GENERAL COMMENTS: This is an issue that evangelical Adventists could celebrate wholeheartedly. Since I am not an evangelical Adventist, I have a few theological "bones to pick" with some of the statements of belief. However, on the whole, this edition of Adventist World is an inspiring read.
EDITORIAL: Bill Knott asks "Adventists to weep and plead before the Lord". Bill, do you honestly believe that these tactics moved our prayers to the front of the line?
WORLD REPORT Brazil Adventist leadership enabled the nationwide Christmas Food Collection Initiative to provide 3200 tons of food for local food banks to help Brazilians in need.
Dominican Republic SDA leaders met with the Dominican Republic's President, Leonel Fernández Reina, “to discuss the church's work on the island and worldwide”. “The Adventist Church, with its more than 238,000 members operates 92 elementary and secondary schools, one university, six radio stations, and one hospital."
South Pacific "Most of the 54 health clinics operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific are reportedly in need of more emergency care in the patients they serve. Some 70 percent don't have medical equipment to check blood pressure." There is now an Adopt a Clinic Program that will enable local churches to sponsor a clinic. A lot of interesting things are happening in the South Pacific that should make all of us proud! Check out this website. “http://adventist.org.au/about_site”
Belarus The membership in the Adventist Church is growing. There are now 5000 members and 83 churches and companies.
WORKING TOGETHER, SEEKING CONSENSUS pretty much describes what happened at the 2007 General Conference's Annual Council. According to Jan Paulsen, the broadest possible spectrum of the Church was involved in decision-making. I'm not convinced. In the three pictures of delegates, I spotted only one woman. She was sitting at the back of a room full of men, her face partially obscured.
Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless made their usual outstanding contribution to Adventist World. REDUCING CANCER RISK reflects principals that "have been confirmed by the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Studies and are now formulated as prevention guidelines throughout the world".
CHURCH PLANTING, THEN AND NOW proclaims that it's a New Testament model that makes you evangelistic sense. I agree. However Jeff Potts and Don Schneider don't seem to be aware that planting a church in the Northern California Conference is next to impossible. If the requirements for a church plant obtained to many existing small churches, they would be without a pastor or official membership in the sisterhood of churches.
THE POWER OF HOPE by Adrian Bocaneanu, Director of the Hope Channel in Romania, is worth reading primarily because of the story of Beatrice, a seventh grader who attended school in Bucharest 25 years ago.
Lawrence G. Downing is a personal friend who has been a contributor to this blog. THE AWESOME DIMENSIONS OF LOVE is his gift to everyone who loves the words of John 3:16. Larry, I would make only one change if I had been asked to be your editor. When you say that we are saved "through faith, by our belief -- our trust -- in Jesus Christ", I would have urged you to change that phrase as follows: We are saved "through faith, by our belief -- our trust -- in the Gospel as preached by Jesus Christ." I know that you don't believe that salvation is a magic act.
FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES by Cesar Antonio Gonzalez is a well deserved tribute to the work of Nelson Rodriguez and REACH INTERNATIONAL, Inc.," a humanitarian aid organization based in Barrien Springs, Michigan. El Hogar de Niño's provides hundreds of poor rural children in Honduras with day care, elementary and secondary education, and a vocational nursing program. “firstname.lastname@example.org”
The ADRA'S WORLD insert is a masterpiece of graphic art and content. In this issue ADRA provides additional proof that this program is the best thing the Seventh-day Adventist Church has going for it. It's disaster relief efforts are the Gospel message in real-time. ("In response to the tsunami disaster [of December 26, 2004], the ADRA network is continuing to provide aid valued at more than $39 million.")
FOUNTAINS OF TEARS is a heartbreaking account of the tsunami disaster related by the women of Sothikuppam, a village on the southeast coast of India. Each of these women lost at least one child.
The ADRA insert also provides an illustrated survival Kit that answers the question, WHAT DO DISASTER SURVIVORS NEED? This is vital information provided by a worldwide publication. Pastor Charles Sandefur, ADRA's President, is doing a brilliant job of directing a very special organization. "www.ADRA.org"
SALVATION AND SOCIAL ACTION by R. Steven Norman III provides a fascinating account of schools for African-Americans in the South following the Civil War. Edson and Emma White led an extensive Adventist educational effort.
2009 is DECLARED YEAR OF PASTORAL EVANGELISM by Ron Clouzet. The plans outlined here are well-meaning but doomed to fail for the following reasons: the emphasis is on increasing membership rather then personal ministry, the campaign as outlined is prescriptive in ways that will make local pastors and congregations cringe, and the language used to describe this evangelistic effort is vague and jingoistic.
Ansel Oliver reports that ADVENTIST STUDENTS SCORE HIGHER THAN NATIONAL NORMS.
Clifford Goldstein has written another book, LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS.
COMMITTED TO CARING by Adriel D. Chilson is a short biography of Adventism's first female physician. Katie Lindsay received her medical degree in 1875 and worked at the Battle Creek Medical and Surgical Sanitarium under Dr. J. H. Kellogg. She founded the hospital's first nursing school, and subsequently worked in South Africa and Colorado. She died in 1923. She was quite a lady.
MAKING SENSE OF CREATION by Graeme Loftus offers no new insight into the creation versus evolution debate. The assumptions of evolution he lists are outlined in a 1960 publication, and he uses only scriptural evidence to support the creation argument. There was one interesting quote he attributed to "someone" that I found interesting. "If Jesus hadn't limited the command to Lazarus alone, every dead person in the grave would have come forth at His words."
LIVING AS PEOPLE OF HOPE by Ellen White is impressive not only for its spiritual insights but the editorial excellence of its presentation. (Editors, a number of contributors to World and the Review need your skills as they struggle to present their ideas and information. Don't hesitate to provide them.)
Angel Manuel Rodriguez' is right. "The meaning of Christ's death remains an important subject of discussion in the church, and in some cases can be divisive.” Absolutely! SET FREE! is his attempt to support the notion that Christ died as "a penalty for our sins" by using lots of Old Testament quotations and misinterpreting Paul.
Rodriguez quotes Galatians 3:13. Taken in context, Paul is writing about the curse of the Mosaic Law. It is not Paul's intent to assert, as does Rodriguez, that the "legal demand of the [Mosaic] law was met by [the death of] Jesus". Paul is anything but a legalist!
In his Bible study, WHEN GOD CREATED REST, Mark A. Finley conveniently forgets that the rules for Sabbath observation originated at Sinai, not in Genesis 2:2.
DADDY'S SHOULDERS by Barbara Croce is a gentle reminder that God can be trusted.
LETTERS, as identified under the heading of WORLD EXCHANGE, THE PLACE OF PRAYER, or NAD LETTERS are an important part of Adventist World. I wish they were a featured part of the magazine and not split up and relegated to the back pages.
Andy Hanson is a professor of Education at California State University, Chico.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/374