September 2009 - Vol. 5, No. 9
REVIEWS This is an outstanding issue of Adventist World. Jan Paulsen’s rhetoric has never been better, and the recurring theme is reflected in the title of Martin Weber’s piece, CHANGE OR DIE. (Note: Not all the articles and readers’ comments found in the NAD magazine edition and in this review can be found on the Adventist World website.)
Bill Knott’s editorial, HEALING—ABOVE ALL is a paean to song.
“Adventism, at its core, is about changed lives and healed spirits, not only changed ideas. Let’s covenant to tell—and sing—the stories of Christ’s healing when we gather in His name. Worship, at its heart, is our weekly celebration of the love that finds and heals us. And it’s our anticipation of the day when Jesus will make all things beautifully new.”
CHRIST’S HEALING IN A CHANGING WORLD is a July 7, 2009 address given by Jan Paulsen at the Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle in Geneva, Switzerland. This is a MUST READ.
“Quite simply, we cannot express our faith—our desire to imitate Christ—in seclusion; our values and our beliefs find their true meaning only within the context of human relationships. In the words of my former teacher Jürgen Moltmann, “Likeness to God cannot be lived in isolation. It can be lived only in human community” (J. Moltmann, God in Creation, p. 222).
“So what does it mean to live in connection with others? It means that your problems are not yours alone; they are also mine. It means having a sense of solidarity with humanity that makes me vulnerable, also, to its hurts and pain.
“Living in connection with others means seeing the large problems of society as collective human problems. I begin to see that poverty, for instance, is not just the result of random circumstances or arbitrary luck. If I live in comfort and someone else lives in distress, could there be a material relationship between these two conditions? Perhaps there is. In admitting this, my sense of isolation diminishes and my sense of responsibility for others grows.”
CHANGE OR DIE by Martin Weber is a sober assessment of possible Adventist futures.
“’If the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight. The only question is when.’ That warning from corporate guru Jack Welch is more than a principle from the business world. It’s also true that religious organizations cannot thrive, or even survive, without making changes necessary to fulfill their God-appointed purpose.”
In CLASSES, CULTURE, AND CHRIST, Sandra Blackmer reports on the unique ministry of Arizona’s Holbrook Indian School.
“Unlike most other schools off the reservations in the U.S. state of Arizona, Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School not only allows but encourages its students—most from the Navajo tribe—to embrace their Native American culture and keep alive their traditions.
“’Even though academics are very important, Holbrook’s main mission is to teach the students about Jesus,” says principal Janet Claymore-Ross. “But we also promote respect for their native culture.’
Claymore-Ross, a member of the Lakota tribe and the first Native American principal since the school was established in 1946, says that many of the values held by Native American people are the same as those cherished by Christians.
“’They value honesty and respect for each other as well as for nature,” she says. “If we really are Christians, if we really follow what Jesus says in the Bible, our beliefs blend with much of what they have learned.’”
PLUGGED IN by Amy Prindle asks the question, “What if a church were measured by GE’s principles of success?
“Businesses, charities, churches, schools, even social groups face dissipation or disbandment if th3 world changes around them and they fail to adapt. . .What if a church were measured by GE’s principles of success? A denomination’s strength and commitment might be gauged by its presences in areas of need.”
EMBRACING INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE by Brad Forbes describes how AdventSource is meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century.
TWO L.A. CHURCHES COLLABORATE WITH NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH FAIR, reported by Betty Cooney, chronicles that happened when Central Korean and Central Spanish matched their resources and their communities’ needs to serve 2000 low-income people.
Pedro Kalbermatter was God’s mighty warrior in the highlands of South America. He was THE NURSE WHO COULD FIGHT.
“Pedro and Mina got married and had two sons, but when they were invited to work in the Peruvian highlands, they gladly accepted. After days of traveling by train, truck, and boat, they got to their new workplace in the winter of 1919.
“The situation they found was far from ideal. The Kalbermatters saw that the Indians were mistreated and suffered destitution and neglect. However, every attempt to improve their condition was met with fierce opposition. The first mission school in the town of Saman was destroyed. Then Pedro went to Azangaro, where we find him on the day he went to meet an angry mob, armed only with the Scriptures.
“The crowd could not believe their eyes. The Protestant heretic was walking toward them, unarmed. He was smiling. They told him they would kill him, and started firing into the air. But Pedro did not retreat. On the contrary, he assured them the school was there to stay. Finally, the mob rode away, victim of a strange fear.
“That evening, Pedro conducted a thanksgiving service for being alive. From then on, the mission thrived.”
Angel Manuel Rodriguez answers the question, “ Where are the GLOOMY DUNGEONS FOR EVIL ANGELS?”
“Peter uses vivid language to describe the fate of evil angels. God “sent them to hell, putting them in gloomy dungeons.” In the Bible “hell” is the realm of the dead, the tomb. The common Greek word for “hell” is hades, which designates the place of the dead, the underworld. But in this case Peter uses a different word, a verb: tartaroo, “to cast into/to hold captive in tartaros.” In Greek mythology tartaros designated the deepest area of hades, reserved for the punishment of disobedient gods. Peter uses this image to express the idea that fallen angels are now in prisons of darkness and death, separated from the divine source of life. This is not a literal prison, because demons are still active in the world of humans (e.g., 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 9).”
NAD LETTERS “Something to Think About” a comment from Calvin Acuff from Morgantown, North Carolina, makes an important point.
“The Spirit of Prophecy is the Holy Spirit, not any writings, even those inspired by Him. . .This [reference] gives our critics reasons to claim Adventists think they have exclusive possession of His inspired writings. . .It would be more accurate to refer to them as prophetic messages of Spirit-inspired writings, identifying them accurately rather than calling them what they really are not.”
COMMENT A letter in WORLD EXCHANGE provides an example of the extent to which careless words* and innuendo** create a disturbing false reality! Consider these words from reader Marilyn Morgan in Kettle Falls, Washington.
“What should Adventist leaders do to stop professors from teaching that God did not create the world as told in Genesis? It seems they must be held responsible for hiring evolutionists and allowing them to teach their beliefs in classes of Adventist schools.” _____________________________________
*“Every Thought Captive” an article in the May 14, 2009, Adventist Review by Roy Adams. **“Honoring the Creator God”, an essay by Manuel Rodriguez in the July 2009, Adventist World.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1880