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Ministry

Ministry is the international journal of the


Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial Association and has been
published since 1928.

Association Secretary Pastoral Assistant Editors


James A. Cress John C. Cress, Fredrick Russell.
Are we afraid of the gospel? Editor
Maylan Schurch. Loren Seibold

Do unfounded fears prevent Adventists from fully embracing God's grace? Willmore D. Eva International Advisors
A. Abdulmajid, Alejandro Builon,
Assistant Editor
Stuart Tyner Julia W Norcott
Jaime Castreion. Victor P
Krushenitsky. Carlos Martin,
Editorial Assistant Gabriel Maurer, Joel Musvosvi.
Sheila Draper David Osborne, Paul Ratsara,
Peter Roennteldt, John Willmott,
Professional Growth and Eric Winter, R. A. Zeeman
Inter-church Relations
Nikolaus Satelmajer Pastoral Advisors
Afresh look at the dynamics of inspiration (part 1) Leslie Baumgartner, S Peter
Contributing Editors Campbell, Miguel A. Cerna,
A holistic view of the essential aspects of authoritative prophetic material Sharon Cress Jeanne Hartwell. Mitchell
Peter Prime Henson, Greg Nelson, Norma
Richard Coffen Joel Sarli Osborn, Leslie Pollard, Dan
Kit Watts Smith. Steve Willsey
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Will Christ return in 2000? John M. Fowler, Michael Jeannette Calbi
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Ministry (\S$N 0026-5314), the international
journal of the Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial
Association 1999, is published monthly by the
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and
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Vol.72 Number 12

IN EVERY ISSUE Bible credits: Scripture quotations marked NASB are from
the New American Standard Bible, The Lockman
Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972.1973,
1975,1977. Texts credited to NEB are from The New
3 Letters 28 Pastor's Pastor English Bible. The Delegates of the Oxford University
Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press
1961,1970. Reprinted by permission. Texts credited to NIV
4 Editorial are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.
Copyright 1973,1978,1984, international Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

2 Ministry/December 1999
The competent pastor forget that there is always more to be interesting items to combine into a
David VanDenburg's article, "The seen, always more to be applied from fine column. Don Roth, (retired),
competent pastor," (February 1999), the inspired counsel of Scripture. May Loma Linda, California.
is one of the kind. I want to plead God continue to open our eyes to His
with church administrators and amazing grace and guidance. All Clean and unclean meat
directors at the various levels to read praise be to Jesus! Pastor Jerry In his article, "Clean and unclean
the article.... It is irritating and Smith, Saint John, New Brunswick, meat" (June 1999), David Merling
utterly embarrassing to hear the Canada. says, "Even some Seventh-day
incessant lashings and bashings on the Adventists have suggested that Jesus in
work force for not "meeting their June 1999 cover Mark 7:9 had done away with the
goals" and all that goes with it. I I can't remember when I've seen a clean and unclean distinctions of
wholly believe with VanDenburg that cover of Ministry magazine so Leviticus 11." The footnote for this
an "incompetent ordained pastor" is outperform the print, in its impact on statement cites my article "Unclean or
an oxymoron. It is high time they the pastor's very heart and soul as in Unhealthful? An Adventist Perspec
stopped generalizing and avoid the way it has in the June 1999 issue. tive," in Spectrum, February 1981. Dr.
demoralizing the "competent" Perhaps during my years in Merling misunderstands my position
ones. Pastor Gaius A. Umahi, departmental ministry and adminis in this article by failing to note an
Nigeria Union Mission. tration, I just did not have or take the important distinction that I made.
time to ferret out the deeper thrust of The distinction concerns the differ
Ellen White's compilations the cover pictures of Ministry. Even ence between Leviticus 11 as God
Leroy Gillian (Letters, May 1999) now I do not consciously spend much originally intended it, and the clean/
is right when he talks about "new" time looking at magazine covers. But unclean distinction as it was under
Ellen G. White books. I have a the June 1999 cover artistry fairly flew stood in the first century (see the
compilation that claims to prove that in my face as it leaped from its italics at the beginning of p. 22 of my
Ellen White taught that the wicked envelope to challenge me in a way I article). My point is that both Jesus
will not burn ever. had not been challenged before. We (Mark 7) and Paul (Romans 14)
Using the current denomina encourage our parishioners to give the intended to abolish the clean/unclean
tional standard for new E.G.White Saviour first place in their lives, but to distinction as it was understood within
books, one could use this compila even consider that Jesus might indeed Judaism of the first century. That
tion, and advertise it as a new book by be waiting for a little time with me! I distinction is theologically important.
her on the fate of the wicked. Our want for Him to have free access into There are two ways in which the
denomination needs to correct this my life, moment by moment, and I understanding of clean and unclean
practice. Pastor Clarence Philpott, pray never to lose from my mind that in the first century was antithetical to
Seventh-day Adventist Church, challenging cover picture decorating the gospel. One, it made one's
Oakdale, CA. my study. Bob Lehmann, Senior relationship with God dependent
Pastor, Rutland Seventh-day Adventist upon externals rather than matters of
Contemporary manifestation of the Church, British Columbia, Canada. the heart, and second, it supported
prophecy gift the exclusion of Gentiles. I use
"Fantastic!" is all I have to say The gray wave examples in the article of the first
concerning Roy Naden's "Contempo May I commend you for a fine century sources to show that this was
rary manifestations of the prophecy article, "The gray wave," in the August the Jewish understanding in the first
gift" (June 1999). Articles such as 1999 issue of Ministry. I was there for century. This is not to suggest,
these encourage those in the ministry, James Cress' session with the retirees however, that these New Testament
knowing that God is indeed leading at the Pine Springs Ranch. I am glad passages are at odds with God's
His people. Far too often we can get that my fellow retirees were respon original intention, nor do I have any
caught up in the "run of things" and sive and able to provide a lot of continued on p. 30

If you're receiving Ministry bimonthly and haven't paid for a subscription, it's not a mistake. Since 1928 Ministry has been published for
Free Subscription Seventh-day Adventist ministers. We believe, however, that the time has come for clergy everywhere to experience a resurgence of faith in
the authority of Scripture and in the great truths that reveal the gospel of our salvation by grace, through faith alone in Jesus Christ. We want to share our aspirations
and faith in a way that will provide inspiration and help to you as clergy. We hope you will accept this journal as our outstretched hand to you. Look over our shoulder,
take what you want and find helpful, and discard what you can't use. Bimonthly gift subscriptions are available to all licensed and/or ordained clergy. Requests
should be on church letterhead and addressed to the editorial office.

Ministry/December 1999 3
A couple of
days ago I
L. received an Things that
and mercy and especially if we ponder
the profoundly well balanced ministry
in which Jesus immersed Himself
all but ordinary e-
mail from an
Adventist chaplain.
matter the ministry which defines ours.
Certainly other aspects of
ministry are by no means to be
When I say "all but WILL EVA neglected, such as the one in the
ordinary" I am second half of James' exhortation
thinking especially concluded by speaking explicitly above that we remain unspotted by
of its uncompromising yet thoughtful about the fact that it is how we work the world. But I am afraid and I am
ardor, its exasperation and frustra or don't work with the hungry, the convinced that our obedience to the
tion. Even as I re-read it there seemed naked, the sick, the imprisoned and summons of the first half of that text
to be no way of picking a circumspect others like them, that will determine (to minister meaningfully to those in
path through the words and sentences how we will be appraised by God in concrete physical, emotional and
so that their effect would be a little the final hour (Matt. 25:31-46). The spiritual need) has been seriously
less disruptive to my more conven same concern is at the heart of the sidetracked in our local congregations.
tional ministerial mind. Here's a "woes" of Matthew 23, where Jesus This neglect is largely due to our
slightly edited sampling quoted with takes on the matter of paying tithe on inordinate and unbalanced concentra
permission: mint and anise and forgetting the tion on "hot-button" issues such as
"The October '99 Ministry cover those recently presented in Ministry
featured 'Church Planting/Recaptur and thus commented upon in the
ing the Vision' but after the letters letters column in the October issue of
section I could not see myself reading Ministry'to which our colleague refers.
any more! Is this really where we're at There are of course a lot of things
155 years after 'The Great Disappoint W Wespe
;pend Adventists do along these lines, such
ment?'. .. People are starving around as the ministry of ADRA and the work
the world. Children are naked in the huge proportions of our of our Health Systems and prison
streets of our cities. Those in jail sit in ministries and our local community
isolated silence waiting for a word of emotional and spiritual services, but what I am concerned
hope from some visitor. And what's about is the essential orientation of
our 'hot button' topic?... Jewelry and capital on casuistic theological the ministry that is called forth by us
hermeneutics. I'm so sick of seeing as pastors in our local churches
our time and emotional energy and behavioral fiddling, around the world. Here it is not
drained away by a preoccupation with difficult for us to become immersed in
while the world suffers and
such issues by all the stuff that keeps less important concerns so that the
us from feeding, clothing, and dies around us. things that really matter are neglected.
visiting. I'm fed up with being part of I think my friend is right. Like
a church that exhausts its spiritual much of the religion of Jesus' Jerusa
resources on arguments at such a lem, we spend huge proportions of
level." weightier matters; observing religious our emotional and spiritual capital on
Before your well formulated soul decorum and etiquette while the casuistic theological and behavioral
rises, as mine did, to object to such an central, enduring substance is all but fiddling, while the world suffers and
outburst by saying something like, non-existent. dies around us. And this tends to be
"Now there's a man, unbalanced by James defines pure and undefiled true whether we happen to be on the
his anger" or "... Another attempt to religion in God's eyes as visiting "liberal" or the "conservative" side of
compromise the unique evangelistic "orphans and widows in their distress today's "hot-button" issue.
call of God to Seventh-day and [keeping] oneself unstained by Even as I write this editorial, I
Adventists," let's look squarely into the world" (James 1:17, NASB). And know there are some who will
the eyes of what is true in what our so we could cite line upon biblical reflexively oppose its essence on the
colleague has said. For instance, in line, particularly if we look at basis of its supposed rejection of "the
Jesus' most penetrating exposition on Scripture's overall emphasis and its standards of the church." Such
the end of time and the judgment he almost omnipresent call for justice continued on p. 30

4 Ministry/December 1999
ARE WE
AFRAID OF
THE GOSPEL?
sven hundred years ago, in the Euganean Hills of northern Italy, a guilt-
:
stricken nobleman approached God with a proposition.

