Columns

Critiquing the Spirit of Prophecy

I like Ellen White.  She is one of my role models.  My childhood bedroom was the same one in which she had slept when visiting Graysville, Tennessee in the early 1900’s.  I believe I grew up breathing in her residual spirit.  But the Ellen I know and love is not the Ellen of most of my contemporaries. 

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Kohlberg, Revisited

 

I have always known that there are different kinds of Seventh-day Adventists, but nothing has brought that home like the discussions on this forum. Given all that we have in common with one another (more commonalities than differences, I’m quite sure) why do we so quickly fall into conflict?

Is it just about how we interpret the Bible? Mere intellectual differences would seem fairly easy to deal with, not unlike scientists discussing the meaning of a difficult gene sequence. Even if we couldn’t agree, it shouldn’t have to lead to angry, emotional accusations.

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Creation in the Wisdom Literature and the Psalms

 The Wisdom tradition flourished in Israel among the courtesans and the scribes who worked for the king. As such, those who sought after wisdom were people with social and economic advantages, agents of the king in diplomatic missions and members of the bureaucracy that keeps close to the centers of political power. What in the East was called wisdom came to be known as philosophy in Greece. In its origins wisdom had to do with the behavior to be adopted by those who live the way life should be lived.

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Democratic Delusions and the New Confederacy

As I write this column, all eyes are focused on Ham’s progeny as multitudes in the north of the African continent rise up against repressive systems of government. Changes have already been initiated in Algeria and Jordan (yes, Jordan is located in Hamitic territory), and pundits and politicians in the West are predicting and prodding regime change in the world’s oldest civilization. While the decades old regimes do have a faithful cadre of supporters, it is those who have been denied a voice that have dared to overpower the powerful with their demands for democracy.

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Critiquing Biblical Hermeneutics

No matter what biblical topic is being discussed be it homosexuality, ordination of women or the age of the earth; no matter what is being debated in the realm of Christian ethics, morality or behavior; no matter what is being argued in the area of theology be it the nature of Christ or the perfection of the saints; the bottom line always comes back to the Nature of Inspiration - how one is to view and interpret the Scriptures. This is, in my mind, the most critical issue facing the church today.

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In Search of the Sinless

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The most perfect man — by his own admission—I’ve ever known was a member of a church I pastored some years ago. He told me several times that he had moved beyond sin: he lived a perfect, sin-free life.

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Creation in the Books of the Prophets

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In ancient Israel there were both official and charismatic prophets. The official prophets, as is to be expected, were the propagandists of the throne and the temple.

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Woe to the Wealthy

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The recent extension of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s prison sentence, took my mind back to the Tuesday in 2005 when the Russian courts initially sentenced the billionaire tycoon to nine years in prison for tax evasion and several counts of fraud.

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Memo to Elder Wilson

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Because my counsel is unbidden, it may never reach you, or if it does reach you, it may seem obtrusive.

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Blessed Mary - Mother of the Son of God

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And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb… Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:42, 45).

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Where Few Are Gathered

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For the past 12 years I’ve been pastor of a vibrant church in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. During my time there we doubled our attendance, spawned a new 200-soul congregation, built a new church and school, and doubled our tithe and offerings [1].

Recently I shifted into a job with the conference office, and like others there I began preaching each weekend in churches around the conference. Here in Ohio about 85% of our churches are below 100 in attendance on an average Sabbath, and half of those 30 or below.

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Creation in Revelation

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These days to take up creation as a theme is to dare one’s fate, and the consequences are unpredictable.

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WikiLeaks and the Investigative Judgment

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The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States boldly declares:

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Lest We Forget - Part II

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The Mohaven Conference

The list of conference attendees reads like a veritable who’s who in 1970’s Adventism. They were no light weights! Represented were women such as Leona Running, Miriam Wood, Kit Watts, LaVonne Neff and Josephine Benton along with men such as Gerhard Hasel, Raoul Dederen, Frank Holbrook, Charles Scriven and James Spangenberg. The quality and depth of research presented by scholars such as Betty Sterling and Madelynn Halderman was impressive. (1)

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Such a Petty God

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Over a year ago I wrote in these pages about Ernie Knoll, a California Adventist who’d had a short run as a prophet to the remnant before he was unmasked.

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Creation in The Letter to the Hebrews

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The document we are studying does not have an epistolary introduction that identifies the author and the intended readers.

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Change We Can All Believe In

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The GOP has good reason to celebrate this week. Thanks to the enthusiasm of those who imbibed the spiked punch at the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh’s generalship has been grandly endorsed and the President of the United States has quietly conceded failure, as he assumed responsibility for the Democrats’ deafening defeats.

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Three Types of Contemplation: Reflections on Elder Ted N. C. Wilson’s Inaugural Sermon

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Like many others around the world I was surprised during his inaugural sermon Ted N. C. Wilson, the newly elected President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, warned against “contemplative prayer.”

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Lest We Forget

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In the summer of 1973, at the urging of Gordon Hyde, Director of the Biblical Research Institute, the President’s Executive Advisory Committee approved plans for a select committee to meet for the purpose of “giving through and adequate study to the role of women in the church organization.”[1]

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Brutal Hearts

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In 1922, as the Irish Civil War raged outside, William Butler Yeats was trapped with his wife and daughter in Thoor Ballylee, his County Galway farmhouse built out of a small castle tower.

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