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Loren Seibold

On Being Fat

The pastor I worked with during my ministerial internship was one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known. I came to ministry lacking, I think, a natural aptitude for the job. Even after a college degree, I was mostly clueless about how to be a pastor. Bob was my first role model. He was an excellent preacher, planner, writer,  and communicator. In the days before computers made audio-visual easy, he created amazing presentations with multiple slide and movie projectors synced with music and narration.

What Some Do not Understand About Spectrum and Adventist Today

I had my first article published in an Adventist magazine when I was still in college. It was not very good, but I will always be grateful to the editor of Insight magazine for accepting it. It did not unleash a flood of writing for me right away—that took many years and a few more kind editors—but it immediately struck me as way of communicating that I found peculiarly compatible with my personality.

How Not to Defend Genesis

I believe that God created the earth, its inhabitants, the universe, and everything in it. I believe God is capable of having done that in any way that God wanted to do it, including by speaking the earth into existence in six days at some comparatively recent past date.

The Missing Prophetic Gift

From the time I first heard the then-newly-popular explanation of spiritual gifts back in the 80’s, I’ve had my reservations about it. It just seemed entirely too convenient that you could distill out of the Pauline epistles a checklist of Divinely-supplied skills so tidy that you could make them into a vocational aptitude test and assign every member his place in the whole.

African Ph.D.s and Ministerial Education

Lately independent Adventist media has been abuzz with stories of a church leader in the Southern African and Indian Ocean Division office whose academic degrees turned out to be unsubstantiable. The responses to this revelation have been, it seems to me, unnecessarily scathing, as though the church has been irreparably damaged by this one man claiming degrees he didn’t have.

Guns and God

I have enjoyed a relatively peaceful life, at least as far as physical violence is concerned. I’ve not been in a fight since childhood. I’ve never been the victim of a violent crime, thank God, nor even threatened. (I’ve been threatened occasionally over my theology, but not with being beaten up, only with losing my salvation—though I’m reasonably hopeful that those who made the threats haven’t the authority to enforce them.)

Why So Few Large Congregations?

It was a question I heard asked in a Sabbath School class—rhetorically, it turned out, for the questioner also had the answer. He opined that we don’t have many big churches because our faith is too rigorous for most people. There’s too much to give up: alcohol, tobacco, meat, a tenth of your income, and Saturday football. “People won’t make the sacrifices,” he said. In his opinion, the Seventh-day Adventist Church isn’t for everyone. Like the Marines, we’ll settle for a few good men. As for the unreached, well, “strait is the gate and narrow is the way… and few there be that find it.”

Where the Good Pastors Go

I wrote last month about some of the pressures on pastors, and how that’s affecting the profession. There is a bright spot for Seventh-day Adventist pastors, though: if you’re a good pastor, you can leave ministry and still be a minister. In fact, that’s where the best pastors end up: in conference, union conference, division and General Conference offices.

What’s Happening to the Pastors?

Aside from growing up on a family farm, I’ve never worked at anything except being a parish pastor. When I studied for ministry I was motivated, as most of us are, by a search for answers to the disquieting questions in my own young heart. (Henri Nouwen had it right when he spoke of the “wounded healer” who heals others in the attempt to heal him or her self.) At the time, I didn’t know much about what it meant to be a pastor.

Adventists in the Spotlight

When a friend sent me David Corn’s column for Mother Jones a few weeks ago, it was like getting hit with bad news I already knew. Sooner or later, someone was going to peek behind the first serious Seventh-day Adventist presidential candidate, and begin to scrutinize the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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Sat, 08/05/2017
Dr Lisa Clark Diller

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