The beliefs and sentiments expressed by those whose letters appear here are not necessarily shared by the Adventist Review or its editorial staff. These letters have been edited for clarity and length. -- Editors
In the online article, “Believing in Prince Caspian”, Gary Swanson places too much weight on one actor’s comment in deciding the message of the movie, Prince Caspian. Perhaps Ben Barnes, who plays the title role, doesn’t understand the theme himself. Perhaps, too, he uttered the only sentiment that would be appreciated by his Hollywood peers.
Even though Barnes stated the movie’s message as, “belief in yourself,” one sees something quite different in the movie. The Pevensee children cannot find the right path when depending only on themselves. They succeed only when following Lucy, who was following Aslan. When they choose to lead an attack instead of waiting for Aslan, it results in disaster. Even in the climactic battle, when the Narnians display some ingenious tactics, it is apparent that they are doomed to failure because the host arrayed against them is not deterred and its advance is unstoppable until Aslan intervenes.
As Swanson observed, the movie does include some departures from the book. Fans of the relatively mild and thoughtful story in the book may be disappointed in the movie version. C. S. Lewis’ Christian themes are somewhat diluted by the need to make a more action-oriented story that would sell tickets, but they are still present.
Thank you for providing information about Prince Caspian for your readers.
Morganstown, West Virginia
What About the Church?
Thinking Globally Regarding "They Love Jesus, They Don't Love the Church" What a great article! The author writes, “They love Jesus but they want little to do with His Church.” This is exactly a key point: it is not apparent to non-members that it is His Church. Somewhere along the road from Calvary organized Christianity has been hijacked into a mechanism for creating and controlling social groups.
Roughly 49 percent of “young people” (aged 16-29) hold an “extraordinarily negative” view of evangelical Christians. This group has good reasons for disliking what they see: A Roman Catholic Church in an overpopulated world that condemns birth control, fundamentalist Evangelicals who support charlatan TV evangelists and condemn science, a Seventh-day Adventist Church that worries more about consenting adults playing slot machines than it does about global warming.
If the organized church wants to become relevant, it has to stop using pointless differences to define itself and concentrate on issues that really affect people’s lives.
Omit last sentences of this letter
Brookline, New Hampshire
I am glad to see in “Diet and the Environment”(May 22, 2008) a recognition of overpopulation as a matter of concern to Adventists. This is a difficult subject, because large families have been always considered a blessing: “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Ps. 127:3).
For centuries the world’s population increased very slowly. Now medicine has eliminated diseases and reduced infant mortality so that the number of people has more than tripled in my lifetime to nearly 7 billion. Each day the world has 200,000 more people than it had the day before. That’s 75 million new mouths to feed each year; and many of the newborn children will live short, miserable lives, never knowing what it is like to eat a nourishing meal.
God gave to us the stewardship of the earth. But the fast-increasing numbers of people are felling forests, polluting lakes and rivers, over-farming and overgrazing land, and crowding into humungous cities where the air is befouled with smoke, dust, and chemicals. We Christians believe the Lord made the earth beautiful: “He formed it to be inhabited” (Isa. 45:18).
We cannot individually do much about these massive problems, but in small ways we can show our respect for the world God gave us by not wasting resources, by not polluting the air and water, and by planting a few trees if we are able. We Christians should be aware of the “population bomb” and by precept and example promote the concept of small families in an effort to make our globe more livable, even as we await the end of all things.
Richard H. Utt
Loma Linda, California
Hurting Those Closest to Us
I might be a little jaded with all the goings on in our world, and the pain and sorrow we cause each other, but Kimberly Luste Maran’s editorial, “Life Matters” (May 15, 2008), had me weeping silently as I read the fate of the children at the hands of their own father.
Then it struck me. This man, in an attempt to hurt the wife he once loved, could apparently figure no greater way to hurt her than to attack and hurt the innocent children she had borne and loved. Satan, in an attempt to hurt the One he once loved could find no better way to bring grief than in attacking the innocent children of the Father.
Thank God, in Maran’s words, “Justice and mercy will win out, and those faithful to Christ will be caught up together with Him.”
Vegetarian Versus Vegan
I read with interest and appreciation the article, “Vegan Versus Vegetarianism” (Apr. 24, 2008). The response was thoughtful, balanced, and supported by research. The inclusion of some animal products in the diet is important to our children, especially girls, who need sufficient levels of calcium to prevent osteoporosis in later life.
Veganism is an option that should be adopted only after thoughtfully considering the consequences on pregnancy, growing children, and the elderly. Your insightful remarks about the needs and resources of various populations gave us food for thought.
God and Foreknowledge
Roy Adams writes: “To say there was no risk would be to say that Jesus could not sin just because God knew that He would not.”
I respectfully submit that Adams has this backward. Jesus did not sin, we know for a fact after the fact. We know it absolutely because that’s the way it happened. Now if God had absolute foreknowledge before the fact, that means He knew absolutely what we now know absolutely. It’s not that absolute foreknowledge is the cause of, or controls what transpires, but that it sees in advance, just as we see in retrospect what will transpire no matter what forces are at work and know it absolutely. Our absolute knowledge after the fact did not control the outcome anymore than God’s absolute knowledge before the fact. But absolute knowledge of what will happen in the future is the same as absolute knowledge of what happened in the past. It means that is the way it actually happens absolutely. If a sovereign God knew absolutely beforehand that Jesus/God would be victorious, then of course that is how it would turn out.
I see two solutions to this dilemma: Either a sovereign God does not have absolute foreknowledge, or that a sovereign God did know, but Jesus/God in human flesh did not. This seems to be what Ellen White wrote in The Desire of Ages, p. 753.
Matthews, North Carolina