Voices From the Dome:
Jo Ann Davidson
t all started for me landing in Atlanta’s airport—walking past the extensive display of all the various minerals mined in Georgia. The amazing variety and brilliant colors lingered in my mind the rest of the day. Perhaps this is what sensitized me to the beauty of the many granite floors and stairways in the Georgia World Congress Center, home for this year’s General Conference. Even many sidewalks in downtown Atlanta are laid with different colors of granite, rather than typical cement. What a handsome visual blessing when walking to the various meetings on the General Conference schedule.
The GC program specifically: what an extremely welcome discovery to find daily musical concerts. Choirs, instrumentalists, and soloists of various musical styles present programs two times a day! Seventh-day Adventist musicians are generally not acknowledged enough. Musical talent, a God-given blessing, deserves our appreciation. Recall that a certain division of the Levites in the Old Testament sanctuary were designated musicians specifically to praise God (and thus paid by the tithe!). It is fitting that the General Conference program committee scheduled these concerts to highlight the musical talent God has blessed our church with—and to increase our praise to God during the General Conference.
And while discussing special features of General Conference, the “Yes, Creation!” series is garnering my accolades. Last year there were many reminders (even celebrations) of the 150 years since Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published and how it has changed the world. However, there was no General Conference session then where Seventh-day Adventists could publically affirm our faith in the important truth of a recent creation. We are among the very few Christians left that dare insist that the creation account in Genesis is a true historical record.
Therefore I found it highly significant that at two of this afternoon’s “Yes, Creation!” sessions, one presenter reviewed how the author of Genesis used all the tools available in the Hebrew language to underscore the historical nature of creation week and the worldwide flood. The next discussed how important the historical creation of this world is to all our beliefs including the second coming of Christ, tithing, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, our health message, the resurrection, the Incarnation, etc. I could hardly breathe for fear I might miss an important point! The cluster of presentations, lined up twice each day this entire week, includes scientists, theologians, and graduate students both in science and in theology. A number of presentations are in different languages. I was reminded that there are not just a few lone voices calling in the dark about the biblical teaching of a recent literal creation and worldwide flood! And we are not standing on a vague biblical truth!
Jo Ann Davidson, professor of theology, Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University