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September 19, 2013

Theological Seminary

Installs New Dean

Unleashing the Word

The God of the Gap




“Behold, I come quickly . . .”

Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ by presenting stories of His

matchless love, news of His present workings, help for knowing

Him better, and hope in His soon return.

20 14 8 6


20 Habits of the Heart

Bill Knott

Doing them until they

become part of our nature.


Our habits made us who we

are, and will turn us into the

persons we want to be.

Alison Furminger, Calligrapher


14 Unleashing the Word

Kayle De Waal

There’s a reason the

Bible is central to our

faith and practice.

18 A Memorial to Salvation

Andrew W. Kerbs

Proving the vitality

of our faith

24 Parenting Teens in

a Digital World

Pamela Consuegra

The convenience is

staggering. So are

the challenges.


4 Letters

7 Page 7

8 World News &


13 Give & Take

17 Cliff’s Edge

27 Back to Basics

29 Etc.

30 The Life of Faith

31 Reflections


6 Lael Caesar


7 Mark A. Finley

Reflections on

Christian Standards

Next Week

And They Followed Him

What does it mean to be a

Seventh-day Adventist? The

2013 Week of Prayer readings

explore discipleship in

the twenty-first century.

Publisher General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® , Executive Publisher Bill Knott, Associate Publisher Claude Richli, Publishing Board: Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Benjamin D. Schoun,

vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Daniel R. Jackson; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol; Michael Ryan; Ella Simmons; Mark Thomas; Karnik

Doukmetzian, legal adviser. Editor Bill Knott, Associate Editors Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil, Coordinating Editor Stephen Chavez, Online Editor Carlos Medley, Features Editor Sandra

Blackmer, Young Adult Editor Kimberly Luste Maran, KidsView Editor Wilona Karimabadi, News Editor Mark A. Kellner, Operations Manager Merle Poirier, Financial Manager Rachel Child,

Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste, Marketing Director Claude Richli, Editor-at-Large Mark A. Finley, Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke, Art Director Bryan Gray, Design Daniel

Añez, Desktop Technician Fred Wuerstlin, Ad Sales Glen Gohlke, Subscriber Services Steve Hanson. To Writers: Writer’s guidelines are available at the Adventist Review Web site:

and click “About the Review.” For a printed copy, send a self-addressed envelope to: Writer’s Guidelines, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600.

E-mail: Web site: Postmaster: Send address changes to Adventist Review, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740-7301. Unless

otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Unless

otherwise noted, all photos are © Thinkstock 2013. The Adventist Review (ISSN 0161-1119), published since 1849, is the general paper of the Seventh-day Adventist ® Church. It is

published by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® and is printed 36 times a year on the second, third, and fourth Thursdays of each month by the Review and

Herald ® Publishing Association, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740. Periodical postage paid at Hagerstown, MD 21740. Copyright © 2013, General Conference

of Seventh-day Adventists ® . PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 190, No. 26

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payment to Adventist Review subscription desk, Box 1119, Hagerstown, MD 21741-1119. Orders can also be placed at Adventist Book Centers. Prices subject to change. Address changes: OR call 1-800-456-3991, or 301-393-3257. Subscription queries: OR call 1-800-456-3991, or 301-393-3257. | September 19, 2013 | (819) 3


Letters From Our Readers

The Tyranny of



I am writing in regard to

Kimberly Luste Maran’s editorial

“The Tyranny of Smartphones”

(Aug. 15, 2013). I

have witnessed many people

using cell phones/smartphones

in church. I sat right

next to a woman who, from

the time she came in to the

time she left, was texting (for

an hour and 20 minutes). She

never put the phone down.

The woman right behind me

talked on her phone every

time it rang. When I got up

to take the offering, at the

back of the church the kids

were texting on their phones.

While taking the offering, it

was unbelievable the number

of people I saw who were

talking and texting on their

phones. What benefit did

these people get from the

sermon? What about reverence

in the sanctuary?

Ronald Harmon

Orlando, Florida

Multiple Viewpoints

Aired on Women’s

Ordination Question


Mark A. Kellner’s report on

the Theology of Ordination

Study Committee (TOSC)

meeting, in the August 15

Review (pp. 9, 10), was timely.

It was refreshing to read what

some of the scholars said

with respect to both understandability

and courteousness

to those of the


The 1888 conference on

righteousness by faith alone

was a similar meeting

whereby opposing views

were researched and

resolved, was it not? Clearly

progress in scriptural understanding

is guided by organization,

to the glory of God.

May we pray that the Holy

Spirit ignites the passion of

the TOSC members to unify

understanding of the subject

as clearly as any fundamental


Bill Tassie

Burlington, Michigan

Redeeming the Blind


As usual, I am challenged

in thinking as I read the

Review, and am responding to

Justin McNeilus’ “Redeeming

the Blind” (Aug. 8, 2013),


but not for any controversy

in anything he said. It is well

written, but brought to mind

another issue that I’ve

thought about from time to

time—that of the foreknowledge

of God.

McNeilus quotes The Desire

of Ages: “Before the foundations

of the earth were laid,

the Father and the Son had

united in a covenant to

redeem man if he should be

overcome by Satan” (p. 834).

I have often wondered at that

phrasing; it makes it sound

as if He was waiting to see

what would happen.

I have sat in Sabbath school

classes that discussed

whether God knew of events

before they happened or

whether He limits Himself in

some way. I find those discussions

pointless. What

bothers me is our reluctance

to say God knew humanity

was going to sin so He made

a way to bring us back to

Himself. Of course that raises

issues and discussions I’m

not going to raise here; but it

also reveals that we don’t

know why God does or has

done the things He does.

That’s why “we’ll understand

it better by and by.” And

that’s good enough for me.

Trevor Connell

Dallas, Texas

Character Sketch


I gained some wonderful

new insights about the grace

of God in the story of Korah, as

presented by Trevor H. Paris

and Thomson Paris in “Character

Sketch” (July 18, 2013). I

had known the story as told in

Numbers 16 about the families

of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

being swallowed up with

them when the earth opened

up, but I had missed the genealogy

of Numbers 26, which

says that Korah’s children did

not die. I was very pleased that

they brought this out, and

through it showed the mercy

of God to those who are innocent.

I was especially pleased

to read that one son was later

appointed a chief musician by

David, and that many of the

psalms were written by the

“Sons of Korah.”

Psalm 46 has a wonderful

new meaning for me now,

when realizing that it is the

Sons of Korah’s song saying

“God is our refuge and

strength . . . therefore we will

not fear, though the earth

give way” (verses 1, 2). They

knew what it meant for the

earth to give way, and their

faith in God as our refuge

was still very strong.

Helen Fearing

Mt. Vernon, Washington

Don’t Hang Up

Your Harp


I’ve been reading the

Review—and passing it on to

others when I am finished—

4 (820) | | September 19, 2013

July 1, 2013

Vol. 190, No. 19

for most of my life, and it has

been a long one, but I’ve

never before written to

express my appreciation for

an article. I need to do that

now because I was really

touched and encouraged by

Hyveth Williams’ article

“Don’t Hang Up Your Harp”

(July 18). This quote especially

inspired me: “If you

find yourself by rivers of confusion

and conflict regarding

issues challenging our

church today, don’t hang up

your harp on the willows of

pride or anger, with only the

winds of despair blowing

through its strings.”

I can praise God in joyful

song because I have been

singing His praises all my

life, and I know that God is

leading His church as we

await His coming. He who

has promised to be with us

will lead and guide us to the

promised land. I believe that

with all my 83-year-old

heart. Thank you for the

encouragement my friends

and I receive from the Review

articles, and this article in


Marie Adams

Chino Valley, Arizona

“I Don’t Want a

God Who . . .”


I appreciate what Clinton

and Gina Wahlen attempted

to do in “ ‘I Don’t Want a God

Who . . .’ ” (July 11, 2013). We

need some kind of objective

authority by which to guide

our beliefs.

The problem is that for

every 100 people who read

the Bible, nearly 90 percent

of them come away with a

slightly different interpretation.

That’s why we have

conservative and liberal

Seventh-day Adventists, and

everything in between. None

of them would admit to

being unfaithful to the Bible;

they just interpret it


Indeed, the existence of

nearly 1,000 Christian

denominations in North

America alone suggests that

the Bible cannot be interpreted

as dogmatically as the

Wahlens suggest.

To be truly faithful to the

Word, we have to model our

lives after the Word, Jesus

“I know that God is leading His

church as we await His coming. He

who has promised to be with us will

lead guide us to the promised

—marie adams, Chino Valley, Arizona


July 1, 2013

“I Don’t


a God

Who . . .”

Robots Teach Science

This Book Belongs to .

À la Carte




“To be truly faithful to the Word,

we have to model our lives after the

Word, Jesus Christ.

—luis alvarez, Chicago, Illinois

Christ. He swept away all the

human traditions practiced

by “God’s people” 2,000

years ago, and left us with a

remarkably simple formula

for living the Christian life:

“ ‘Love the Lord your God

with all your heart.’ . . . ‘Love

your neighbor as yourself’ ”

(Mark 12:30, 31). Everything

else will take care of itself.

Luis Alvarez

Chicago, Illinois

What’s on Your



While reading the June 27,

2013, Adventist Review, I was

drawn to Mark A. Kellner’s

article “What’s on Your Headstone?”

perhaps because it

was a question I had to

answer in 2009 when I laid

my husband, Warren, to rest.

Accomplishments in this life

really don’t matter much.

The front of Warren’s stone

contains the usual information,

but I chose to put texts

on the back as a comfort, and

as a witness to our hope in

Jesus. The texts are Job 19:25,

1 Corinthians 15:55, and

John 5:28. When choosing

the texts, I noticed Job

expressed a desire to write

his belief in stone, and I hope

one day to meet him and tell

him I thought it was a good

idea too.

Karyl L. Crandall

Durham, Maine

History Lessons

October is an important

month in Adventist Church

history—this fall our October

editions will contain

feature articles on some

key events in our church’s

past. Look for a 48-page

special issue on the significance

of 1888 (Oct. 10); a

special cover package on

1844 (Oct. 17); and a cover

article on Guide, the

church’s youth magazine

that is celebrating 60

years of publication (Oct.

24). Look for these in print

and online at www.

