Friday Forum Book Group — Pandemic

On Friday, December 11, 2020, Adventist Forum held its Friday Forum Book Group with panelists Andy Lampkin, PhD, bioethics professor at AdventHealth University, Mark Carr, MDiv, PhD, regional director of Ethics for Providence Health & Services, and Hanz Gutierrez, chair of the Systematic Theology Department at the Italian Adventist Theological Faculty of “Villa Aurora” and director of the CECSUR (Cultural Center for Human and Religious Sciences) in Florence, Italy.

They discussed God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus by N. T. Wright (published by Zondervan, June 19, 2020, 96 pages) and In the Time of Coronavirus: Chronicles of a Pandemic by Hanz Gutierrez (published by Adventist Forum, forthcoming, 81 pages). Read Hanz Gutierrez’s columns about the pandemic, which will be published as the above-mentioned book, by clicking here.

This discussion was hosted by Adventist Forum Board Chair Carmen Lau and board member Alexander Carpenter. Spectrum Journal Editor Bonnie Dwyer and Managing Editor Alisa Williams are conversation partners for the Friday Forum which seeks to promote community, value scholarship, and imagine ways for Adventists to live an abundant kingdom life together.

WATCH the Friday Forum discussion below are on our Vimeo page by clicking here:

Read a book review of God and the Pandemic, written by Andy Lampkin for Spectrumby clicking here.

Read a book review of In the Time of Coronavirus, written by Mark Carr for Spectrumby clicking here.

To view our Friday Forum Reading List and Schedule click here.


Alisa Williams is managing editor of

Image credit: Unsplash / Spectrum


We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The question of course, is the conundrum (supposedly) of Christians following COVID guidelines and restrictions. If the roads are closed from a blizzard, what church member would tell folks to go ahead and drive to church…God will protect you.


There is no conundrum. If you have read in the Gospels the temptations of Jesus by Lucifer, there is only one conclusion as to this question. The second temptation was where Lucifer took Jesus to the top of temple and told him “If your the son of God as you say, then throw yourself off of this steeple and your Father will send his angels to catch you”. If this is one of only three great temptations that Jesus experienced? It must be important.

The entire issue is this sin, the sin of presumption. Placing yourself or someone else in a, known to be, dangerous position while thinking that because you are doing what you think God wants you to do, that He will save your from your foolish behavior.

All of these churches who are defying rules that were put in place to save lives are being presumptuous. They are saying “because I believe I am doing what God wants me to do” while placing myself and others in harms way that God will intervene and save me from my foolish actions. It is truly disgusting that many religious congregations are falling victim of this presumptuous sin. I hope Adventists aren’t that foolish…but I am afraid to even ask if there are some within our denomination that are defying regulations that are only in place to keep people safe.


Amen, amen, and amen.