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Reviewing the Review: Adventist World edition

November 2009 – Vol. 5, No. 11
Note: Adventist World is free online. For that reason, I don’t feel obligated to review or comment on every article or editorial. Obviously, I consider it important to read official church publications. I want to keep abreast of what’s happening in my name, worldwide! And our administrators, editors, theologians, and inspirational writers need to know that what they write is important enough to be taken seriously. So, let them know what you like and what you don’t!
THE ADRA insert is a masterpiece of information, and makes a gift to that brilliant organization in the form of a check or a gift to “one of the least of these”, mandatory!
BEATING THE FLUE by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless can be counted on for excellent information and straight talk. “We have seen a proliferation in the emotional rhetoric of the antivaccine lobby, even one paper suggesting the WHO was going to make the vaccine mandatory in 194 countries at ‘gunpoint’. Such talk is ridiculous.”
ONE FAMILY, TWO LEGACIES reported by Mark A. Kellner, is the developing story of Babcock University in Nigeria. It currently has an enrollment of over 6,000 students. The General Conference and the Nigerian government are working together to establish a school of health sciences that will include a school of medicine.
THE STORY OF ANNIE SMITH by Erica Richards chronicles the life of a young woman who died at twenty-seven. But before her death, she wrote hymns that fortify faith and nourish heavenly hope. I was particularly drawn to her story because she wrote the words of my favorite Advent hymn.
Not far from home! O blessed thought!
The traveler’s lonely heart to cheer;
Which oft a healing balm has brought,
And dried the mourner’s tear.
Then weep no more, since we shall meet
Where weary footsteps never roam—
Our trials past, our joys complete,
Safe in our Father’s home.
Number 12, CHURCH ANYONE? By Chantal J. Klingbeil is the best-written and most understandable explanation of any Adventist Fundamental Belief in the ongoing series.
READING ELLEN WHITE IN THE 21st CENTURY by George R. Knight is a MUST READ. His Ten Important Principles to Keep in Mind not only make sense when reading Ellen White, they also make sense of many troubling biblical passages.
ASIAN ADVENTIST THEOLOGIANS COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN KOREA. “The conference was cosponsored by the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference, evidenced by the presence of three members of that team, including its director, Angel Rodríguez, and two associate directors, Kwabena Donkor and Clinton Wahlen.”
“One of the important actions of the conference was the unanimous request to recommend to the NSD executive committee the establishment of a regional biblical research committee that could begin to systematically discuss emerging theological questions and prepare helpful theological material for the growing church in that part of Asia.”
What the world needs is more parsing of literalist theology, NOT!
AMBASSADORS OF THE GOSPEL was an October 10 sermon by Jan Paulsen delivered to a congregation of church leaders from around the world attending Annual Council meetings at the Adventist world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, in which he urged the ordination of women and downplayed the academic fuss surrounding teaching college and university students about evolution. Church members will sorely miss his ability to keep the disparate elements of the Adventist Church from flying apart.
“How does your reconciled community use the gifts of its women and its young people? Are we entrusting them with leadership responsibilities? I appeal to you as leaders to look at this again. We have large segments of our spiritual family that need to be ‘brought in from the cold.’ I am sensitive to the fact that culture and local conventions must be respected, and there are great differences in this around the world, but do we have it right? I think not.
“How does your reconciled community relate to the scholars in our institutions of higher learning? They teach and counsel our youth. They seek to discover and clarify truth, and in their quest for truth they will sometimes articulate positions and findings that as a church we think are misguided; and we will address that. But we will not walk away from them, nor do I want them to walk away from the church. If there are aspects of our identity that should be adjusted—fine; we’ll talk about that. We will test them by Scripture and the writings of our prophet. But we must talk—openly, respectfully, and caringly. Then we must journey forward together, bonded by the ministry of reconciliation in which we share.”
I have no idea why Adventist World chose to print the following request from Donald Casebolt. However, it’s an indication of the fear generated when readers are exposed to irresponsible editorializing. As a result, Paulsen is forced to continually reassure the “faithful” that the Devil isn’t loose in the halls of Adventist academia. Unfortunately, fear mongering makes it impossible to have an informed discussion about anything!
“In view of Angel Rodriguez’s response in the July Bible Questions and Jan Paulsen’s statement in “Paulsen Speaks on Issue of Origins” (Adventist Review, July 9), is it not possible for folk in the General Conference or North American Division departments of education to determine which, if any, of our colleges are not teaching the literal six 24-hour days of creation? Would it not be fair to see that this information is printed in the Adventist World that goes to every church member?”

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