Our Apologies


Two illustrations appeared

in the September 12, 2013,

edition of the Adventist Review

that inaccurately represent

the goal of the author and the

editors to highlight the confidence

believers may have in

the victory Jesus has won for

us. We regret the inclusion of

those illustrations, and apologize

to the author and to our

readers.—Editors. | September 19, 2013 | (821) 5





Revelation and reason are equally about wonder. Choosing

one over the other is a function of finitude. It is a way for fallen angels and humans to misapply

the truth of free choice, and manipulate God by giving Him creaturely boundaries. He must be

this, and He can’t do that. It is proof of how little we know of God.

Revelation, special revelation, is indeed different from rational inquiry. Computational photography

allows Ramesh Raskar’s camera at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to take

pictures every two picoseconds, with an exposure period 1 billion times shorter than any normal

camera. It lets him watch, and show us, the movement of light photons. Computational photography

is the stuff of rational inquiry. And it is a matter of awe and wonder. 1

Revelation, special revelation, is no less real, no less historical, than the movement of light

photons. Special revelation is God telling Moses, and Moses telling us, that somewhere in spacetime

a few thousand years ago God said, “Let there be light,” because light did not exist until God

made it. Light is not eternal. God is. Saying “God is light” is only metaphor. But light is a created

thing; both the light of Genesis’ “let there be,” and all the other light that shines throughout the

eternity that deity and creatures inhabit. Special revelation is the psalmist exulting on how

nature (in every photon) proclaims the work of God’s hands (Ps. 19:1). And special revelation is

Paul rigorously reasoning that it is inexcusable to oppose that truth (Rom. 1:20).

Special revelation is different from rational inquiry. It is more authoritative. It is the voice of

the God who makes light photons move. It is wonder.

Richard Schiffman offers insight on the difference between revelation and reason in a contribution

to the newsletter of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, June 7, 2013.

Reason, specifically “rational inquiry,” fuels science. Valuing “historical revelation,” etc., gives

support to religion. 2

Under the title “Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science),” Schiffman writes about

a study he encountered in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Title notwithstanding, his

article reports no research on moribund or recently resurrected people, only selected subjects

with “weak religious beliefs” from two British universities. Compared to other subjects questioned

about dental pain, these interviewees expressed more trust in science when asked to write

about their own death. The research allegedly demonstrates that the more stressed you are the

more you believe in science.

Evidently, thoughts about dental pain are automatically more consoling than reflections on

mortality. Too, “weak religious beliefs” is a valid variable for studying the impact of fear on attitudes

to historical revelation. Maybe so. Interestingly, revelation’s effect on science or faith is


Schiffman’s treatment and title do seem to say that faith in science grows with increased appreciation

for reality, even if it be a fear-inspired, fear-defined, or fear-enhanced reality. He seems to

be promoting the misconceived choice between reason and faith. He does not know, perhaps, that

fear is antithetical both to clear thought and to sound faith in God.

Being scared is neither the best way to thinking straight nor to finding God. In fact, the God we

all need is love, not fear (1 John 4:8, 18); He is reason, not mental confusion (Isa. 1:18); and He is so

full of wonder that it’s in His name (Isa. 9:6). Reason and revelation are equally about wonder. n



6 (822) | | September 19, 2013

Reflections on Christian Standards

If you want to generate a lively conversation at a church

fellowship meal, bring up the subject of church standards. A discussion of such topics as jewelry,

dress, amusements, movies, and diet is sure to create a wide difference of opinion, sometimes even

hostility. Some feel that one of the reasons people leave the Seventh-day Adventist Church,

especially teens and young adults, is that the church still teaches antiquated standards that define

Christianity too narrowly. In their view the church majors in minors and neglects “weightier”

matters, such as justice and mercy, honesty, integrity, and concern for the poor and the environment.

In a sense they are right. It is possible to equate external standards with godliness. It is unfortunate

that some of the most vocal supporters of church standards are at times the least tolerant and

most judgmental. The essence of Christianity is knowing Jesus. His love and grace transform our

lives and lead us to higher standards, not lower ones. In Christ we become more likable, more loving,

more caring, more concerned about others.

Seventh-day Adventist churches ought to reflect the loving, accepting attitude of Jesus for anyone

who walks through their doors regardless of their dress or lifestyle. Any visitor should feel welcome

worshipping with us on Sabbath morning.

But for those who desire to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church, there should be biblical standards.

If the church is the “light of the world,” it must be different from the world. If the church is the

“body of Christ,” it ought to reflect the teachings and lifestyle of Christ. Christian standards are simply

biblical principles applied. They are the teachings of Jesus lived out in our lives.

Christian standards are not archaic, arbitrary rules; they are Christian principles put into practice.

After all, “we are . . . Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Cor. 5:20). n

Mark A.


A Living Testimony

On June 8, 1908, Sarah Davis was born. Theodore Roosevelt

was president of the United States. A. G. Daniells was

president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

The General Conference building had been established in Takoma

Park, Maryland, and Ellen G. White would live yet another seven


Jamaican by birth, Sarah moved to the United States in

A 1975, finally settling in Georgia 11 years ago. This year she

celebrated her 105 th birthday with family and friends at the

Washington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington,

Georgia. She is a testament to the Seventh-day Adventist

lifestyle of abstinence from meat, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Davis walks with the aide of a walker, participates in chats,

and offers smiles of gratitude. “God’s love,” she says, is her

secret. “God loves me and I love him, and I want to be where

He is; so I’m working hard.”

World News & Perspectives

photos: Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review

CULTURAL HERITAGE: Reflecting the cultural heritage of Korea, Adventists in traditional

costume and waving brightly colored fans delighted the attendees with their performance,

one of several rich with folk traditions.

■■Republic of Korea

Northern Asia Adventists

Launch Mission Conference

With Impressive Display

Four thousand gathered for Sabbath meeting.

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor, reporting

from Jeju Island, Republic of Korea

With the kind of pageantry worthy of a

nation that has hosted both the Olympic

Games and soccer’s World Cup, Seventhday

Adventists from the Northern-Asia

Pacific Division (NSD) welcomed thousands

of delegates to the International

Mission Congress (IMC) with festive

singing, enthusiastic participation, and

the overriding plea for an outpouring of

the Holy Spirit to help Adventists finish

the work of sharing the everlasting gospel.

The event opened Wednesday evening,

August 28, 2013, at the Jeju

International Conference Center on the

Republic of Korea’s Jeju Island.

Against a backdrop of 600 LCD video

screens merged to form a giant display,

a virtual “choir,” comprised of videos of

individual Seventh-day Adventists in

the region singing “My Lord Is Coming

ANGELIC VOICE: A member of the NSD’s

famed “Golden Angels” vocal group offers

a heartfelt message during the singing of

“Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Soon,” blended to offer a hymn of commitment

in a division with both tremendous

enthusiasm on the part of its

people, but also incredible challenges in

reaching others.

With a region encompassing “one

quarter of the world’s population, we

have a responsibility to spread the gospel,”

a slide at the beginning of the twoand-a-half-hour

opening ceremony at

the Jeju International Convention Center

read. Slides in English, Korean, Chinese,

and Japanese then noted the

countries under the division’s aegis,

reflecting that “the tears of North Koreans,

God remembers,” as that country’s

images were shown. Korean

Adventists, and thousands of additional

participants, were captivated by women

wearing traditional Korean costumes

and waving fans in a traditional folk

dance, the first of the evening’s cultural


For China, that nation’s prosperity

was noted, along with the comment that

Christians have a “heavier” burden of

“carrying the cross” in a nation of

booming economic prosperity. Chinese

Adventists performed a song, which

included a performance on a traditional

flute, as their cultural contribution.

Japan, whose Adventists enthusiastically

participated in the opening ceremonies,

was dubbed “the land of the

god of money—Mammon,” where “secular

men have closed their hearts.” Notwithstanding,

leaders from the Japan

Union Conference wore T-shirts emblazoned

with “Jesus@Tokyo” as emblematic

of their effort to reach one of the

world’s largest cities, as did members of

a male singing ensemble who sang an

arrangement of “Amazing Grace” as

their cultural element.

Participants from Taiwan and Mongolia

were heartily welcomed, particularly

by the hundreds of Seventh-day

Adventists from the People’s Republic

of China, who were seated just before

the convention center’s main stage. The

NSD presentation noted the “wilderness”

nature of much of Mongolia,

8 (824) | | September 19, 2013

WARM WELCOME: Jairyong Lee, Northern

Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists

president, welcomes participants

and guests to the 2013 International Mission

Conference at the Jeju International

Convention Center, Jeju Island, Republic of


while in Taiwan the need for growing

“the root of faith and Christian culture”

was emphasized.

The appearance of Taiwan brought

together two presidents of the mission

field on the IMC platform: Steven Wu,

current mission field president, and

Robert S. Folkenberg, Jr., former president,

who now leads the China Union

Mission from offices in Hong Kong.

Both waved and applauded the Taiwanese

acrobatic dancers who delighted the

crowd, as did an equally acrobatic and

enthusiastic group from Mongolia, one

of whose members did backflips across

the platform.

But cultural highlights weren’t the

most compelling element of the evening.

Each union or mission field leader,

along with NSD president Jairyong Lee,

reaffirmed the commitment in their

regions to spreading the good news,

with Folkenberg making his declaration

in flawless Mandarin, to the delight of

his hearers. Dae Sung Kim, Korean

Union president, welcomed visitors to

the Jeju Island event, as did Lee.

In turn, Kisung Bang, Jeju Island’s

provincial governor, gave an impassioned

word of welcome, speaking for

five minutes in recognition of Seventhday

Adventists, and greeting those who

traveled to this spot off the southern tip

KEYNOTE MESSAGE: G. T. Ng, executive secretary of the General Conference of Seventhday

Adventists (left), noted the importance of sharing the good news: “It is no fun to be

lost,” he declared.


platform were Steven Wu (left), current

president of the Taiwan Mission Field, and

Robert S. Folkenberg, Jr., president of the

China Union Mission, who previously

served in Taiwan as mission president.

of the Republic of Korea. He also singled

out Ted N. C. Wilson, General Conference

president, for a welcome.

In his comments, Wilson expressed

happiness at the event: “It is wonderful

to have the Northern Asia-Pacific Division

as part of [the global Seventh-day

Adventist] family,” he said. “The reason

we are here is that we have a great mission

to accomplish through the power

of the Holy Spirit.”

