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 Bible and Creation
As usual, Clifford Goldstein hit the nail on the head with his article, “A Self-refuting Phrase” (Feb. 21, 2013). I cannot imagine any logical arguments against his conclusions.

I question only one point: He gives evolutionists the benefit of “20 percent of hard-core empirical evidence.” Really? That much? I credit them with much less. All they have is the same thing creationists have: a bunch of rocks and fossils. The rest is speculative interpretation based on faulty dating methods and wishful thinking.

Neither rocks nor fossils come with dates attached to them. The dates are achieved because of an a priori commitment to their theory, not because of any hard evidence that they are a particular age, or that they have evolved from lower life forms.
By contrast, creationists accept the Bible as it reads because it has shown itself to be reliable in every other instance.
--Walter Sumner
Canaan Maine

Online Dating
I enjoyed reading “Must Love God: Adventists and Online Dating” (Feb. 14, 2013). It was helpful in that it gave a sidebar with tips for navigating on-line dating sites.

Yet I would urge a more comprehensive treatment of this topic--perhaps even a series. The brevity and missing elements in the story could be misleading.

I know. I’d been searching for the right person for 29 years, and I found her on an Adventist dating site: Adventist Singles Connection, not one of those mentioned. (I don’t recommend the site because it is not owned by Adventists, but it’s where I found my wife.)

What I find highly misleading is that Luste-Maran’s article, while interesting from a psychological/sociological perspective would not have been helpful for me as a single man looking for a godly Adventist wife. It highlights three dating sites, none of which seem to have a significant number of Adventist subscribers. In spite of the footnoted disclaimer, I find this offensive.

What would be helpful is to do a real review of sites with “Adventist” in their names, or who cater to Seventh-day Adventists. Tell us the pros and cons of each site, not just throw out three site names. Tell us how many subscribers are Adventists. I’ve wasted good money on Adventist-only sites that had a handful of subscribers. Tell us how easy it is to screen out people with problems. Compare the “match philosophies” of the different sites.

Be sure to include, which is a labor-of-love site run by a dedicated Seventh-day Adventist woman, who with her husband, are highly involved in their local Seventh-day Adventist church. Their site regularly advertises for Amazing Facts and has extensive profiles that help singles identify and connect with those who share their Adventist values. Include eHarmony, which has an excellent philosophy of matching but not many Seventh-day Adventists.
--Marlan Knittel
Bakersfield, California

Unified About Unity
In the article “Moving in the Same Direction” (Feb. 14, 2013), Gerhard Pfandl asks, “Can church members work effectively together if they do not agree on what they believe?”

My answer: Yes, they can! There can be unity in the church without uniformity. When was the last time you participated in a discussion with someone whom you loved deeply but disagreed with strongly? This is a refreshing and strengthening exercise in faith. . . .

May we never grow stagnant with the belief that we have all the answers. May we be true to a heritage that values discussion about Scripture rather than the recitation of a church creed.
--Brooke Henriksen
Salt Lake City, Utah

I appreciated the article by Gerhard Pfandl about “Moving in the Same Direction.” This is one of the critical issues the church faces today. Having worked at the General Conference for many years, I have witnessed many perilous situations and times when leaders were concerned about possible divisions. Theological issues in the 1980s, ordination of women in the 1990s, the church’s position on doctrines and social issues are just a sample of many things that have threatened our unity. . . .

I agree that this church through its inception had a theme that resonated worldwide. We believe in the Advent of Jesus. It is a unique message that includes the Sabbath and the heavenly sanctuary. We’ve been led by the Holy Spirit and the ministry of Ellen G. White. The countries that support her ministry have seen unity and growth.

Not only do we have to stay together as a denomination, we cannot let the devil divide the local church. Criticism, independence, lack of support for the programs of the church worldwide can damage the unity of our people. I am surprised how many don’t know about the “Revived by His Word” project.

Let’s stay united on all levels. Our pastors are the ones who can convey to our church members the uniqueness of our church, keeping them nurtured and informed. Commitment to Jesus, to His church, to His teaching, and to our mission is key.
--Leo Ranzolin, Sr.
Estero, Florida

In “Moving in the Same Direction” Gerhard Pfandl touches on areas of vital importance to this church. The items he addresses connect to objective biblical standards, as opposed to the subjective (every man doing what is right in his own eyes).

Ellen White has given precious counsel pointing us back to fidelity to God’s word: “In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, ‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. . . . Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom” (The Desire of Ages, p. 826).

Where there is disunity, we have to find answers from God’s word. Where standards droop in the dust, we have to point to God’s Word. If we would be successful in our mission, those who lead the must first follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
--Connie Dahlke
Walla Walla, Washington

Great Is the Mystery
Eric Anderson’s article “What Is a Mystic?” (Jan. 10, 2013) was excellent and long overdue. I commend the Adventist Review for including it with the terminology that was used, especially given the half-truths, misunderstandings, and false accusations that have circulated in recent years. . . .

I consider Anderson very careful in his choice of words, and I am grateful that he gave acceptable definitions for his usage of them. I also appreciated his vulnerability and example in sharing his personal journey with Review readers.

I submit that a mystic is one who is devoted to seeking “the mystery of godliness,” which, according to Paul, is “great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16).

Would to God that all of us were mystics! I want to say with the inspired apostle, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2, 3).
--Merle J. Whitney
Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania

Another Look
Looking at God’s Law, Again” (Jan. 17, 2013) by Vara Prasad Deepati, has given us much food for thought.
Looking at the positive principles of the Ten Commandments is a refreshing way to imagine the “thou shalt nots” of the original 10 with 10 “thou shalts.”

Of all the commandments being rejected in the United States by secular society and even some Christians, the one most neglected has to be the ninth: “Thou shall not bear false witness” (Ex. 20:16). . . .

Recently “Argo” won an academy award for the best film. The film deals with the taking of the United States embassy in Iran and the hostage crisis that followed.

The one line put forth as they made plans to free six hostages who had escaped the embassy before the takeover was to convince Iran’s military about their cover story. They concluded, “If you want to sell a lie, get the press to sell it for you.”

I ask myself how long God will be mocked. When Habakkuk asked God about the rampant iniquity in his day, he was told, “I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5). It will apply today. We have to prepare for a rough road ahead. Like Habakkuk, we have to trust God’s power.
--Robert Rouillard
Lakewood, Washington

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