I detect a new tone in the Review these days: a willingness to take on difficult, yet important topics, even if they are politically fraught. This led me to subscribe.
But I write now in response to the article “Weathering Financial Storms” (March 2016). While I am sure the good authors have excellent credentials and even better intentions, I feel they have strayed from the Review’s usual focus, Jesus. In their discussion of the parable of the talents, no mention was made of who owns the talents. Throughout this story the talents are lent, and all returns on them also belong to the Master. Likewise, any mention of Jesus’ advice to lay up your treasures in heaven is neglected. While the counsel on managing time and caring for health was broadly applicable, other portions were more difficult to appreciate.
Perhaps the Review might think of diversifying the range of values it espouses to include other cultures and subcultures; to widen the circle of authors to include those of other socioeconomic groups than are now represented.
Bill Knott’s May editorial hits home. Martin Luther’s immortal one-liner was ordained for its time and place. But when our feelings rise, and we begin to search for words to gore the nearby ox, how much better would it be if we reminded ourselves to search instead for the Spirit that prevailed at pentecost? I’m having a wonderful time cultivating friendships with the pastors of six Sunday churches near me; praying with and them and for them, encouraging them without confrontation. They all have copies of The Great Controversy and lately I’ve begun urging them to preach the message of Revelation 14:6-12, telling them it’s in their Bibles, for all people. How much better would it be if they had an idea of what was coming instead of having it hit them in the face?
I read with interest Ron Vyhmeister’s “Making the Grade” (April 2016). He provided good analysis, as well as stimulating suggestions. How often, by our actions and policies, have we in effect indicated that we think we know more than God does, or that God couldn’t possibly have foreseen our modern situation.
The author didn’t offer examples, but I’m aware of one glaring problem that few seem willing to confront: our schools should not participate in competitive sports. Yet more do than don’t! We tell ourselves that it provides opportunity for witness, and that we’ll show good sportsmanship, etc. We rationalize God’s clear commands.
There are undoubtedly many things we can do to improve our schools. But let’s start with humbling ourselves, asking forgiveness for our rebellion, and seeking to become aligned with God’s way of doing things.
I could not agree more with Delbert Baker’s excellent article on “Black Lives Matter” (February 2016). It was a careful, well-balanced article with an appropriate appeal. In this highly charged atmosphere that has enveloped the nation this election year it would take a person of Baker’s stature to make a statement such as this, and I thank the Review for publishing it.
Ernest J. Stevenson
Thank you for having the courage to address the problem of racism within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the February 2016 edition.
Among other good things, I was glad to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement from Delbert Baker’s article. We can be thankful Christ’s arms are open wide enough to receive all on condition of repentance and reformation.
Lee Roy Holmes
College Place, Washington