G. T. Ng, executive secretary of the

world church, the evening’s principal

speaker, reflected on the program as he

took the platform: “After such a wonderful

opening, what can one say but to

turn to the Word of God.”

Ng then noted that Luke 15 presents

“three experiences of lostness”—the

lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost, or

prodigal, son—because “Jesus wanted

to emphasize the lostness of humanity.”

He spoke of the need to reach those

without the gospel: “It is no fun to be

lost,” he declared.

The International Missions Conference,

packed with seminars and morning

devotional messages from Ministry

magazine editor Derrick Morris, culminated

with a Sabbath message from Wilson,

where upward of 4,000 people were

anticipated. n | September 19, 2013 | (825) 9

World News & Perspectives



of New

Seminary Dean

at Andrews


By Becky St. Clair,

Andrews University

On Tuesday, August 27, the Seventhday

Adventist Theological Seminary at

Andrews University held a dedication

service honoring its new dean, Jiří


“The search committee wanted someone

with the heart of a pastor who

understood pastoral education and what

is needed to make an effective minister,”

said Andrea Luxton, provost of Andrews

University, from the platform of the seminary

chapel. “We wanted not just an

administrator, but a leader; a pastor who

looks forward to new pathways while

still respecting valued traditions.”

Luxton welcomed Moskala to his new

position. “We look forward to your

visionary and focused leadership, and

we challenge you to take seriously the

photos: Andrews University

NEW ROLE: Andrea Luxton, provost of Andrews University, welcomes Moskala to his new

position as deanof the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.

model of Christ and His leadership of

His disciples,” she said. “Challenging

but nurturing; just and compassionate;

providing opportunity for growth, but

leading from the front. Most of all, I

invite you, as Jesus was, to be always in

communion with the Father.”

Artur Stele, a general vice president of

the General Conference and director of

the Biblical Research Institute, read Exodus

17:8-13, reminding the audience of

Israel’s victories in battle that were realized

only when Moses held up his arms.

“Teamwork is key,” said Stele. “When

Moses got tired, he had helpers. When

the dean of the seminary gets tired, the

leadership of the university on one side

and the General Conference on the

other have to support him and hold up

his hands. If we all together lift him up

every day in our prayers, we can be sure

the best is yet to come.”

Moskala joined the seminary faculty

in 1996 and most recently served as

professor of Old Testament. Born in

Cesky Tesin, Czech Republic, Moskala

received both a Master and Doctor of

Theology from the Protestant Theological

Faculty of Charles University in

Czech Republic. He has since completed

his Doctor of Philosophy at Andrews

University. n

SET APART TO SERVE: Administration, faculty, staff, and students gather to lay hands onJiří Moskala, newly appointed dean of the

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminaryat Andrews University, during his dedication ceremony.

10 (826) | | September 19, 2013

■■North America

Three Adventist Colleges Create

Adventist Educational Alliance”

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor

Three Seventh-day Adventist colleges

and universities—Southern Adventist

University in Collegedale,

Tennessee; Southwestern Adventist

University in Keene, Texas; and Union

College in Lincoln, Nebraska—are

planning a collaborative arrangement

to save money and strengthen Adventist

education, officials say. The

venture, called the Adventist Educational

Alliance, will begin cooperative

moves this fall.

“We believe that it would be irresponsible

to all college costs to continue

increasing faster than the rate of

inflation,” declares a joint statement,

“The Case for Working Together,”

signed by the board chairs and presidents

of the three schools. John Wagner,

Union College president, added,

“We have a lot of work to do.”

“The three schools can work together

without losing our distinctive identities

and local traditions,” said Eric

Anderson, president of Southwestern

Adventist University.

According to Gordon Bietz, Southern

Adventist University president, “Our

goal is to build a stable financial base

for each institution, enrich our curriculums,

and have a better experience for

our students in a changing world of

higher education.”

Union, Southwestern, and Southern

are working together, according

to the three presidents, because “the

three schools have similar missions,

governance, and faculties,” as well as

primarily Adventist student bodies.

The Adventist Educational Alliance

will not determine wider efforts at

collaboration, said Bietz, such as a

joint marketing initiative supported

by the Association of Adventist

Colleges and Universities (AACU).

Bietz will continue in his role as

executive secretary of AACU.

Among the steps contemplated is

using one recruiter to represent the

three schools when visiting Adventist

academy college fairs, along with finding

a way to merge some “back office”

administrative functions. Both would

be seen as cost-saving measures, and

Bietz said Southern is aligning its

school year calendar with the other

two schools in order to allow students

to take highly specialized courses from

the related institutions where desirable.

The three schools are considering

sharing outstanding faculty in a regular

“Visiting Scholars Program,”

according to Anderson.

The three college presidents were

joined by union conference presidents

Tom Lemon (Mid-America), Ron Smith

(Southern), and Larry Moore (Southwestern).

Each leader and educator

rejected the idea that “the success of

Photo: Southern Adventist University

EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE: The presidents of three Adventist schools have announced plans to develop an Adventist Educational Alliance.

Pictured are Eric Anderson, Southwestern Adventist University (left); Gordon Bietz, Southern Adventist University (center); and

John Wagner, Union College (right). | September 19, 2013 | (827) 11

World News & Perspectives

one is built on the failure of the


Together, the three institutions serve

roughly 15 percent of the Adventist college

and university population in

North America, which was about

28,300 last year. Of that number,

approximately 2,800 were at Southern

Adventist University, while Union College

enrolled approximately 800 and

Southwestern Adventist University

enrolled approximately 800. Registration

is currently underway at all three

schools, and 2013 numbers are not yet


Larry Blackmer, education vice president

for the North American Division,

voiced his approval of the move. “The

future of Adventist higher education

lies in finding ways to collaborate and

work together to enhance the instructional

value to students and to facilitate

the mission-driven focus of

Adventist education,” in comments via

e-mail. “The alliance being developed

and fostered by these three colleges

and universities is exciting and at the

same time challenging. Anytime change

is in the wind, it is always unsettling.

These administrations and boards

need to be supported and encouraged

to build the best higher educational

system we can for our young people.” n

■■North America

It Is Written Speaker/Director John Bradshaw

Optimistic About Health Challenge

By Michele Stotz, communication director, It Is Written

It Is Written speaker/

director John Bradshaw

announced that he

recently underwent surgery

to remove a small

cancerous tumor from his

tongue. Following successful

surgery, he will

undergo a precautionary

course of treatment, with

doctors expecting a full

recovery by January. In the

meantime, It Is Written’s

evangelism plans will

move forward with guest

speakers as he recovers.

“Thankfully, the prognosis

is good. God’s leading

has been remarkably

clear, and thanks to a fantastic

team of physicians,

I’m already back to talking

and eating normally,” said

Bradshaw. “Frankly, this

whole thing really came as

a surprise. When I asked

the physician what might

have caused it, he said the

culprit was likely chronic

John Bradshaw

irritation from a dental

issue, but the good news

is that this type of cancer

is very treatable and completely


Given Bradshaw’s passion

for evangelism, It Is

Written’s event calendar

will remain relatively

unchanged. He will

attend events as he is

able—and as his physician


“Obviously, I’d much

rather have avoided all of

this, but I’m encouraged

that the way ahead is

clear,” said Bradshaw. “I’ll

have to spend a little time

on the sidelines, but

before long, I’ll be back to

full strength. That’s good

news, and I’m grateful to

God for His blessing.”

Bradshaw asked that

people keep his family

and It Is Written in their

prayers. As he said, “The

best is yet to come!” n

12 (828) | | September 19, 2013

adventist life

Several weeks ago on the Adventist

Review Facebook page we asked friends to

briefly describe the Bible to someone who

isn’t familiar with it. The guidelines: it can

be a description of what it is, how it’s used,

or what it does. Almost 200 people replied.

Several people posted an acrostic. Here are

creative comments from two respondents:






—Submitted by Michelle Henry, John Basco,

and Frank Kambare

Best Instructions Before Life Ends

—Submitted by John Pastor, Meru, Kenya

Sound Bite

“No failure is

ever final or fatal

when Jesus is on

your side.”

—Pastor Clifford Jones, in his

sermon on July 13, 2013, at the

Alberta, Canada, camp meeting



Buzzzzz . . .

Here come

The dive bombers

Midair hovercraft

Stocked with standard

Mini hemi

Colorful covetous

Friendly unafraid

Guardians of the water


I freeze

Within their range

Me and the pixies

Check each other out

God’s amazing

Garden fairies . . .


—Robert Black, Goldsboro,

North Carolina

camp meeting memories

One Sabbath in the early 1990s my son and I were in

the big tent at the Potomac Conference camp meeting

listening to the conference president preach. I was trying

to hear the speaker over the sound of the rain,

which had started to get very loud. The water was filling

the “ribs” on the top of the tent and making it sag. I

watched these pockets get bigger and bigger, expecting

the tent to burst at any moment. All of a sudden I

heard my son yell, “Mom, move!” I looked over my

shoulder and saw the tent coming down toward me. I

got up and ran to the cafeteria. I looked back to see

that the tent had flattened.

When I got home, I told everyone how God had

saved my life by letting my son know that I was in danger.

But when my son heard the story I was sharing, he

said, “Mom, I didn’t know you were in trouble; I was in

the back picking chairs off people.”

I knew then that God had used my son’s voice

because that made me act faster than I probably

would have with a stranger’s voice. God is so good!

—Betty Gheen, Huntingtown, Maryland

© terry crews | September 19, 2013 | (829) 13

Heart and Soul:

Biblical Studies




The biblical model of

church growth



grew up in Durban, South Africa,

and loved the Bible from a young

age. One of my clearest memories

is of my grandfather reading John

14:1-3 for family worship. I

enrolled in the Voice of Prophecy correspondence

Bible course and looked forward

to receive my lessons every two

weeks or so in the mail. I would eagerly

check if my answers were correct or not,

and looked forward to digging into the

next lesson. The lessons, printed in

black on white, did not have an elaborate

design—especially when compared

to the glossy lessons we have today. Yet

God’s Word was alive and full of power

in my young teenage heart.

Many years later, when I studied theology

at Helderberg College, it was a

great privilege to meet Heather

Tredoux, director of the Bible School.

