Columns

Ends, Means and Adventist Doctrine

Adventists have always been concerned about formulating and preserving correct doctrine.  Pioneer evangelism strongly emphasized that Adventists had a clearer understanding of Biblical truth than other Christian options and consequently enquirers should consider joining this remnant movement – which had been given a central role in effecting the Second Coming.

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The Adventist Disconnect

It was camp meeting time in Florida.  Earlier in the spring, the Adventist Review had issued a fiat that there was to be no discussion on certain issues raised by an Australian teacher by the name of Desmond Ford until he had had opportunity to share his views with the brethren.   Of course such an injunction ensured a lively discussion would follow. 

Interestingly, the featured speaker for the evening meetings that year was Smuts Van Rooyen.  Channeling Ford’s theology almost verbatim in his sermons, he was well received by all present.

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The Church of the Scattered Believers

 

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Remember My Words

            In 1901 Wilhelm Wrede shook the academic study of the gospels by arguing that not everything recorded in the gospel According to Mark had actually happened as described. Wrede identified in this gospel a leitmotiv that he named “the Messianic secret”. It is present in the gospel in two basic forms.

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Ray Charles Offers Sight to Myopic Christians

I am not a film expert, but after viewing the blockbuster movie “Ray,” I can see why Jamie Foxx was awarded the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of music legend Ray Charles. This hauntingly honest biography reveals a journey filled with tragedy and triumph, failures and faith, cowardice and courage, and helplessness and hope. Not long after witnessing his brother drown in a tub of water, the young Ray was to experience personal tragedy when his vision was cruelly snatched away from him.

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When Women Break the Bread of Life

I recently attended a funeral for a long time parishioner at our church.  The Pastor had chosen as his text for the homily 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, in Christ shall all be made alive.”  A good choice, I thought, for giving hope during a time of grief.

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I have overcome the world

            In the gospel According to John the word “world” is, without a doubt, semantically rich. This word appears more than sixty times in the text, and if one does not pay attention it is relatively easy to misinterpret its message or conclude that the gospel contradicts itself. It is necessary, therefore, to do an analysis of its usage.

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A Dynamic Theology

 

One of the benefits of studying church history is that it helps you see how much change there has been in Christian teachings through the years. By “church” I mean not just this denomination, but the whole sweep of Christianity that Ellen White reviews in The Great Controversy. In each era there are the faithful and the enemies of the faithful—and of course the whole point of that book is that in the end, the enemies lose and the faithful get their reward.

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A Sentence

If woman was indeed created fully human with all the functions, abilities and inherent capacities of man including the desires, dreams and aspirations of same, and if God arbitrarily (for her own good) placed her in subjection, limiting her choices and spheres (either as punishment or more benignly for her protection) then women’s reaction to his restriction could only be submission, (using subjection as an excuse for not exercising accountable dominion) denial, (labeling her natural God-given aspirations and inner callings as evil or temptations of the devil) or rebellion (risking death ra

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What Dare We Pray?

Our friend Abbey is dying.

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I Finished the Work

            In the synoptic gospels Jesus’ healings and exorcisms are called dúnamis. English versions translate this term as “wonder”, “virtue”, “miracle”. The Greek word means “strength”, “power”. The words “dynamo” and “dynamite” are derived from it.

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Old Yearnings for the New Year

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions and it’s been years since I spent hours on the first day of the year calling everyone in my address book. The truth is, the annual resetting of the calendar brings me more pain than joy. I’ve long rejected the samsara influenced myth that sees the first day of January as some sort of magical reset button. Oh, I wish we did have an opportunity to do some things over, but experience has taught me that this is absolutely impossible.

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Adventism and the Intersex Problem

The Adventist church, like many conservative Christian denominations, takes an official position condemning homosexuality. The 1999 General Conference Annual Council approved a position statement, found on the church’s website at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main-stat46.html  that states:

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Christmas Meditations*

 As a young mother, I would often sing my baby to sleep with the song about Jesus blessing the children.

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Is Christmas Contaminated?

I had a colleague (this was years ago) who was assigned to a small town church whose members opposed any celebration of Christmas. When December came, the church members would drive past and peer in the parsonage windows, to check whether the new pastor’s family had Christmas decorations. So when my friend’s wife insisted they have a Christmas tree for their little boy, they had to set it up in the bathtub, that being the only room the church members couldn’t readily see into!

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On the Third Day

            One of the characteristics of the gospel According to John is that the main events in the life of Jesus are connected to Jewish feasts or specific times. The expulsion of the money changers and traders from the temple happened on a Passover (2:13). The feeding of the five thousand took place on another Passover (6: 4). Apparently Jesus did not go up to Jerusalem for this one. The healing of the paralytic at the portals of the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem was done on “a feast of the Jews” (5: 1).

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Random Thoughts on Republican Primary Candidates, Georgia, and the Kingdom

 

This season’s Republican primary battle makes one wonder if the leading contestants have secretly signed a deal with a reality television promoter. It appears that every day brings a story more shocking than the previous revelation as the drama intensifies by the minute. While the plot thickens, the needle on the public shockometer hardly registers as people’s sensitivities are seemingly immunized to the bizarre dysfunction.

Georgia on His Mind

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Jots & Tittles

In Matthew 5, Jesus talks of the importance of little things, things as small as the dot over an i.   Lynne Truss in her 2004 best seller makes the same point in the title of her book,” Eats, Shoots and Leaves”.  Is this a statement about a murderous dinner guest?  Or, sans comma, could it describe the diet of a panda?   

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The Mormon Moment

Recently I watched an interview with the polished and handsome Mitt Romney. He’ll quite possibly be the nominee for his party next year, and even if he isn’t, he’ll have left a big footprint on the American political landscape. I don’t like everything he stands for (if you can figure out what that is), but he’s clearly smart and pragmatic and, from what I can tell, at least as moral as some of the previous inhabitants of that office.

And he’s a Mormon.

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The Hour is Coming, and Now is

            The gospel According to John invites us to enter an environment quite different from the one we have become accustomed to in the synoptic gospels. In these gospels Jesus preaches about the kingdom of God by means of parables that describe activities and objects of everyday village life. In According to John, as we have already pointed out in previous columns, Jesus preaches himself as the One Sent by the Father. His message is “I Am”.

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.




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

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