May 2009 - Vol. 5, No. 5
GENERAL COMMENTS Adventist World is worth reading, and it’s free to Adventists worldwide. It is also available online free of charge. For that reason I rarely quote extensively and never discuss every article, editorial, or letter. My comments reflect my interests and concerns, my reactions and my biases.
COMMENTS OUR COMMUNITY IN CHRIST is a thoughtful and inclusive editorial by Bill Knott. He closes his argument with a quote from Paul. “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11). I believe a modern paraphrase of that passage might transform it into the provocative testimony Paul intended to communicate to us. How about this one?
“There is no Greek or Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, Scythian slave nor free,” i.e.:
There is no Seventh-day Adventist, gay or straight, evolutionist or creationist, atheist or believer, right to lifer or freedom to chooser, Ellen White advocate or Bible only believer, Trinitarian or Arian, traditional Sabbath keeper or Sabbath interpreter, decaf drinker or coffee connoisseur, teetotaler or wine drinker, meat eater or vegan, Democrat or Republican, earlobe piercer or bling purist, regular member or never attender, professor or high school dropout, “beater” driver or classic car collector, last days informer or end time skeptic, theologian or “give me that old time religion” advocate, hymn singer or praise music enthusiast, organ lover or sax fan, arm waver or quiet listener, suit and tie man or Hawaiian shirt guy, minister or member, evangelist or doubter, Bible literalist or biblical scholar, King James purist or Message advocate, seven day creationist or creation myth supporter, universal flood upholder or local flooding exponent, lake-of-fire affirmer or torture denier, Christ paid the price announcer or Christ showed the way proclaimer, “but Christ is all and in all.”
Evangelism is a subject that is discussed repeatedly in this issue. My favorite report, and without doubt the most impressive and productive is PUERTO RICO’S SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS SKIP CHURCH, REACH COMMUNITY.
“Committed to making a positive difference in their communities, thousands of Seventh-day Adventists in Puerto Rico skipped church service on Sabbath, March 7, in order to distribute messages of hope in their communities, which are plagued with increasing violence. Church members passed out a free 16-page magazine entitled ‘A Look at the Puerto Rican Family.’ The massive distribution effort is the second island-wide activity of its kind for the church. Early last year some 250,000 magazines were distributed.”
PLANNING FOR A HARVEST is an interview of Dan Jackson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada reported by Crystal Holloway. Jackson’s comments are lukewarm in their support of traditional evangelistic campaigns. “I don’t think the days of proclamation are over; but how you do it is another thing. How you engage people is another thing. Traditional public evangelism is not, nor should it be, the only way to reach out to a community. . .I don’t think you always need to have the spotlights and the auditorium. A small group ministry can be very effective. . .”
COUNTDOWN TO EVANGELISM reported by Bernadine Delafield provides little evidence that the 2009 Year of Evangelism will meet its goal of 100,000 baptisms.
Jan Paulsen will be sorely missed when he steps down as General Conference President. 5 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED is the self-portrait of effective Christian leadership. It’s a MUST READ.
ONE DETERMINED LADY by Roy Branson is another MUST READ. It’s a biographical portrait of Anna Knight, an African American nurse and daughter of a slave, that supported her missionary work in the South at the beginning of the 20th century with a fast horse, a revolver, and a shotgun!
THE EFFECTS OF JANUDICE by Handysides and Landless is well written and informative.
The Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies operated by the General Conference is located 27 miles south of Manila. LABORATORY FOR LEADERSHIP: THE AIIAS STORY is reported by Gina Wahlen and confirms a 135-year commitment to Adventist education worldwide.
THE HOPE CHANNEL JOINS DIRECTTV’S LINEUP on channel 368.
Angel Manuel Rodriguez defines the biblical use of the phrase, “patient endurance” as FAITHFUL UNDER PRESSURE in fewer than 600 words.
In his Bible Study, LIFE-CHANGING FAITH, Mark A. Finley assures the reader that “we can have an abundance of life-changing faith” which is “a gift from heaven” and something each of us receives “a measure of. . .when we accept Jesus and become part of God’s family”. “Faith is not our Savior; Jesus is our Savior. Salvation is a gift of grace. When we trust God in an act of faith, we receive His grace. Even the faith we exercise to receive God’s gift of salvation is itself a gift.” “Faith in God is the secret to dealing with worry, anxiety, guilt, fear, and defeat.”
Next month [Finley] will begin a series on the book of Revelation, beginning with “Revelation’s Incomparable Jesus”. It appears my “faith” will require the gift patient endurance.
Andy Hanson is Professor Emeritus of Education at California State University, Chico, and blogs at Adventist Perspective.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1679