The Word of God slowly transformed a

shy, stuttering young man into a

preacher. In fact, the Bible helps us grow

into the people God wants us to be.

illustration by ralph butler


The Word in Acts

The living, enduring Word of God is

central to the evangelistic explosion and

the birth of the Christian movement in

Acts. The Word was the source of power in

the evangelistic ministry of the disciples,

and the people yearned for this Word.

Luke repeatedly tells us how people

received the Word with gladness (see Acts

2:41; 4:4; 8:40). The disciples studied the

Scriptures daily and aligned their lives

with its teachings (see Acts 17:11). In

their sermons the disciples quote, allude,

or refer to Old Testament passages nearly

200 times. Clearly they had memorized

and internalized the Scriptures and

preached with deep conviction. 1

Preaching is a major factor in the proclamation

of the gospel and takes on the form

of witnessing in Acts: “We cannot help

speaking about what we have seen and

heard” (Acts 4:20).

When Luke uses the phrase “word of

the Lord” (Acts 8:25; 13:49; 15:35; 16:32;

19:10, 20) and the “word of God” (Acts

4:31; 6:2; 8:14; 11:1; 12:24; 13:5; 17:13),

he is pointing to the divine origin and

authority of the gospel.

In the Old Testament the Word of God

has tremendous power and ability to

accomplish the tasks that God sets out

for it to accomplish (Ps. 33:6-11; Isa.

55:10, 11; Jer. 1:9-12). 2 The centrality of

the “word” in Acts led French scholar

Marguerat to write that the leading

theme of Acts is “neither the history of

the Church, nor the activity of the Spirit,

but the expansion of the Word. The real

hero of the Acts of the Apostles is the

logos, the Word.” 3

The Word moves the narrative of Acts

forward—and, literally, in new directions.

“So the word of God

spread. The number of disciples

in Jerusalem increased

rapidly, and a large number of

priests became obedient to the

faith” (Acts 6:7). This is a summary

statement of the work of

the Word in Jerusalem and

points to the satisfactory resolution of

the conflict in Jerusalem (Acts 1:1-6:7).

“But the word of God continued to

spread and flourish” (Acts 12:24) marks

another summary statement of the

spread of the Word to the outer parts of

Judea, Samaria, and other Gentile areas

(Acts 6:8-12:24). The Word is on the

move, conquering for the kingdom.

The final summary statement of the

section covering Acts 12:25-19:20 highlights

the moving power of the Word and

points to the geographical expansion of

the Word into Asia Minor and Europe.

“In this way the word of the Lord spread

widely and grew in power” (Acts 19:20). 4

Luke makes use of the term “word of

the Lord” to show the progress of the

church, especially in the context of

human opposition. Just as the Word of

God helped me to grow in South Africa,

so the Word of God grew the church in

Acts. The church grows as the Word grows.

The Word conquers Jerusalem, then

Judea and Samaria. The Word then conquers

an African in Acts 8, giving the

reader a foretaste of the Word’s conquest

of a family of Gentiles in Acts 10.

Finally the Word triumphs over one of

the most influential cities in the firstcentury


The church and the Word move and

develop simultaneously. The two are so

interconnected in Acts that it is almost

impossible to separate them (cf. Acts

2:47; 5:14; 6:7; 11:21; 12:24; 16:5; 19:20).

This becomes apparent when one

notices that the Word never returns to

an area twice as Luke tells us about the

growth of the church. 5

The Word determines and sets the

agenda for evangelism and discipleship.

The same Greek word (plethynein) is

used for the “increase” in the number

of disciples (6:1; 9:31) as well as for the

increase of the Word (6:7; 12:24).

The church and

the Word move

and develop


The Word in History

Peter Waldo, or Valdes, was a wealthy

merchant of Lyons (eastern France),

who experienced conversion about 1175

or 1176. He gave away his possessions

and decided to follow Christ by leading

a life of poverty and preaching. Convicted

by the necessity of spreading

God’s Word Waldo had the Latin New

Testament translated into the vernacular,

which formed the basis of his evangelism.

He preached the message of

Scripture fearlessly and powerfully so

that he soon had a group of people following

him. When the Word of God is

preached fearlessly and with the anointing

of the Spirit, there is normally an

explosion of kingdom growth.

The group that followed Peter Waldo

grew so effective and powerful that they

came to the attention of the pope. They

were given the approval of Pope Alexander

III at the Third Lateran Council in

1179. They had one condition: Waldo’s

followers were to gain the approval of the

local church authority before preaching.

However, the Waldensians preached the

message of the Bible and exalted the virtues

of poverty without first seeking approval

from the local bishop. Waldo loved quoting

Acts 5:29: “We must obey God rather than

human beings.” 6 They continued to con- | September 19, 2013 | (831) 15

The proclamation

of the Word


unsettles, and

defeats the devil

and his forces.

demn the laxity and wealth of the medieval

church. Their preaching of God’s Word was

so Spirit-filled and blessed of heaven that in

1181 the archbishop of Lyon prohibited

their preaching.

The Waldensians responded by

preaching even more zealously. The

church hierarchy were clearly troubled

as the 1181 condemnation gained

momentum. In 1184 at Verona, Pope

Lucius III ordered that the Waldensians

and other groups like them should be

eliminated by inquisition and secular

punishment. The Waldensians eventually

fled from Lyons and grew rapidly in

Lombardy and Provence. A movement of

God always anchors itself in the authority

of the Word. The proclamation of the

Word disturbs, unsettles, and defeats

the devil and his forces.

ration in religious life

when the people listen

to sermon after sermon

and do not put the

instruction into practice?

The ability God has

given, if not exercised,

degenerates.” 8

The Word is not meant

to stop with us—it has

to spread through us!

We need to let the Word out of the confines

of the church building. The Word,

and the Spirit that inspired the Word, are

deeply relational. Hence the Word travels

best in the context of relationship. Since

the Word moves along relational lines,

the church must be structured relationally.

Discipleship structures have to be

set up in the local church so that people

have every opportunity to gather around

the transforming Word of God and experience

the power of the Holy Spirit in

their lives during the week. Local churches

that unleash the Word in the context of

authentic discipleship structures can

impact local communities and bring

about lasting change for the kingdom of

God. n


R. Coleman, The Master Plan of Discipleship (Grand

Rapids: Fleming Revell, 1987), p. 105.


D. G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles (Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans, 2009), p. 33.


D. Marguerat, The First Christian Historian: Writing

the Acts of the Apostles, Society of New Testament Studies

Monograph Series 121, translated by K. McKinney,

G. J. Laughery, and Richard Bauckham (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 37.


Peterson, p. 34.


David W. Pao, Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus

(Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), pp. 150-155.


Bruce Shelly, Church History in Plain Language

(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), p. 208.


David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the

American Dream (Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books,

2010), p. 99.


Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain

View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 6, p. 425.

Kayle de Waal, originally from

South Africa, is senior lecturer

in New Testament in the School

of Ministry and Theology,

Avondale College, Cooranbong,

Australia. He is married to Charmaine and has

two children, Kerryn and Charé.

The Word Today

If the Word is central to growth and

revival, then the local church must do

everything possible to gather around

the Word. Sadly, too often the Word is

stuck in the local church building where

it is proclaimed Sabbath after Sabbath.

Are we receivers or reproducers of the

Word? 7 Do we hoard the Word or do we

share the Word? We often sit in church

and take it all in but never pass the Word

on. Or we may dissect the Sabbath morning

sermon over Sabbath lunch and never

share it with others or practice its principles

during the week. We may study our

Sabbath school lesson faithfully but never

share it with others. The Word that is

preached on a Sabbath morning or that we

study in our devotions is a word that must

be shared and practiced during the week.

Talking about sermons, Ellen White

wrote: “What can we expect but deterio-

16 (832) | | September 19, 2013

Cliff’s Edge

The God of the Gap

A cartoon shows two scientists looking at a complicated formula

on a blackboard. Amid the numbers, letters, and symbols of the various steps are the words “And then a

miracle occurs.” One scientist points to that sentence and says to the other, “I think you should be a bit more

explicit here in step two.”

The cartoon makes fun of what has been called “the God of the gaps.” Though understood in variegated

and nuanced ways, the idea is that when scientists run into a phenomenon they cannot “explain” (a concept

exceedingly more complicated than most people imagine), then God’s mysterious working must be the

answer. “Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding,” wrote Richard

Dawkins. “If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it.”

As usual, that’s a Dawkins’ caricature of creationism and of science itself. The ancient Greeks, those

whom we might loosely call the world’s first “scientists,” sought natural phenomena to explain

other natural phenomena. In the twelfth century Abelard of Bath argued that in natural philosophy

(the precursor to science) we cannot use supernatural causes to explain the workings

of the natural world. Even when admitting that he had no clue as to how gravity worked (calling

the idea that two bodies influenced each other across the expanse of space “an absurdity”),

Isaac Newton never evoked God to scientifically explain this gap in his knowledge, despite

being a creationist. What serious scientist involved in research, creationist or not, does

what was mocked in that cartoon?

Dawkins also propagates another misconception nestled within “the God of the gaps”

notion. Just because science comes up with an “explanation” for a phenomenon doesn’t mean that

God is automatically pushed out. It’s a metaphysical, not a scientific, notion that divinity is

excluded by default the moment science makes a new “discovery” or devises a new formula.

Besides, formulas only describe, not explain. E=mc 2 doesn’t teach us why energy equals mass

times the speed of light squared. It’s just a succinct description of the phenomenon, not an explanation

of it.

Contrary to the “God of the gaps” idea, it’s what we know about the world, not what we don’t

(the gaps) that reveals God to us. For example, our better grasp of the complicated biochemical

process that forms blood clots doesn’t mean that God had or has nothing to do with it. If anything,

our deeper scientific understanding of natural phenomena, in all their complexity and

mystery, reveals more about how God works in our world than had been previously understood.

Scripture is clear: God is not only the Creator of the physical world, but also its sustainer (see Heb. 1:3;

Acts 17:28; Ps. 104). Meanwhile, a scientific explanation is just that, a “scientific” one, and thus remains

limited within its own human-made confines about what it can claim, regardless of what’s beyond those

confines. Given the limits of what nature reveals to us, added to self-imposed and often philosophically

based presuppositions of science, it’s hard to imagine how science could ever “prove” the workings of God,

no matter how obvious those workings.

