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Spirituality

How My Mind Has Changed and Remained the Same with Regard to Biblical Interpretation

For some time, the Society of Biblical Literature has included a section at its annual sessions in which an older member reflects on how her or his thinking has evolved over the years under the title "How My Mind has Changed and Remained the Same." Now that I am officially eligible to retire (although I do not intend to do so anytime soon), I have been emboldened to use this genre to express some thoughts on biblical interpretation.

Margaret’s Gospel

Saliva bubbles collected in the corners of her mouth. Suddenly, in a meteoric flash, death snatched her away. In an instant, her rotund, 98 year-old body surrounded by a loving family crumbling in tears and grief was all that was left. I, a volunteer chaplain, struggled to find words of comfort and hope. Amazed by family and love, I had my own thoughts of life’s heartless cycle and questions of nagging doubt.

Out of the Beaks of Birds

“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’” Revelation 5:13

I'm Sorry for How the Church has Sidelined Women

I've been a church kid since the day I was born, deeply steeped in the culture of this community of people who follow Jesus. My belt is well-notched with church services, church camps, pathfinder retreats, week-of-prayer alter calls, Bible studies, church volunteer roles, and years of Christian education.

As I reflect on all those years and all the associated people who have shaped my life, I am surprised at one thing. As a Christian who grew up in the Adventist church, my life has been shaped, more than anything else, by women.

Quiet Place, Quiet Space: Standing in the Tragic Gap

Parker Palmer uses the phrase “standing in the tragic gap” to describe the tension one feels between what is and what could be. The tragic gap is the uncomfortable spot where one sidesteps quick decisions, hasty analysis, and automatic labeling. When standing in the tragic gap, one can simply be. Breathe quietly. Take time. Stay away from swift labeling of ideas into realistic or idealistic categories that ignore the useful spectrum of perspectives between them. This is the tragic gap.

An Agenda for a New Kind of Literary Study of the Bible

The literary study of the Bible may for some seem to be what philosophers would call a category error. The Bible, according to this common though imprecise understanding, is a set of religious texts. Its purpose is to convey a vision of how God created the world, of his designs for the historical destiny of humankind, including a special account of his covenanted people, and to set forth in forceful terms the moral and ritual obligations that the readers of these texts through the generations are expected to fulfill. What, then, could all this have to do with literature?

A Matter of Integrity

Ken Curtis preaches on the matter of integrity:

Genesis One in Historical-Critical Perspective

The "historical-critical" method of Bible study, used properly, can be a valid and powerful tool for Seventh-day Adventists. How might the use of the "historical critical" method of Bible study affect the interpretation of Genesis 1, a chapter of great interest to Seventh-day Adventists? What follows is an example of the application of the method to Genesis 1.

Salvation and the Journey of a Preacher-man

“But the truth is that you reach a stage, whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, when you are no longer making up your mind on a purely rational basis. It becomes a matter of life, and how individuals wish to lead it, and whether temperament or experience makes this ‘deep’ kind of life something which appeals to them.” A.N. Wilson. God’s Funeral. W.W. Norton & Co. 1999. p. 336.

Beyond Fundamentalism: A Short History of Adventist Old Testament Scholarship

“Why don't Adventist Bible teachers meet regularly with the Evangelical Theological Society?” That question was raised recently during a meeting of the Andrews Society for Religious Studies, the professional organization for Seventh-day Adventist Bible teachers.1 (Annually, Adventist religion scholars gather just prior to the annual joint meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion, the largest North American gathering of scholars in religion.)

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