Stuart Tyner is Moved by a frightening vision of Jesus has been removed from the cross
director of the the last judgement, Enrico degli and now is sprawled on the ground in
Hancock Center for Scrovegni of Padua bargained for his the foreground of the picture. Intense
Youth and Family soul with the Lord of lords. In exchange emotional pain is etched deeply on the
Ministry, La Sierra for his own salvation and the redemp face of Mary as she cradles the cold body
University, Riverside, tion of his late father, 1 Enrico promised of her precious Son. To the right, a dis
California. to build a beautiful little chapel on the traught Mary Magdalene stares at the
land he had purchased for the construc feet she so recently bathed with her tears
tion of his private palace. When the and dried with her long hair. John, the
promise was completed six years later beloved disciple, throws his arms back
in 1306, the single-nave church was ward in a violent gesture of heart-
adorned with glorious frescoes that rendering grief. Joseph of Arimathaea
would change the course of European and Nicodemus stand in voiceless agony
art. But more importantly, the little vo at the horror of the scene before them.
tive chapel in Padua had become a Above them all, ten small cherubs are
stunning reminder of the absolute in arrested in flight by the unbearable sor
congruity between the gospel of grace row and immeasurable meaning of the
and any attempt to earn eternal salva death of Jesus.
tion through human effort. I am overwhelmed by this passion
Scrovegni used his abundant ate work of art. From across the centu
wealth to secure the services of the bril ries it speaks to me with a clarity I
liant young Florentine painter, Giotto cannot ignore. Here is the dramatic and
di Bondone. In his first mature master convincing proof of the unquenchable
piece, Giotto garnished the chapel walls love of God for me (Rom. 5:8). Here is
with scenes from the life of Jesus. One the Lamb, slain from the foundation of
scene is more striking than the rest. In the world for my sin (Rev. 13:8). Here is
the middle of the north wall, just above Jesus suffering at the hands of His en
eye level, is Giotto's bold depiction of emies "so that by the grace of God He
the Lamentation. The lifeless body of might taste death" in my behalf (Heb.

STUART TYNER

Ministry/December 1999 5
2:9). Here is the clearest possible rev schedule, my latest, best sermon. I am so first or the last to be overwhelmed by
elation of the unsearchable, incompa capable of interposing my self into the the desire to contribute somethingto the
rable riches of God's grace, paying for transaction: my commitment, my obe salvation equation. The impulse is as
my sin and securing my redemption with dience, my high standards, my genuine ancient as Cain, as persistent as Sarah's
His blood (Eph. 3:8; 2:7; 1:7). Here is sorrow for personal failures, my repen laughter, as quick as Moses grasping
what Ellen White pointed us to over and tance, even my growing faith in God's credit for bringing water from a rock.
over and over again "The sacrifice of uncompromising grace. Our words betray us. "Make me like one
Christ as an atonement for sin," which Paul Tournier called this need to of your hired servants," we insist, speak
she insisted "is the great truth around bargain with God the "reflex of self- ing the language of merit so stubbornly
which all other truths cluster,"2 the justification."5 J. I. Packer refers to it as that we miss the warmth of our Father's
"ground of our steadfastness,"3 and "the "the faith that has animated pagan reli welcoming embrace, the significance of
foundation of the Christian's hope."4 gion ever since there was such a the robe and ring of acceptance, the joy
But remember the setting in Padua. thing namely, the belief that we can of the opening moments of the resur
Giotto's powerful masterpiece is even repair our own relationship with God rection celebration (Luke 15:17-24). It's
more extraordinary because it shouts by putting God in a position where he almost as if we were running away from
the gospel from the walls of a church cannot say no to us."6 C. S. Lewis ob the gospel, as if we were afraid of grace,
built to purchase God's favor. Giotto's served the same temptation in his life not wanting to be that rich, that for
painting, located as it is in Enricho's given, rfiafsure.
chapel generates a contrast of limitless We publish our cautions far and
proportions. There is Enricho Scro- wide. "If grace becomes the central fo
vegni's little chapel, with its quaint but
undeniably finite loveliness into which
this sincere man poured the resources
of his life and soul. But over against this
there is the infinite and flawless mag
nificence of Christ and the ultimately
extravagant cosmic act of God on the
N. evertheless,
my natural reflexes and
cus of our experience," a pastor admon
ished with disquieting fear, "the Sabbath
may lose its importance in our under
standing of the end of the world."
Doesn't an emphasis on justification by
grace through faith lead to a neglect of
holiness and the fruits of the indwell
cross transcending by immeasurable
trained sensibilities persistently ing Spirit?" Don't we need to be careful
distances any human action, even one resist the good news of grace. to maintain "a balance between God's
as impressive as Enricho's. The infinite mercy and His justice?" Isn't the pen
currency is the only kind that has any dulum swinging "too far away from law
sway when the issues of salvation are at toward grace?" Aren't those who preach
stake. In this setting the triumphant grace "cheapening" Christianity just so
work of Jesus dwarfs any form of hu and, as usual, precisely unmasked the they can fill their pews in these "mem
man action. Abounding grace embar temptation: "Thus, depth beneath ber-competitive times"? 8 Don't we
rasses all human attempts to cause depth and subtlety within subtlety, "nullify the law by this faith" (Rom.
salvation even when the best of this there remains some lingering idea of 3:31)?
work is proffered. The fullness of the our own, our very own, attractiveness. It is important to address these
gospel exposes the futility of "co- It is easy to acknowledge, but almost concerns and put them to rest. But in
redemption." impossible to realize for long, that we the process we must never allow our
are mirrors whose brightness, if we are focus, personal or institutional, to shift
My natural reflex bright, is wholly derived from the sun from Jesus to anything else. In our sin
Nevertheless, my natural reflexes that shines upon us. Surely we must cere efforts to respond to God's call to
and trained sensibilities persistently re have a little however little native be peculiar, distinctive people, we must
sist the good news of grace. The luminosity." And then Lewis identified not rush right passed the core defini
Scrovegni impulse rages in my life. Fre the remedy: "For this tangled absurdity tion of our existence or push it into the
quently, like Enrico, I approach God with of a Need, which never fully acknowl periphery of our experience. "When all
my hands full of something of my own edges its own neediness, Grace the shouting dies away, when all the is
to use in the bargaining. In his frescos, substitutes a full, childlike and delighted sues are laid on the table, when all the
Giotto also depicted a red-haired young acceptance of our Need, a joy in total doctrines have been discussed, when all
man kneeling in front of Jesus, the Judge, dependence."7 the policies have been voted, the only
holding up a model of the little chapel in thing that matters is Jesus and our rela
an apparent attempt to influence a favor Running away from the gospel tionship with Him."9 Whenever we
able sentence. In my case I present my Total dependence is a tough assign stray from our foundation at the foot
orthodoxy, my service record, my busy ment. Obviously, Scrovegni wasn't the of the cross of Christ and make any

6 Ministry/December 1999
other ground our central position, we no effort however commendable, and (Jer. 31:34; Micah 7:18; 1 John 2:12) and
come perilously close to completely no good works whether they be many accepts the perfect righteousness of
missing the point of the truth as it is in or few, sacrificial or not can in any way Christ as sufficient atonement (2 Cor.
Jesus. justify the sinner." 10 "We can contrib 12:9). We accept His gift through faith,
Not long ago an individual publicly ute nothing to Christ's gift of confessing that we cannot by any means
reminded me that Adventists have been righteousness." 11 "It was possible for save ourselves but that we are fully per
called to be a people of the end time. Adam, before the fall, to form a righ suaded that God has the power to do
"It is our eschatology that makes us teous character by obedience to God's what He has promised to do (Rom. 4:21).
unique," the gentleman instructed, "and law. But he failed to do this, and because This is the gospel of our salvation
what does grace have to do with the of his sin our natures are fallen, and we (Eph. 1:13), the Bible truth about how
Second Coming?" I was so shocked by cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are saved by grace alone, through
his question that, for a moment, I we are sinful, unholy, we cannot per faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. There
couldn't speak. Tears rose to my eyes. fectly obey the holy law. We have no are no exceptions. "We are saved by
Beyond the obvious answer that grace righteousness of our own with which grace through faith in the Saviour's
has everythingto do with our salvation, to meet the claims of the law of God." 12 merits, or we are not saved at all." 15
even his question was wrong. It would But, thankfully, the doctrine
have been much more accurate, and doesn't end there! Since the beginning, 1 Enrico's father, the wealthy Reginaldo, had been
placed in hell in Dante's Inferno for usury.
infinitely more Adventist, to ask, "What the message of the "grace of God that ' Ellen White, Gospel Workers (Hagerstown, Md.:
does the Second Coming have to do brings salvation" (Titus 2:11) has been Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1915), 315.
3 , Testimonies for the Church (Nampa,
with grace?" given to us to provide the "hope of eter Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1885-1909), 1:438.
nal life" (Titus 3:7). From the Tree of 4 , The Great Controversy (Nampa,
Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1888), 256.
The true treasure of the church Life in the center of the Garden of Eden 5 Paul Tournier, Grace and Guilt (New York:
The doctrine of salvation by grace to the dry ground in the middle of the Harper & Row Publishers, 1962), 142.
6 J. I. Packer, Great Grace (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Vine
begins with God's realistic evaluation of Jordan River, from the jubilant worship Books, 1997), 19.
humanity's total inability to earn eter in Solomon's temple to the quiet reflec ' C. S.Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt
Brace lovanovich, 1960), 180.
nal life by conforming to His will. With tions of Paul in his prison cell, the s Reo M. Christenson, "Salvation: Faith versus
His heart full of pain, God concluded gospel of our salvation (Eph. 1:13) has Works," Ministry, February, 1999, 28.
9 David Newman, "Farewell," Ministry, Septem
early in human history that "every in been the truth set before us. "Through ber, 1995.
clination" of us mortals was "only evil the love of God the treasures of the 10 Questions on Doctrine, (Washington, D.C.-. Gen
eral Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1957), 142.
all the time" (Gen. 6:5,6). Over the next grace of Christ have been laid open be 11 Seventh-day Adventists Believe... (Silver Spring,
several thousand years the conclusion fore the church and the world." 13 The Md.: Ministerial Association, General Conference of
Seventh-day Adventists, 1988), 131.
would remain the same. "There is no good news of God's grace (Acts 20:24) 12 White, Steps to Christ (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific
one who does good, not even one," is the matchless truth: "Christ has made Press Pub. Assn., 1956), 62.
13 , Gospel Workers, 157.
David observes in Psalm 14. Paul repeats a way of escape for us. He lived on earth " , Steps to Christ, 62.
David's observation, then goes on to amid trials and temptations such as we 15 Helmut Ott, "Another Look at Valuegenesis,"
Ministry, February 1994, 20.
describe fallen humanity in the bleak have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He
est of terms: "worthless," "vipers," died for us, and now He offers to take
"powerless,""ungodly,""God's enemies," our sins and give us His righteousness.
"dead in your transgressions," "disobe If you give yourself to Him and accept
dient," "by nature objects of God's Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as
wrath," (Rom. 3:10-23,5:6-10, and Eph. your life may have been, for His sake
2:1-3). Paul is not talking about you are accounted righteous. Christ's by Angel'.
"them" he's speaking of you and me. character stands in place of your char
The stark conclusion is unmistakable: acter, and you are accepted before God is designed to help
None of us can earn or merit salvation. just as if you had not sinned." 14 readers cut through
It is impossible (Matt. 19:26). "No one The glorious reality of God's salva the questions,
will be declared righteous in his [God's] tion embraces us in every book of the opinions, and even
sight by observing the law" (Rom. 3:20). Bible. Salvation requires perfect righ passions to arrive at
"By observing the law no one will be teousness. All humans have sinned and biblical answers regarding jewelry.
justified" (Gal. 2:16, emphasis added). therefore are incapable of being perfectly
Adventists fully accept the consis righteous. God, in His justice, judges our
tent biblical testimony that humans sin, pronounces us guilty, and demands Ministerial Association Resource Center
cannot contribute to their own salva that the penalty for sin be paid. Then, in P: 381-680-6508 4- F: 301 - 80-6502
Web site: www.inmistBrialassQCiation.Gom
tion. "We profoundly believe that no the incarnation of grace (John 1:14), God
Also available at yam local ABC
works of the law, no deeds of the law, pays for it all Himself, forgives us in Jesus

