February 19, 2007

Web Letters

Useful Gifts
I am encouraged to read that Teenie Finley has responded to God’s call to use her gifts to evangelize through preaching, as well as empowering an age-inclusive church to engage in the spiritual nurture of the community (“Switching Gears,” Feb. 15, 2007).

In her own life and in her writings, Ellen White embodied an essential leadership concept--that cultural position, economic status, education, gender, age, or physical attractiveness are no predictors or limitations to God’s leadership calling. She wrote: “There are women who should labor in the gospel ministry” (Ms 43a, March 22, 1898).

“If there were twenty women where now there is one, who would make this holy mission [preaching] their cherished work, we should see many more converted to the truth. The refining, softening influence of Christian women is needed in the great work of preaching the truth” (Review and Herald, Jan. 2, 1879).

“It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 322).

“Never, never feel the slightest disturbance because the Lord is raising up youth to lift and carry the heavier burdens and proclaim the message of truth” (Letter to Elder Haskell, Sidney, Australia, Dec. 11, 1891, Letter 14, 1891). How important that the body of Christ allow the Holy Spirit to anoint whom He will.

Cindy Tutsch, associate director
Ellen G. White Estate
I just finished a hurried reading of the January 25, 2007 issue of the Adventist Review. What a blessing it was! Somehow I ended with the lead article, “A Voice on the Hill.” When I closed the magazine and sat contemplating the cover, my heart swelled with pride about what God is doing through our church. From the Standish article about our endeavors to keep freedom before our lawmakers, to Valerie Phillips simple poem so beautifully illustrated, to the Russian evangelism article, to the wonderful Trinity article that gave me a fresh glimpse of our God, to the two heaven-focused articles--pure inspiration.

Thank you for such a fine example of what God can do through dedicated people.”

Mary Bishop
Arroyo Grande, California

What Was the Point?
I hope I am missing the point of Roy Adams’ editorial, “A Tragic Lesson” (Jan. 25, 2007). Was he trying to point out how stupid it is to go out into the dessert without water? Or was he trying to warn his fellow ministers that if they question church dogma they will be defrocked and God will kill them? If this is truly the attitude of our church, then count me out.
Ron Nielsen
The writer has a point, though neither of his two descriptions of my possible motive for the editorial fits the case. I’m not an expert on Pike, but I’ve read a good deal on him over the years, much of which could not come out in so short a piece. Almost every aspect of his story was tragic. And saturated as I was with it when I wrote, I unconsciously assumed too much--that readers would be able to draw their own lesson from the reckless willfulness that characterized the bishop’s entire life, of which his foray into that wicked desert was the final example. I hesitate to draw out the lesson in this space, there being no room for elaboration or caveats. But passages like Proverbs 16:18 and 1 Timothy 1:18, 19 come to mind.--Roy Adams.

All About Spirituality
Thank you for Marek Jantos’ article, “Spirituality in the Twenty-first Century” (Jan. 18, 2007). A lot of application and dialogue is needed within Adventism to understand and engage both our own, and other, ideas around spirituality. Marek’s article is a helpful beginning such dialogue.
Mario DeLise
A Small, but Important Part
Kudos to Gerald Colvin for his article, “An Adventist View of the Universe” (Jan. 11, 2007). Sometimes we creationists get an egocentric and geocentric view of the universe. We need to realize that our world is but a speck in the solar system, and the solar system is but a speck in the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way is but a speck in the universe of galaxies.

God is much more than we envision or imagine. The vastness of space and time boggles the mind, and in awe we are forced to agree with the psalmist, “When I consider the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him” (Ps. 8:4, NKJV).

How can any logical person think that it all came into existence on the first (or fourth) day of creation week? How can any logical person think that this earth existed alone in space before the sun, the moon, the planets, or the stars?

My fireplace is composed of Indiana limestone, which probably dates from the Noachian Flood. Age dating would probably place it at around 4,000 years old. But that doesn’t mean my house is that old.

Similarly, the matter composing the earth could be a billion years old, but that doesn’t mean that creation week took place that long ago. About 6,000 years ago God took a formless, desolate rock and shaped it into a suitable habitation for humanity.

John McConnell
Citrus Heights, California


Wondering About Sources

In reviewing Murray Miller’s excellent article, “Cyber Geeks and Jesus” (Jan. 11, 2007), I decided to see if I could locate his footnote references in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary series. I was surprised to find “Volume 11” identified as the primary source.

It is true, there are 11 volumes in the series, but they are not so numbered (or is my set obsolete?). What might have been numbered volume 11 was a compilation of the E. G. White comments lifted from volumes one through seven, which completes the Commentary of the Bible in the series, and was given the classification “Volume 7-A.”

Pastor Miller’s paging is correct as found in volume 10 of the Commentary Series, which I am currently reading. I began reading the Commentary Series as a retirement project in 1995, and expect to complete the set before the end of this year. Through the years, beginning with F. D. Nichol, I have appreciated the output of the several editors and am already appreciating the directives of the new executive publisher, Bill Knott.

Alvin A. Wilson
East Dublin, Georgia

It may be time to drop by your local Adventist Book Center. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary series now has 12 volumes. In addition to seven volumes of Bible commentary, the series has a Bible Dictionary (vol. 8), a Bible Student’s Resource Book (vol. 9), a Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (formerly vol. 10; now vols. 10 and 11), and a Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (vol. 12). Good thing you’re retired.--Editors

Thanks for the Memories
Memories from my academy days overwhelmed me as I read Roy Adams’ editorial, “They Made My Day” (Nov. 23, 2006). Oscar Heinrich was principal at Campion Academy in Loveland, Colorado during my junior and senior years. I’ve always felt these were some of the best years of my life. Oscar’s wife, Judy, was always a beautiful person and a great role model. Their children were just cute toddlers at the time.

Mission Spotlight has meant so much to me and will be sorely missed when it is phased out. It has been such an asset to our worldwide church and has awakened the mission spirit in so many of us.

The Redding church is just 61 miles from our church here in the mountains. What a special ministry has been developed there in sending cards and thank you notes. So impressive; a great idea. Thank you, Redding!

Eunice Dahl Galleher
Hayfork, California

Feeling Condemned

In the July 24, 2003 issue of the Review, Clifford Goldstein wrote a column, "Seventh-day Adventist Darwinians,"  about theistic evolutionists. In essence he said: “My way or the highway.” Six months later the Review published another column by Goldstein, this time, on postmodernism. Here again, he set himself up as the judge, jury, and executioner of anyone with the audacity to question him.

Please, anyone into postmodernism isn’t reading the Review; I guarantee it. Ninety-nine percent of those who do don’t know a thing about postmodernism and care less. If anyone reads Goldstein they either come away  confused or mad.

Tom Zwemer