Columns

The Law

September 01, 2018 / Dick Duerksen

Sin is choosing to go my way rather than God’s way.

Sin is living like I know better.

Sin is “me first.”

Sin is separation from God and His will.

Sin is a symptom of a broken relationship.

Sin is ignoring God’s advice.

Get the idea?

Public Evangelism Is Alive and Well

August 28, 2018 / Bill McClendon

Several years ago, my wife and I had the privilege to plant a new church in Tulsa, Okla. I freely admit we had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t just want to plant another church, but a church like we read about in the book of Acts. God had put it in our hearts to start a church that would be relentlessly focused on reaching people with the gospel. We decided if we were going to live that out, evangelism would have to be the primary activity of our church. Over the next 10 years, we did a lot of traditional public evangelism — somewhere around 50 evangelistic meetings.

Dysfunctional Self-Sufficiency

August 25, 2018 / Seth Pierce

Recently I watched a TED Talk during which organizational consultant Yves Morieux discusses the lack of positive change in organizations. In my estimation that includes churches. He suggests the root of our issues relate to “complicatedness.”

Reading Ellen White Isn't Bible Study

August 25, 2018 / Martin Weber

A newly baptized Adventist phoned our home, distraught about a Bible study promoted in her church’s bulletin. She brought her Bible but discovered they were studying Ellen White’s Early Writings.

“I love reading Ellen White,” she protested, “but this is supposed to be a Bible study!”

“It is a Bible study,” they insisted. “We focus on verses Sister White quotes — that ensures we are studying the most important Bible texts for Adventists.”

The Giant Must Fall

July 18, 2018 / John Freedman

We all face giant, challenging issues sometime in our life. We face them personally and as families, as individual churches and as a worldwide movement, as citizens and as a country. 

Equality and Submission: Contradictory or Compatible?

July 17, 2018 / Martin Weber

Christology — the study of Christ — has suffered theological conflict throughout church history. Lately some Adventists have raised questions about who Jesus is in relation to God the Father. A few on the fringe even believe Christ was derived from God, just as Eve was created from Adam.

Such confused Christology revives the ancient heresy of Arianism: that Jesus, the divine Creator of this earth, was Himself created by the Father. It naturally follows that not only Jesus but women are inherently secondary and subservient: Christ to the Father and women to men.

Testing Without the Stressing

July 16, 2018 / Seth Pierce

As I write this latest installment of my monthly column, I am embarked on preparations for my Ph.D. qualifying exams this fall. This means my brain is overloaded with random bits of information pertaining to Husserl’s phenomenology, Derrida’s critique of that phenomenology, the history of radio (which includes the odious Father Coughlin and the heartbreaking Kristallnacht), the philosophy of the mirror’s double reflection, symbolic interactionism, and so so so so much more … so much more … .

When You Grow Up

July 12, 2018 / Dick Duerksen

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

The young man who asked me the question was celebrating his sixth birthday and making some choices that would seriously impact his life.

I thought for a moment, relishing the taste of a very good birthday cake.

“A fireman,” I answered.

He considered, and then pronounced his blessings on my choice. We laughed, and he took me outside to break a piñata. That was long ago, but his question still echoes. Especially when I’m looking through old photos.

Right Outside Your Door

July 11, 2018 / Darin Patzer

My residence is in Washington, but I live in the state of Cognitive Dissonance.

Webster’s defines the term as the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions. Our subconscious mind gathers facts and trends that often go unrecognized in our busy, over-planned lives. But connecting the threads, I’ve lived my entire life with the sneaking suspicion I am living in the “last generation” of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24.

Which Church Would You Join?

July 06, 2018 / Ernie Jones

Joe and Ann (not their real names) felt both hurt and shock as the words slammed into their hearing. Sadness fell upon them as they left the meeting that Sabbath morning, never to return. He had lived there since a toddler, she since marrying him some 30 years earlier.

The church was small, always seeking helpers, and both Joe and Ann were willing to step in as teacher, deacon, pianist, elder, just where needed. They were a friendly couple, doing their part in helping the small church thrive.

Now fast forward 18 years.