I titled this piece “The God of the Gap,” singular, to point out a specific gap and, even more specifically,

where that gap is. Notice, it was “step two,” not step one, that the cartoon mocked. There’s a good reason,

too. How could a scientific formula account for step one without first being explained by something prior

to it, which means that it wasn’t step one, after all. In order to be step one, in order to fill that first gap, it

would have to be uncaused and eternal, and what else could that be but God?

To get out of that conundrum, some cosmologists, such as Stephen Hawking, argue that the universe

arose out of “nothing.” What else? With the exception of an eternally existing God, only “nothing” needs no

explanation. And if your science demands the exclusion of the divine anywhere along the line, then “nothing”

is the only logical option.

So “nothing” created the universe, or “the God of the gap,” the first gap, did. Take your pick. n



Clifford Goldstein is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. He is also featured on the Web site 1844made | September 19, 2013 | (833) 17

40 Below


The issue with Seventh-day

Adventists,” the preacher

explained, “is that they

believe they are saved by

their works.”

This accusation reappears every

decade or so and is nothing new to the

Adventist faithful. Since the days of

Ellen White we’ve been bombarded

with labels such as legalists, Pharisees,

bigots, flat-earthers, and my personal

Memorial to



do works

favorite, Jews. Another critical remark

I’ve heard about the Adventist Church is

that our greatest blunder was the elimination

of righteousness by faith.

As a youth growing up in the Bible

Belt of the United States, the varying

doctrines of our fellow Protestants were

ever-present and ever-vocal in my

upbringing. Whatever doctrinal distinctive

one may critique about the Adventist

Church, the conversation would

inevitably touch on righteousness by

faith at some point. In those days the

18 (834) | | September 19, 2013

most common dispute I heard did not

have to do with the sanctuary. Rather, it

had to do with works.

I must admit that even I didn’t fully

understand the role works played.

Hearing a constant barrage of criticisms

against the importance of works made

me second-guess whether they were at

all necessary. “The just shall live by

faith,” someone would say, quoting

Martin Luther and Romans 1:17. From

these encounters I would always walk

away deep in thought. Were they right?

Simultaneously, the familiar passages

“Faith without works is dead” (James

2:26)* and “A man is justified by works,

and not by faith only” (verse 24) reverberated

in my mind. Works did matter, I

argued in response.

Truly, works do matter. But do they


My epiphany did not come until I

reached my 20s, after several years of

serious Bible study. Works do matter,

but they do not save us. In fact, works

are a memorial to our salvation, not the


source of it.

Did God create the world by resting

on the seventh day and sanctifying it?

Of course not. So then do we find salvation

by working? No, our works are a

result of gratitude and remembering

God’s saving work in our lives, just as

the Sabbath stands as a memorial to

God’s creative work in the world.

In the Past

In the book of Genesis, God told

Abram that his descendants would be

captive in a land not their own for 400

years. The Lord also promised to judge

their oppressor and to bring Abram’s

posterity up from Egypt and give them

the land He had promised to their

fathers. When the time to free the children

of Israel came, the Lord visited

plague upon plague on the Egyptians

and the hardened pharaoh. The final

and most devastating plague brought

on the mourning of an entire people, as

all of Egypt’s firstborn died in the nighttime


Remember, the law of Moses, the Ten

Commandments, and the various ordinances

given at Sinai

were still unheard-of

to the Israelites. The

Lord saved them not

by works, but by faith

in the blood of the

Passover Lamb,

Christ Jesus. Truly,

“the just shall live by

faith” in both the Old

and New Testaments.

First God brought

salvation, and then He brought His children

to Sinai. Not the other way around.

This illustration is akin to the idea

that God will meet us where we are. God

will always meet us where we are, but

He refuses to keep us there. God did not

expect Israel to escape Egypt and navigate

their way to Sinai. Nor did He plan

to save them but keep them in Egypt.

With a mighty hand the Lord brought

His children up. Not once did works

play a role in their salvation—only faith.

Then, with the giving of the Ten Commandments,

God’s first words are “I am

the Lord your God, who brought you

out of the land of Egypt, out of the

house of bondage” (Ex. 20:2). A deeper

spiritual lesson exists here beyond literal

Egypt. More important than the

actual giving of the law, God first

reminded the Israelites who He was,

first and foremost—their Savior.

After Sinai, the entire Jewish economy

revolved around the elaborate sacrificial

system. This system not only remembered

the Lord’s salvation out of Egypt,

but looked in faith to the future coming

of a Savior who would free His people.

The Source

Any theology that makes works a

part of receiving salvation is a false

religion. As the apostle Paul so clearly

states: “Where is boasting then? It is

excluded. By what law? Of works? No,

but by the law of faith. Therefore we

conclude that a man is justified by

faith apart from the deeds of the law”

(Rom. 3:27, 28).

God will always

meet us where

we are, but He

refuses to

keep us there.

But before we throw the importance of

works out the window, remember that

Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments”

(John 14:15). We cannot

minimize the importance

of what Jesus

is saying, or not saying.

He is not saying,

“If you want to be

saved, keep My commandments.”

He is

expressing that

those who have

come to Christ, have

experienced His

grace and mercy, and

have been washed in the blood of the

Lamb will inevitably reflect Christ’s character

by default rather than obligation.

We live holy, consecrated lives not so

that we may be saved, but because we are

saved! Christ, the Passover Lamb, did not

die to do away with the law; rather He

fulfilled its demand for blood on our

behalf. Now by faith and in constant gratitude

we are enabled to follow in Christ’s

footsteps as His children, as the seed of

Abraham and heirs of the promise.

Works are a memorial to the Lord’s

salvation. They are never the source of it!

In the days of Moses, when children

asked, “What do you mean by this service?”

parents would say, “It is the Passover

sacrifice of the Lord, who passed

over the houses of the children of Israel

in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians

and delivered our households” (Ex.

12:26, 27).

So today, when we welcome the Sabbath

hours with prayer and hymns,

when we take Communion, or when we

study God’s Word together and someone

asks, “Why do we do this?” we have

an answer.

“We love Him because He first loved

us” (1 John 4:19). n

* Texts in this article are from the New King James

Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson,

Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Andrew Kerbs writes from

Kernersville, North Carolina. | September 19, 2013 | (835) 19

Cover Story







of a




“ I

have a continual longing for Christ

to be formed within, the hope of

glory. I long to be beautified every

day with the meekness and gentleness

of Christ, growing in grace

and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ up

to the full stature of men and women in

Christ Jesus.” 1


It is perhaps the least practiced spiritual

habit of our harried age. Yet solitude

is preeminently the habit on which all our

progress as spiritual persons depends.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps.

46:10), 2 the Lord says to His people

whenever they are anxious and fearful.

But we live and move as though we think

that just the inverse of His Word is

true—that we can know Him just as well

amid the roar and din we still somehow

prefer. “Speak to me instead through the

earthquake, wind, and fire,” we protest

to the God who prefers the “sound of a

gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12, NLT). 3

So it is that we shy away from time

alone the way a 10-year-old devises

ways to avoid piano practice. We invent

urgent duties—homework, even; we

recall other obligations; we volunteer

for otherwise unwelcome tasks, fearing

any environment in which we make the

only sounds.

The prospect of spending half a day

alone terrifies well more than half the

world’s population, for we have

absorbed the normative noise of our

overstimulated world. Without the

ambient sounds of our humming

devices and chattering companions, we

grow suspicious that something fundamental

is wrong, perhaps even dangerous.

A dozen Hollywood movies have

made us wary of anything “too quiet,”

for in just such moments, the dreaded

something lurks.

If we hear no human voices; if we hear

no digitized music; if we see no flickering

images upon a screen, we also feel

deprived, as though our senses are experiencing

unhealthy starvation. And so we

make of solitude an unattainable goal, an

accomplishment only for saints. The habit

of solitude becomes a virtue we take none

too seriously because it makes us feel

uncomfortable, ill at ease, or unsettled.

But it wasn’t so with Jesus. The Scriptures

tell us that He chose aloneness at the

beginning of His public ministry: “Immediately

the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.

And He was there in the

wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan,

and was with the wild beasts; and the

angels ministered to Him” (Mark 1:12, 13).

After rejoicing in His Father’s audible

approval at His Jordan River baptism,

Jesus chose the prolonged quietness of

the wilderness in which only His Father

spoke to Him. Before He turned water

into wine at Cana, Jesus knew in the

desert that quiet could be turned into

strength. Before He gave a deaf-mute

man the power to speak again, Jesus

chose for Himself a fast from everyday

20 (836) | | September 19, 2013

words, except perhaps the words He

whispered to His Father.

The wilderness experience of Jesus

underscores for us the differences between

godly solitude and simple aloneness. Solitude

was the habit Jesus chose, not just the

accidental opening that occurred when all

companions had departed and the crowd

temporarily couldn’t find Him. Solitude

doesn’t happen when others leave, but

when we leave the places where we usually

work, rest, and play.

Jesus walked into solitude as a bridegroom

preparing for a wedding—joyously,

expectantly—certain that this

chosen time alone would deepen both

His joy and His usefulness. Thus we

find Mark telling us that after Jesus’

first recorded day of healing and teaching,

“in the morning, having risen a

long while before daylight, He went out

and departed to a solitary place; and

there He prayed” (Mark 1:35). This isn’t

the Man of sorrows we see here, sleepdeprived

and tortured in spirit. No, this

is the Son of

man who found

in solitude the

grace and fullness

from which

to give unstintingly

of Himself

when He chose to be with others. “From

hours spent alone with God He came

forth, morning by morning, to bring the

light of heaven to men.” 4

It was also in solitude that Jesus

experienced the conviction that the

words He chose to speak were important

and consequential: “The words that

I speak to you I do not speak on My own

authority; but the Father who dwells in

Me does the works” (John 14:10). Solitude

provided Him the witness that He

was quoting no one other than His

Father when He spoke the truth to multitudes

and to individuals. No human

Solitude doesn’t happen

when others leave, but when

we leave the places where we

usually work, rest, and play.

could justly claim that Jesus had borrowed

their ideas or phrases, or that His

teaching was originally theirs. Even the

hardened Temple officers confessed to

His sworn enemies, “No man ever spoke

like this Man!” (John 7:46).

