Columns

Indifference

November 02, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

I confess to being mired in philosophical muck as I ponder this year’s presidential election. How should I as an Adventist Christian relate to the spectrum of thought — or lack of it — being flung like buckshot? What is Christ’s call upon me as one determined to follow His appeal to be light and salt in this world?

Time to Vote

November 02, 2016 / Martin Weber

This month, the brash and bruising presidential campaign finally ends and Americans will vote. Many find it difficult to choose. Meanwhile, there’s another election that offers a clear choice, with eternal significance.

Two competing candidates in the Great Controversy between good and evil campaign for our vote to be lord of our lives — with drastically different motives and outcomes. “I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus declares. The devil “comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:11, 10).

Sermonic Bingo

September 25, 2016 / Seth Pierce

Last month I commented on some practices church members participate in, which elicited some positive and some consternated responses. Good; that was the point — and I had some very good conversations as a result. However, since I gave church members a hard time, it is only fair to turn the tables on my colleagues and me. Having recently completed a research paper on homiletical pedagogy (how we teach preaching), I feel in a particular ornery mood in regard to the sermons we ministers deliver to our congregations. Therefore, I want to offer you a game: sermonic bingo.

Access to God's Presence

September 24, 2016 / Martin Weber

Come with me to the Oval Office, the most powerful place in the world. The year is 1962. Men in gray suits solemnly circulate around the room. Polite knocks at the door, and more enter.

They’ve earned their right to be here through decades of distinguished civil service. They revel in their right to approach the president: “Mr. President” ... “Sir.”

Goats

September 24, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

Scripture makes it plain. Some people are going to be sheep and some goats. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground in this imagery — no halfway pen of undecided antelopes. I used to wonder about all of this. But then came the summer of the goats.

It was my first time ever at summer camp — not as a camper, but as staff. “You’ll love it,” friends said. “It’ll be one your best experiences ever,” they said. And so there I was, sleeping bag and toothbrush in hand, the tenderfoot of the gang, clueless to established protocol, the recipient of all undesired tasks.

Fame Rush

September 24, 2016 / Seth Pierce

This summer, conference administrators allowed me to speak in the adult auditorium at camp meeting — the “adult table.” The experience left me with a variety of new things to reflect on.

One of them happened while teaching my seminar on how technology shapes our being and our belief. While scrolling through various comments on our conference Facebook page (yes, we corporately “creeped” together as a class) to explore how people communicate online, we came across the videos of all the speakers in the auditorium.

Maranatha

September 23, 2016 / Max Torkelsen

As you look out across the landscape of our country and our world, it is enough to produce the biblical description of “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26).

Chaos is evident everywhere. In terrorist threats and attacks, in polarized political contention, in disregard for the value of human life, and even in the increasing extremes of weather patterns.

Sword

September 23, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

Before the age of multiblade, aloe-infused, disposable razors, there was the “safety” razor. A vast improvement over the venerable but temperamental straight-edge razor, this implement was a thing of engineering beauty to any young lad who longed to be a man.

When the Canaries Stop Singing

September 23, 2016 / Martin Weber

Before modern technology, coal miners placed canaries in cages throughout their subterranean tunnels as an early warning against the invasion of carbon monoxide. The toxic gas often seeped into mines, odorless and thus undetected — until the songbirds started dying. That meant everybody in the mines desperately needed fresh air.