The church has been struggling with various doctrinal hot-button issues for many years now. Most notable are these: Women's Ordination, Homosexuality, and Science/Religion (frequently expressed in the Age-of-the-Earth controversy). I have been an interested observer for multiple reasons, but one is to think about the types and quality of arguments that get employed in service of someone's position.
According to the Spanish essayist and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations, Madrid 1912), pain is the universal human experience of vulnerability and woundedness. It has an objective dimension usually given by the presence of physical damage and a subjective perception conditioned by the religious, cultural and psychological background of the involved person.
This week I found myself fascinated by the reviews written by Tom De Bruin and Clifford Goldstein on Reinder Bruinsma’s Facing Doubt: A Book for Adventist Believers ‘On the Margins.’ The content of the reviews themselves is not what ultimately drew me to extended thought on these pieces. Instead, I marveled at the ability of two people to see one thing in such drastically different ways. My enthrallment was dulled somewhat when I thought about the current state of our society on so many subjects, particularly with regards to racism and sexism.
The second goal of the recent national meeting of SDA bioethicists was to “explore the potential for future cooperation in bioethics across the Adventist health systems.” I am excited at the possibilities but see two challenges to this idea within Adventist healthcare in the United States.
Last Sunday, an average summer day, I was driving with my family from Florence to the Tyrrhenian sea, in the beautiful Tuscany landscape. My thoughts were absorbed in organizing my weekly schedule when suddenly Daniel, my oldest son, put music on for his submissive audience in the car. It was Dream Theather's song, “Peruvian Skies”. Similar to E.
Our church has had some major disagreements. We've disagreed on the bounds of academic freedom, had vigorous debates on the role of women, had protracted discourses about race relations, and fervent volleys regarding homosexuality. There have been heated and passionate pleas among all those involved in these conversations. People quote texts and cite personal experience. People get upset, some cry, or even leave. Some become persuaded, some have changes of heart, some become champions for positions they previously disdained.