As it did for Jesus, the habit of chosen

aloneness will offer us a refuge from the

din of soulless technology and the spin

of others’ words. It will offer us, as it

did Him, the certainty that we are offering

the world something solid, significant,

and life-saving when we tell the

Savior’s story. The aloneness that we

choose—where we are apart from

everyone else but fully with the

Father—allows us to reverently say to

the world what Jesus said: “The words

that I speak to you are spirit, and they

are life” (John 6:63).

The choice of solitude results in

certitude. | September 19, 2013 | (837) 21


“Help my unbelief!” the father of a

tortured boy once pleaded with Jesus

(Mark 9:24), and in so doing voiced the

heart cry of so many.

An old cynicism reminds us that we

can truly be certain of only two things in

this life—death and taxes—and loss is

the common denominator of both. We

lose health and vigor to age or illness;

we lose those we love to cancer,

heart attack, or stroke; we lose savings

to once-wise investments now

gone south; we watch paychecks

shrink to fund an ever-growing government.

We can be certain, we say,

only of the negatives—that we can

never win, that we can never gain, that

we can never get ahead.

The pace at which we usually live our

lives also seems perversely calculated to

keep us doubtful and uncertain. We race

through relationships, trying to extract

what joy we can, and wondering why

they offer us no deep, abiding sense of

well-being and groundedness. We flit

through our devotional time—all wings

and color—and wonder why we get so

little from it. Even the Sabbath, God’s

weekly symbol of deep rest and sweet

assurance, becomes for some a lengthy

irritant. “When will the Sabbath be over,

so we can buy and sell?” we ask repeatedly

of the clock (see Amos 8:5).

But Jesus came to free us from the tyranny

of things we can’t be sure of. “And

you shall know the truth, and the truth

shall make you free” (John 8:32), He

said, underlining the essential connection

between His Word and the sense of

deep security He intends His followers

to know. Certitude is the fortunate experience

of being sure of the most essential

truths—truths that change and

shape our everyday experiences.

In place of our

question marks,

Jesus offers His


So much of what we have come to

think of as “normal” in the Christian

journey—periodic anxiety, at least occasional

doubt, and restlessness—was

never in His plan for His disciples, then

or now. He intended that His Word convey

to us the blessed certainties of existence—that

God is love (1 John 4:8); that

we are loved (1 John 4:16); that we can

learn to love as God does (1 John 4:21).

In place of our question marks, Jesus

offers His declarations: “My peace I give

to you,” He assured His closest friends,

“not as the world gives do I give to you”

(John 14:27). “I have come that they may

have life, and that they may have it more

abundantly” (John 10:10), He promises.

Choicest among the good things He

offers us is the gift of discovering that

we are deeply loved—before we are ever

sorry for our sins; before we ever repent

and reform; before we ever become useful

to His kingdom (Rom. 5:8). It is only

His estimate of our worth that makes

us begin to believe that we are truly

valuable, and that our lives have meaning

beyond what we can get or achieve.

When we learn that His love for us is

so deep and vast and different that He

laid down His life for those He prophesies

will be His “friends” (John 15:15),

we discover a new certainty we have

never previously known. Nothing we

have ever experienced in this life and

nothing we can imagine in death can

ever separate us from a love so broad

and vast and deep (Rom. 8:38, 39). Even

death, the greatest threat to human certitude,

gives up its prizes on that day

when it “is swallowed up in victory”

(1 Cor. 15:54).

Certitude, then, is more than simple

optimism or righteous wishful thinking.

Certitude is the habit of the heart in

which we trust that what God says

about us is always more true than anything

we can say about ourselves. When

His Word tells us that we are great sinners,

we accept His Word by faith,

even when we don’t feel ourselves to

be so very sinful (see Ps. 139:23, 24).

And when, having confessed and

forsaken our sins according to His

Word (1 John 1:9), we still feel condemned

and guilt-ridden, we place

our weight upon the righteousness that

His Word says has actually been

imputed to us: “And by this we know

that we are of the truth, and shall assure

our hearts before Him. For if our heart

condemns us, God is greater than our

heart, and knows all things” (1 John

3:19, 20).

Ellen White echoes this great truth in

words we ought to frame for every wall:

“We need a more firm reliance upon a

‘Thus saith the Lord.’ If we have this, we

shall not trust to feeling, and be ruled

by feeling. God asks us to rest in His

love. It is our privilege to know the

22 (838) | | September 19, 2013

Word of God as a sure and tried guide,

an infallible assurance. Let us work on

the faith side of the question. Let us

believe and trust, and talk faith and

hope and courage.” 5

Knowing these truths with such certainty,

we can also face the unknown

with equanimity, for we have His assurance

that God is with us, “our refuge

and strength, a very present help in

trouble” (Ps. 46:1). Even before we experience

the deliverance that He has

promised to all who put their faith in

Him, we begin to sing as Jehoshaphat’s

unarmed battalions did the thankful

songs that celebrate what He is about to

do: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy

endures forever” (2 Chron. 20:21).

The solitude that leads to certitude

ends up in gratitude.


This is the habit of the heart about

which we think we know the most. Ever

since we were children, we have been

routinely saying thank you to somebody—to

playmates who loaned us toys

in the sandbox; to classmates who loaned

us study notes to prep for the big exam.

By the time we entered the first grade,

we had already been schooled in the

basics of politeness—“Please,” “Thank

you,” and “You’re welcome.” Saying

thank you was a duty—a civic obligation,

if you please—expected of everyone

who didn’t want to be thought

crude and ill-mannered. We gave our

parents roses or carnations at graduation

ceremonies and cards on Mother’s

Day and Father’s Day, reaching for some

overwrought words to share the thanks

they so much longed to hear, especially

in public.

But saying thanks isn’t the same

thing as gratitude, for we can say thank

you a dozen times a day and still be lacking

in the grace of gratitude. Truth is, we

have thanked many a waitress or

mechanic for their services without

meaning to be truly grateful: we fully

intended to forget their chatter or their

skill once we were fed or on our way

again. Saying thanks is a cultural saying—a

phrase, albeit an important one.

Gratitude, however, is an enduring

habit, a way of living that often finds

words but doesn’t actually require them.

Gratitude is the habit of “thinking with

admiration” about the one who has given

us good things—contemplating the qualities

in them that cause them to be so

good and generous to us. And when, usually

some years into our following of

Jesus, we begin to regularly think with

reverent admiration about “the Father of

lights,” from whom comes “every good

gift and every perfect gift” (James 1:17),

we have finally identified the Source of all

that blesses us, enriches us, and makes

our lives joyful and secure.

Gratitude is thus not a polite social

remembrance for things given to us—

toys, flowers, or graduation gifts—but

a deep, abiding appreciation for and a

relationship with the one who has

It is us and not

just our thanks

that He really


done the giving. Gratitude to Jesus

insists that we pursue a continuing

relationship with Him. His poignant

question to the one leper who returned

after being healed reminds us that it is

us and not just our thanks that He

really wants: “Were there not ten

cleansed? But where are the nine?”

(Luke 17:17).

True gratitude may begin with simple

words such as “thank you,” but it goes on

to become the habit of our hearts in

moments too deep and too momentous

for words. Ellen White reminds us: “God

would make it impossible for man to say

that He could have done more. With

Christ He gave all the resources of heaven,

that nothing might be wanting in the plan

for man’s uplifting. Here is love—the contemplation

of which should fill the soul

with inexpressible gratitude!” 6

We sing doxologies not just when the

offering has been collected, and we

remember that He owns the cattle on a

thousand hills (Ps. 50:10). We also

silently express our gratitude in the

dark night of hospital wards when we

find His comfort in the midst of our

pain (1 Cor. 1:4). Our gratitude becomes

solid and substantial in the midst of

private storms when we come to deeply

trust that “He himself is before all

things, and in him all things hold

together” (Col. 1:17, NRSV). 7

At its heart, gratitude is just another

word for the affection we always feel

when we meet the risen Jesus—an

affection that grows deeper and more

committed the longer that we journey

with Him. He gives Himself extravagantly

to obscure disciples on the road,

and love reciprocates in hearts that are

“strangely warmed.” 8 “Did not our

heart burn within us while He talked

with us on the road, and while He

opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke

24:32; see also verses 13-34). It is time

walking with Jesus that brings us to the

restful place called Emmaus (“warm

spring”), and there we learn that this is

just another name for gratitude.

The journey that began in solitude

leads on to certitude and ends in gratitude—which

leads us back to solitude,

and to certitude, and so on, and so on,

until the New Jerusalem itself comes

into view, and we break bread with Him

in that life that never has an end. n


Ellen G. White, Our High Calling (Hagerstown, Md.:

Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 2000), p. 247.


All Bible texts are quoted from the New King

James Version unless otherwise indicated. Texts credited

to NKJV are from the New King James Version.

Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from

the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©

1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used

by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol

Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain

View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 56.


Ellen G. White, The Upward Look (Washington, D.C.:

Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1982), p. 37.


Ellen G. White, Australasian Union Record, April 1,



Bible texts credited to NRSV are from the New

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright ©

1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the

U.S.A. Used by permission.


The phrase is originally that of John Wesley, who

used it to describe the moment of his conversion.

Bill Knott is the editor and

executive publisher of

Adventist Review. | September 19, 2013 | (839) 23

Adventist Life


Parents in today’s technological

age are dealing with

issues that their parents

never had to face. Social

media is a cultural change

that did not enter our world until the

end of the last century—and it’s not a

passing fad. Instead, it’s become the

fabric of our American culture.

As with many things, technology has

proved to be both a blessing and a curse.

We’ve witnessed ruling parties of nations

overturned, in part, because of the influence

social media had upon its citizens. If

it can impact a nation, it surely has an

impact upon our

individual families.


parents feel

as if their

attempts to

control the

use of media

are futile.

A recent study

conducted by the

Institute for

Advanced Studies in

Culture 1 revealed

some startling

information. Parents

shared a view indicating

that the family

is in decline. This

decline was attributed, to a large degree,

to social media. Parents expressed a sense

of danger to their child that was linked

directly to the use of technology. Here are

some of the findings the study revealed:

• Eighty-four percent of teenagers

carry a cell phone.

• Ninety-three percent of teenagers

are connected to their peers via cell

phone or online social networking.

• Seven out of 10 teenagers are texting

at least once a day, and 64 percent

are texting multiple times daily.

