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Reviewing the Recorder

September 2008

Vol. 108, No. 9


The stated mission of the Recorder “is to inform, educate and inspire readers to action in all areas of ministry”. Union and conference leadership needs to take these words seriously. This “mission” cannot be achieved by editorials bemoaning the “escalating tone or depravity” in the world or announcing for the umpteenth time that we are living in “these last days”.

It is my fervent and prayerful hope that “Jesus is coming soon”, but Adventists have been repeating those words since our Church was founded.

These words have become a cliché, a catch phrase, a linguistic crutch used by editorial writers, ministers, and lay people to encourage church attendance, to warn other Adventists about the eternal consequences of withholding tithe, of not actively proselytizing, of not “keeping the Sabbath holy”, of not sending their children to Adventist schools. The detailed accounting of how Administrative decisions are made and money spent isn’t a priority if “we are living in end times”.

The “End Time Message” isn’t getting it done if church membership is a criterion. A magazine designed as a public relations instrument can’t get it done. Advertising and sunset tables will not accomplish the mission. However, a Pacific Union Recorder designed to inform and educate can inspire and motivate. I am confident that a transparent accounting of how the Church works and the difficulties it faces will inspire Adventists, Union wide, to meet the challenges faced by SDA’s in the twenty-first century.


This issue is newsy and beautifully illustrated. There can be no arguing about the fact that Adventist groups are working to make their communities better able to meet the needs of people, spiritually and materially.

In July, the Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California, was endangered by the huge 53,000-acre Camp Fire and had to be evacuated. Professional and volunteer efforts, along with fire suppressant gel got the job done. It was a brilliant effort!

I was also impressed by Arizona’s Paradise Valley Spanish Church. They converted a bingo hall into a spacious, 700-seat church for pennies on the dollar! Maybe SDA’s don’t always have to build churches.

La Sierra University sponsored an “Origins” seminar in which Elaine Kennedy, and geologist and retired Geoscience Research Institute scientist, “addressed beliefs and issues raised by Seventh-day Adventists about [dinosaurs], whether they existed and whether God created such predators”. Scary stuff for traditional Adventists! The report did not include Kennedy’s response.

Pacific Union College has a Film and Television Production Program. No telling what these kids will come up with. Does Hollywood beckon?


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

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