Columns

The Prophetic Career of Ernie Knoll

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Back when I was much younger, I was given some letters (letters, children, being how we spread church gossip before the Internet came along) circulated by a Seventh-day Adventist woman who claimed God had selected her to be a new prophet to our church.

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Sectarian or Catholic?

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As the years go by, I feel an increasing intellectual tension that I have been trying to resolve. I have been trying to decide whether Adventism is supposed to be, as it is at present, a Christian sect or a universal religion—that is, to be catholic in the original sense of the word.

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The Disappearance of Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand”

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“What we are experiencing is not a crisis of capitalism,” writes Fareed Zakaria, a scholar, social commentator, and host of a weekly television news program on CNN. “It is a crisis of finance, of democracy, of globalization and ultimately of ethics.”

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Denouncing Sabbath Worship

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Friday evening worships were a major event in my parents’ home. After a sumptuous meal, Mom, Dad, and the ten children would transition to the front room and get settled in our favorite spots as we tried our best to get comfortable for the two-hour ritual.

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The Inertial Church

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I ran into a pastor friend a few weeks ago who I’d not seen for awhile. After greetings, “So, Loren, do you think we really can do it?” he asked. It sounds like a question out of the blue, but I knew exactly what he was asking.

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The Weight of Familiarity

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Awhile back I took my MacBook up to the church audiovisual station and asked the technicians to show my sermon slides from it. Afterward my friend Johnny, one of our AV volunteers, said, "I really hate Macs."

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What About Dissidents?

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The statistics about retention of recently baptized members are not encouraging. A year or two after a large baptism in Latin America, very few are still members of the Church. In the United States, where large baptisms are unknown, the young are the ones who leave.

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The Expert

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Did you know that Newton’s second law of thermodynamics states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”? I did. Did you know that it is absolutely impossible for water when heated to surpass 100 degrees Celsius? I did.

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The Creation Wars

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Working scientists agree, overwhelmingly, that evolution explains much of what we see in nature. Many Christians, including some with doctorates in science, reject this consensus.

The conflict reaches deep into Adventism, and has the potential, as everyone knows, to tear our church apart.

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Adam Smith and the Human Impossibility of Benevolence

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Those who plunged the entire world into our current economic difficulties have no right to claim Adam Smith, the so-called “father” of capitalism in eighteenth-century Scotland, as their intellectual and moral father, or so I have argued in three previous columns.

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Faith and Hope

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This quarter’s Sabbath School lessons deal with the church’s basic themes. The author and the editors of the lessons, I am afraid, do not treat faith and hope in a way that allows the highlighting of their essential features.

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Some Things I Am Unable to Understand

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I’m taking a page from Solomon this week: his listing of several things, often unrelated, plus an extra, that puzzle or amaze him.

Here are some things that I wonder about.

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Adventists and Interfaith Weddings

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“Where’d you get married?” I asked.

“In Jim’s church,” Terry said. Jim is a Seventh-day Adventist; Terry isn’t. “The Adventist pastor stood up in front with us and preached a sermon” she said.

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Prophets and Trust: A Reply to the Biblical Research Institute

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The April newsletter from the Biblical Research Institute at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, features interesting articles.

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On Our Propensity to Gossip

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(I write my columns in Spanish for the Café Hispano audience, afterward I translate them into English.)

As I mentioned last month, since 1973 I have benefited from the fellowship of my sisters and brothers who share my culture in the Spanish Church of Berrien Springs, Michigan. This is a singular church that provides a Spanish enclave for the many students from Latin America who go to Andrews University.

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The Church in Black and White

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A few years ago at a pastors’ meeting, one of the young pastors publicly asked our conference president, “Are you doing anything to try to bring the black regional conferences and the regular conferences together? It is a scandal that we can’t work under one conference structure.”

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Sorting Out the Testaments

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In the new believer’s class I teach in my church, I always begin with the statement that “95 percent of what we Seventh-day Adventists believe we share with most other Protestant Christians.” What makes up that differing 5 percent? “The Sabbath, of course” I reply.

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Getting Rid of Self and Revival Religion

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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.

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The Christian Blue Pages

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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.

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Church and State

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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.

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Sat, 09/13/2014 | San Diego Adventist Forum
Terrie Dopp Aamodt, PhD

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