• Four out of five teenagers have a

Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking

account with which they follow

and “friend” people whom their

parents don’t know.

• Two thirds of teenagers connect

to their online social networks at least

several times a week.

• Sixty-two percent of all parents of

teenagers say their children “ are constantly

connected electronically with

their friends.”

Another study indicates that the situation

is actually worse than parents

report. It shows a disconnect between

parents’ perceptions and reality. “The

Online Generation Gap: Contrasting Attitudes

and Behaviors of Parents and

Teens,” conducted by Hart Research Associates

for the Family Online Safety Institute

(FOSI), 2 found a “generation gap”

between what parents think they know

about their kids’ online behavior and

what the teens say they actually do know.

In short, this study revealed that parents

think they have a better handle on their

kids’ online behavior than they actually

do. This means that the problem may be

worse than parents think it is. In fact, 71

percent of teens say they hide their

online activity from their parents. 3

Our children’s lives are infused with •

contacts, conversations, and information

that many parents feel are out of their control.

Parents readily admit that their child

sees things in media that they should not

be seeing. Parents have a sense that they

should, in fact, be doing more; however,

they’re uncertain as to how to get a handle

on social media and the digital world that

has invaded their child’s life. Many parents

feel as if their attempts to control the

use of media are futile.

If parents try to envelop their child

in a safety net against the influences of

social media, they are left with

nowhere for their child to go. After all,

social media is all around us. There’ s

no escaping it. So should parents just

admit defeat? Do we throw up our

hands and give up?

A key role of parenting is teaching

our children to become responsible

adults. This is not a matter of control;

it’s a matter of living up to our Godgiven

responsibility as parents. In so

doing, we’ll help to ensure their safety

amid social media frenzy.

Here are some thoughts to consider:

Install parental

control software.

Teens should never have accounts that

don’t allow parents complete access. Noth-

24 (840) | | September 19, 2013



in a Digital

ing should be secret to you regarding your

children’s online activities. Software is

available that can be installed on all household

computers that allows you to retrieve

a report of your child’s online activity,

including gaming and pornography. You

may want to consider Net Nanny, a toprated

parental control software, which

sells at a very affordable price.

Set boundaries and monitor

use of technology.

Limit your child’s time on the computer,

and be sure the computer is

located in the main part of the house.

Allowing your children to have computers

in their rooms may limit your ability

to monitor their activity and screen

habits. This may not be a popular move,

but that is OK. Remember, you have a

responsibility as a parent to protect

your children, as well as to teach them

responsibility and time management.

Spend time considering what you

value as a family. Some families have

decided to ban the television from

their homes completely, finding the

merits of television to be minimal.

Other families have chosen to control

television usage and programming,

again reflecting family values. Internet

access can also be gained directly

from your television, so setting

boundaries and monitoring its use is

vital for this purpose as well.

Many teenagers can’t seem to put

down their cell phone. They walk with

it, eat with it, and lie in bed at night


talking on it. At times they seem more

interested in talking or texting on

their phones than in interacting

with family and friends in person.

Texting has gotten out of control

at every age, and it seems as if

families can no longer enjoy a

meal together without texting

or talking on the phone. Establish

ground rules for your family—adults

included—so that

time to talk, share, and listen are a

normal part of your family’s interactions.

Set up “no-texting” times and



zones, and be firm on this matter.

Many have established rules about

putting cell phones away when they

come into the home at night; others

h ave limited the amount of time

spent on them. Otherwise, if we don’t

take such measures, technology will

control our families instead of our

controlling it.

Review all social

media accounts.

If you as a parent chose to allow your

teenagers to have a Facebook, Twitter,

or other social media account, sit down

with your teens at unannounced times

on a regular basis and review entries on

their accounts. This will help you to

become familiar with sites on which

your teens are spending their time and

with whom they’re communicating.

You’ll learn a lot when you see photos,

read stories, and ask questions. Many

parents would be shocked if they knew

what their teens knew, saw, wrote, and

read from their friends.

Supervise access to social

media at friends’ homes.

Many parents say

that even if they control

social media in

their own homes,

their children are

exposed to it at the

homes of their

friends. Perhaps this

is the easiest issue of

all to solve: don’t

allow your child to

stay overnight or visit

that friend’s home

unless you are along.

This is not harsh;

remember, you’re the





Perhaps the most

important element of

parenting in this digital

world is being a

positive role model in

the way that you yourself use technology.

Many teens are simply mimicking

what has been modeled by

their parents. Too many parents

operate their lives by the

premise “Do as I say; not as I

do.” This is no way to effectively

teach your children

appropriate ways to utilize

social media.

Parents must model

moderation in their own

use of the television, computer,

and cell phone. Model

the observance of laws,

including laws about the use

of cell phones while driving.

When your teens get their driver’s

license, they will imitate the

model that you have set. If you don’t

want your child doing it, writing it, or

watching it, then neither should you. We

are counseled, “The words and acts of

the parents are the most potent of educating

influences, for they will surely be

reflected in the character and conduct of

the children.” 4

Many of the arguments as to how to

handle social media place too much

responsibility on the child for their

own well-being, and this is simply

unfair and unhealthy. Children need to

grow up with parents doing their job

so they don’t have to grow up too

quickly. A clear distinction must be

made as to who the parent is and who

the child is. What is the role of each? In

essence, the question for many families

is: Who is in charge?

Technology has the potential to be a

valuable contribution to our children’s

lives if parents allow it to be a tool

instead of a substitute for real relationships.

Parents must set boundaries, create

balance, and teach responsibility. By

being intentional in our ever-changing

digital world, parents may greatly reduce

the likelihood of having regrets. After all,

every parent wants to know they have

done all they can do to raise healthy,

well-adjusted children—not just for life

here, but more important, for eternity.

We have a God-given responsibility to

introduce our children to Jesus. There is

no work more crucial. Everything our

children are exposed to should bring

them closer to their Savior. Perhaps we

should let Scripture be our filter as we

navigate through our digital world:

“Finally, brethren, whatever things

are true, whatever things are noble,

whatever things are just, whatever

things are pure, whatever things are

lovely, whatever things are of good

report, if there is any virtue and if there

is anything praiseworthy—meditate on

these things” (Phil. 4:8, NKJV). 5 n


Carl D. Bowman et al., Culture of American Families:

Executive Report (Charlottesville, Va.: Institute for

Advanced Studies in Culture, 2012), p. 8.


Family Online Safety Institute, “The Online Generation

Gap: Contrasting Attitudes and Behaviors of

Parents and Teens” (Hart Research Associates, 2012).


Erik Sass, “Teens Running Circles Around Parents

on Social Media,”



Ellen G. White, “Education,” Health Reformer, May 1,



Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King

James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by

Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights


Pamela Consuegra is

associate director of family

ministries for the North

American Division of Seventhday


26 (842)

| | September 19, 2013

Back to Basics

With All Our Might

Recently I participated in an extraordinary homecoming at Sligo

church, where I spent three years as associate pastor for evangelism. It was a grand reunion reminiscent of

heaven as I reconnected with friends I had not seen in almost two decades and sang of God’s great

faithfulness. I was dancing in my heart.

Since joining the Adventist Church more than 30 years ago, I’ve heard the caustic criticism that dancing

is the sole domain of the devil. But a review of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy writing shows that there is

dancing, and then there’s dancing.

A diligent study of His Word reveals that God loves dancing (see Ps. 149:1-4). He Himself put rhythm

in our bodies and the beat in our hearts so that when we hear the sweet music of grace, we can respond

naturally to the cadence of holiness and the melodies of salvation.

Dancing was a significant part of community life and worship in the Old Testament. Jubilation or

exuberant rejoicing and singing were always accompanied by dancing to the rhythm of tambourines

and clapping. This moving expression of commitment was consecrated as part of a Jewish

wedding ceremony and performed by the groom after vows of fidelity to his bride. It inspired the

sons of Korah to pen a poem called “A Song Celebrating the King’s Marriage” (Ps. 45).

King David danced vigorously when he restored the ark, despite the denouncement of his wife

(see 2 Sam. 6:14-16). Ellen White cautions against conjuring images of worldly dancing when we

read or hear this story.* She wrote that there was nothing in David’s dancing that is comparable to

or will justify modern dance. The popular dance of our day draws no one nearer to God, nor does it

inspire us to purer thoughts or holier living. It degrades and corrupts. It unfits men and women for

prayer or the study of God’s Word, and turns them away from righteousness into ways of revelry. Morals

are corrupted, time is worse than wasted, and often health is sacrificed.

David’s dance was an act of sacred worship steeped in gratitude with songs of a nation saved by grace

through faith in God. It wasn’t some halfhearted moves performed with reluctance like a despised duty.

It was a dance full of energy and excitement compelled by the Holy Spirit, energizing David from his

head to the soles of his feet. He was inspired from the depths of his soul to the marrow of his mind. His

moves were spontaneous with passion as one who is a man after God’s heart and realizes that he is.

When we perform our religious rituals, we should do them with all our might. Conductors have dislocated

shoulders while leading orchestras. Singers lose their voice while practicing for a performance.

Athletes suffer concussions, break bones, and sprain joints while intensely pursuing their sport. But we

seem to lack the passion or purpose to stretch beyond our natural capacities when we worship the Lord.

When we sing, we must sing with all our might. When we pray, we must pray with all our hearts. When

we study Scripture, we must do so with all our mind, soul, and spirit. And when we sense the powerful

presence of the same Holy Spirit who motivated David to dance, I hope we’ll have the courage to rejoice with

mind and body.

The New Testament use of the term agalliao suggests that some of God’s good saints may be in for a great

surprise. The word describes the passionate dance of a bridegroom. And Jesus did it, despite the dismay of

His disciples (see Luke 10:17-21, where the word is translated “rejoice”). And the redeemed, it seems, even

those reluctant to dance on earth, will dance before the Lord at the marriage supper of the Lamb (see Rev.

19:7-9, where agalliao appears).

I pray that you’ll be at that great homecoming to shake off the awkward fear that inspires frigid sanctity,

and dance with Jesus in glory! n




See Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1890), p. 707.

Hyveth Williams is a professor of homiletics at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. | September 19, 2013 | (843) 27

At Rest

COFFIN, H. Beth Armstrong—b. Dec.

