August 31, 2014

Reader Response

August 14, 2014

Changing “No, You Can’t” to “Yes, You Can”

I was delighted to see that someone expressed in print what I have been feeling for a long time. In the editorial “The Visit of the Magi” (Aug. 14, 2014) Bill Knott wrote: “How is it that we have subtly constructed a church culture across the face of Adventism in which new ministries must wait for approval—must hold their tongues and cool their fires until they get permission? Why does the onus lie on those in whom the Spirit burns to justify their plans and validate their loyalty?”

I am only a teen, and I sometimes feel held back by my age and lack of experience. The fire burns in my heart for French ministries. I see the hand of God directing my passion. I’ve been told, “The French are a hopeless case. Leave them alone and find something better.”

No Way! Take the “no, you can’t” as “yes, you can,” and the “yes, you can,” as “you did it!” I encourage anyone in ministry to continue in God’s guidance and not give up. It’s difficult and discouraging, but the only approval we need is from God. He said long ago that He would make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert (see Isa. 43:19).

Bon courage!

—Hannah Peek
Benton, Illinois

What If . . .

Ariel Roth’s article, “Taking God Out of the Equation” (July 17, 2014), was well constructed and informative.

However, since the realm of science is ultimately concerned with an energized material universe, spiritual and theological matters are better put aside for a different arena. I envision a can of worms opened, say, at an international science convention, where Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, and Christians all convene. Which God, which Scriptures would be granted authority when conflicts arose?

—Glenn Rochon
Leominster, Massachusetts

Light Before the Sun, Moon, and Stars

I enjoyed Cliff Goldstein’s article “Another (False) Argument Against a Six-Day Creation” (July 24, 2014). While he made a compelling argument for a six-day creation, I wish he would have given some ideas as to the source of light on earth before the sun and moon were created on day four. There must be hundreds of readers who would like to know the possibilities.

—Walter S. Hamerslough
Lafayette, Colorado

Welcome to the U.S.A.

I have enjoyed Andrew McChesney’s articles. His are the first ones I look for when pulling my Review out of the mailbox.

I was delighted to see him back from Russia to join the Review staff.

—Janice Boatwright
Proven Effective

I appreciated the comprehensive and interesting article “Friendship Evangelism” by Joseph Kidder and David Penno (June 19, 2014).

When it comes to soul-winning, I agree that usually evangelism is not one single approach or event; evangelism is many influences creating the right atmosphere that gradually move people toward God. But I feel that the article overlooked one sure, easy way for winning souls.

The answer is enrolling people in the Voice of Prophecy Discover Bible course. Discover Bible Guides have proven very effective in soul-winning, not only in North America, but around the world. They have been translated into hundreds of languages.

—Lillian R. Guild
Loma Linda, California

All About God

After reading the letters responding to God Is . . .?, I was prompted to re-read the original article by Joseph Olstad (May 15, 2014) and respond.

I feel uncomfortable with Olstad’s perspective. As with some of the Reviews readers’ responses, my picture of God has been profoundly changed because of Graham Maxwell’s and Jack Provonsha’s understanding of God’s character. A closer look at Scripture and the messages of Ellen G. White bears out the conclusions of Maxwell and Provonsha.

Actually, I am disappointed that Olstad’s article was even featured in the Adventist Review, because the author clearly has over-processed the entire topic so as to conclude what he wants to conclude.

Concerning models and metaphors of God, the question to ask is what is God’s model of Himself. God uses relational metaphors to describe what He desires from His children, and what He gives to His children. Olstad is entitled to his opinion, but it is only his opinion.

The issues in the Great Controversy, which include the character of God and the end of sin and sinners, have to be clearly understood. If love is the foundation of God’s character, He wouldn’t have one standard of love for us and another standard of love for Himself. Ellen White wrote: “The last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415).

—Joanne Rector
Battle Creek, Michigan