July 24, 2008 Vol 185, No. 21
GENERAL COMMENTS This is an excellent issue! Bouquets have been awarded to Back to the Future by Cindy Tutsch, Another Form of Legalism by Roy Adams, and Sundae Laws By Michael D. Peabody. (I also reviewed some other excellent pieces.) Calvin Rock earned a Black Eye with his Revisiting "the Obama Message" for totally missing the point and insulting “Whites” as “untested”
The writing is uniformly good and is noticeably superior to the last issue. It makes me wonder if different editorial teams are responsible for different issues.
COVER STORY Back to our Future by Cindy Tutsch is a MUST READ. “There are also incredible stories of faith and heroism demonstrated in the lives of our early Adventist pioneers. Many of our spiritual ancestors endured bitter cold, oppressive heat, rain, snow, poor-quality and scanty food, smoke-filled accommodations, and separation from family in order to take the gospel to far regions by boat, sleigh, train, buggy, and foot. How did a handful of mostly nonwealthy visionaries build churches and establish publishing houses, hospitals, and schools in the early days of our Adventist movement? The miracle stories of God’s intervention coupled with the faith and sacrifice of His people abound!”
ARTICLES Revisiting "the Obama Message" by Calvin Rock. “The Adventist Review has continued to receive many thoughtful responses to Fredrick Russell's February 21 column, “The Obama Message.” Among these was this focused piece from Calvin B. Rock. . . We offer it here to continue the dialogue about how the Adventist Church in North America should address the continuing challenge of racial and cultural differences among its members.—Editors.
“Pastor Fredrick Russell’s column of several months ago, “The Obama Message,” contains several disturbing misjudgments, and a curious conclusion that the early successes of Barack Obama’s campaign for the Democratic Party nomination signal that our church has no further need for its structural accommodation labeled Black or regional conferences.”
In this first paragraph, Rock creates a “straw man” and then proceeds to destroy him, gratuitously insulting “nontested” “White” administrators, members, and congregations along the way. I suggest that you read Fredrick Russell’s column for yourself and decide whether Rock’s summary of Russell’s argument is accurate.
I was reluctant to award Rock a Black Eye until I read his final argument. It is an unwitting testimony for change and The Obama Message!
“The most sobering deterrent to optimism regarding racial conditions in the U.S. is Ellen White’s telling statement of more than a century ago: “The relation of the two races has been a matter hard to deal with, and I fear that it will ever remain a most perplexing problem” (The Southern Work, p. 84).
Sundae Laws by Michael D. Peabody is a delightful MUST READ. “What few people realize about this simple dessert, however, is that it was actually invented as a loophole to avoid stringent Sunday laws that prevented the sale of “soda water” during the late 1800s. As the wild frontiers of the Midwest transformed into residential streets and the bawdy songs of the saloon faded into “Sweet Adeline” sung by barbershop quartets, members of the clergy began to be concerned about the direction society was taking.”—Editors
“In response to the powerful local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), Evanston was among the first to pass a law forbidding the sale of ice-cream sodas on Sunday. A customer soon walked into William Garwood’s drugstore and ordered an ice-cream soda. Mr. Garwood took a look at the situation and made the customer an ice-cream soda without the soda, leaving the syrup and ice cream. Mr. Garwood called this the Sunday soda, or Sunday, and sold it one day a week. The WCTU took serious umbrage at this name that mocked their efforts and demanded that it be changed. Mr. Garwood changed it—to sundae.”
DEPARTMENTS The Fallacy of a Final Theory by Clifford Goldstein Goldstein argues that “logic alone suggests that any final theory of the natural realm can be found only in a supernatural one.”
Cliff, logic “is the branch of philosophy that deals with the theory of deductive and inductive arguments and aims to distinguish good from bad reasoning”. It is only a philosophical tool. In other words “logic alone” can’t “suggest” anything!
Weight-Loss Diets by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless “The simplest approach to weight loss is a total plant-based diet (TPBD) that includes vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium supplementation. A TPB diet tends to have fewer calories than the average lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, and for those concerned with weight it is a simple approach to weight loss. We cannot recommend a TPB diet to people with dietary deficiency, but for obese individuals a TPB diet could answer their need.”
Pew Survey Shows Adventist “Family” views Are Similar to U.S. Evangelicals by Bonnie McLean and Mark A. Kelllner Fascinating facts! I was startled to discover that more than half of the Adventist population are registered Democrats. Sadly, “67 percent of Seventh-day Adventists surveyed believed [homosexuality] should not be accepted.”
Taught by a Child by Sandra J. Balli Balli suggests that intentionally inviting children to lead in your kid-friendly programs may reap untold awards.
“Looking wearily at Ritchie, I wondered what to do about his attention-seeking antics. He was a nice [ten-year-old] kid, I reasoned, even appealing, with tousled brown hair, a mischievous grin, and round, freckled cheeks. After pondering several solutions for keeping Sabbath school manageable, I decided on a standard remedy. I asked Ritchie if he would like to lead song service the next Sabbath. Get him involved, I thought, and all eyes will be on him for at least 15 minutes. Ritchie’s eyes widened at my question, but he didn’t hesitate. ‘Can I be in charge of the whole program?’ he asked.
Kids View edited by Wilona Karimabadi and Kimberly Luste Maran This is the best Kids View so far. Both editors are to be congratulated for creating what is soon to become, a “stand alone” magazine for kids. It will be free to subscribers and included in the Review.
EDITORIALS Another Form of Legalism by Roy Adams is a MUST READ. Adams’ passionate editorial makes the point that readers should be skeptical of the “diagnostic questions” that produce the misleading conclusions of religious surveys. ____
Andy Hanson is Professor of Education at California State University, Chico and he blogs at Adventist Perspective.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/847