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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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)
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.
It’s not looking good for Eddie Lee Long-–Bishop of Atlanta’s 25,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Just last week, a penetrating spotlight was directed towards this mesmerizing messenger who dines with heads of state and celebrities. It took most by surprise when four young men alleged that their spiritual father had committed unspiritual incest.