9, 1922, Tokyo, Japan; d. Jan. 28, 2013,

Gresham, Oreg. She served as a teacher

with her husband in Singapore. She is

survived by one son, David; one daughter,

Kathy Marshall; four grandchildren;

and two great-grandchildren.

DUNDER, George—b. Apr. 30, 1927,

Dugger, Ind.; d. Nov. 6, 2012, Cicero, Ind.

He served as principal of Ikizu Secondary

School (Tanzania) and Maxwell Adventist

Academy (Kenya). He is survived

by his wife, A. Virginia; three sons, Terry,

Neil, and Roger; two sisters, Shirley

Secrest and Grace Casey; six grandchildren;

five stepgrandchildren; and five


FORD, Venessa Standish—d. Apr. 19,

2013, Loma Linda, Calif. With her husband

she served as a missionary in Central

America, where they established

schools and churches in Honduras,

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, and El Salvador.

She is survived by two sons, Robert

and Dan; two daughters, Kathleen

and Patricia; one sister, Juanita Gosse

McGann; four grandchildren; and one


JOHNSON, Tressa C.—b. Aug. 24,

1913, Avinger, Tex.; d. July 11, 2013,

Altamonte Springs, Fla. She was

employed by the Oklahoma Conference.

She is survived by one son, Johnny


KENASTON, Henry, W.—b. May 31,

1932, Providence, R.I.; d. Apr. 17, 2013,

Crystal River, Fla. He served as a teacher

and later as a pastor in 11 conferences.

He is survived by his wife, Hannelore;

two sons, John Kevin and Peter; two

daughters, Clarine Nordell and Resi

Kowski; and nine grandchildren.

OWENS, Arthur M.—b. Sept. 13, 1926,

Ocean Falls, B.C.; d. May 22, 2013, Covelo,

Calif. He served as a missionary doctor

in Nigeria. He is survived by his wife,

Luthea; three sons, Geoffrey, Gregory,

and Douglas; and one daughter, Cynthia


PETERSON, Wesley D.—b. Dec. 28,

1932, Chamberlain, S.Dak.; d. Mar. 18,

2013, Moberly, Mo. He served as a

teacher in several conferences as well as

in Kenya, Lebanon, and Cyprus. He

served as associate education superintendent

in the Rocky Mountain Conference,

and as education superintendent

in the Minnesota and Dakota conferences.

He also served as a pastor in the

Iowa Conference. He is survived by his

wife, Lois; one son, Eric; three daughters,

Kristine Key, Linnaea Swayze, and

Ingrid Amonette; one brother, Perry

Peterson; two sisters, Karen Wade and

Normalie West; eight grandchildren;

and two great-grandchildren.

PIERCE, Bruce A.—b. July 13, 1928;

d. Dec. 4, 2012, Hagerstown, Md. He was

employed by the Review and Herald

Publishing Association. He is survived

by his wife, Doris; and one daughter,


REICHARD, Paul S.—b. July 18, 1915,

Macungie, Pa.; d. Feb. 25, 2013, Apopka,

Fla. He served in treasury at Glendale

Sanitarium and Hospital, and as vice

president of finance at Eastern Adventist

Health System. He is survived by his wife,

Elda Mae; two sons, Gordon and Richard;

one daughter, Margaret; two grandchildren;

and one great-grandchild.

TATE, Walter—b. June 23, 1925, Richmond,

Va.; d. Mar. 14, 2013, Bradenton,

Fla. He served as a literature evangelist.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda; one

daughter, Sheri Hoff; two grandchildren;

and four great-grandchildren.

VON POHLE, Evelyn A.—b. Nov. 16,

1911, Sioux Falls, S.Dak.; d. July 16, 2013,

New Smyrna Beach, Fla. She served in

the Inter-American Division. She is survived

by one daughter, Esther Bailey;

five grandchildren; and eight greatgrandchildren. | September 19, 2013 | (845) 29

The Life of Faith



No One Close:

The Finest Adventist Author

My work in Adventist publishing has allowed me to walk with many

of our church’s most gifted authors.

Twenty summers ago Adventist Review editor William G. Johnsson welcomed me to a summer internship

at the Adventist world headquarters. Bill was most of all a father figure—more interested in me than my

work. But the guy could also write—prolifically. Articles and books flew off his yellow notepad in a single

draft—his prose crisp like Mark, rich like Hebrews.

One afternoon Bill suggested I walk over and meet the young associate editor of Liberty, Clifford Goldstein,

a Jewish novelist turned Adventist apologist. “I think you’ll find Cliff quite interesting,” Bill

said, smiling.

Edging around the corner of Goldstein’s office door, I was greeted with a worn pair of proppedup

shoes and a hand raking through wavy black hair.

“Oh, you’re interning with Bill Johnsson?” Cliff said, impressed. Then he quickly switched subjects.

“Here,” he said, “tell me what’s wrong with this.” Groaning the whole time, Cliff (who’d just

authored Day of the Dragon) read me the awkward opening sentence of another book about lastday

events. Nervously I identified its problems, passing the test.

Cliff worked at Liberty under Roland Hegstad, whose strength was his surgeon-like editing. “I

took a continual beating under Roland for 10 years,” Cliff once told me, “but I didn’t mind because

I knew he was making me better.”

Later that summer I visited Insight magazine, where Chris Blake sat looking haggard. “I’m done,”

he said, sighing. After eight award-winning years and approximately 400 weekly deadlines, he’d hit

the wall. A convert to Adventism, like Bill and Cliff, Chris moved on to Union College and wrote the

best-selling Searching for a God to Love.

And that was just one summer. Through the years I’d be privileged to work with a notebook

full of gifted Adventist authors who, by God’s grace, create beauty and change lives with 26 letters

and 12 forms of punctuation.

But of all the Adventist authors I’ve known and read—and I know they’d agree with me here—one stands

far above the rest: a girl with a third-grade education, with nineteenth-century limitations, yet with the

incredible designation of being the most translated American author in history.

Ellen White is different. She had a special line to God. Why do I believe this? Because I can spend hours

grappling with a biblical passage, then turn to Ellen White and wonder: How does she do that? Because I can

travel Israel myself and find her descriptions more vivid than a guidebook’s (she never traveled there).

Because I can read the authors from whom she borrowed material, and their final package is nowhere close

to hers. Because she turns our eyes upon Jesus.

Ellen White’s work is not Scripture. She grew in her understanding of the grace and love of God. It’s OK

to disagree with her, to point out her mistakes. It’s OK to limit her counsel; she herself said, “Circumstances

alter cases.” 1 Those who read only Ellen White tend to be troubled people. But those who study Scripture,

who also read Ellen White, are the recipients of rich last-day blessings.

When you walk inside an Adventist Book Center, you find two types of Adventist books: books by Ellen

White, and books by other Adventist writers. The other books have value; we’d like you to buy them. But our

books don’t compare to Ellen White’s. She had a gift we don’t have: the Spirit of Prophecy.

Ellen White wrote, “From time to time I have been permitted to behold the working, in different ages, of

the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of life, the Author of our salvation, and Satan, the prince of

evil, the author of sin.” 2 n


Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 6, p. 339.


The Great Controversy (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. x.

Andy Nash is the author of The Haystacks Church. He and Cliff Goldstein are leading a tour to Israel in June 2014. Contact

him at

30 (846) | | September 19, 2013


Climbing the Tree of Life

One January our family set out to take down Christmas lights from

the front yard cedar tree. We had hoped one simple tug would send the rest of the upper lights down. But

it was not that easy, so we were left with two choices: either risk looking like the nutty neighbors that leave

Christmas lights up until the Fourth of July, or climb that tree and take them down.

My 11-year-old daughter volunteered to climb first. With all the excitement she possessed, she placed one

foot in Daddy’s cupped hands, and he lifted her up to the first branch. “Keep your feet close to the base of

the tree and use the part of the branch that is connected closest to the trunk,” her father instructed her as

she climbed. We watched in awe at her bravery, but were also concerned for her safety.

Midway up, the footholds grew smaller. The tree swayed with every movement of her body, and her

excitement gave way to fear. “Daddy, I’m gonna come down now,” she said, unease in her voice.

“OK, honey. Use your feet the same way you did going up. I’ll catch you when you get down

close enough,” my husband replied. When he caught her, I felt relief for her safety, but

also a sense of pride that my little girl had just gained a lesson in courage. However, we

still had the problem of the Christmas lights.

There we were, the three of us looking up at this spindly cedar tree, reviewing our

peculiar circumstance. Finally I removed my bulky winter clothing and decided I

would give it a try.

My husband gave me a boost to the first branch, followed by the same direction

he had given our daughter. Higher and higher I climbed, until I began to

feel the swaying of the tree underneath my weight. My husband and daughter

shouted encouragement to me from the ground: “You’re halfway there,

Mama!” and “It looks like you’re about there, honey.” Despite the swaying

and nerves, I reached my destination. My grip tightened on one branch so I

could untangle the web of lights. After a few minutes I finally released the

light strand and sent it flying to the lawn below. Although the first part of

my mission was a success, I was still up the tree!

“OK, honey, just come down the same way, keeping your feet close to the

base,” my husband directed. I began my descent, exhaustion already setting

in. I paused, gripping a branch to take a few deep breaths to regain my strength,

and then I continued. Nearing the base of the tree, I felt my husband’s arms circle my

waist. Finally I could let go.

Some of us have climbed a tree or two as kids and reveled in the opportunity of adventure,

only to see our kids do the same thing decades later. Whether or not we climb

literal trees as adults, we daily encounter “trees” in our lives that we must scale. The

adventure is different, and some of the branches are steadier than others. There’s foliage

that gets stuck in our hair and bark that breaks away in the climb. Sometimes we’re

ascending, other times we’re descending, but we keep striving through moments of triumph and moments

of exhaustion.

At times it may feel that we don’t have anyone guiding us through the twists and turns life throws our

way. We forget the concept of rest—of letting go and giving it all to Him. We feel the worst thing would be

to fall, forgetting He can use every broken branch as a lesson in trusting Him. I think my daughter said it

best: “Isn’t it the best feeling when Daddy catches you in his arms?” One day I look forward to seeing her

climb heaven’s tree of life all the way to the top. n

© terry crews

Heather Vandenhoven is a freelance writer from northern California, where she lives with her husband

and daughter. | September 19, 2013 | (847) 31

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