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
The Power of Transformed Lives
Clinton Wahlen’s article, “What’s to Believe About the Bible
” (Aug. 25, 2011), left out the most crucial evidence of the Bible’s authority: the transformation it brings to the believer’s life. This, more than anything else, is what will establish the authority of the Bible in the minds of others. It is the most compelling reason to believe in the Bible.
Similarly, bad behavior by people who take the name “Christian” is probably the biggest reason people discount the Bible as a source of authority. For this reason alone secular people have very good reasons to fear top-down religious authority.
Our job, therefore, is to demonstrate clearly by our transformed lives and actions how God’s kingdom differs from earthly ones in this regard.
Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
That’s My Grandpa!
I was reading the August 18, 2011 issue of the Review
last Sabbath afternoon as my husband was quietly preparing for next year’s ASI Convention when I startled him with the words, “That’s my grandpa!”
In the article “God’s Fourth Answer
,” Janet Lankheet used an example about a farmer with 14 children and his prayer for mules. I didn’t even have to finish the brief example before realizing that was a story one of my aunt’s had written for Guideposts
several years ago.
Of those 14 children, seven were girls who all became faithful members of the Adventist faith. One was a missionary for more than 15 years in West Africa; and my mother, Paralee Knight, was the first to be baptized an Adventist while still a teenager. Two of the boys also became Adventists. My grandparents--Christians but not Adventists when my Grandpa prayed that prayer--became Adventists before they died.
My thanks to Lankheet for using my grandpa’s story as one of her examples of “God’s Fourth Answer.”
“I want to join the first astronomy class with field trips (with Jesus as the guide),” I have said off and on ever since I had an astronomy class at Emanuel Missionary College grade school around 1937-1938. I was delighted to read “The ‘Sons of God’ and Biblical Cosmology
” (July 14, 2011).
I would like to read a sequel that fleshes this out a little more with 1 Corinthians 4:9: “For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” (“We’re God’s captives, on display to the world and the universe,” according to The Clear Word
.) Also, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; . . . he created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited” (Isa. 45:18, KJV).
It’s possible that God would stop creating inhabitants on more worlds once sin entered this world. But it seems extremely incomprehensible, in the light of Isaiah 45, that God would create millions of galaxies and not create inhabitants on any of the myriad planets that have just recently begun to be discovered.
This sequel could also quote Ellen G. White in Early Writings
about visiting Enoch on an inhabited planet in one of her early visions (p. 40). This should make the concept more vivid. When I asked questions at home back in 1937 and 1938 Mother read me this story (followed by all of Early Writings
). I have never forgotten the word pictures.
--Dorothy Marie Skadsheim
Beersheba Springs, Tennessee
Where’s the Love?
After receiving a gift subscription to Adventist Review
for several years, I have been disturbed by the lack of any discussion about love.
I realize that your primary concern is the human aspect of relationship with God, such as the church’s ministry and its member’s personal behavior and experience. So turning attention to the divine aspect of that relationship may not be of primary interest to your magazine’s purpose.
Obviously, I’m not interested in love as those personal and internal states of experience such as desire, need, attachment, jealousy, pleasure, gratification, emotion, nor feelings (eros); but rather, love as that which, giving freely of itself creates, sustains, and redeems us (agape).
I would like to read an in-depth study of “God is love” as spoken of in 1 John 4:8, enlightened by Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. A serious look at the question of whether God’s love is unconditional or conditionally predicated on the “beloved,” would also be greatly appreciated.