Sabbath School

Of Moral Earnestness and the Spirit of Burning; Thoughts on the Book of Joel

Devouring locusts, drought, and famine: from these portentous plagues Joel catapults us into the consideration of eternal issues, his broad brush painting across the centuries down to the very end of time.  It is certainly not a quiet armchair read, not the kind of read that allows one to thumb through a favorite set of theological categories and then to sit back in smug satisfaction, the world sorted, the furies tamed.  Not at all.  Joel sets us back on our heels, startles and overwhelms, taking us into uncharted waters, historical events for which there is no precedent, the

Reflections on Hosea

No one reads in a vacuum. Everyone brings to the Bible their own bias and prejudice. I am no exception. As I read Hosea, I read it, first of all, as a woman. The first three chapters of the book are a love story gone awry and I am initially drawn to the character of Gomer. She is called a whore by none other than God himself. No, that’s not quite right, God instructs Hosea to marry a whore. Hosea chooses Gomer as a wife.

Introduction to the Book of the Prophet Hosea

Our commentary this week is taken from the Bible Commentary by Adam Clarke (1762–1832), a British Methodist minister and theologian. It is interesting sometimes to get a historical perspective on some of the more difficult or controversial topics in the Bible, and there are few more "difficult" than Hosea.

A New Heaven

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

In the Beginning

As a child, I read the whole of C.S Lewis’s Narnia series avidly; the series was a gift from my parents when I was around eight. I became submerged in a parallel universe. Now as an adult, I recently sat in a classroom with my fifteen and sixteen year old students, watching the BBC version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Now I clearly see the deeply Christian allegory of a Creator who had been gone for a while but returned and died to fulfil his own laws. The dawn of the creation of our own planet was more than our physical emergence.

Creation, Sabbath and Social Justice

Growing up in a Seventh-day Adventist home, Sabbath was by far the best day of the week: Dad was home from work, Mom prepared a delicious meal, and my sister and I were done with our studies for the week. Sabbath also meant going to Sabbath school and church, an opportunity to see our friends and possibly to have guests for lunch. Sabbath afternoons often included hikes in the woods, walks on the beach, or riding our bicycles on bike trails. It was a wonderful day for family, worship, and enjoying God’s creation.

A Permit to Plunder or a Mandate for Stewardship?

Editor's Note: The author's name is Floyd Hayes, not Fred Hayes.

The Defining Relationship

One of life’s biggest questions relates to our origins.  Where did we come from?  Genealogy searches have become increasingly popular in recent years as historical records have become more accessible.

Jesus is More than a Provider

We live in a world today much different than even sixty years ago. The general world view and culture identifies reason with naturalism and faith with feelings—and never the twain should meet! And this great divide is in all churches as in virtually all academic institutions.

Biblical Humility

As I look back on my nearly 20-year teaching career at Pacific Union College, one class stands out as my favorite--Argumentation and Debate. I doubt the students benefited anywhere as much as I did from the experience. Certainly good presentation skills and excellent research were helpful, but the real benefit was, I believe, found elsewhere.

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