I’m not an avid nature enthusiast, but I always cherish opportunities to get closer to God’s creation. I’ve made my fair share of treks to the Chattanooga and Shedd aquaria, and plan to visit the world’s biggest in Atlanta in the off season when I can appreciate the multitude of specimens in relative quiet. I’ve visited a few botanical gardens, from the grandiose assortment at Kew in the United Kingdom to the quaint collection in Huntsville, Alabama, where I currently reside.
They’ve decked the malls. The supermarket music is oblivious (mostly) to the Christmas songs you find in Luke. And even the “lead article” in the December Ministry, the Adventist magazine for pastors, misses the meaning of the Incarnation.
It’s harder than ever to perceive Jesus through the season’s ribbons and wrapping.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on the calendar. As a society we spend so much time focusing on the negative, focusing on what makes us different. We have just come out of an election that at least seemed as divisive as ever. Thanksgiving gives us a day to step back and be thankful for all of the many blessings that God gives us. I am certainly thankful for my family, my friends, and for the successes that God has engineered in my life throughout the past year. My heart and prayers also go out to those who have had tragedy meet them at some point over the last year.
The events at the recent Annual Council meeting in response to a few unions initiating women’s ordination shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Hierarchical organizations will always make sure the top of the hierarchy gets the last word. But that’s normal, and I’m not sure why anyone would have expected anything else. Neither should we be surprised at the steady magnetic draw that these leaders feel toward the least adventurous option, nor their reluctance to trust fully a democratic system. We must expect that, too.
To the surprise of many, According to John exhibits elements characteristic of docetism. This doctrine says that the disciples saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion because the Logos who became incarnate was a divine being and therefore did not suffer death. In other words, it was not the mission of the Logos to die as an expiatory sacrifice, but to reveal to human beings the way of salvation. His saving mission did not require death and resurrection.
There is absolutely no logical reason why Mitt Romney should be leading Barack Obama in any state. More than any campaign in recent history, the Romney camp has adopted a strategy of flagrant lies and delirious deception, and it appears to be working for them. The extent Romney’s surrogates go to cover the lies would make a beetroot blush.
Earlier this month I had the distinct pleasure to participate on a panel of pastors and professors discussing the referendum on marriage equality in Maryland. In conjunction with the panel, the Metro Area Adventist Youth Association screened the film Seventh-Gay Adventists. I’m not quite sure what I expected from the film or from the evening. I was certainly excited to see the film, but I was certainly more focused on what I was going to say during the panel discussion afterwards.
Water is indispensable for life. There are organisms which require a very small quantity, but no matter how they are constituted, they need water to live. In the most arid desert, under the surface, there are living things which retain water and use it with amazing economy. They also would die if they lacked water. It is not by chance that the explorations which are now taking place on the planet Mars consider it a priority to determine whether water ever existed there. The reason is obvious.