Ministry/December 1999 7
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I Send to: Biblical Research Institute, General Conference or call: (301) 680-6790 Fax: (301)680-6625
12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904 CompuServe 74617,2245
Internet 74617.2245@compuserve.com
A FRESH LOOK
AT THE
DYNAMICS OF
INSPIRATION PART \
XB I hile sitting in the pastor's study of the Adventist church in Boston,
pr pr Uncle Jim heard the doorbell. At the door he found a disheveled-
looking man in old army fatigues.
Richard W. Coffen is After a few minutes of conversa (3) the approach in determining the
vice president of tion, my uncle discovered that the man dynamics of inspiration; (4) the quest
editorial services at the claimed to have heard a voice from for an appropriate analogy for divine
Review and Herald heaven. He insisted that God had com inspiration; (5) the modeling of inspi
Publishing Association, missioned him for a life of service. "The ration as found in Ellen White; (6) error
Hagerstown, Maryland. voice from heaven," the visitor ex in inspired writings; and (7) the vari
plained, "said, 'From henceforth thou ous approaches to interpreting inspired
shalt be called Dewdrop.'" writings.
Uncle Jim decided that Dewdrop
was no prophet. 1. The mental competency of
Dewdrop, of course, is not alone. inspired persons
Many have claimed to have the pro I've seriously questioned the men
phetic gift and have ventured out to tal health of many of those who have
denounce the church or to proclaim claimed to have received divine infor
what's about to come. mation. This judgment of mine has
Reflecting on several such claims troubled me because I grew up never
and trying to find where they might fit questioning the sanity of Moses, Isaiah,
into the dynamics of revelation and in Paul, or Ellen White. In fact, I still ac
spiration, I began to think about some cept their claims to inspiration at face
deeply significant issues: (1) The men value. So I really cannot apriorirule out
tal normalcy of those claiming divine the possibility of the prophetic gift be
revelation(s) and inspiration; 1 (2) the ing manifested in perfectly normal
role played by the community of faith; people.

RICHARD W. COFFEN

Ministry/December 1999 9
The April-June 1957 issue of Jour deeply about spiritual things that she no communication takes place. Like
nal ofNervous and Mental Diseases pub might have slipped into what Dr. Yarnell wise a prophet's ministry is contingent
lished an article titled "The Psychopa- labeled "anxious, possessive, nagging." upon a community of faith who accepts
thology of Religion The Seventh-day But that's only part of the Ellen White the messages as divine communication.
Adventist Denomination." Written by story. Donald G. Bloesch has observed: "The
psychiatrist Helen Yarnell, the article Arthur G. Daniells, her contempo Word of God exists for us only when
critiqued Adventism in general and rary and General Conference president, God is actually speaking and we are ac
Ellen White in particular. knew her probably as well as anyone. tually receiving His Word."4
The author faulted Ellen White for On July 30,1919 he said of her: "Sister Some may find it difficult to agree
writing "a jumbled outpouring of Bib White was never a fanatic, she was never with the preceding paragraphs. They
lical phrases" and for "popularizing ... an extremist. She was a level-headed would stress the objective aspect of what
doctrinal cliches.... Perhaps the almost woman. She was well-balanced. I found they saw to be taking place. The point
nonsensical confusion increases the ef that so during a period of 40 years of is that no matter how objective some
fect of the supernatural," Yarnell sug association with her."3 thing might be, the subjective element
gested. "My impression is that her must also be factored in. You may send
relation to the congregation was some 2. The role of the community of faith me an e-mail something objective is
thing like that of an anxious, possessive, When a tree crashes to the forest transmitted but unless I turn on my
nagging mother."2 floor during a storm does it make a computer, log in, and read your mes
On the one hand, a quick survey noise if no one is around to hear it? Al sage with some degree of receptivity, no
of some of Ellen White's books could though a falling tree sends out sound communication takes place.
lead a critic to label her "an anxious, waves, noise is a subjective element and Similarly, regardless of how many
possessive, nagging mother" figure. On does not exist unless there is a nearby dreams a prophet may have and irre
the other hand, a more complete over receptor for the sound waves. Similarly, spective of how many visions he or she
view of her entire life and ministry God's Word may truly be a product of might receive, the prophet has no min
could lead to a different conclusion: that His inspiration as well as His attempt istry without the acknowledgment of a
she was a caring wife, mother, and to communicate with us. But unless community of faith.
church member. That she cared so someone receives that Word with faith, From Paul's list of the gifts of the

10 Ministry/December 1999
Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, it appears that
parallel to the gift of prophecy is the gift
of "discerning of spirits" (verse 10). That
is why the apostle could instruct the
Thessalonian believers to "quench not
the spirit" (1 Thess. 5:19) and "despise
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In assessing their prophetic claim
ants, the Thessalonians were to "hold
fast that which is good" (verse 21). passage is such that his words can mean namics involved and authenticate the
Whatever failed their appraisal, they "all scripture is inspired and is useful" subject matter of the inspired material.
had to abstain from or avoid (verse 22). (as in the KJV) or "all inspired scrip The expression translated "inspired
Note the important role the com ture is useful" (as in the NEB). Assum of God" in the KJV theopneustos lit
munity of faith plays. The community ing that the KJV rendering reflects the erally means "God breathed," but the
should not despise any claim of proph apostle's original intent, we're still left derivation of a word does not always pro
ecy but must investigate all such claims. with the second difficulty. "All scripture vide helpful information or supply us
Those who pass the test are to be cher is inspired" is a proposition. But is such with answers to our questions. Besides
ished; those who fail are to be avoided. a claim the same as the assertion that a this, theopneustos is used only once in the
When God takes the initiative to com plane triangle has three sides and all its Bible. That complicates matters, because
municate to us through the prophetic interior angles always add up to 180 normally we would turn to other uses of
gift, He also gives the gift of discerning degrees? the same word that might help us under
the spirits so that the community of One can experimentally prove geo stand it better. In the Hellenistic usage
faith will be able to differentiate be metrical propositions, but what about of the word, its recipients were consid
tween the authentic and the fake. the statement that all Scripture is in ered divine tools void of their own per
spired? How does one demonstrate such sonal initiative. But need we infer from
3. Determining the dynamics of a truth? It is, in fact, an assertion of a this that the word has the same overtones
inspiration different sort. A mathematical propo of ecstatic experience when Paul used it?
Obviously, those in Thessalonica sition is a claim of knowledge, whereas a Maybe, but maybe not.
who were going to examine each claim religious proposition is a claim offaith. We have no assurance that the
to inspiration must have had some clue The former is far easier to prove than common Hellenistic use of theopneustos
as to the dynamics involved when God the latter. In fact, some might under had either the same denotation or con
reveals Himself and inspires an indi standably prefer to call the latter notation as it bore when Paul used it.
vidual to record that encounter. "opinion" rather than "knowledge." As a result, Eduard Schweizer has con
We learn from the New Testament We accept Paul's statement as a cluded that "it may be asserted that 2
that God's great "mystery of Christ" has valid truth claim and accept the propo Timothy 3:16 is not using a specific term
been "revealed unto his holy apostles sition as it is translated in the KJV. We from the world of enthusiasm."5 Prob
and prophets by the Spirit" (Eph. 3:4, conclude, therefore, that something su ably the minimum we can infer from
5) and that "all scripture is given by in pernatural has been at work, but exactly this metaphor is that Scripture gains its
spiration of God" (2 Tirn. 3:16). what does this "inspiration" or revela existence from God. And because the
But 2 Timothy 3:16 poses two tion entail? It is one thing to assert the word "existence" is a synonym for "life,"
problems. The first is the fact that the existence of inspiration at work, but it is probably safe for us to conclude that
grammatical structure Paul used in this entirely another to understand the dy God is the Creator of Scripture just as

Ministry/December 1999 11
He is our Creator. In fact, the metaphor Some have daisy-chained syllo ing. We pour it into our swimming pools
in a biblical context could remind us of gisms together when they've tried to to kill the algae and bacteria that could
Genesis 2:7, which describes how God comprehend the dynamics of in inspi contaminate the water. But combine ap
"made man of the dust of the ground ration, such as: proximately equal parts of these two poi
(haa'daamaah) and breathed into his The word "perfect" means being sonous chemicals, and you get table salt
nostrils the breath of life; and man free from error; God is perfect; there or sodium chloride. Without salt none
(haa'aadaam) became a living soul." fore, God is free from error. of us would live. Just imagine the syllo
God's breathing vivified Adam, and we God, who is perfect, can create gisms you could construct to "prove"
might infer that it does the same in the only perfect things; God created Scrip that sodium chloride is a doubly lethal
case of Scripture, which is described as ture; therefore, Scripture is perfect. compound deleterious to life and health!
"living and active" (Heb. 4:12, NIV). Perfect means being free from er All of us also use inductive reason
As Bloesch suggests: "Inspira ror; Scripture is perfect; therefore, ing, and with considerable success.
tion ... means being 'dominated' by or Scripture is free from error. Science stems from inductive reasoning.
'filled with the Spirit of God.' It does not Being free from error means be Scientists examine the phenomena
mean, as the ancient Greeks supposed, ing inerrant; Scripture is free from about us and form conclusions called
that our rational faculties are suspended error; therefore, Scripture is inerrant. hypotheses. If these hypotheses appear
or that our personality is negated."6 Such reasoning can often be diffi to hold up under repeated experimen
Now, we can understand the dy cult to controvert because it is logically tation, they may be called a "law."
namics of inspiration in two ways. On valid. One assumption leads coherently Because no investigator or group
the one hand, we can deduce from our to the next. But anyone who has worked of researchers can examine all the evi
presuppositions about God and His at through such processes knows that dence everywhere and throughout all
tributes what we think would be things are simply not that simple! time, conclusions are still always more
logically coherent for us to project onto Sometimes what we may logically ex or less tentative. It is always possible,
inspiration. On the other hand, we can pect is not true. though maybe not probable, that fur
induce from a clear example of inspira For example, chemists know that ther investigation will reveal an example
tion at work that which can perhaps be sodium, when dropped into water, reacts that violates an observed pattern.
predicated in the case of other similar violently, sputtering across the surface of Often systematic theologians expli
instances. the water and shooting miniature flames cate inspiration by using deductive
All of us use deductive logic when as it decomposes into something highly methods. Beginning with God's at
we formulate syllogisms. Probably the poisonous and reactive. Chemists also tributes, they formulate sets of syllo
most famous syllogism is: All humans know that chlorine, a yellow-green gas gisms that ultimately elucidate among
are mortal; Socrates is human; therefore, with a strong odor, is highly toxic. Chlo other things an inerrant Scripture (as
Socrates is mortal. rine is so potent that it bleaches cloth we did earlier).
More often than not, biblical theo
logians form their conclusions via
inductive methodologies. Beginning
with what is found in Scripture itself
and then moving to those claiming the
prophetic gift in other religions and
cultures, they tend to allow considerable
diversity, cultural conditioning, and
even mistakes in the product of inspi
ration.
You and I have, however, a plus fac
tor we can turn to in our inductive
reasoning about inspiration. We belong
to a community of faith that accepts the
prophetic ministry of Ellen White.

