Three somehow unexpected related events, occurred the last days of June, push and give us, as Adventist community, the opportunity to make a pause, to think and to reflect on a particular topic. God doesn’t speak only through the Holy Bible. He does speak as well through the events we daily live together with people who may be don’t believe and he also does through the new awareness these events provoke in us as individuals and as a Christian church.
Argentinean born psychiatrist and philosopher Miguel Benasayag, now living and working in Paris, published, few years ago, a little book (“Les passions tristes: Souffrance psychique et crise sociale”) on what could be called “cultural sadness”. Picking up and applying Spinoza’s category of “sad passions” he describes the diffuse psychological pessimism, particularly present today in European young people, but tries to read it on a socio-cultural level.
This year, the prestigious Morehouse College was among the fortunate few to be afforded the privilege of having a sitting president deliver the graduation address. Thousands sat reverently in the open arena as the stubborn drizzle soaked their newly acquired garments. The gray skies and persistent precipitation were not enough to damp the spirits of the graduates and celebrants who were transfixed on the one whose presence transformed a routine event into an unforgettable moment.
Comments on this website frequently involve traditionalist and non-traditionalist Adventists sparring in disagreement over various topics Adventisty. And, on occasion, I’ve noticed a few conservative commenters asking their more liberal counterparts – those who are church members – why they remain Adventists at all? It seems to these enquirers that the views expressed by those liberals are sufficiently heterodox that they have effectively ceased to be SDA. And, if so, why remain members?
In the sports world over the last month, one of the biggest stories in the world of sports was NBA center Jason Collins coming out of the closet and revealing that he is gay. As I reflect on his revelation, and some of the criticism he received, I am reminded of the beginning of the Adventist Church. The SDA Church began as an outgrowth of what is now called The Great Disappointment.
Everything can be an object of theological trial and theological assessment except God. God is, by definition and after a widespread religious understanding, beyond any rational experimental attempt. Everybody who breaks this basic religious rule would immediately incur in a kind of unforgivable theological temerity, into a rough religious insolence and finally into pure blasphemy. Yet, seen from another perspective, trying to think God is the first task of any theology and of any healthy religious experience.
In the spring of 2005, my attention was curiously piqued by two major train wrecks in Asia. The first occurred during rush-hour in Tokyo on Monday, April 25, when an intercity train derailed with such force that it became embedded in the ground floor garage of an apartment complex. Investigators concluded that the crash occurred when the driver attempted to manoeuver a curve at 100km/h at a point on the track when the maximum speed was 70km/h.