Columns

Getting Rid of Self and Revival Religion

FinneyCharlesG.jpg

I have been a member of the Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Berrien Springs since it was organized in 1973. I have attended worship services in other churches in the area only on rare occasions. A few weeks ago, however, I could not attend my church because I was sick.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

The Christian Blue Pages

ChristSallman.jpg

When I was in my late teens, my father, who’d been a farmer all of his life, diversified into selling farm equipment. He set up an office and repair shop in town. I had just decided to be a theology major and was going through an especially intense phase of religious life, so I insisted that in his new office he hang a picture of Jesus (Sallman’s head, of course) and have a Bible on his desk, Amazing Facts brochures on the coffee table, and Bible text plaques on the wall.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Church and State

AntiCatholicism.jpg

During my long life, I have felt good with my Uruguayan citizenship. I was born and went to my first grades in school in Montevideo. Uruguay had by then established a democratic and progressive system of government. Its educational system was a copy of the French, and its civic culture had been strongly influenced by the Enlightenment.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

What Kind of Future Should We Hope For?

ObamaInauguration.jpg

I’m not an especially emotional person. But the inauguration of Barack Obama brought me about as close as I am likely to get to being moved by a televised event. It wasn’t the screaming fans or the non-stop coverage of the Obama family’s every twitch—that’s just celebrity excitement, and often pretty shallow. It was the realization that we have taken first steps to move beyond a huge national shame.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Adam Smith: Selfishness or Self-Interest?

FableBees.jpg

“Two hundred and thirty years ago,” Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser recently declared in the New York Times, “Adam Smith made the case for selfishness when he wrote that ‘it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.'”1 (Emphasis mine)

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

The Truth of Christianity

PaulApostle.jpg

Christians have had an easy time deciding, in truth, what Christianity is about. That is why many types of Christians exist. Many people affirm that there is only one way of being a true Christian: Theirs is the only true Christianity. In my youth, I must admit, I was counted among them, but this way of thinking is one of the many things that I left behind as I matured in the faith.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Why Adventist K-12 Education Struggles

BellGoodloeHarper.jpg

I am about to make some critical observations about the state of Adventist K-12 education. So before you hand your coats to Saul and gather stones, some explanations.

First, I’m a product of Adventist education, and I owe it a great deal. Adventist education gave me a bigger world than the neighbor friends I grew up with.

Second, I want it to succeed. I am a pastor of a church with a lovely new church school building, and I want to see it bursting with children.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Milton Friedman: Master of Disaster?

AdamSmith179061.jpg

When I suggest that the primary cause of our current economic difficulties is our frequent failure to integrate in theory and practice what Adam Smith (the eighteenth century so-called “father” of capitalism) meant by sympathy and self-interest, I have in mind things like these influential paragraphs that economics Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman published forty years
ago:1

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Pandering to Christians at Christmastime

GibsonWar.jpg

The word pander comes from Chaucer’s poem Troilus and Criseyde, in which a character named Pandarus is the go-between who schemes to obtain the consent of his niece Criseyde for a relationship with Troilus, on whose part the attraction is solely physical.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Jesus Is Born, Allelujah!

NativityIcon.jpg

On July 2, my fourth grandchild was born in Baltimore. His grandparents immediately made the six-hundred-mile trip to see him and celebrate his birth. Arriving at his home, congratulating the parents, and holding the newborn in my arms was a moment that will remain forever engraved in my memory. The joy of the moment was compounded by the knowledge that he was a healthy baby with a wide-open future. With much gratitude, we thanked God for Danielito. The visit to Baltimore was a historic event in the life of our family.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Capitalism: What Were Its Moral Strengths and Weaknesses? Part 1

WealthNations.jpg

William Kristol, neoconservative leader and Weekly Standard editor, believes that the time has come to rethink capitalism. “It will be important, over the next four years,” he writes in the November 24 edition of his journal, “to fight to save free-market capitalism from the Barack Obama administration.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Good Year-End Advice for Churches

SeiboldLoren1.jpg

In the first years of my ministry, there were two annual events that I dreaded all year long.

One was Harvest Ingathering, which started in the autumn and lasted until Christmas. It meant weeks of driving around to small towns in my rural district, begging businesses for contributions, then convincing my church members to tramp through the cold streets for a few bucks more.

The other was nominating committee.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

The Theater of Grace

SaintPeters1.jpg

My wife, Carmen, and I just returned from three weeks in Italy—our first visit to that absorbingly beautiful country. There are many reasons to visit Italy, but a Christian can’t help but enjoy it as one of the formative sites in the development of Western Christianity.

We love visiting churches, and Italy has an enormous number of them, in every small town, and concentrated in the heart of every city, all Roman Catholic, of course, and most very old.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Gay Rights and the Discretion of Doctors: The Guadalupe T. Benitez Case

benitez280.jpg

Sometimes things are different from what we think they are. This is so about a judgment of the California Supreme Court in August of this year. The case began several years ago when Guadalupe T. Benitez sued her doctors in the San Diego area who had been treating her infertility.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Abortion: Is Required Parental Notification a Good Idea?

DaveLarson.jpg

Many Californians are so focused on some issues in the upcoming elections that they are avoiding others of equal importance. One of these is Proposition 4, which would amend the state’s constitution so as to require physicians to notify the parents of underage women before giving them abortions.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Paranoid Eschatology, Part 2

KuKluxKlan.jpg

I discussed in my last column the overly fearful reaction of some Adventists to the current financial crisis. How do we make sense of it?

Back in 1964, Richard Hofstadter wrote a piece for Harper’s Magazine that has become a classic monograph on political paranoia.1 Hofstadter wrote “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” in the wake of McCarthyism, the founding of the John Birch Society, and the fearful hatred of the civil rights movement that lurked in the Goldwater right.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Alternatives in Dying Well: California Doctors Must Now Tell All

USSupremeCt.jpg

Although mentally competent citizens of the United States do not have a right to die, they do possess the right to refuse any medical intervention even if doing so results in their foreseeable deaths. Unfortunately, many dying patients needlessly suffer because they don’t know this. On September 30, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger of California signed into law legislation that I think will help.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Survivalist Eschatology

NatSundayLaw.jpg

I have some anxiety about what’s happening in the financial world right now. After decades of a defined benefit retirement plan, the Church switched the younger of us over to a defined contribution plan. So now most of my retirement is in that erratic stock market, and the rest in my unsalable house.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Christian Babylonianism

TwoBabylons.jpg

A church member pointed to the cross on the cover of a Bible I was carrying one day, and asked, “You know what that stands for?”

“The sacrifice of Jesus?” I said.

“No,” he said. “That’s what the Catholic Church wants you to think. It is initial of the pagan god Tammuz. The Catholic Church uses it to keep paganism alive, while people are deceived into thinking it’s Christianity.”

Bless his heart.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.

Why Does Desmond Ford’s Biographer Lament Our Wesleyan Heritage?

WesleyJohn.jpg

Those of us who write about others usually reveal much about ourselves. I believe that Milton Hook does this in Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist (Riverside, Calif.: Adventist Today Foundation, 2008). Among other things, he tells us that he is not happy with the Wesleyan heritage that we Seventh-day Adventists share.

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Magazine website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.


Current Issue

Not yet a subscriber? Subscribe today!

Support Spectrum

Thank you for making your generous gift. Your donation will help independent Adventist journalism expand across the globe.

DONATE NOW!

Newsletter

Ads

Organizations

Sat, 05/10/2014 | San Diego Adventist Forum
Monique Vincent, PhD candidate, University of Chicago

Connect with Spectrum