend Moscow Mayor, Sergei’s Sobyanin’s press conference; S. R. Morris’ FOURTEEN DAYS IN THE BRIG—an incarceration that was an answer to the prayers of two young medics during the Vietnam War; and Handysides and Landless’ informative article about the dangers of SUGARS AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS.

Lael Caesar’s editorial, KNOWING, begins with his own, idiosyncratic, definition of epistemology* Epistemology is really about whether we stand on solid ground or shifting sand. Biblical revelation answers that knowing is sound if we will listen to God. I assume that this definition provides the rational for his concluding assertion: Objective, antisupernaturalist consideration of inanimate objects—blocks, stones, and worse-than-senseless things—will never grant to searching humans the power to know liberating truth.

*Epistemology is about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

SOUTH AMERICA’S EVANGELISM SUCCESS [IS] A CHALLENGE FOR ALL according to Mark A. Kellner. The North American Division might have the same “success” if nonAdventists could be baptized simply upon expression of belief in the Gospel message of love and neighborliness—discussion of specific doctrines to follow.

Two articles, THE EXTREME MAKEOVER by Keith Trumbo and CAN GREED BE BEAT by Larry R. Evans treat the biblical Flood Story as fact. In both cases, the authors’ arguments do not require it, and that particular revelation reduces their credibility.

“THE APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM…” by Edsel Cadet categorically asserts physiological, social, and spiritual truths that are questionable: Whether environmental or genetic, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…What your mother was like, you will be like. What your father was like, you too will be like. This is true not only with our physical appearance and personality, but also with our spiritual lives and our struggle with sin, because traits pass along not only physically or socially but also spiritually.

Cadet also lists the following illegitimate solutions to a legitimate need for intimacy and bonding: premarital sex, lust, pornography, masturbation, things of that nature. The expression, “things of that nature,” reminds me that those words were part of a campfire admonition delivered by a deadly serious youth pastor at junior camp. I’m still wondering what he had in mind.

In HELPFUL HOPE, Delbert W. Baker doesn’t quite get the job done when he defines hope. His definition sounds to me like “confidence”. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands. For me, “hope” enables me to keep alive my dreams of a better world.

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS by Cathy Payne is a story in which God gets credit for saving the life of a dog. However, He seems to be unable to prevent the dog’s subsequent kidney failure or a neighbor’s untimely death.

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