July 2009 - Vol. 5, No. 7
Angel Manuel Rodriguez, Director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference, evidently believes that HONORING THE CREATOR GOD includes the invitation to join in a witch-hunt! His editorial purports to be written in response to the following question: “Is it true that some Adventist scientists and theologians no longer believe that God created everything in six literal days?” The answer to that question is “yes”. Is it true that “their reading of Genesis 1-11 is based on a particular understanding of revelation and inspiration?” The answer to that question is “yes”.
Does it follow that failure to believe in a six-day creation week means that these scientists and theologians embrace “some type of evolutionary model”, “No!”
Does it follow that these men and women are “evolutionists?” “No!”
These folks may be more comfortable with the other story of creation found in Genesis 2* which does not involve the creation of the universe after the earth was created. This seems eminently in keeping with Rodriguez’s assertion “that a passage is to be interpreted in its literal sense unless the context points in a different direction”.
When Rodriguez goes on to add, without evidence, that these scientists and theologians are “evolutionists” who use “science” to “define Christian theology and doctrine”, he has destroyed his credibility and called into question any future “authoritative” pronouncement from the Biblical Research Institute. When he proceeds to address the parents of students currently enrolled in Adventist educational institutions in the two paragraphs following the heading, YOUR CONCERN,** he is guilty of fear mongering.
*This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground. Genesis 2:4&5
**Space does not allow me to say more about the tragedy of Adventists who are evolutionists. But I do want to address the concern expressed in your communication about what Adventist parents should do in this situation. I agree that having teachers in our colleges and universities arguing and supporting the idea that natural evolution is the best alternative for the understanding of origins is outrageous. They not only violate the meaning of the biblical text, but also violate the trust the church placed in them by calling them to teach our young people.
Your alternatives are few. Remember, you are paying for your children to obtain an Adventist education; and if the school is not providing what you’re paying for, you have to make a decision. This is what I suggest: Visit our colleges and talk to the teachers about their views on natural evolution and their interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. If you are unsatisfied with their answers, discourage your son or daughter from attending that school. Most teachers in other Adventist schools stand by what the Bible teaches. You may also want to inform the school’s administration about your findings.
Maybe it’s just me, but setting out on a 12 month, secret campaign to get a neighbor to join the Adventist Church, seems unethical, distasteful, and unchristian. ONE SOUL FOR CHRIST, 11 STEPS FOR EVANGELISM IN A SECULAR SOCIETY by Dragan Stojanovic isn’t my idea of evangelism.
REVELATION’S SLAIN LAMB, the Bible Study by Mark Finley, is unsettling. The sight of a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes* is “one of the most moving scenes in all the Bible”? And I’m pretty sure that citing Rev. 13:8, is a mistake.**
*1. One of the most moving scenes in all the Bible is when, in prophetic vision, John gazed into heaven and saw the heavenly judgment (Rev. 5:1, 2). The scrolls of heaven’s eternal records were opened. What did John see in the midst of this scene of solemn judgment?
“And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6).
**2. When did the plan of salvation go into effect? Circle the correct answer in the text below.
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
REVIEWS WORLD REPORT continues to inspire, as does the monthly LOMA LINDA REPORT. The medical information conveyed by Handysides and Landless. RADIATION RISKS is a MUST READ.
The Cover Story, NEW MAN AT JAMAICA’S HELM, reported by Mark A. Kellner, is a brief biography of the Honorable Doctor Patrick Linton Allen, ON, CD, who has just assumed the role of Jamaica’s Head of State. It’s the life of an Adventist Pastor whose life has inspired the confidence of a nation.
THE LITTLE BOAT THAT COULD is taken from the book, Light Bearer to the Amazon, Leo and Jessie’s memoir of their 38 years of dispensing medicine and the gospel on their boat, The Luzerio I, on the Amazon River between Belem and Manaus. It is an inspirational MUST READ.
The story told by Mathurin Diatta, A FAITHFUL AND TRUE FRIEND, has been awarded a BOUQUET. It moved me to tears. It’s a story of love and friendship and a heart breaking metaphor for the love of God.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1748