November 8, 2014

December 23, 2014

Equal Pay

With all due respect, a correction needs to be made to the information written by Janet Salazar in the December 18, 2014, issue of Adventist Review. She states, “Although we train women, and employ them to do the same pastoral work as men, we are not willing to give them equal pay.”

As Human Resources director for Florida Conference and former associate director of Human Resources at the General Conference, I can assure Ms. Salazar that equal pay for equal work is alive and well in denominational employment.

The church learned a hard lesson about equal pay by way of the Merikay Silver versus Pacific Press experience. The denominational remuneration scale makes no distinction based on gender of pastors in my Conference. Remuneration is based on educational accomplishments, years of service, and performance evaluations.

—John P. Trimarchi
Apopka, Florida

Publishing’s Future

Thank you for the article “Whither Publishing?” (Dec. 11, 2014). It has some good points, and we need to do more thinking [regarding publishing]. Certainly the sociological and technological trends identified by this article have affected our publishing ministry.

As a counter point: E-book revenue actually dropped by 0.7 percent last year. That’s right, although unit sales were up 10 percent. E-books account for only 19 percent of all books purchased in North America, including the one I just purchased last week and read on my iPad. Total book purchases are up 8 percent over the last two years according to Book Stats, a massive industry study co-authored by Book Industry Study Group and The Association of American Publishers.

The Review and Herald Publishing Association, like the Nazarene Publishing House and Methodist book centers before them, felt the effects of these changes, including pure economic factors. It has become a lot easier for Joe American to print his own stuff, in as little quantity as he wants, on the cheap. The Review and Herald Publishing Association’s closure cannot only be attributed to technological and social changes.

As the article pointed out, trends in this industry seem difficult to predict. However, publishing—of some kind, of some nature—will play a large part in the final moments of history. Ellen White wrote: “In a large degree through our publishing houses will be accomplished the work of that other angel who comes down from heaven with great power and who lightens the earth with his glory” (Last Day Events, p. 214).

—William Krick

Understanding the Bible

Regarding the article “Biblical Hermeneutics” by Michael Zwaagstra (Dec. 11, 2014): In some countries taking a major in Biblical Studies can be dangerous to one’s faith because of its strong historical critical method and the way it strips God of all that makes Him God.

While context is important, why try and limit God? He is supremely sovereign and able to apply and supply for instance the Jeremiah 29:11 and all other Bible promises we love and live by abundantly to His whole Israel of the final restitution.

Not only that, He is also the God of “the more sure word of prophecy,” miracles, and the resurrection. May we soon receive from His hand the Ph.D. diploma to the University of the New Jerusalem.

—Ria de Kock
Grappling With Race

Regarding “NAD Reacts to Brown and Garner Grand Jury Decisions” ( Nothing is more devastating to a family than a tragic death, similar to those in Staten Island, New York and Ferguson Missouri. My prayers are with those families.

Often when people talk about having a “dialog” with respect to these events they will not look at the facts. So here are some facts taken from FBI Statics:

Of the 670,000 law enforcement officers in America, 99 percent of them do a terrific job under very difficult circumstances.

African-Americans make up 13 percent of the population in the United States, but comprise 36 percent of the prison population.

Whites are 63 percent of the general population, and 33 percent of its prison inmates.

Hispanics comprise 17 percent of the general population, and make up 22 percent of prisoners.

Crimes committed by Blacks dominate the statistics. African-Americans commit more murders than Whites, even though the population difference is huge. That’s the primary reason grand juries give police the benefit of the doubt when there’s an incident in a Black community: the high crime rate.

Most fair-minded Americans understand that police work is difficult. According to the FBI in 2013, the last statistics available, almost 50,000 police officers were assaulted. And 76 officers died on the job. So there is no question that police work is intense, especially in poor neighborhoods.

We are all human beings, and we all form general impressions about life, and, sad to say, the overt impression formed about many young Black males who act and speak a certain way is negative. In the cases referenced in the article both men “broke the law.” Neither deserved death, but because of the breakdown of the family, single parent homes, and teenage pregnancies, especially in Black families, we are reaping the results of a sin-sick society.

Faced with that, some police officers unfairly target young Black males, and those officers must be stopped. But I believe most cops try to be fair. I know from experience. A number of my Adventist friends and one member of my immediate family are police officers.

—Milt Perkins
Strength and Flexibility

I appreciated Bernadine Delafield’s article, “Branded” (Nov. 20, 2014). It reminded me of an illustration my husband, a seminary professor, often used: The physical body is made up of two essential but different parts, flesh and bones. If it were made of flesh only, it would stand for nothing and would crumple in a moment. If it were made only of bones, it might stand rigidly, but you wouldn’t want to meet it on a dark night. Thus both are needed.

And both are needed in the spiritual body, the church. It may need people who firmly hold to truths of old; yet it also needs people with the flexibility to stretch and grow.

—Madeline S. Johnston
Berrien Center, Michigan

Say What?

A few years ago I read that Merriam-Webster had added “mondegreen” to its Collegiate Dictionary, but “All in a Day’s Work” (Nov. 20, 2014) was the first place I’ve seen it used. Thanks to Maria Rankin-Brown for passing on the “much-needed chuckle” she gets from her college students’ essays and her own childhood mondegreen, “bringing in the cheese.”

—Jocelyn Fay
National City, California