Reviewing the. . .Adventist World: Pluralism vs. Revival Edition

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This October issue has an extended CHURCH WORKS section that includes:

  • a Bill Knott editorial,
  • information about the church’s latest mobile website,
  • a report that 34 Africans received their Doctor of Ministry degrees from Babcock University in Nigeria,
  • a sermon by Ted N. C. Wilson,
  • and an account of Tim Wolfer’s documentary, Taking Haiti Home.

NAD LETTERS includes props for the article, Jakob Erzberger: The Forgotten Pioneer, by a good friend and PUC classmate, Arleen Downing.

The rest of the issue includes an Adventist World Radio insert, some interesting historical pieces, and reformation and revival statements that warrant a comment.

COMMENTS
In WALKING IN PAUL’S FOOTSTEPS, Wilson outlines what he wants to become orthodox Adventist theology, by claiming that the words of Paul on Mars Hill, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands,” (Acts 7:24). . .“demonstrate that Paul understood and endorsed the Biblical account of creation, and that he was explaining a creation of recent origin that occurred in six, literal, consecutive, 24-hour days.”

He adds:

Paul was taken to Mars Hill, the seat of polytheism and paganism, which would today be the equivalents of pluralism and relativism. And in the quietness of that Mars Hill environment, Paul shared the message of the Advent hope. The Advent hope was shared with artists, poets, philosophers, scholars, the educated—Athens’ academic elite. As recorded in Acts 17:22, Paul pointed out the great missing truth: a firm belief in the one true, unknown God, whom Paul knew—Jesus Christ.

Mars Hill is represented today by all the false theories and the twisted truths that Satan has fabricated in opposition to the ennobling truths of the unknown God, the ruler of the Universe. Mars Hill is a metaphor, in my opinion, for the efforts of Satan to bring confusion into society in general, into every culture, and into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in particular.

Wilson goes on to assert that:

There is to be no pluralism and loss of mission focus in God’s ranks. We will be united in theology and mission as we are personally and corporately connected to Jesus Christ.

In his editorial, THE INCENDIARY FELLOWSHIP, Bill Knott establishes his bonafides as an official acolyte with a call for “incendiary fellowship” that prevents Satan from casting “his hellish shadow between brethren”.

So step closer to the fire, my friends. Decide to be part of the new Pentecost God is now lighting among His people. The heart you find on fire will surely be your own.

Roy Adams joins the official revival and reformation chorus in UNDERSTANDING THE WORD.

The Creation story is what it is—a factual, historical account of the origin of the human family, an indispensible plank in what biblical theologians call Heilsgeschichte (“salvation history”); but in the wake of the Fall, Creation also points us to God’s re-creation in Jesus Christ. The Exodus is what it is—a factual account of the rescue of Israel from Egyptian slavery.

Mark A. Finley’s Bible Study, PRESERVING THE FAITH, has also found a comfortable home in this issue. “Abraham’s faith was so good it worked. Living faith—genuine, authentic faith—always leads us to do exactly what God says.”

Unexpectedly, CAN WE TALK by Angel Manuel Rodríguez introduces a voice of reason as he discusses the issue of women’s ordination.

So what’s next? We should work and pray for healing. The debate among theologians indicates that in this particular case the Bible is not as clear as some may think. Both groups should keep this in mind. Theologians in particular have contributed to the problem by being dogmatic in their views and unwilling to listen to each other.

Perhaps the time has come for all of us to sit together, look at the issue in a spirit of service to the church as the body of Christ, and pray for healing in an effort to see where the Spirit is leading. This will require humility and willingness to work together in building up the church.

REVIEWS
In SYMPTOMS OF A STROKE Allan R. Handysides & Peter N. Landless provide their usual invaluable information about stroke and triglyceride levels.

WHAT’S IN A NAME by James R. Nix is the story of how the name, Seventh-day Adventist, came into being.

MISSION MATTERS by Stephen Chavez is a well-written historical account of what the Adventist Church has accomplished in the last 20 years.

INTRIGUING PEOPLE WITH GOD’S ANSWERS by Eldyn Karr is another historical piece chronicling the 80-year history of the Voice of Prophecy. Its website, BibleInfo.com is the most widely accessed Adventist site in the world.

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