May 12, 2009

1513 Web Letters

The Greening of the Gospel

Thank you for the editorial “Good and Green” (Apr. 9, 2009). Bill Knott has summarized my understanding of where we are in perspective to what Gods plan is for us. I agree, stewardship and custodianship are very important, but the “religious” parameters of the radical environmental movement (Al Gore’s statement at the Academy awards to the effect that this is beyond science and now is “a moral issue”) have definitely taken a works oriented, indulgence paying-for-my-sins mentality.
The indulgence theme was so characteristic of the dawning of the Reformation. Some themes reoccur in the human spirit. Modern day environmentalists have fallen into this 500-year old trap. I thought we were beyond that kind of theology because of Martin Luther’s 95 theses nailed to the Wittenberg Chapel door. Certainly our Lord’s sacrifice nailed to the cross made a way of grace for us to understand that indulgences (read: atonement for carbon footprints) are no longer necessary.
A.Cory Higgins
Yuba City, California
That Voice
The article by Stephen Chavez about the music ministry of Del Delker to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, “I Know He Watches Me” (Apr. 16, 2009), brought chords of joy to my heart. First, because Delker and I graduated together from La Sierra in 1958. Second, because she sang for the Brazilian Voice of Prophecy programs along with The King’s Heralds. Since my father-in-law, Roberto Mendes Rabello, was speaker for the Portuguese broadcast, we became close friends.
In 1957 and 1958 I recorded announcements for the VOP programs with the quartet and Del. I was a student at La Sierra and got to know them well. They were so kind and patient with my mistakes. The editing of tapes was quite different in those days. If a mistake was made you had to roll back the tape and do it over again.
Del went to Brazil many times. From 1953-1961 all the songs were done by Del and The King’s Heralds. In 1961 a new studio was inaugurated in Rio with our own Brazilian King’s Heralds. My father-in-law told me an interesting story about Delker. She was singing in Brazil, in Portuguese, and at the end of the meeting a brother came to Elder Rabello and said he wanted to talk to Del. He said: “I am sorry, she cannot speak Portuguese.”
The man replied, “But she sang in Portuguese!” He could not believed it! That shows how dedicated Del and The King’s Heralds were to sing in so many languages.
I keep listening to Del’s CDs over and over and they bring joy, hope, and inspiration to my heart. Indeed, the Lord was watching Del! She left a tremendous legacy to the church. Last year we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of our class and she was honored for her talents and ministry. It was well-deserved!
Leo Ranzolin
Estero, Florida

Bravo for honoring one of the greatest women of the Adventist church, Del Delker. I had the privilege of traveling globally with Del for many years as her accompanist. She is the “real deal,” and is one of the most dedicated Christians I’ve known, while being intensely warm, caring, and non-judgmental. Perhaps that’s why her audience ranges from the very young to the very mature. She’s ageless!
Phil Draper

An Homage to Creation
I agree with Roy Adams regarding the elegance of the first four words in the English Bible (“Four Elegant Words,” Mar. 26, 2009). In recent times I have determined that this is the only absolute truth in the Bible; all the rest is commentary.
The problem comes when Christians believe that by proving the existence of a Creator, as I was able to do with my coworker who believed in evolution, they have also proven that their ideas about His properties are automatically proven. In the end it is not God or creation that evolutionist really struggle against, but the view that Christians have figured out the infinite God in whom they claim to believe. . .
We should also be concerned that our beliefs don’t exactly reflect a Creator who made everything. Creation is also under attack from beliefs that the Creator is not the owner of the entire universe, but part of the human race actually belongs to someone else. Creation is under attack from beliefs that there is another being in the universe who is able to legitimately challenge authority and power of the Creator. We should be more concerned of those Christian beliefs than of evolutionists.
Darius Lecointe
West Friendship, Maryland

Concerning the March 26 Review: There were several very good articles, and some interesting news articles. But why were so many pages devoted to Darwin?
I spent about 22 years teaching science in public schools, and whenever the name Darwin came up, my public school students would not accept anything he said. Why do Adventists need “straightening out?” There are a lot more important items to spend out time on.
Art Miles
Apison, Tennessee

The Rest of the Story
I am writing in reference to Ansel Oliver’s report on the recent death of Paul Harvey (Mar. 26, 2009). Through the years there has been much speculation among Adventists as to why Paul Harvey made frequent references to Adventism and Ellen White and her writings. The answer: he married into a largely Adventist family!
Surely, God was with him throughout his life, but never more so than when he moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to St. Louis. There he met a young woman named Lynne Cooper. And, as reported, “He proposed to her on their first date.”
St. Louis Central Seventh-day Adventist Church was my home church throughout my childhood and teen years. Some of my fellow members there were Sister June Courson, Sister Burglar, and Brother Ben Cooper--all siblings of Lynne Cooper Harvey, or “Angel” as the world knew her. And yes, Paul and Angel were occasional visitors in our church when I was a child.
Many years later, however, my wife, Elaine, and I were attending a Paul Harvey evening at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. We were in the balcony, and seated about three rows in front of us were Paul Jr. and Angel--the family resemblance was too clear to be missed. I had the opportunity to meet the fourth member of the Cooper family--a joyous and rewarding moment.
Surely our world and our nation have been enriched by Paul Harvey and every member of this dear family. I don’t know if Paul Harvey ever thought of his work as a “ministry,” but God has certainly blessed us all during the years of his sojourn with us.
Albert M. Ellis
Apopka, Florida
A Family’s Treasure
I appreciated Merle Poirier’s article, “Treasures from the Farm” (Mar. 19, 2009).
As a young person, I, along with my sister, mother, and stepfather, lived in the upper level of the farmhouse pictured on the cover. Our living quarters included the room used in the past for séances. My mother and stepfather were married for 46 years; my mother, the only survivor of this generation, now resides in a healthcare facility.
Of course, life wasn’t always easy with extended step-family under the same roof. Yet I know that the family’s dedication to Christian education helped influence me to become a teacher in the Adventist school system.
Although the Abbott/Petersen legacy is not my own, I am grateful that my own great-great grandparents also accepted the Adventist message in the late 1800’s, quite possibly attending meetings held by the same itinerant preachers. How much we owe to those early evangelists, who worked tirelessly preaching Bible truths in Wisconsin and neighboring states!
Thank you for sharing this story with Review readers.
Beth Davis Nelson
Clear Lake, Wisconsin