4. Finding an appropriate analogy


Once investigators reach a conclu
sion about the dynamics of inspiration,
they frequently look for an appropriate
analogy to help illuminate important
points.

12 Ministry/December 1999
Some, who by deductive reasoning
have concluded that Scripture is free
from all error, have pressed into service
the analogy of a CEO dictating letters
to a secretary. What the boss says is ex
actly what the stenographer types out.
The secretary does not add to the letter
or correct what the supervisor said,
unless first obtaining clarification and
authorization. Consequently, the vo
cabulary, grammar, syntax, and overall
style perfectly correspond with what
was spoken into the transcription de People are crazy about the new millennium.
vice by the chief executive officer.
Thousands report miraculous appearances of Mary.
When applied to Scripture, this
model of inspiration leads one to main Is this part of antichrist's final deception? Will
tain that the Bible is absolutely Islamic terrorism incite the nations of NATO to
inerrant at least in its autographs. For
get back to God and enforce Sunday-keeping?
these theologians, the assertion that
"holy men of God spake as they were Martin Weber offers Bible answers fof your curious
moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter neighbors in his new book Millennimania.
1:21) means the prophets wrote down
precisely what they heard no more
and no less. W. A. Criswell, for example,
states: "Each sentence was dictated by
God's Holy Spirit.... It is God's voice,
not man's."7
By inductive logic others have con
cluded that Scripture as the written Word
of God is quite parallel to the living Word
of God the incarnate Jesus Christ. So US$g95
the Incarnation is their analogy of choice.
In much the way Jesus was both human + 15% s&h
and divine, so is the Bible.
Applied to Scripture, this model of
inspiration leads one to maintain that
within the very materialistic and natu
ral aspects of Scripture (paper, ink,
language, vocabulary) is enclosed a di
vine aspect as well. However, only the
eye of faith discerns this supernatural
essence.
For these investigators, the verse
"holy men of God spake as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost" means that
the biblical authors were influenced di Send check, money order, or credit card number ivith expiration date to:
rectly by God in ways different from General Conference Ministerial Resource Center
those you and I experience. But in shar 12501 Old Columbia Pike + Silver Spring, MD 20904
ing with the community of faith what Phone: 301-680-6508 4- Fax: 301-680-6502
God communicated to them, they were E-mail: paynec@gc.adventist.org
free to select their own vocabulary. God Web: www.ministerialassociation.com
also left it up to them to choose a
Also available at your local Adventist Book Center
genre poetry, law, epistle, gospel,
apocalyptic.
Because those who have adopted

Ministry/December 1999 13
power, but as time goes by they can be
come trite, losing power and finally
dying.

Ministry
Subscriber Services ~
Metaphors consist of a vehicle and
a tenor. The vehicle is the concrete anal
ogy itself. For example, the incarnation
of our Saviour is the vehicle. The tenor
is the idea of a dual nature blending the
divine and human into an integrated
D Please send me a one-year subscription (12 issues) of Ministry whole. It is conceivable that different
{United States: us$29.95; Canada and overseas: USS31,50) vehicles may have nearly the same (if
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is, when the vehicle loses its explana
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From an inductive study of Ellen
City________________________________ White's work and ministry and from her
State/Province _Zip/Postal Code_ own statements delineating the dynam
ics of inspiration, many Adventists
would opt for the incarnation metaphor
Please enclose payment for orders. Mail to Ministry Subscriptions, rather than the CEO metaphor. But the
c/o Jeannette Caibi, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904. incarnation metaphor is very old. Might
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ferent vehicle but with a similar tenor?
E-mail: calbij(2>gc,adventist.org
Fax: 301-680-6502 + Phone: 301-680-6503 There maybe. It's a relatively new meta
phor that has very ancient roots.
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119:105),
David sang nearly three thousand years
this metaphor allow so much human through the imperfect expression of ago. His pre-scientific concept of light
freedom in the dynamic of inspiration, human language."8 was surely not identical with ours. How
they feel no discomfort in talking about Those who argue for verbal inspi ever, the understanding of light now
the differences in the mental and even ration may suggest that the Holy Spirit current in modern physics might make
spiritual capacities of the biblical writ inspired not the writers but the books, a powerful metaphor for a contempo
ers. They generally do not wince when but that's not Ellen White's stand: "The rary understanding of the dynamics of
speaking about cultural conditioning Bible is written by inspired men, but it inspiration.
on the part of David, the Chronicler, is not God's mode of thought and ex Isaac Newton (1642-1727), famed
Matthew, or Peter. Nor do those who pression. . . . God, as a writer, is not scientist and student of Bible prophecy,
hold to this model of inspiration recoil represented.... God has not put Him became fascinated with light and color,
if some sort of inaccuracy in fact or fig self in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on publishing his findings in 1704. Accord
ure can be pointed out in Scripture. trial in the Bible.... ing to Newton, light consists of particles,
Ellen White says: "The Bible points "It is not the words of the Bible that which he called corpuscles. And New
to God as its author; yet it was written are inspired, but the men.... Inspiration ton's research backed his findings.
by human hands; and in the varied style acts not on the man's words or his ex Newton's contemporary, Christian
of its different books it presents the pressions but on the man himself, who, Huygens (1629-1695), a Dutch math
characteristics of the several writers.... under the influence of the Holy Ghost, ematician and physicist, dared to differ
Written in different ages, by men who is imbued with thoughts.... The words with Newton. Huygens said that light
differed widely in rank and occupation, receive the impress of the individual consists of waves not particles and
and in mental and spiritual endow mind. The divine mind is diffused."9 his research backed him up.
ments, the books of the Bible present a Metaphors, though not identical Years went by. Most scientists sided
wide contrast in style, as well as diver with the reality itself, are generally very with Newton.
sity in the nature of the subjects helpful. But metaphors have a life of Then in the eighteenth century
unfolded.... The testimony is conveyed their own. At first they can have great continued on p. 29

14 Ministry/December 1999
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WILL CHRISJ
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2000?
XM /ill Christ return in 2000? Some Seventh-day Adventists believe He
PT pr will. They reason: "For just as the work of Creation took six days, so
human history will last six thousand years."

Norman R. Gulley, Just as the Sabbath followed six days not on protology, the study of first
Ph.D., is a research of creation, so the millennial sabbath in things like Creation week.
professor in systematic heaven will follow six thousand years of Some see sabbatical years (Lev.
theology at Southern human history." They see the Creation 25:1 -7) as a type of the coming millen
Adventist University, week as an analogy of the seven thou nium. Just as six years were followed by
Collegedale, Tennessee. sand years between Creation and a sabbatical year, so six thousand years
re-creation. They refer to prominent of history will be followed by a
Adventist leaders of the past who taught millennial rest (Rev. 20:1-7). The sab
this view, such as O. R. L. Crosier,1 Jo batical cycles (six years of harvesting the
seph Bates,2 James White,3 T. M. Preble,4 land and one year of rest) were prag
W. H. Little John,5 S. N. Haskell,6 and J. matic, not prophetic. They were for the
N. Andrews.7 good of the land and had nothing to do
Were the pioneers right in their with eschatology. Every fiftieth year was
teaching? By whose authority did they a jubilee, a time of liberty when people
come to this conclusion? Who told and land were freed (Lev. 25:8-55).
them that human history would be only Some see this jubilee year as a type of
six thousand years? It isn't found in the the millennium. Pope John Paul II
Bible. Nowhere in Scripture does it say speaks of the year 2000 as a jubilee year.8
the purpose of Creation week is to in Will the coming jubilee be the
form us about the length of human millennial Sabbath? There is no bibli
history. Creation week is history, not cal evidence that the jubilee year ever
prediction. Creation week is about what acquired prophetic significance.
Christ did and not about what He will Typology cannot be assumed. It
do. Scripture is silent on the date for cannot be assigned to a passage from
Creation and the Second Advent as well an external source like human reason.
as the length of time between the two. Biblical typology is always stated within
Eschatology is based on prophecies and scripture. One is not left to read typol-

NORMAN R. GULLE

16 Ministry/December 1999
ogy into scripture. The absence of bib to come in A.D. 500, or 254 years from on the basis of statements made by Ellen
lical typological statements must not be his time13 A contemporary, Hippolytus White. In The Great Controversy she
made up by creative interpretation. Ri of Rome, in A.D. 234 counted 5,738 speaks of six thousand years. Concern
chard M. Davidson says, "The nature of years back to Creation, hence the mil ing time just before Christ's return she
biblical typology remains ambiguous as lennium would begin in 262 years from says, "For six thousand years the great
long as an a priori understanding of its his day. 14 Lactantius (A.D. 260-330), controversy has been in progress." 18
conceptual structure is brought to the speaking of the last times, said, "I have Commenting on the controversy after
biblical text instead of allowing these already shown above, that when six the millennium, she says, "For six thou
structures to emerge from careful ex- thousand years shall be completed this sand years he [Satan] has wrought his
egetical analysis."9 Unless there is a change must take place, and that the last will, filling the earth with woe and caus
clear, unequivocal biblical linkage be day of the extreme conclusion is now ing grief throughout the universe." 19
tween the sabbatical and jubilee years drawing near." 15 These last three church What do we make of these state
with the six-thousand-year time frame fathers concluded that nearly all of the ments? First, it should be noted that
of history and the millennium, there is six thousand years had passed by their these statements do not specify the year
no sure foundation upon which to build time. By contrast Augustine (A.D. 354- 2000. They merely talk about six thou
such a hypothesis. 430) said, "There should follow on the sand years. They do not use any biblical

