The Blueprint Controversies…Please!

The new, old piety has a blind spot.

Official publications show unmistakably that 1920’s-to-early-60’s piety is shoring up its dominance in Adventist culture. Fueled by stock phraseology—words like “earnest,” phrases like “revival and reformation,” sentences like “How many of you believe that we are living in the very final days of earth’s history…?”—this piety is in certain respects helpful. Revival is good. Reformation is good. A sense of urgency about the times, a wariness concerning the merely popular—both central in Elder Ted Wilson’s preaching—are good.

The King's Speech Reviewed


The must-see-movie of 2010 has to be The King’s Speech. It’s a stunningly accomplished production with a gripping story of two men absolutely determined to overcome the profound speech impediment of one of them.

Finnish Scholar Offers a New View of Ellen White’s Spirituality


Many years ago, I noticed how often Ellen White referred to the “soul” in her devotional writings.

Top 10 Films of 2010 for Spectrum Moviegoers


My picks for the best, most relevant films of 2010.

10. Waiting for Superman

    This documentary analyzes public education in the United States with a keen, critical eye. More, it spells out the problems facing public education with hard facts and humanizes the issue through the stories of kids whose futures are at stake.

The Grand Design


Despite learning a great deal from Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow in their recent book The Grand Design, in the end I was disappointed.

It’s not that their book lacked clarity. In the introduction they do say that their explicit purpose is to explore “Not only how the universe behaves but why.” They posit three framing questions for their rather short book (188 pages from Bantam books for around $14.00 on Amazon): “Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? and Why this particular set of laws and not some other?” (p. 9-10)

Narnia: Magic for Adventists


When I was a kid in youth group, our Sabbath School teacher showed us segments from the DreamWorks screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe." One girl, the pastor's daughter, as I recall, refused to watch the clips on the basis that Narnia's magic was evil. No, she hadn't seen it. No, she hadn't read Lewis's other writings, including "Mere Christianity." She knew all she needed to know. Witches and dwarves and fauns were satanic, plain and simple.

Monkey Girl


Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul by Edward Humes (Harper Collins Publishers, 2007), recounts the battle between creationists and evolutionists that was fought in the town of Dover, Pennsylvania. As with most wars, it began with a skirmish. The school board attempted to introduce Intelligent Design (ID) into the ninth grade science curriculum. The science teachers refused.

Building Cultures of Trust


Back in the day, a song by the rock group Three Dog Night suggested that “one is the loneliest number that there ever was.” I’d like to paraphrase that line to read: “trust is the loneliest word that there ever was.” At least in the current situation, trust seems in short supply.

Waiting for Superman: Education System, We Need to Talk


The opening sequence of Waiting for Superman begins with a routine that many Adventist families know well: narrator/director Davis Guggenheim describes driving past several public schools each day on his way to dropping his kids off at a pricy private school. In a sheepish tone, he describes the small pang of guilt that he feels. He explains that in 1999, he tried to bring hardworking public school teachers to the forefront in his documentary films Teach and The First Year.

Galileo Goes to Jail


An often-believed subtext in the Adventist Faith/Science conundrum is that here are two worlds in collision. From the disparaging and presumably oxymoronic epithet ‘Seventh-day Darwinians’ to the short-chronology requirement for membership in the Adventist Theological Society, contemporary Adventism struggles with the question of compatibility – can revelation be reconciled with science? And, where we presently cannot, how should we proceed?

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Sat, 10/25/2014 | Los Angeles Adventist Forum
October Adventist Forum
Ronald E. Osborn, Ph.D., A 2014-2016 Mellon Postdoctoral Fell ow in the Peace and Justice Program at Wellesley College (Boston), and a 2 015 Fullbright Scholar to Burma/Myanmar, Formerly an Adjunct Faculty Membe r in the Dept. of International Relations at USC, and in the Honors Progra m at UCLA. Topic: "Death Before the Fall?: A Conversation with Ronald Osbor n."

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