The Universal Question

by Megan Elmendorf — The universal question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” came up as I was teaching my senior religion class. It was expressed by a second generation Adventist and not (as one might expect) from one of the international students. A follow-up question was then asked by a born-again Christian, “And why do good things happen to bad people?” In response, we discussed once more the great controversy, and then the discussion turned to such biblical truths as those found in Matthew 5:44-46 and 2 Peter 3:9, homing in on the fact that the God we [...]

The Universal Question2018-10-29T14:27:07-07:00

The Gospel of the Disappointment

by Ray Tetz — Every year, October 22 marks a teachable moment for those of us who have lived in hope of something that hasn’t yet happened—and that we may have begun to doubt ever will. The day is, of course, the anniversary of what we Adventists call “The Great Disappointment.” According to their interpretation of prophecy, early Adventists were fully expecting Jesus to return on this date in 1844. To call His failure to appear as expected a “disappointment” is perhaps a grave understatement. More accurate names might be “The Great Annihilation of Hope” or “The Great Theological Mistake Big [...]

The Gospel of the Disappointment2018-10-19T09:44:49-07:00

After the Vote

by William G. Johnsson — Sunday afternoon, delegates to the 2018 Annual Council cast their votes on the proposal to discipline “non-compliant” units of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Despite all the words in the proposal and speeches on the floor, the real target was the ordination of women ministers, with the Pacific Union and Columbia Union in the crosshairs for punitive action. The General Conference was and remains determined to bring these two unions to heel. Look at the trajectory of the past three Annual Councils: 2016: The GC introduced a proposal focused on punishing non-compliant unions. It failed to [...]

After the Vote2018-10-17T16:27:25-07:00

Things Too Wonderful for Me to Know

by Bert Williams — “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” –Garth Brooks             I know people who believe they have routine, intimate encounters with God. I am not referring to a rewarding devotional life. They believe God makes personal contact with them in a decisive, unmistakable—even audible or physical—way. I do believe such experiences exist, but to be honest, in my 66 years I can identify only two such events in my own life. For me, they are very rare.             One afternoon I was driving near Port Hardy, British Columbia, where I pastored thelocal Adventist church. I was [...]

Things Too Wonderful for Me to Know2018-10-08T13:13:47-07:00

Covered in Forgiveness

by Ray Tetz — The first Bible I remember belonging to me personally was not too big, but certainly not small—regular “book size.” Its cover was blue leatherette and zippered with a little cross on the zipper pull, so you always knew if your Bible was open or closed. There were rules for this Bible. It was important, for instance, to keep it zippered shut when you weren’t reading it. And also to make sure there was never anything stacked on top of it. Never. Anything. Ever. I’m sure the words“Holy Bible” were etched on the cover,which also featured a picture [...]

Covered in Forgiveness2018-10-02T13:37:42-07:00