s
Some would argue that since one evidence for their assertion. Was Ellen
thousand years are like a day to God (Ps. White using the popular Usher time
90:4; 2 Pet. 3:7, 8), six days of creation frame for writing historical sequences
represent six thousand years of history. in The Great Controversy? The fact that
But this won't do. If these passages are she had no date in mind is seen by her
used to argue for seven thousand years repeated warning against setting a date
of salvation history, it could also be ar
o if the for the Second Advent.20 Also, soon af
gued that each creation day represents Bible is silent on the length ter 1844 she said Christ could have
one thousand years, and it took six come by then if the saints had been
thousand years to complete Creation. of human history, do we get ready.21 There's no mention that He re
Both arguments are wrong. ally could not come because six
the six-thousand-year thousand years of human history hadn't
Usher's chronology yet transpired. He delayed because of
What about Archbishop Usher's theory from the early church human unreadiness, not because the
six-thousand-year chronology? R. H. year 2000 was still future. So He could
Brown, scientist and specialist in age- fathers, Usher's chronology, have come nearly one hundred fifty
dating, and former director of the Geo- years before the year 2000! Of course it
science Research Institute, wrote a
or Ellen White? could be argued that the six-thousand-
perceptive article on the question. 10 year statements take all this delay into
According to Brown, computations as consideration. Yet even that does not
to when the six-thousand-year period bring us to the year 2000, for no one
concludes vary radically from A.D. 336 completion of six thousand years, as of knows when the six-thousand-year pe
to 1822 to 2037, depending on which six days, a kind of seventh-day sabbath riod began.
factors are taken into consideration. in the succeeding thousand years." 16 He The last biblical time prophecy
That's a difference of 701 years! This is considered the millennium to be from ended in 1844 (Dan. 8:14), and Ellen
surely not a good guide for telling us the first coming of Christ until the end White says, "Our position has been one
when Christ will come. of the world, and hence already in of waiting and watching, with no time-
So if the Bible is silent on the length progress. 17 These views about the mil proclamation to intervene between the
of human history, do we get the six- lennium are all based upon one thou close of the prophetic periods in 1844
thousand-year theory from the early sand years for each Creation day. The and the time of the Lord's coming."22
church fathers, Usher's chronology, or fact that they varied on when the sev Christ said of His coming, "The Son of
Ellen White? It is true that many of the enth millennium begins shows their Man will come at an hour when you do
early church fathers did speak of the uncertainty of the Creation date. not expect him" (Matt. 24:44; Luke
seven-thousand-year time frame. 11 It 12:40). So there is always an urgent im
was "characteristic of the first three cen Ellen White and six thousand years minence that transcends any date.
turies" 12 and taught in subsequent cen Perhaps the early Adventist writers
turies. In A.D. 221, Sextus Julius were influenced by Usher's chronology. A disappointment in 2000?
Africanus believed the earth would last Adventists today looking for the return What if time goes beyond 2000?
only six thousand years, the millennium of Christ in 2000 are doing so perhaps Could there be a great disappointment

Ministry/December 1999 17
for those who expect Christ to come that lennium." The Day Star Extra, Feb. 7,1846. ture: A Study of Hermeneutical tupos Structures,"
2 Joseph Bates, "The Millennium Is the Th.D. Dissertation (Berrien Springs, Mich.:
year? That is a real possibility, and such a Seven-Thousandth Year," The Seventh-day Sabbath: Andrews University Press, 1981), 7.
disappointment could cause many to give A Perpetual Sign, 1849, 282-92. 10 R. H. Brown, "Ushering in the Second Ad
up as they did in 1844. Calendar dates 3 James White, "The Age to Come Will Be vent," Perspective Digest: Adventist Theological
the Great Jubilee, the Seventh Millennium, in Society publication, vol. 3 (1998): 48-52.
should have nothing to do with our be Which the Land, the Whole Earth Will Rest." The 11 For example, Irenaeus (c. 130-200), Against
lief in Christ's return. Fulfillment of bib Advent Review, September, 1850. For reference to Heresies, 33.2, Anti-Nicene Fathers, 1:562; and
God's great week as six thousand years of history Lactantius (260-330), The Divine Institutes, 7.14,
lical prophecy has everything to do with and one thousand years of rest, see Review and ANF, 7:211; Barnabus, Epistles ofBarnabus, 15.1-
His coming. That's the only safe place to Herald, March 6, 1856. 9; Johannes Questen, Patrology (Westminster, Md.:
fix our gaze. We must be people of proph 4 T. M. Preble, "But we all as advent believ Christian Classics, 1990, 5* printing), 1:89.
ers, have, and do still expect our rest in the seventh 12 Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit: System
ecy and not people of speculation. My thousand years." A Tract Showing That the Seventh atic Theology (New York: Harper Collins, 1994),
latest book, Christ is Coming!, traces the Day Should Be Observed as the Sabbath, Instead of 3:426. Oden is a specialist in the church fathers.
many end-time movements that are rap the First Day; "According to the Commandment." Set 13 Sextus Julius Africanus, The Chronicles,
copy in George Knight, 1844 and The Rise of Patrology, 2:138.
idly fulfilling prophecy like spiritual Sabbatarian Adventism (Hagerstown, Md.: Review I4 HippoIytus of Rome, The Chronicles,
ism, the charismatic movement, the and Herald Pub. Assn., 1994), 184. Patrology, 2:176.
5 W. H. Little John, Review and Herald, 15 Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 7.25, ANF,
Christian Coalition, the global power of March 4,1844. 7:220.
the Papacy, the uniting of church and 6 &. N. Haskell, "The Weekly Sabbath Was a 16 Augustine, The City of God, 20:7, The
state, Dominionists, the New Age move Stepping Stone Leading up to the Other Sabbatic Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (NPNF), first se
Institution; and Besides Being a Memorial of Cre ries, 2:426.
ment, the promotion of Sunday, and the ation, It Pointed Forward to the Final Rest of "Augustine, The City of God, 20:8, NPNF,
uniting of churches. When one looks at Jubilee." The Cross and its Shadow, (South first series, 2:428.
the total picture, it provides convincing Lancaster, Mass.: The Bible Training School, 1914), 18 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy,
248. (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1888),
evidence that Christ could come soon. 7 J. N. Andrews wrote a Review and Herald 656.
Imminence and certainty of His coming series of six articles (July 17 and August 21,1883) "Ibid., 673.
titled, "The Great Week of Time, or the Period of 20 White, Last Day Events, 32-42.
are what are important. Setting dates and Seven-Thousand Years Devoted to the Probation 21 White, Evangelism, (Hagerstown, Md.: Re
references to the year 2000 are not. and Judgment of Mankind." view and Herald Pub. Assn., 1946), 695-696; The
s'Pope John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint (Boston, Desire of Ages (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub.
1 0. R. L. Crosier, "The Sabbaths Under the Mass.: Pauline, 1955), 11-15. Assn., 1898), 633, 634.
Law Typify the Great Sabbath, the Seventh-Mil 9 Richard M. Davidson, "Typology in Scrip 22 White, Last Day Events, 36.

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18 Ministry/December 1999
D astor," a gritty, ironic voice spoke behind me. A few minutes before, I'd
. finished preaching my first sermon in my first church. People had shaken my
hand and welcomed me; gradually the foyer had cleared.
Maylan Schurch is I turned to face a bearded man with Kidding aside, good spoken gram
pastor in Bothell, a challenging glint in his eye. mar is important. It's all right to be
Washington. "Thank you for the message," he deliberately colloquial once in a while,
said. but people do tend to wince when they
"You're welcome." hear untutored speech. Sermonic gram
Smiling, I got ready to ask his mar gaffes are like static on a cell phone
name, but he cut me short, saying, "In call, or cable interference on a TV pro
your sermon you said you used to be a gram: they short-circuit a sermon's
college English teacher." smooth flow. The discriminating lis
"That's right." tener wonders whether grammatical
"I think you need to know," he said, carelessness signals doctrinal or exegeti-
"that you committed three grammati cal carelessness as well. Bad grammar
cal errors this morning." And in his muddies sermonic waters, and when a
grating voice he remorselessly exposed message is delivered on behalf of
and analyzed them one by one. Heaven, clarity counts.
Back in those days I was hollow- That's why I'm writing this article.
cheeked and earnest, so during that Though, obviously, I can't cover every
crisp grammar lesson I only barely man point here, I'll just deal with a few of
aged to hold on to a glassy smile as my the major verbal errors that could in
face flushed dusky red. Nowadays I terfere with your preaching.
would have prodded him in the ribs and
chuckled a comeback I've picked up My wife and I (subjects and objects)
since then: "Ah, come on. I was just be A couple of weeks ago at a minis
ing deliberately colloquial." (Usually ters' meeting, a fellow pastor sidled up
people are so impressed that anyone can tome.
even pronounce "deliberately collo "When I preached last weekend,"
quial" on their first try that they'll back he said, "one of the doctors in my con
away and give me space.) gregation heard me say, 'my wife and

M A Y L AN S C H U R.C-B

Ministry/December 1999 19
me.' I really meant 'my wife and I.' Amid the chatter and laughter, you rise And remember: if you muff it, you
Which is it?" to your feet, forming in your mind what can always duck behind "deliberately
Actually, it's both. It just depends you hope will be a gracious sentence of colloquial."
on where in the sentence you and your gratitude:
wife happen to be perching. Remember "I really appreciate all you have Subject-verb agreement (is or are?)
those old grammatical terms, subjects done for my wife and (I? me?)." Your anniversary party winds to its
and objects? The subject of a sentence Me is of course correct. But me close. Even though the announcement
performs the action. The objecthas the sounds too chummy somehow. Myself said "No gifts, please," several people
action done to it. Look at this sentence: just might add the proper sort of dep brought presents, and you're eyeing
J lectured him on law and grace. recatory modesty you're hoping for. Can them with an expression which you
What's the subject! In other words, you get by grammatically with my wife hope contains just the right blend of
who's doing the action (the lecturing)? and myself? "how nice" and "oh, you shouldn't
/, of course. Not me. I and me are the Nope. (Sorry. I was being deliber have."
same person they're different forms of ately colloquial there.) Why can't you The new schoolteacher, who's just
the same personal pronoun but / is use the classier-sounding myself? Be come into the room, walks up to you.
what you use for subjects of sentences cause myself, along with himself and "Look at all those gifts," she says.
(and clauses, which are complete sen "Aren't they nice?" you reply. And
tences tied into other sentences), and since she's a schoolteacher, you take care
me is used for objects.
Look at the law-and-grace sentence
n to form your next sentence in your
mind instead of just blurting it out:
again. What's its object? In other words, "Each of those gifts (are? is?) per
who's getting the benefit of all that lec fect."
turing? Him, not he. Him is the form used . .hestudy of The tricky part, of course, is the
for the object, not only of the verb (as in prepositional phrase, of those gifts.
this case) but also of a preposition. As grammar might not be the Thanks to the generosity of your guests,
you've probably already noticed, law and the gifts are definitely plural. So why
grace UK objects of the preposition on. most exciting topic, but if can't you use are?
Take a moment to mull over these Sadly, you and I weren't around to
two lists:
you take just a few minutes vote on this when the crazy English lan
These pronouns are used as sub a day brushing up, it could guage was being patchworked together,
jects (of sentences or clauses): I, he, she, so we'll just have to live with the fol
we, they, and who. make a big difference in lowing fact:
These pronouns are used as objects Each, either, neither, someone,
(of verbs or prepositions): me, him, her, your preaching. somebody, anyone, anybody, everyone,
us, them and whom. everybody, no one, and nobody arc all
Not too complicated, right? But singular. No, I'm not kidding. Even ev
what trips people up is when somebody eryone and everybody are singular. So
else is added to the mix. Like a wife: "Each of these lovely gifts," you say
My wife, Mary, and [I? me?] walked herself and probably a bunch of other- confidently to the schoolteacher, "is
to church with you and [she? her?]. selfs, are what are known as reflexive perfect." Smiling, she credits you with
A quick rule of thumb: mentally pronouns, and the only thing for which still another two gifts grammar... and
eliminate the non-pronoun subjects, you can use a reflexive pronoun is to culture! Not to mention blarney.
and see what sounds good: refer back to the subject of the sentence.
/ walked to church with her. Here's an example. Dangling modifiers
Everything falls into place, right? / I am going to teach myself Hebrew. "What on earth are modifiers," you
is the subject (/is doing the walking), (Myself is just another name for the ask yourself, "and what's so wrong
and her is the object of the preposition person known as /.) about letting them dangle once in
with. So there at your anniversary party awhile?"
you smile, and simply say, "I really ap You're about to pose this question
My or myself preciate all you have done for my wife to the new schoolteacher, when sud
Okay. Now you've got a firmer grip and me'.' Or you could dodge the whole denly you remember that many of the
on the I/me matter. And just in time, problem and say, "My wife and I appre people at your party don't even know
too. Because today is your wedding an ciate all you have done for us." Often her yet. So you pause and mentally re
niversary, and a few church members the best way out of an uncertain gram hearse a sentence of introduction:
have thrown a surprise party for you. matical swamp is to revise the sentence. "As your new schoolteacher, I'd like

