After becoming an Adventist in high school, I struggled to understand the precise relationship between salvation and liberation, grace and human wellbeing in the Christian gospel. No matter which church I attended, I was repeatedly told that, unlike other churches, Adventists reject the dualistic understanding of mind and body, spirit and matter. “Adventists have a holistic understanding of human beings,” many pastors insisted. Why else would they tell us to rest on Sabbath and become vegetarians? This is what I have always appreciated about the Adventist Church.
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists International Conference on the Bible and Science takes place from August 15-24, 2014. I am delighted to be able to attend. While in the mountains of Nevada and Utah, I hope to hear some answers to questions that nag at my mind concerning faith and science.
1. On July 25, Stephen Michaels Junior, a 28-year-old teacher at the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist School in Belize, was found murdered in his home. "One week ago, the body of evangelist Oscar Lambey was found dead in the yard of that school." No connections between the murders have been reported.
Editor's note: I've heard a lot of talk about being "spiritual but not religious." I've recieved emails about the Dalai Lama's facebook post calling for thought about "spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether" and this huffington post article from a pastor fed up with the distinction. It's all very interesting, so I was thrilled to recieve this article from Dr.
As a child, I developed an interest in the Bible only after I realized there were stories my Sabbath School teachers left out. For exampleI remember being shocked when I discovered that Joseph had a sister, Dinah. Why would everyone mention every single brother and question me to see if I could remember their different roles in his story, but no one mentioned his sister?
Since I can remember, I have been taught to be nice, and being nice usually involves two things: a verb and a sacrifice. “Share your toys,” “Give away your old clothes,” “Play with that kid that you don’t like.” This act, usually encouraged by parents or teachers, was something I didn’t always want to do, but I was promised that it was for the greater good, and as side bonuses, people would think highly of me and I’d feel good about myself.
After a career in clinical nutrition, Chris Oberg turned to biblical studies. Undergraduate and graduate work at La Sierra University prepared her for a pastoral vocation that now unfolds at the site where she began her serious engagement with the Bible. She is lead pastor of the La Sierra University Church, where the congregation’s ministry, she says, focuses on “the younger generations” and on what she calls “92505,” her local community.
1. Over 30,000 Adventists in Zimbabwe celebrated religious liberty in the country. Southern African-Indian Ocean Division’s Communication Director, Paul Charles, stated that the purpose of the function was for SDAs “To express their profound appreciation to the government of Zimbabwe for the religious freedom the church was enjoying.”
Kinship Kampmeeting was held in Atlanta, GA this year from July 15-19. Their mission is to "Provide a safe spiritual and social community to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex current and former Seventh-day Adventists around the world."
“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”—Jesus (Matthew 12.7)
Editor's note: Matt Burdette has written for Spectrum many times and, as you will see from his post, I twisted his arm a bit to get him to write again. His insight and wit have been incredibly helpful to me both when he studied at La Sierra and now as he finishes his doctoral work at Aberdeen, one of the most prestigious universities for theologic work.
There’s a bench on a hill behind the house where I grew up. I used to go there every night during the summers and look out on the San Francisco Bay. The lights from the refineries spilled out across the water and stretched openness where occasionally a tanker would slide out to sea. The emptiness begged to be filled with conversation, so my friends and I would go there to talk.
This piece will appear as a letter to the editor in the upcoming edition of The Spectrum Journal. Being that it is in response to a blog post, we have chosen to also post it here.
I feel that I have a responsibility as a 1963 graduate of Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) to comment on the article posted on the Spectrum Magazine website of May 18, 2014 captioned “Crisis in Leadership at Washington Adventist University.”