October 28, 2013



We all have them. Agendas drive the big picture of our lives or the minute details of our daily commute. An agenda lays out the plan for a church board meeting or the next four years of an elected president. Usually they are based on value systems—imagined or real—and they affect all aspects of who we are.

Over the past months I have read a number of letters reaching the offices of the Adventist Review that suggest that this magazine has a hidden agenda. A few see us on the side of gun-control advocates; others believe they can detect where we are on the women’s ordination debate. There are even some who suspect that the editors of this magazine are attracted to mysticism. Others are very sure we are still giving the trumpet “a certain sound.”

So after having been assigned varying degrees of conservative or liberal bents, I will declare our agenda as I serve in these offices. We want to uphold biblical truth, revealed in the written and the living Word. We are willing to ask questions and listen to arguments, but will not experiment in the pages of this magazine. We believe in the creative community of writers, editors, designers, and everybody else involved in the ministry of the Adventist Review. This community is not immune to errors in judgment and timing—but it is working hard to deserve the trust that has so long been invested in it.

I have noticed that when we look for (hidden) agendas, we really are seeking to classify. It feels more comfortable when we “know” where another person stands on a given issue—and yet we are prone to put in neatly labeled drawers that which often cannot be put into a drawer. So here is my ultimate agenda for this magazine. In the complexities of living life at the end of time I will keep on looking to Jesus—the one who had only one agenda—seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). That’s an agenda worth imitating.