20 Ministry/December 1999
to introduce to you Miss Mary Jones."
Wait a minute. Something's wrong
there. But what? You take another men
tal glance at that sentence. Come to
think of it, it sounds vaguely like you
are claiming to be the new school-
teacher.
That pesky phrase "as your new
schoolteacher" is, of course, the modi
fier. A modifier is a word, phrase, or
clause that limits or qualifies another
word or word group. In other words, the
"schoolteacher" phrase tells us some
useful information about Mary Jones.
If we didn't have that phrase, we might
think of her as a stockbroker or a short-
order cook rather than a dispenser of
wisdom and a shaper of young minds.
What makes that sentence so con
fusing is that the "schoolteacher" phrase
has drifted so far away that the subject
of the sentence, I, got between it and
Mary.
But, confident now in your well-
grounded grammar skills, you clear
your throat, adjust your tie, plop the
"schoolteacher" phrase right up close
to Mary where it belongs, and do your
duty as a host.
"May I have your attention for a
moment?" you ask, smiling at the
crowd. "I'd like to introduce to you the
new schoolteacher, Miss Mary Jones."

Other grammatical improvements


Okay, I know that out there in the
wide world of communication there are
lots more complicated sentences than
the examples we've used here. Is there
anything you can do to prepare for
them?
Sure. For one thing, get into the
practice of spotting subjects and verbs
in sentences you read. Make it a hobby.
And remember that a whole cluster of sitions and the phrases that cling closely Blake and Robert W. Ely (Collier/
words can make up a subject like this: to them. Here are some prepositions to Macmillan, 1991). The whole book is
Reading Augustine on the bus improved watch for: about, above, after, against, great, but the grammar section begin
Kayla's day right from the start. at, behind, below, by, for, from, in, into, ning on page 93 is the best brief
Verbs come in three basic flavors. of, off, on, since, through, to, under, upon, summary, in the plainest language, I've
Some need an object to make sense: with. Remember, if you're not sure what ever seen.
Greg kicked the football. Some don't: grammar function a word has, simply Sure, the study of grammar might
Yesterday Maria gardened. And some look it up in a dictionary. not be the most exciting topic, but if
verbs aren't even action words at all: And there are some great books you take just a few minutes a day brush
Camillo seems happy. that can help you. Like the superb The ing up, it could make a big difference in
Also, see if you can pick out prepo- Elements of Business Writing, by Gary your preaching.

Ministry/December 1999 21
hough the job of pastor's wife can be exciting and challenging, not all
. . women relate to it in the same way. Personality, social background, and a
host of other factors influence how she plays this crucial role.
Annie Machamire is In Minister's Wife: Person or Posi kind of pastoral marriage, a husband
a pastor's wife in tion? Marilyn Brown Oden writes that may feel a lack of support from his wife
Bulawayo, pastors' wives may be broadly divided and experience a sense of aloneness in
Zimbabwe. into three basic groups: the detached, his ministry and, perhaps, in his mar
the background supporter, and the in riage as a whole. This could negatively
corporated or active participant.' affect his work. He might, for example,
What does it mean to be in one of find it difficult to minister to some of
those groups? the female members of his congregation
or to effectively fulfill some of his roles
The detached as husband and father.
The detached pastor's wife does not Molly Wesley, wife of Methodist
perceive herself as a particularly impor preacher John Wesley, is an example of
tant part of her husband's ministry. She the detached pastoral wife. She was not
is married to the man, not his job. It is as educated as her husband. She did not
important to her that her husband's pro have the same social standing. Appar
fession not interfere with their personal ently, because of these and other factors,
life. She is not necessarily concerned she never really felt part of Wesley's pub
about fulfilling the expectations of the lic ministry. Wesley, in fact, seems to have
congregation. Because she refrains from become hesitant to have her appear with
this role, she is freer to be herself and, him in public, not being sure what she
among other things, to perhaps pursue might say or do in such situations. She
her own career goals or to devote herself ended up standing aloof, at least from the
more single-mindedly to the rearing of public aspects of his ministry.2
her children, especially if they are at their The less assertive woman may not
younger stages of development. It is im want to be heavily involved in working
portant to note that not every pastor's with many people, especially in the pub
wife who pursues her own career or con lic aspects of ministry. She may lack the
cerns is necessarily detached. needed confidence or giftedness for
The detached wife may be frus such a role. She may be shy. She may
trated when people simply associate her feel she lacks skills in ministerial work
with her husband's ministry. In this and, therefore, sense that she has little

ANNIE MACHAMIRE

22 Ministry/December 1999
to offer her husband in his work. She ally unlimited array of ways. Her essen help their husbands in their labors and
then may tend to feel detached. tial emotional and spiritual support is be exact and careful what influence they
The key factor in this kind of pas what is key to her role as a pastor's wife. exert, for they are watched, and more is
toral marriage is that a wife remain expected of them than of others."4
emotionally and spiritually available to Incorporated participant
her husband and the work of ministry The incorporated participant is Conclusion
and that the two of them communica actively involved in the ministry. Such Each of us has been called from a
tively forge out a mutually satisfying a wife has in fact found her particular different social background, and each
relationship. niche a ministry of her own that has differing inherited and acquired
complements that of her husband. She traits. Therefore, each is to minister in
The background supporter does not hesitate to take a leading role. a different way.
The background supporter feels I heard of one wife who participates in Christian ministry calls for com
she is a part of the ministry but prefers church board meetings with all voting mitment from every believer, including
to work in the background. She helps powers. She is a member by virtue of the minister and his wife. Commitment
where she can but does not take a lead her being the pastor's wife. If the pastor in one without an answering commit
ing role. This wife is in a better position is unavailable, she does not hesitate to ment in the other hurts both. But each
to give counsel and advice to her hus give counsel in matters of church pro marriage and each church situation is
band and to share in his life and grams and administration. Although different. In all of it, surrender of life
ministry, because she is in a position to there are some dangers present in such and will to their Lord is crucial, for then
observe his work. For example, al participation, her involvement is strong His Spirit can work to balance their dis
though she carries no church office, the and can be edifying. parate traits so that the husband-and-
wife may watch the congregation's re Some women, with more assertive wife team can work together in an
sponses during a sermon, thus utilizing or aggressive personalities, may fit into effective, Christ-centered pastoral min
some of her behind-the-scenes gifted- this category of pastoral spouse. This istry, while their home and their mar
ness to the benefit of her husband's kind of wife is almost an "assistant pas riage is strong and rewarding.
ministry and that of the congregation. tor," always in the forefront. Such
1 See Marilyn Brown Oden, The
The pastor will have respect from the involvement, however, could create se Minister's Wife: Person or Position? (Nash
congregation because he fills his role rious complications that the pastor may ville: Abingdon Press, 1966), 40-42.
without public interference from his find difficult to rectify and that may 2 William J. Petersen, Martin Luther
wife. This couple works together, rather develop uneasy frictions among the Had a Wife (Chepstow, U.K.: Bridge Pub
than in competition. congregation and in the marriage. The lishing, 1984), 67.
3 Ibid., 107,113, 114.
Emma Moody "enjoyed a behind couple may even tend to compete with 4 Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home
the scenes place" yet was a great sup one another. However, if their roles are (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub.
port to D. L. Moody. Although "she well-defined and there is honest com Assn., 1952), 354, 355.
shunned the limelight... her gifts as a munication between them, a viable
teacher were recognized. In Moody's team ministry is possible and the con
Sunday school she taught a class of gregation can benefit from and even The Ministry-of,\
about forty middle-aged men. Once,
Moody was escorting a visitor through
emulate this cooperation.
Again, although this wife may ef
Philanthropy
his Sunday school, and the visitor re fectively fill in where her talents lie,
marked about the propriety of the situ some cautionary limits should be in
ation: 'Isn't that lady too young to be a place. The wife should not be seen as
teacher of a class of men like that?' superseding the pastor, who is the des
Moody responded that he thought the ignated leader of the congregation.
teacher was handling the class quite Talented as she may be she is not the
well. The visitor agreed but still insisted pastor, but rather, his support person. collected'from., ;
that it seemed improper. Finally Moody "The wife of a minister of the gos several years of,."' ____ |
"Philosophy of ; - "~"""~-~-"-
said rather proudly, 'That sir, is my pel can be either a most successful
wife.'"3 Much of the success of Moody's helper and a great blessing to her hus Philanthropy," a column in the
ministry is attributed to his wife's sup band or a hindrance to him in his work. PSFs newsletter The Philanthropic
port. The adage "Behind every success It depends very much on the wife Dollar, us$5* +15% s&h
ful man is a good woman" applies well whether a minister will rise from day to Ministerial Association Resource Center
in this case. day in his sphere of usefulness or Phone: 301-680-6508 + Fax: 301-680-6502
The wife who is a background sup whether he will sink to the ordinary E-mail: paynec@gc.adventiiit.org
port to her husband can be so in a virtu level.... Wives of the ministers should Also available at your local ABC

