Sabbath, September 24, 2022 - 12:00pm Pacific Time.
Michael Campbell will present: "Recovering Stories of Forgotten Women from our Adventist Past."
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2022/michael-campbell-and-jack-hoehn-two-forum-zoom-events-sabbath
I did not know Campbell, but have known Jack Hoehn for years, since we were staff at Camp Cedar Falls in So. Cal. In the late 60s and early 70s. We worked together at Mawmi Hospital for several years, the best years of my life and the ones where we both agree, we contributed most positively to his sad world. I remember them with warm feelings.
Jack has become more liberal over the past 20 years or so, leaving the thinking of his parents, and other more conservative\ Adventists .
His book, Adventist Tomorrow is a vision of what he thinks Adventism should look like in the future. That is, it should adopt his more liberal thinking. Such ideas as the acceptance of evolution as fact, homosexual behavior as normative, and 1844 as a mistake and meaningless. In fact, he feels it must do this to become competitive with the younger generation.
This is wishful thinking for several reasons.
- Liberal Adventism does not have staying power. One need only peruse the statements on this forum to see that liberal thinking characterizes people that are generally ,moving away from membership. You cannot build a healthy church on disgruntled folk.
- Liberal Protestants churches are shrinking across the board.
- Third world Adventists will not allow such a change. They did not even vote in WO, and have no sympathy for other more liberal positions.
- Abandoning Creationism and the meaning of 1844 are like a knife in the heart of Adventism. Our historical interpretation of prophecy is huge in showing God can see the future and saw even the history of the church to our age, a comfort to the faithful. And adopting an old earth position undermines the Sabbath no matter what you think of Deuteronomy’s statement of the fourth commandment.
I wish Jack well, I love him as the great friend he was and the leadership he displayed in Africa, a difficult position, and one he filled well as a man of God… But I think the path this book maps out leads to sorrow in the end.
I agree with you about liberal Adventism or liberal anything-it is death! However, the reality that our understanding of Creationism and 1844 needs up dating.
I think Jack’s book is quite relevant in today’s world especially in more secular nations where there are more free thinkers that challange our more traditional doctrines.
Even more traditional (Conservative) continents like Africa and South America are realising that fundamental Christian values don’t make a lot of sense and are more open to things like WO, old creation etc.
At least they are asking questions in light of observable science and better understanding of the bible, the church has not done the same in advancing our present truth unfortunately, so even though it’s hard for conservative adventists to hear this, eventually they would be forced to reassess their understanding of doctrines.
I think JH with all of his years doing missionary work has realised the futility of fundamental idealogy and believes a more Liberal biblical view is the way to go and MC being younger and not so influenced by the idealogy is able to promote a more Liberal view and off course seeing success especially among the younger generation. Shame GC doesn’t see things in the reality we live in now.
I must say I laughed out loud when I read this phrase.
I just got done reading an article this morning on Realclearreligion called “Polyamory, Africa and Methodism.” It was by a group called Juicy Ecumenism. The article introduces an anonymous Methodist pastor who wishes the church endorsed free love which he practices surreptitiously. He and his wife both have partners of both sexes and bemoan the fact they must do things under cover. The more liberal wing is discussing doing away with any codes on sexual practice.
The liberal part of the Methodist church in America is separating itself or attempting to from its more conservative brethren here in America. The Africans are debating what to do, but liberal ideology is not something they are interested in. And Africa is the place where Methodism is growing.
I suggest you read this article on Methodism which has been struggling with homosexuality for decades. Although the American United Methodist Church will retain the moniker, membership is dwindling rapidly.
It would really be a mistake for Adventism to start traveling such a pathway. Talk about futility!
Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll hunt it down and have a read, in the meantime, I would say though that there is a level of relativeness when it come to comparing Adventism to other protestant denominations.
In general, liberal Adventism would fall within middle to conservative methodism and probably conservative when talking about Southern Baptists so at our most Liberal, we’re still quite a conservative bunch to the rest of Christiandom.
I don’t think Jack would consider it complementary to be called conservative.
Don’t you think the Methodist have just traveled further along the path that liberal Adventists are exploring? Once you have untethered yourself from scripture it seems to me that just about anything can be possible. I have read over the years how the Methodist have dealt with this issue, and I don’t see that excepting homosexual behavior as normative can lead to anything other than what is happening in the Methodist Church. Perhaps I’m just pessimistic and cynical but other denominations have fallen into this trap as well.
I have been reading recently about the oxygen evolving complex, the part of photosynthesis involved in producing oxygen. The reaction center is a group of atoms consisting of four manganese atoms five oxygen and one calcium atom in a complex (Mn4O5Ca). Knowing the chemistry of these elements it is surprising to realize that they can hang together in this way. I was astounded by its complexity and creativity. 2 water molecules are oxidized to yield 4 electrons, 4 hydrogen ions and O2 as a byproduct, That is, the O2 is waste!
Photosynthesis and this particular complex is what gives oxygen to our atmosphere. Evolutionists have proposed that this occurred very early in the evolution of life. It is impossible for such a complex to have come about by gradual processes.
The very oxygen we breathe is dependent on this chemical. Only God could have created it. And if he is active even in the chemistry of our lives it seems that evolution is a barren and untruthful desert. I can see no reason to travel to such a wasteland .
My definition of ‘liberal’, one who dares to think, explore, ask question, in other words seek out what is not currently known. Not that different from the standard dictionary:
willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas
Conservative for me means not wanting to move forward but holding on to the past. Again, not different from the dictionary.
averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values
I found Jacks book very interesting, he suggests possible solutions rather that just ‘finding fault’. The issue is change, which indicates something that is dynamic. The opposite of that is static. Change is life affirming and natural, it is all around us. What is dying is the idea of being static/stasis.
I don’t have much to say about your definitions, Liberals are forward looking, and conservatives are static backward looking and well, adverse to progress. Just reactionary!
But have you followed the liberal churches at all? I gave one example, the Methodists, who have been riven by controversy. And the liberal portion is contracting. And the comments on this site are not exactly positive toward the Adventist church. Like I said, liberals do not have staying power: you can’t build an organization on disgruntled people Other liberal churches are experiencing the same negative process.
There needs to be a balance, for conservatives do have staying power, but they are less likely to think of innovation when it is needed. But to feel that what the church really needs and only needs is the liberal mindset is destructive, and you can see it in the Methodist church as I have noted. Read the article.
Conservative Adventist’s will steady the church in troublous times. Liberals will help it move forward in stagnant times. But liberals too often go off the rails thinking that to change things will undoubtedly lead to progress. That is just plain not the case.
And I think Jack makes that mistake. His vision will not lead to a better Adventist church, but a less viable one.
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