Reviewing the Review: Flee the Captor edition

June 26, 2008
Vol. 185, No. 18

GENERAL COMMENTS
Editors, writers need your help in producing final copy. Less than acceptable writing mars a number of what should have been excellent pieces in this issue. The cover story is the most egregious example; but On Temporary Assignment, Ask the Doctors, Not a Spectator Sport and the adaptation of the story in KidsView, Every Last Drop, needed final editing before they appeared in print.

MUST READS: Running from Death by Wilona Karimabadi, With the Times by Kimberly Luste Maran, and Control Freak by Clifford Goldstein

COVER STORY
Running from Death by Wilona Karimabadi
This is a MUST READ. “In a time when standing up for justice could have meant the loss of your own life, one man did what was right, despite the consequences. He was a man whose moral principles and courage were guided by his love for God and humanity. His English name was John Henry Weidner [Johan Hendrik Weidner].”

The Dutch-Paris underground he helped to establish saved about 800 Jews, 100 Allied aviators, and many others who were escaping the tyranny and murder of Nazi oppression.

“Weidner's wartime rescue efforts did not go unrecognized. For his courage he was awarded the United States Medal of Freedom, made a member of the Order of the British Empire, the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau, and given the Dutch Medal of Resistance. The French government awarded him the Croix de guerre and Medaille de la Resistance, and the Legion d¹honneur. The government of Belgium also made him an officer of the Order of King Leopold.

“In addition, the government of Israel honored him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations at the country's national Holocaust Memorial in Yad Vashem. Weidner has a tree planted in his name there. He also participated in the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 1993 as one of seven persons selected to light candles recognizing rescuers.”

‘During our lives, each of us faces a choice: to think only about yourself, to get as much as you can for yourself, or to think about others, to serve, to be helpful to those who are in need. I believe that it is very important to develop your brains, your knowledge, but it is more important to develop your heart, to have a heart open to the suffering of others. As for myself, I am just an ordinary person, just someone who wants to help his neighbor.

'That is the aim of God for me: to think about others, to be unselfish. I am nothing exceptional. If I have one hero, it is God who has helped me to fulfill my mission, to fulfill my duties, to do what I have to do. But for myself, I am just a simple person. During the war, I did what I think everyone should have done.’ John Weidner died in Southern California in 1994.

Editor's note: If you haven't read the story of this Adventist hero, read it! Used copies of the following books documenting his wartime exploits are available from Amazon.com for pennies: Flee the Captor by Herbert Ford, The Hand of Compassion by Kristen Renwick Monroe, and The Courage to Care by Sondra Myers.

ARTICLES
On Temporary Assignment by Dick Rentfro
“In God's eyes, the greatest heroes and heroines of faith are not those with the biggest bank account or those holding political power. Rather it's those who serve faithfully, who regard themselves as on temporary assignment.”

Getting Your Vitamin D? by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless
Get your Vitamin D levels measured! “It may play a role in up to 16 different cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.”

Kids View, edited by Wilona Karimabadi and Limberly Luste Maran
I would have put the clever “Pathfinder badge” title on a white background. The black background makes it sort of disappear into the gloom. Other than that, and the minor problem noted in General Comments, well done!

Not a Spectator Sport by Candy Clark
“On April 19, 2008, 45 participating Pathfinder teams representing eight unions in the North American Division met at Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, for the 2008 Invitational/Division Level Pathfinder Bible Achieve-ment. A record 40 teams earned a first-place certificate, with the remaining five receiving second-place certificates."

A New Direction by Frank J. Perez
“At that Adventist boarding school [Colegio de las Antillas in Cuba] we shared a love for learning and a passion for Jesus that caused me to change the direction of my life. The course I've chosen continues to this day. The difference in my life wasn¹t because of the books in the library, or the Ph.D.s behind my teachers' names. It wasn't the high-tech classrooms; our classrooms were rudimentary and well behind the times. What made the difference was learning to know Jesus and accepting His gift for me.”

DEPARTMENTS
Letters
Three of the letters to the editor left me wondering about the Review's letter policy. Barb Marsh was abrupt and sarcastic; Alen Forquer debated "foreknowledge" with himself for four paragraphs; and Bevin Brett reviewed an “online exclusive article”.

Control Freak by Clifford Goldstein
In a fascinating scientific and logical tour de force, Goldstein demonstrates “How grateful we need to be . . . for the sovereignty of God” It’s a MUST READ.

World News & Perspectives
General Conference President, Jan Paulsen calls diversity both a challenge and an opportunity in a live conference with pastors across Europe; Newbold College in the UK reports that Jane Sabes, a political science professor at Andrews University, will be the new Principal; Adventist Artist, James David Chase’s 22,719 word portrait of Arnold Palmer, made entirely of quotes from and about him, is a “centerpiece” in the United States Golf Association’ museum; and an historic SDA church business meeting was held in North Korea.

Lessons Learned
The Best Gift by Valerie N. Phillips
“So what if our gifts are less sophisticated or less expensive than someone else's? (Remember how Jesus valued the widow with the two mites?) Many of us are tempted to offer a gift in order to impress instead of to express. But when something is given with genuine love, the giver becomes the gift.”

Reflections
Perfect Surrender by Maria Lombart
“’Perfect surrender’ means giving up all claims on what I personally believe I have a right to have. It means saying, I am willing, Lord, to accept Your best for my life and to trust that Your best is better than I can imagine. . . Perfect surrender is not an immediate achievement. Neither does it come as a result of my having worked enough and learned enough and tried hard enough to become perfect. It comes, rather, as a gift from a Father who truly cares about me.”

EDITORIALS
She Hung Up on Me by Roy Adams
Roy, I am one of your greatest admirers. That said, your editorial was a disappointment. In addition, the illustration that accompanied your words, the profiles of two cut out black figures, hat in hand, bowing toward each other, reinforced an unfortunate vaudevillian racial stereotype.

Now to your editorial. Regarding your example of Paul’s “courteous behavior”. You assume the following statement to be an apology. "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people'". You also assume that Paul didn't know the man who hit him in the mouth. That seems unlikely. Given the context of Paul's first response, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall", I believe Paul was being sarcastic.

When you returned the call of the discourteous woman, you could have had your assistant on another line. You could have identified yourself and stated that you had two reasons for returning her call. First, to give the woman the opportunity to apologize for her behavior. Second, to clear up a misunderstanding regarding something you had written in a Sabbath school lesson.

Christians aren’t required to "walk on egg shells" and "use our softest voices" when we confront discourteous behavior.

I am fond of the story of two men in an elevator. Both get on together every day. One man gets off at the seventh floor and the other at the 11th. Before the man gets off at the seventh floor, he whacks the other man on the back. This happens every day, and finally the bellhop that operates the elevator works up enough courage to question the man as he rides to the 11th floor. "What is going on? Why does that man hit you every day before he gets off the elevator?" Before the man gets off at the 11th floor he answers, "I don't know. Ask the other guy; it's his problem."

So she hung up on you; big deal.

With the Times by Kimberly Luste Maran
This editorial is a MUST READ. The illustrations that support her conclusion are entertaining and “with it”. "Those who lead our youth need to really know what is going on in their kids’ lives and figure out how to make the best, positive impact in the short time they have with them."

Andy Hanson is Professor of Education at California State University, Chico and he blogs at Adventist Perspective.



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