Ministry/December 1999 23
Through
Bethlehe

WsiM:-S--.Vft.;:.-." "' ' p.m., ET


*

ver wonder them looked tike at the time of


jjJSjjIllira virtual Walk Through
tiers, and shop keep
receive
i s a survivor message. Each message-centered
k of Florida's
L Hurricane
The power group is saying, with the others in
mind, "If we all just truly believed the
Andrew, I have
come to stand in
awe of the raw
of the core right thing, we would be a real force
for truth in the world." For example, I
have heard of various systems of belief
power of nature in JOHN G R Y S within the church being described as
a ferocious mood. "historic Adventism" and advocating
The strength of the winds, the speed wisdom, and power." 1 Of course, this a return to "what the pioneers
and force of the rain, the wake of is just a modern expression of the believed" as the means of getting the
destruction have all left their marks biblical truth expressed by Christ, church back to what it ought to be.
upon me. After the storm I remember "For where your treasure is, there Those with a movement-centered
seeing film footage of the incredible your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21). orientation find organizational
devastation. One amazing picture What is at the center of our church, leaders and church management to
remains in my mind, that of a two-by- locally and globally? This is a relevant blame for problems they see in the
four inch wooden beam thrust clean question because whatever is at the church. "If we had better leaders and
through the trunk of a tree. I remem center, the core, will be the source of better plans, or if we adhered to more
ber, too, finding private mail blown corporate security, guidance, wisdom, effective policies," they say, "then we
from miles away, lying wet at my front and power. could become a stronger force." I have
door. The power was immense. It is in trying to sum this up that heard many different versions of this
Now, seven years and a thousand the hurricane analogy is helpful. The approach. Movement-centered people
miles from Florida, having recently strength of the hurricane is dependent believe in the message but find it
attended my own church board upon the size of the eye (or the core) of woefully weak due to the lack of
meeting, our conference executive the storm. In the case of the hurricane, leadership, vision, or effective
committee, and a gathering of the larger the eye, the weaker the storm. planning they see in the church.
Adventist college and university Bible The same is true of the church: the Which provides a more dynamic
teachersall within a weekI have larger our core, the weaker our power. and stable center, message or move
been reminded again of power, just of The more issues placed at the core of ment? Should our security, guidance,
a different kind; the power of God Adventism, the more battles we will be wisdom, and power come from a
manifested in the community of faith engaged in and the less effective our movement-centered or a message-
known as the Seventh-day Adventist ministry will be. centered organization? A hurricane
Church. The church, as every organization with two eyes would have far less
In my one concentrated week does, goes through identity crises. power and effect, with winds that may
among those disparate committees Beliefs, practices, and policies, once not even reach hurricane force. A
and meetings I have come to think assumed by the world family are now community of believers with two
about the core of our church and subject to scrutiny and investigation. cores would wreak far less damage
what indeed drives or moves it. I have Many struggle to understand and upon the kingdom of Lucifer than a
noticed different conceptions of what define the heart or core of our being community with a single core. The
it should be at the core, or what as a church, and the struggle may be greater the variety of ideals found at
should indeed move the church. described as a battle between having a the core of Adventism, the more
And I have wondered, are there in message- or movement-centered battles we will fight and the less
fact parallels between a hurricane and community.2 The question is, Which power, energy, and resources we will
our church? are we? have to spread the gospel.
I believe there are. Those championing a message
center or core consider the possession The application of the core
Message or movement? of a correct message the condition My second observation from
"Whatever is at the center of our that will right a listing church. They hurricane Andrew and my week of
life," wrote Steven Covey, "will be the tend to see the cause for the church's meetings is that the more clearly
source of our security, guidance, problems to be a flawed or improper defined the eye of a storm, the more

Viewpoint articles are designed to stimulate thought and do not necessarily reflect the position of our editorial staff or of Ministry.

Ministry/December 1999 25
dangerous it is. Not only is the size of Collins admits that this dynamic of confuse the eye of the storm with the
the eye a factor, but the clarity or "persevere the core and stimulate wall of the eye and the outer bands of
"focus" of the eye is important. This progress" is the essence of a visionary the storm. When the core of a
observation has to do with the crucial company. Though there are clear and hurricane changes, the outer bands of
difference between the core of crucial differences between for-profit the storm change. Those outer bands
Adventism and the application of that and non-profit ventures (i.e., the remain, but their force and shape are
core. Again, that which is the core of church), this thesis is certainly more easily affected. Once again, the
Adventism provides the basis for our applicable in both arenas. power of the hurricane is derived
wisdom, security, guidance, and What is our core ideology, and from the core of the storm. The power
power. That central core is our main what are the noncore manifestations of that core flows out into the
influencing force; it impacts every of that ideology? Is the time of the outlying bands and cells of the
layer of the community of faith. local worship service a part of the hurricane. Those cells and bands may
This is what writer James Collins core ideology or part of the noncore be self-contained, but they receive
refers to as "core ideology."3 Collins manifestation? Is the structure of our their energy and power from the eye.
examined twelve "gold medal" Sabbath School classes part of the This offers significant insight for
companies; companies that had been core ideology or of noncore tradi us as a community of believers.
at the top in their markets for an tions? Is the current world structure
average of one hundred years. "A of the church part of the core ideol The question is not an either-or but
visionary company," he wrote, ogy or is it a noncore manifestation? what is central
"carefully preserves and protects its These are serious questions that will Saying that a single core must be
core ideology, yet all the specific impact each level of church organiza the center of our community does not
manifestations of its core ideology tion. In short, is the movement the erase the significance of other areas of
must be open for change and evolu noncore manifestation of our mes the community any more than the eye
tion."4 In fact, he said: "It is absolutely sage, or is the message the noncore of the storm decreases the significance
essential to not confuse core ideology manifestation of our movement? of the rest of the storm structure.
with culture, strategy, tactics, opera (Admittedly, that question will take Rather, the outer bands that move
tions, policies, or other noncore some worthwhile thought to deci away from the core receive their
practices.... Ultimately, the only pher!) significance and prominence from the
thing a company should not change Here again the hurricane analogy core. The core provides the motiva
over time is its core ideology."5 is helpful. No meteorologist will tion for the various manifestations.
Like the outer bands of a hurricane,
the outer bands of the community
flow and rotate around the core, while
the core continually feeds these bands.
FOUR Ch Rear Adm Barry C Black
Deputy Chief of Chaplains
This is not an either-or situation
but is one with primary and second
United States Navy, Washington, DC
OUTSTANDING Or Andrea Luxton, President
ary characteristics. Both message and
movement are significant. Both have
SPEAKERS Newbold College, Berkshire, England their place within the community.
This is a question of centrality or
Or Haddon Robinson, Harold John source. Which one drives the other?
WHO WILL Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
If we come to a consensus on
what is our single, small, and clear
CHALLENGE South Hamilton, MA
core ideology, it will unite the world
Or Paul Scott Wilson, Professor of Homiletics church in a way that will provide
AND FEED YOU University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada greater focus and fulfillment. I could
suggest a number of worthy ideolo
Brought to you by gies for our core, but even if that core
Tuesday, March 28,2000 becomes our publishing work,
Ministry Professional Growth Seminars
10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. More details in future issues of Ministry educational work, medical work, local
Eastern US Time church work, parachurch work, or any
Made possible in North America by ACN
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26 Ministry/December 1999
there can be a flow of power, wisdom, obvious one. It relates to the incred they might be one, even as He and the
guidance, and security which will ible power that hurricane winds wield Father are one.
strengthen each entity and the church in just a short period of time. Hurri This oneness cannot be dictated
as a whole. Truly, the church will cane Andrew lasted about four hours, from boardrooms, devised by plan
become greater than the sum of its but it changed the landscape of South ning sessions, nor decreed from
parts. Florida forever. The collective creedal statements. This quality of
memory of the affected communities identity and unity cannot be man
Core walls struck by the storm is divided by the dated. Administrators alone cannot
There is a third lesson I learn event. Life is viewed through the decide its parameters, and pastors
from hurricanes. The real power of alone cannot proclaim it. Non-paid
the storm is felt in what is called the ministers (conventionally known as
"eye wall." This is a fitting analogy to "laity") alone cannot vote it. Educa
our global community. The areas tors alone cannot prescribe it.
closest to the core are the areas where Somehow, some way, we all must
the most intense struggles and battles come together through this process
occur. The closer a discussion, a vote, : is our and reach consensus through prayer
or a statement comes to the core of an ful consideration about what a worthy
organization, the louder and quicker core ideology, and what are core actually is and how it will impact
is the response of that person or us in the new millennium.
organization. The blood pressure of
the noncore manifestations After all, the core will provide
the community climbs as the issue of that ideology? Is the time security in an age of insecurity,
moves nearer to the core (unlike a wisdom in an information age,
hurricane, where the pressure drops of the local worship service a guidance in a morally drifting world,
the closer you move to the eye). When and power in an age of apathy.
you have a number of issues identified part of the core ideology or At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit blew
as the core, the battles grow in through the believers like "a mighty
number and significance. Thus, it will part of the noncore rushing wind." May the Spirit blow
seem like most of our energy and time through the church again, only this
is invested in protecting and securing manifestation? ... Is the time with hurricane force.
that multifaceted core.
This provides a window of insight
current world structure of the John Grys is pastor for organizational
into many of our current church church part of the core development at the Hamilton
struggles. Many of the struggles of our Community Church of Seventh-day
maturing community reveal a ideology or is it a noncore Adventists, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
growing awareness that the core of
Adventism is presently going through manifestation? 1 Stephen R. Covey, Seven Habits of
a process of self-examination. There Highly Effective People (New York: Simon
seems to be more of an effort to ScSchuster Inc., 1989), 109.
clarify issues either along message 2 When I use the word "movement,"
I am referring to organizational issues
and/or movement lines. This clarify primarily. This includes traditions,
ing process, I believe, can be highly event. People have never been the practices, and ways of conducting the
beneficial if the result is that the same. work of God and conveying the truths of
church clarifies for itself its core Imagine a church energized by Scripture which contribute to the
formation of our Adventist subculture.
purpose and thus what will move us the power of extreme unity around a
When 1 use the word "message," I am
into the new millennium with focused core of essentials. Imagine a speaking primarily about a dominant
renewed vigor, energy, and vision, and church moving with such swiftness theme, concept, or idea which drives,
toward the coming of Jesus. that people come to view their "before motivates, and contributes to the
and after" according to the reality of formation of our Adventist subculture.
3 Built to Last: Successful Habits of
Conclusion their encounter with this extreme
Visionary Companies (New York:
The final analogy to be made force! It is immensely significant that HarperBusiness, 1997), 46-79.
between a hurricane and the Seventh- Christ's final corporate prayer for and 4 Ibid., 81 (emphasis his).
day Adventist Church is a more with His closest associates was that 5 Ibid., 82.

