GENERAL COMMENTS As usual, I suggest glancing at WORLD REPORT and WORLD VIEW for a quick check of what’s happening around the world. I found INTO POLAND by Hans Olson of particular interest.
REVIEWS ABOUT HERNIAS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT by Marvin Atchison is a fascinating informational read and a thoughtful metaphor.
Hernias, like sin, are common to humanity and found in all ages, genders, locales, and peoples of the world. There are myriad subtypes of hernias, yet most occur in rather customary sites—in areas of congenital or acquired weakness, such as the groin, the navel, and surgical scars. Despite their differences, all hernias carry the same potentially fatal risk of incarceration and subsequent strangulation, the involved organ becoming trapped in the hernia and then having its blood supply compromised, respectively.
While all analogies fail eventually, let us in closing extend this one step further, looking beyond our own navels to consider God’s lost children. Rather than sitting in judgment and condemnation as the supposedly righteous are prone, let us approach sinners as we would our loved ones with hernias. “We must set ourselves against sin, as we do against sickness and diseases, by showing ourselves tender and compassionate to the sick and diseased. Then we can be emissaries of grace to the fallen, not driving them away, but drawing them toward the Great Surgeon.
WHAT IS THE EARTH TELLING US? Is an account of what happened during the Haiti earthquake by a survivor. Jerry Jean shares his story.
The Earthquake Hits A deathly silence descended on the auditorium. Then, as if a battle tank had broken into the building, I heard a terrible conflagration. I did not understand what was going on. Everyone else fled while I stood there, riveted to the platform. I looked up and saw the ceiling—supported by strong steel beams—open up to reveal a deep-blue sky. Stunned, I watched as it closed again, moved as if by a gentle hand. The 18-foot wall behind the platform looked as if it was made of cardboard, trembling as if ready to crash down on me. But instead of dashing for safety, I stayed where I was, transfixed.
The slats in the windows had been blown away, leaving a trail of whitish smoke behind. The cables connecting the speakers sparked as if to warn me of greater danger still to come.
During the entire 35 seconds of the quake, I couldn’t stop wondering what was going on. As I watched the stupendous scene unfold, I thought how foolish it would be to run down the center aisle toward the exit, only to be hit by a crashing piece of the building. I then noticed two theology students prostrate on their knees praying. They later told me they thought this would be the best position to be in when facing death.
Once the first shock subsided, I collected the satchel I had left at my seat and calmly walked toward the exit. It was only when I came close to the stairwell supporting the bleachers that I realized it was cracked and soon would collapse. I hurried out.
Once outside, I was met with desolation everywhere: two thirds of the seminary building had been destroyed, as well as a great portion of the men’s and women’s dormitories and the publishing house and its shipping annex. The university bookstore and the wall protecting the campus had collapsed. Students were lying on the ground sobbing, unable to stand on their feet, overwhelmed by their feelings. Praise songs tumbled out of their quivering lips as they thanked a merciful God for sparing their lives. With knees shaking and unable to speak more than a few words, I asked for a cell phone to call my wife, only to discover there was no signal. My mind now racing with anguish, I thought of her and our children. All the students who were inside the auditorium were alive, but what about my family? Thank God, I later learned that He had spared their lives!
Michael W. Campbell makes a telling, if inadvertent, argument for women’s ordination in ELLEN G. WHITE AS MODEL EVANGELIST.
Ellen White deserves to be recognized with some of the most influential evangelists in Seventh-day Adventist history. While it is certainly true that her prophetic ministry was significant and continues to exert a considerable influence within Adventism, her ministry was firmly rooted in her own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She passionately wanted to share Jesus Christ with people. At first she resisted attempts to speak in public, but her desire to share Jesus overcame her initial hesitancy. Whether in public or private Ellen White was an effective evangelist because she shared Jesus Christ with those around her.
IS SOY SAFE by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless is a common sense appraisal of soy protein.
For the vegetarian, mixing grains with legumes and nuts provides a full spectrum of amino acids that is totally satisfying to all kinds of people—athlete, growing adolescent, or even the pregnant mother-to-be. This means that soy products, as good as they are, do not have to be a part of the vegetarian diet for it to be satisfactory…whole soy products such as soy milk, tofu, the whole bean, or miso (a traditional Japanese seasoning) appear to confer an advantage to female breast cancer survivors.
PALM TREES by Robert G. Wearner provides everything you need to know about date palms. He was inspired to write this piece by the following verses. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree….They will still bear fruit in old age, they stay fresh and green” (Ps. 92:12-14, NIV).
Angel Manuel Rodriguez weighs in on the following question: Don’t you think that the killing of animals as Old Testament sacrifices was a type of animal cruelty? In THE WAGES OF SIN he answers the question after discussing animal sacrifice as an expression of religious feelings, dietary significance, and atonement and sacrifice.
The sacrificial killing of animals brought with it pain and suffering. We don’t know how animals were slaughtered, but it has been suggested that the Hebrew verb shachat, “to slaughter,” really means to “slit the throat.” In that case the only pain was the cut that drained the blood and soon rendered the animal unconscious. The divine intention was to reduce suffering to a minimum, thus showing God’s concern for animals. Later Jewish traditions required that the knife used be sharp and smooth to avoid inflicting unnecessary pain to the victim.
In “SPIRITUAL PERILS” REVISITED, Roy Adams share positive and negative responses to his editorial review of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young in the May, 2010, Adventist World. If you wish to review my comment, here it is.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2594