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Rivers of Living Water

            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.

Papal Legacy

LAST MONTH’S COLUMN WAS A SNAPSHOT OBITUARY OF STANLEY “TOOKIE” WILLIAMS. THIS MONTH’S COLUMN COVERS EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II. THESE ARE THE FIRST TWO OF A SHORT SERIES OF OBITUARIES.

Time For “Plan B”

An Illinois appellate court rendered an interesting decision last week. The court upheld a lower court ruling that Illinois pharmacists do not have to sell “Plan B” pills to customers if they have religious objections to the use of the product. “Plan B” is the brand name of a drug that can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual activity.

Holy Bricks

Not long ago my brother sent me a link to a site about abandoned places in North Dakota. The abandoned place we were interested in was Sheyenne River Academy, the Seventh-day Adventist boarding school where I and thousands of other midwestern Adventist teens got our diplomas. The background story is that after 3/4 of a century of operation, the old campus several miles outside Harvey was run down. Though it was in the center of the state, it wasn’t in the center of Adventist population.

United by Love

 

 

 

Taking Tookie

At 12:35am on Tuesday December 13, 2005, prisoner number C29300 was pronounced dead. The twelfth man to be executed by the state of California since the death penalty was reinstated in 1992, this prisoner had garnered the attention of the international media and had become an unlikely poster-child for opponents of capital punishment. The burly convict entered the execution chamber one minute before midnight, and cooperated with the guards as they removed his shackles and strapped him to the table.

Moral Complexity

Adventism has wrestled with the concept of human perfection almost from its beginnings. The subject has always been controversial –is it possible or not? Some conservative Adventists believe it is achievable, while other, likely more liberal Adventists, doubt it.

Attitude Reflects Leadership

In the past month we have seen two unions (Pacific and Columbia) vote to ordain ministers without regard to gender, joining the Northern German Union that conducted a similar vote earlier this year. These are certainly exciting times for those of us that want to see gender discrimination end in our church. However, what I have found most interesting over the past month is the move by the General Conference to paint these votes as a threat to church unity.

Making NY13 Work

Without your love

I only hear the loudest voices

The ones with something new to sell

And now it's all

Big talk, big name, big noise, New York

—Donald Fagen, “Big Noise, New York”

We Must Work While It Is Day

            According to John reports three healing miracles: that of the son of the imperial official (4: 46 – 54), that of the sick man at the pool of Bethesda (5: 1 – 16) and that of the man born blind (9: 1 – 14). In two of these narratives, after the details of the miracle have been described, it is said that the healing took place on a Sabbath.

Chik-fil-A and the Dragon's Wrath

Last month, if anybody had mentioned the name “Dan Cathy” I would have asked, “Who”? The truth is, for most people his name would hardly register on the fame-recognition-meter. Thanks (or no thanks) to recent events, the name of Chik-fil-A’s  President and Chief Operating Office has been added to the Hall of the Infamous by an angry lynch mob who are bent on bullying his business into bankruptcy. His crime?

Crisis of Leadership

It is often said that adversity does not create character, it reveals it. If this is true than it must also be true that adversity does not create flaws, it reveals them. The unfortunate circumstances surrounding the rejection of Dr. Alex Bryan as the next president of Walla Walla University exposed cracks growing in the foundation of our denomination, cracks that reach far beyond Walla Walla and do not bode well for Adventism as a whole.[1] Now I will admit that I am the least qualified to discuss the particular question of whether Dr.

Why Ordination for Women Pastors May Be a Disappointment

 

With a couple of union conferences gathering for special constituency meetings (which are expensive, and not convened lightly) to discuss and vote on women’s ordination, there is an electric anticipation in the Adventist air right now. We may be on the verge of realizing a long-anticipated goal.

I hope, like many of you, that these constituents vote to ordain women pastors. But there’s something that could happen that might be almost as bad as losing the vote. It would be to win the vote, but not achieve what we won it for.

Clean by the Word

The gospel According to John is full of surprises. It might be better to say that it charts a course of its own, and both its novelties and language cause readers to take a second look. Reading this gospel is to sense there is something under the surface that needs to be uncovered. To interpret its peculiarities is not easy and, as a result its various interpretations are quite different.

Why Obama is Wrong about Gay Marriage

I wasn’t at all surprised when President Obama came out in support of gay marriage. Heretofore, he claimed to be “evolving,” but now he has apparently weathered his intermediary stages and has fully evolved on this issue. I find it interesting that he used Darwinian language to define his enlightenment. Yes, I’m fully aware of the semantic flexibility of terms, but I can’t help but make a connection between the evolutionary mindset with its disdain for biblical authority and the willingness of Christian supporters of gay marriage to suppress the clear teaching of scripture.

A Great Opportunity

Earlier this month the Pew Research Center released the results of its American Values Survey. The survey was headlined by the finding that the United States has grown more partisan over the course of the Bush and Obama administrations.

Pipim, Postmortem

A few years ago I would have told you, had you asked, that I had heard of Samuel Korangteng-Pipim but I had no strong feelings about him. I knew he was a darling of the Seventh-day Adventist conservatives, that he ran a campus ministry, and that he had written some books. Later, as I began to hear more about him, I looked at his website and guessed that he was a man of robust self-esteem: he styled himself an eagle, his followers sometimes calling themselves eaglets.

The House was Filled with the Fragrance of her Ointment

            The gospel According to John states that Jesus is the Logos incarnate, the Son who came from God and returned to God. His mission on earth was to give eternal life to those who believe in Him. The crucifixion, the lifting up or the glorification of the Son, is the object of faith that separates those who have eternal life from those who do not.

Literalism and the Biblical Flood Story

A phrase one often reads from conservative Adventists is that “the Bible is its own interpreter”, sometimes with an accompanying complaint that so-called liberals, in contrast, exegete irresponsibly. For example, recently one conservative commenter on this website stated: “Both evangelical and liberal theology refuse to let Scripture interpret itself, instead imposing upon Scripture various interpretive constructs which cannot be derived from Scripture itself.”

Gay Marriage and the Imposition of Morality

Earlier this month, the citizens of the state of North Carolina voted to amend their state constitution to further codify a prohibition against gay marriage.[1] One of the main groups that supported this amendment, Vote FOR Marriage NC, supported this amendment based on a religious definition of marriage.





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Sat, 10/25/2014 | Los Angeles Adventist Forum
October Adventist Forum
Ronald E. Osborn, Ph.D., A 2014-2016 Mellon Postdoctoral Fell ow in the Peace and Justice Program at Wellesley College (Boston), and a 2 015 Fullbright Scholar to Burma/Myanmar, Formerly an Adjunct Faculty Membe r in the Dept. of International Relations at USC, and in the Honors Progra m at UCLA. Topic: "Death Before the Fall?: A Conversation with Ronald Osbor n."

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