Ministry/December 1999 27
PASTOR'S PASTOR

r
ust when you What are the right answers? The

Jl thought you
had lived
Millennium response to hype's overstimulation or
lethargy about missed opportunities
through all the
millennial hype
bug lies in our message and our mission
lifting up Jesus and inviting people to
and hysteria, those Him.
JAMES A. CRESS
clever marketers Clearly, the right answers are not
discover that thirst really needs quenching, they blasphemous attempts to control
December 31 does not really usher in offer only vapid display and deliver times and laws or to demand that
the third millennium. nothing but dashed expectations. Heaven behave according to the
Instead, the new year will dawn, For example, those who attach dictates of our speculationas if we
along with the realization"how could too much import to the year 2000 as a direct the Almighty to behave in
we have missed it?"that we have significant anniversary of our Lord's concurrence with our projections.
another 366 days (2000 is a leap year!) birth have missed both the millen In a seemingly earnest desire to
for one last gasp of commercialism to nium and the message. Since Jesus discover divine mysteries, is it possible
exploit our fascination with times, was most likely born in 4 BC, the that some have loved knowledge more
dates, prognostications, and fantasy. millennial anniversary passed about than truth? Some have exalted theoreti
With sobering reality, we watch the six years ago with as little notice taken cal conjecture, speculative drivel, and
world wavering between twin dangers, by the world or by the church as that curious interpretations that, though
the one of attaching too much signifi which accompanied Christ's birth. they may momentarily arrest the
cance to the approaching new year On the other hand, those who attention, nevertheless leave a person's
(Y2K destroys civilization as we know attach too little import to the year spiritual condition unchanged.
it), and its equally dangerous counter 2000 fail to appropriately appreciate These speculative and wrong
part of attaching too little significance and utilize the focus of the entire answers too often are preceded by the
to the promised return of Jesus (eat, world on the passing of a calendar wrong assumption that humanity is
drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die). milestone. They miss both the begging for insight into contrivances
Adventists affirm, and have always message and the mission. Just as of prophecy and current events when,
believed in, the imminence of Christ's Easter or Christmas present unique instead, humanity is gasping for a
coming. We have correctly preached the opportunities for witness, so society's breath of hope that says, "Here is how
prophecies of Daniel and Revelation enthrallment with a new, albeit to cope with the miserable reality of
and, appropriately, called our listeners artificial, millennium brings unique everyday life."
to choose for Jesus and against Satan. opportunity to raise the right ques Tinned food delivered to a
This is good and proper! Pro tions and provide the best answers. starving child is useless if not accom
claiming confidence in the imminent As our former associate editor, panied by a can-opener that gives
return of Jesus motivates sinners to Martin Weber, notes in his new book, access. Predictive prognostications
make good decisions and invigorates Millennimania, millions are ponder falling on hungry hearts do not feed
saints with fresh hope! ing whether there is more to the the soul if not accompanied by the
On the other hand, with a transition of centuries than merely a Holy Spirit that provides Bread and
virulent spirit more deadly than any great date at Sydney Harbor, London's quenches thirst.
computer glitch, some have twisted Millennial Dome, or Times Square. What, then, are the right ques
Scripture to their own aims. Fascina So what are the right questions? I tions? I believe they surround the
tion with knowledge for the sake of am convinced that asking the correct heart cry of lost souls who have just
possessing information, has tempted questions is more challenging than recognized their tragic condition.
some to pronounce the parousia's dispensing correct answers. Diagnosis "What must I do to be saved?" "Who
general timing, if not its specific date. is more difficult than treatment for a will deliver me from my wretched race
Ignoring Jesus' own warning, physician. As pastors and evangelists, toward death?"
these overconfident charlatans blare too often we have been so busy And the answers? The only
out clever calculations and ponderous offering answers that we have failed to satisfying answer for over 2000 years
pronoucements. Like a dry cloud in a ask correct questions. On the other is so simpleknowing Him Whom to
parched desert, they make great hand, some have asked so many know is life eternal!
pretense and display impressive questions that hope-filled answers If we lift up Jesus, the lost will
activity. However, when spiritual never get delivered. beat a path to the Cross.

28 Ministry/December 1999
"that the wave and particle theories of rors found in inspired writings, and
Dynamics of . . . light are not mutually exclusive to various approaches to understanding
one another but complementary. Both inspired writings. To this we shall turn
inspiration, part \ concepts are necessary to provide a in the concluding part of this article to
continued from p. 14 complete description." 11 appear in February.
Thomas Young of England and So modern scientists speak of the
Augustin Fresnel of France insisted that "dual nature of light" or "particle/wave
1 From henceforth I shall use the term "in
light was made up of waves. Their ex duality." To speak of one aspect alone is spiration" as shorthand for "reve-lation[s] and
perimental results met with skepticism. not wrong so much as it is inadequate. inspiration."
Later Leon Foucault, James Clerk Max You get the point, don't you? King 2 Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases
125, no. 2 (1957): 202, 206.
well, and Heinrich Hertz finally David was smarter than he realized 3 "The Use of the Spirit of Prophecy In
succeeded in convincing the scientific when he said that God's Word is a light. Our Teaching of Bible and History," Spectrum,
community that light was wavelike. One Since 1930 we can appreciate even 10:1,41.
4 Donald Bloesch, Holy Scripture: Revela
last holdout for the corpuscular theory more David's use of light as a metaphor tion, Inspiration, and Interpretation (Downer's
of light remained vocalAlbert for the product of revelation and inspi Grove, III.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 52.
Einstein. Despite other persuasive re ration. Just as the incarnation model 5 Eduard Schwiezer, Theological Dictionary
of the New Testament, Gerhard Friedrich, ed., and
search during the first half of the afforded insight into the dual nature of Geoffrey W. Bromiley, ed. and trans. (Grand
twentieth century, Einstein seemed to Scripture, now the dual nature of light Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1968), vol. VI, 454.
establish "beyond all doubt" 10 the par more than ever drives home the lesson 6 Bloesch, 117.
7 W. A. Criswell, Why I Preach the Bible Is
ticle nature of light. that one cannot do justice to the Bible Literally True (Nashville: Broadman, 1969), 68.
Then during the first half of the by merely emphasizing either its divine 8 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy
1900s, Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, side or its human origin. Both aspects (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911),
7-9.
enunciated the principle of comple must be seen as complementary. 9 , Selected Messages, (Hagerstown,
mentarity, which meant that Newton This principle of the dual nature Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958,1980),
and Einstein were right ... as were of inspirationthe human and the di 2:21,22.
!0 John Gribbin, In Search of Schrodinger's
Huygens and Fresnel. What? Bohr's vinehelps us to better understand Cat (New York: Bantam Books, 1984), 48, 49.
principle of complementarity insisted inspiration as found in Ellen White, er 11 Ibid., 83.

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for our relatives and friends who haven't come to God yet. They're
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Ministry/December 1999 29
Colossians 2:8-23, but the passages To read my full unedited article,
Ministry Report above are sufficient to show that the please contact me directly.David
New Testament rejects the distinction Merling, Ph.D., Associate Professor of
between clean and unclean foods" Archaeology and History of Antiquity,
(ibid., 19). How he can conclude that Andrews University, Berrien Springs,
we disagreethat some Seventh-day Michigan 49104.
Adventists believe the New Testament
did away with the distinction between
clean and uncleanwhich is a major
point in his paper and a footnote in
Things that
mine, is a mystery to me. 11 lUHd continued from p. 4
Where we truly disagree is in his
With acknowledgment to Martin attempt to reintroduce unclean reactions are far off the spirit and
Luther for initiating the idea, A. C. animals as an "unhealthful" practice, content of my appeal. I am calling for
McClure (left), president of the North which is a non-biblical, but a creative the balance of Jesus'ministry to be
American Division, and church growth suggestion. I know of no biblical ours, or if you like, for the balance
expert Ron Gladden (right) nail 95 The passage that suggests that unclean expressed in the whole of James 1:17 to
ses of Church Planting to the church animals were/are "unhealthful" and be ours. I am not calling for compro
door during a recent Seeds '99 conven Dr. Brunt provides none. For him the mise but for a higher, holier and more
tion at Andrews University. An New Testament (i.e., "Judaism of the complete practice of Christianity and
avalanche of positive support and reaf- first century") abrogated a command Christian ministry. I am calling for this
firmation for NAD's renewed emphasis of the Old Testament and Ellen White because, along with my e-mail friend, I
on church planting accompanied this resurrected that prohibition as a think we are in urgent need of rethink
event and highlights Gladden's new tradition on the level of all other ing and reworking the proportions of
video series, Church Planting 101, which "unhealthful" practices (Ibid., 21, 22). our calling.
is available through the Ministerial As My article suggests that Jesus was I wonder what would happen to
sociation Resource Center. more theologically astute than either our evangelism if along with our
the Pharisees or many of today's uncompromising presentation of the
theologians. Jesus taught that all sin great truths God has called us to
Letters continued from p. 3
(murder, immorality, etc., Cf. Mark
7:20-23), originates from the heart.
proclaim, we were known to be
genuinely and effectively a people
sympathy for the view that Christians According to Jesus, unwashed hands who unselfconsciously serve the real
should eat food that Leviticus can not make food unclean ("com needs of the humanity about us. I
specifies as unclean. In fact, I specifi mon"). "Thus, he declared all food cannot help but believe that our
cally make it clear that they should clean" from the "tradition of the proclamation would be much more
not (see page 23).John Brunt, vice elders" (Cf. Mark 7:5-19). In his effective, just as Jesus' was.
president for Academic Administra argument Jesus carefully avoided the May I dare you who are at all
tion and Professor of Biblical Studies, use of the Greek word that was used challenged by this line of thinking,
Walla Walla College, Walla Walla, in the LXX for unclean animals. Only who have a vision for this kind of
Washington. wishful thinking introduces the issue ministry or who may have done some
of unclean animals into Mark 7.1 work along this line, to write a
David Merling responds believe eating unclean animals is an thoughtful article for Ministry
On the contrary, I believe it is Dr. issue of the heart; not in eating of the outlining how this kind of emphasis
Brunt who has misunderstood my flesh but in the regard or disregard of could be implemented in the average
article. He has already quoted what I God's command. pastor's ministry in the average
wrote in Ministry. What Dr. Brunt I also suggest that a careful congregation. The question of such an
writes is, "Second, in their use of reading of Mark 7 will show that Jesus article would be, how may the
Leviticus 11, many Adventist are not was not hypocritically blasting the consciousness and action of the
biblical, for the New Testament Pharisees for using their traditions to congregation be raised so that more in
explicitly abolishes distinctions put aside God's laws, then creating a local church become involved in
between clean and unclean," in His own new tradition, which personally and genuinely reaching out
Spectrum, February 1981,17,18. contradicted the Old Testament's to the weak and the poor of a given
Again, Dr. Brunt writes, "There are previous commands. The issue was neighborhood? (See the Masthead of
also other passages that could be plain: tradition verse the commands any Ministry issue for details about
included here, such as Titus 1:15 and of God. That issue still lives. article submission.)

30 Ministry/December 1999
to participate in one of the greatest events in church history on

, "Dec&mb&r 31, 1999


On New Year's Eve we ask you to keep your church open all night. Please staff it .with
volunteerspeople who are willing to come for a time period during the night, or stay
all night, to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 2000 to finish the gospel
commission in North America, * ' ,

Therefore go and make disciples of alt nations, baptizing them in the name
oj the Father etnd of the Son and 0f the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 NlV

Your church is being provided a package of masters for flyers, community information
notices, and paper advertisements so that your community will know the "house of',
prayer lor all people" will be open for all people. Some who have never entered a church
before will enter that night because of Y2K.

Now, how does this fit with the Native Evangelism Initiative? If your church is within
25 miles of a state or federally recognized tribal (American Indian/Native) territory or
nation we need your support to reach that local language group. Your church may be
one of over 700 where we need special prayer tor the outpouring of God's power and
love as well as your support,for evangelism. We are prayerfully asking that your church
participate in an evangelism training effort to establish 700 lay soulwinning teams in
North America to finish the gospel commission of making disciples of all nations.

Please, as the Lord has chosen you to lead His people, you are our contact to reach
these remaining unreached language groups. NEI will provide the training, motivation,
and prayer support through Pentecost 2000. Your support is needed at the pulpit to
lead your people to fill the destiny of reaching these remaining groups.

Materials were sent to So do not throw away your


pastors, elders, and Sabbath confidence; it will be richly
School leaders in target rewarded.
churches. If you missed Hebrews 10:35 NIV
receiving these and you'd like
to participate in NEI 2000
evangelism, call this toll-free
number todav:

1-877-580-4321
1-8OO-48T-42T8

om Hart
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day
HAKr BOOKS
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