June 1, 2015


Am I an Adventist?

Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m 93 years old, and I am looking forward to each edition of the new Adventist Review. The picture on the April 2015 front cover seems to parallel my own personal walk with God these many past years.

Gertrude Meleen Ayala
Keene, Texas

6 1 7 9 9New Look, Fresh Approach

Job well done! Before I even took my new Review out of the plastic wrapper, I knew it was a winner (see the April 2015 Review). I love the size, the layout, the feel of the magazine, and the ease of reading it. This new style is perfect for carrying it with me when I have to sit and wait.

Thanks for the hard work that went into making a great read even better.

Shelia Ward
Thomasville, North Carolina

Wow! Absolutely top-notch! Truly a pleasure to look at. Give the designer a big bonus!

These superlatives are deserved; they are not exaggerations. The design even got me to read an article I didn’t agree with. It also got me curious about the content and interested to go back and see if there were some gems I might have missed in the first skim-through. The sagging pew illustration with Gary E. Fraser and Michael J. Orlich’s article “The Weightier Matters” made me laugh!

Speaking of content, however, I hope what Alison Brook said in the Voices section is not ironic: “Being Jesus’ church means more than changing graphics.” But for certain, I find the visual change to be very refreshing and enjoyable.

Gill Bahnsen
Enumclaw, Washington

Kudos on your inaugural issue of the reformatted, monthly Review. It’s a comfortable size, but I’d vote for slightly larger font. Still, it was easy to read and navigate.

Two articles particularly caught my attention in view of the upcoming General Conference session in San Antonio: Bill Knott’s article “Am I an Adventist?” and Ella Simmons’ refreshing treatment of the “dry bones” of Ezekiel 37 (see “Vital Signs”).

On the one hand, Knott challenges us to examine our commitments, beliefs, and behaviors relative to our corporate church membership. Then Simmons reminds us that though we may appear to be broken and scattered (in thinking and acting), “if we trust Him, differences that divide will serve to unite us, and bones of contention will serve to strengthen the body.”

May it be that Seventh-day Adventism will be known as “an affinity of faith,” both diverse and inclusive.

Ed Karlow
Walla Walla, Washington

Tug on Our Heartstrings!

I don’t like to “rain on anyone’s parade,” but I got the new Review (April) and after a few days to absorb it, here are my observations: the format is great. Nice size, compact, easy to handle! The content is great as a news magazine—very informative.

But where are the emotionally laden stories that touch a person’s heart? Bonita Joyner Shields’ article “Sacred Balance” was the closest to it. . . .

Readers need answers to lay problems, the struggles, and the resolutions, and this needs to be dynamic, not just organized facts. In the end, this is what touches the heart.

Thank you for all your efforts, but please add more stories with emotional content!

Judy Bolyard
Jonesborough, Tennessee

The Immunization Debate

When I was a child, I played with friends on Monday who were in an iron lung by Sabbath. I mourned a few years ago when one of those friends died in his 60s from the complications of polio. I remember friends who got the measles, then got life-threatening pneumonia. And I remember, as an asthmatic, getting life-threating bronchitis from measles. It was not that long ago that a friend got shingles as the result of childhood chicken pox and suffered incredible pain for weeks.

6 2 0I praised God when vaccines that were so effective in almost wiping out these diseases in so much of the world were developed. I have been distressed to see the impact of fallacious and fraudulent science attacking the effectiveness and safety of these vaccines. This has resulted in a resurgence of diseases that are so easily prevented, with all their terrible consequences to the lives and health of their victims.

Seventh-day Adventists have a well-deserved reputation for practicing the best of preventive medicine; that needs to be restored. I was so pleased to see the strong position taken by the General Conference Health Ministries Department advocating the effectiveness and safety of vaccines; Landless’s clear article integrated the best of science and the clear counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy. I see too many of our people ignoring Ellen White’s advice on vaccines and the clear evidence of science—placing their children at lifelong risk from preventable diseases, and putting others at risk for catching those diseases from their children.

Duane McBride
Berrien Springs, Michigan

Adventism Through Millennials’ Eyes

Thank you for printing this research that helps us understand the needs of our Millennials (see Paul B. Petersen, Jan A. Sigvartsen, and Leanne M. Sigvartsen, “Adventism Through Millennials’ Eyes,” April 2015). As a church we are losing far too many of our youth, and it is vital that we understand why.

Regarding the question about being “saved,” this statement from Ellen White should be helpful: “I am a sinner, and He died upon Calvary’s cross to save me. I need not remain a moment longer unsaved. He died and rose again for my justification, and He will save me now. I accept the forgiveness He has promised” (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 392).

Errol Webster
Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

Giving Our Sexuality to God

Thank you for printing John S. Nixon’s article “Giving Our Sexuality to God” (Mar. 26, 2015). Nixon writes about the core of integrity, which includes not only our sexuality, but really all of life. It always amazes me how Adventists can make a high profession in every other area of life, except they live with someone they are not married to, or they flirt with someone else’s spouse, or they divorce without grounds and the church remarries them.

When we lose integrity in our sexuality, we lose it in other areas, too. “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10, KJV).

Cindy Lou Bailey
Sutherlin, Oregon

Your Turn

We welcome your letters, noting, as always, that inclusion of a letter in this section does not imply that the ideas expressed are endorsed by either the editors of the Adventist Review or the General Conference. Short, specific, timely letters have the best chance at being published (please include your complete address and phone number—even with e-mail messages). Letters will be edited for space and clarity only. Send correspondence to Letters to the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; Internet: [email protected].