June 17, 2010 - Vol. 187, No. 17
Two articles deserve special attention in this issue. SAVORING THE WORD, information about the newly released Andrews Study Bible; and ADVENTIST LEADERSHIP. And don’t miss Andrew McChesney’s essay, PRESENCE, and the reflection, TRUST AND THE TEARS OF GOD.
In light of Ted Wilson’s ordination sermon, Ric Tryon’s letter is prescient.
I hope we are on the way to owning the reality that there is not, nor ever has been, a stereotypical Adventist. When we have attempted to impose cookie-cutter patterns for an ‘ideal’ Adventist on our membership, personality textures inevitably result that are staid, exclusive, judgmental, and ultimately unappealing. Church growth is stifled and the brilliance of the gospel tarnished.
WORLD NEWS & PERSPECTIVES
Pastor Lenin Avila Cortez and Deacon Javier Zavala Rodriguez were killed in a “mistaken identity” shooting in Juarez, Chihuahua, in north Mexico.
Jan Paulsen fielded questions from North American pastors in an online discussion. Before retiring, Mark Finley led a Chicago-area evangelistic campaign, and readers learned how GC conference delegates were selected to reflect the Church’s diversity.
In his editorial, BEING PART OF SOMETHING GREAT, Gerald Klingbeil comments on the new Andrews University Study Bible.
For quite some time Andrews University Press had been thinking about a unique study Bible. Now they were ready—and invited me to join a group of select Adventist biblical scholars who would write the notes and introductions.
HE KNOWS WHAT’S BEST. Wilona Karimabadi is happy that she is the parent of just one child, not the twins she had hoped for a teenager.
But God knew that all along. My life lesson has been, and will continue to be, trusting that He knows exactly what we can handle, and being grateful for the way He turns life out.
BLESSING NOT CURSING by Whitney Von Hopler makes the case that the words we say really make a difference.
Our words aren’t just casual expressions that don’t really affect those around us. Words have incredible power. They can either build up or destroy nations, families, churches, careers, or businesses. While negative words can hurt other people and dishonor God, positive words can bless others and honor God.
Fredrick Russell shares his perspective on "real" worship in AIMING FOR HIS PRESENCE.
God desires to be with us in church. But sometimes we miss Him in our effort to be so highly structured and efficient that we have not learned the value of praying for, waiting for, and aiming for His presence. That is best done in a worship environment I call planned spontaneity. That is, we plan the worship services well, but we intentionally leave room for the working of the Holy Spirit.
THE PRESCRIPTION is Andrew McChesney’s account of “entertaining angels”.
SAVORING THE WORD by Gerald Klingbeil introduces the new Andrews Study Bible.
More than three years in the making, the recently published Andrews Study Bible marks a milestone in Adventist publication. Under the leadership of Andrews University president Niels-Erik Andreasen and the Andrews University Press, the project moved from vision to reality in record time—especially considering the complexity of working with an international team of contributors, as well as numerous editors, designers, and proofreaders. Jon Dybdahl, Ph.D., professor of biblical studies emeritus of Walla Walla University, served as the general editor, guiding the team of contributors efficiently. Members of the church’s Biblical Research Institute, as well as several church vice presidents, widened the circle of scholarship and support for this pathbreaking project.
The Andrews Study Bible does not offer a new or an ‘Adventist’ translation of the Bible text…We used the New King James Version because there was a sense that, among English versions, it probably still has the widest appeal and acceptance among those who would want an Andrews Study Bible, particularly in North America.
From the outset the editorial team was given an important challenge: produce a study Bible that is academically credible, theologically sound, and practical in size and cost for mass distribution in public evangelism. While not designed as a Bible commentary, the ample study notes, introductory materials, charts, and maps in the Andrews Study Bible open a window on the biblical world.
JESUS AND THE SABBATH by Kim Papaioannou shares a fresh perspective on John 5:18.
I believe that thus properly translated and understood John 5:18 encapsulates the essence of Jesus’ relation to the Sabbath. He did not attempt to destroy it or go around disregarding it. How could He when He elsewhere upheld the Ten Commandments? But He labored to set it free from misguided casuistry and place it in a more positive perspective so that it could indeed be a delight—as originally intended (Isa. 58:13).
A HIGHER CALLING is the story of a former freedom fighter that became an ambassador for Christ. This is the story of Jevana Ben Maseko as recounted by Loron Wade.
Jevana Ben Maseko was a leader in Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence. After his retirement from the armed forces he became a deputy minister, a provincial governor, and later served his country as ambassador to Algeria and Russia. He was appointed as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Cuba in 2001.
In TRUST—AND THE TEARS OF GOD Rick Nelson shares what he's learned about trusting God.
Finally, they were called upstairs to get ready. The gown and the identification bracelet were put on. The “sleepy medicine” was taken. They waited for it to take effect. Then the moment of truth came. The nurses had come to take him away. Isaac’s eyes filled with tears. In almost a whisper he said again, “I’m scared, Mommy.” But he was so brave. He didn’t panic. He didn’t throw a fit. He let them take him without a fight. He trusted us. He really didn’t understand why this was happening, but he trusted us. Debbie managed to hold her emotions in check until Isaac was gone—then she cried.
They were the tears of one who knows that life is not always fair to children. They were the tears of one who knows that a beloved child simply does not understand the pain and the fear they feel. They were the tears of a proud parent whose child clings to trust through an unknown future. They were the tears of God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).