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11 Comments

  1. William Noel
    22 March 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    Andre,

    "We'll just have to wait and see."  What a perfect conclusion!  That is something I wish more Adventist end-time theorists would heed and quit wasting their time debating topics that can never be settled.  If they put even half the energy they are expending in endless debate into actual soul-winning we might witness the evangelism explosion that we dream of seeing in fulfillment of prophecy.

    • George Tichy
      27 March 2013 @ 1:48 pm

      Didn't you mean, "Adventist end-time terrorists?"  🙂

  2. Stephen Ferguson
    23 March 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    'But perhaps that is precisely the point of the symbols: the blessing reserved for students of the book does not lie in deciphering every symbol, but is rather in the continuous search to understand the deep things of God. All the symbolism militates against zeroing in on a single interpretation.'

    For me, that is what Revelation is all about.  It is also the only thing that makes sense, insofar as why Jesus wouldn't have spelt out more clearly when the End actually is.  As you rightly say elsewhere, the Apostles certainly thought Jesus would return in their own lifetimes.

    Imagine if Jesus had told His disciples – I will return in 2,300 years from today.  What sort of attitude would that foster?  Instead, the Church and people in it need to believe the Second Advent is just around the corner, because only that fosters the sort of attitude we need to have.  Revelation's ambiguity and double-meanings (which again seem to suggest both a 1st century and eschatological meaning) achieve just that.

    My main concern for Adventism is not its focus on eschatology, but that can be a good thing.  Both the Early Church of the Apostles and Adventism have much in common, and thinking Christ was around the corner was a key strength in both.  When one thinks the end is nigh, many of the more materialistic problems of the world, like wealth and power, should matter much less.  When Church's lose than sense of impending end, they institutionalise and fossilize into bureaucratic orthodoxies – as the Papal Church did first, then other Protestant groups did, and now we are slowly becoming.  So I certainly hope we retake our hope and emphasis on the Advent.

    My main concern is we think we have Revelation's meaning all sorted out that we become 'People of the Chart' rather than 'People of the Book.'  I am reminded of the 1st Advent, and how the so-called experts of the day with their 'charts' missed that John the Baptist was actually the fulfillment of Elijah.  Prophecy tends to get fulfilled in ways we least expect.  Thus, even when we are 'right', often we are right in such a different way that our predictions were wrong.  

    So Revelation's mystery should help us to keep watching for the thief, rather than living in terror thinking the thief is at the window (where he probably isn't), or not ever likely to break in (which isn't true either).  In short, I support Adventism's emphasis on eschatology, and not merely some pretist view, but we need to be a lot less dogmatic about things the Bible is deliberately unclear about.

    • William Noel
      23 March 2013 @ 7:25 pm

      My concern is not that we again become "people of the book" but people after God's own heart. 

  3. Nic Samojluk
    24 March 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    I see a serious problem with the emphasis on the numerical method for identifying the

     Beast of Revelation, since the 666 number has been applied to many individuals and organizations. It is probably much easier and less risky to use the character of the beast instead.

    So what do beasts of prey do? They attack, maime and kill the weak and defenseless. If we use this method, we discover that the beast label applies to many individuals and entities such as the Roman Emperors and pontiffs, many world conquerors–including Islamic conquests–and modern despots like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, and Bin Laden.

     

    And, for the sake of consistency, we must not exclude nations that have recently engaged in the abortion genocide. Consider the following: Hitler exterminated his six million, but the U.S. its 55 million, and China its 300 million.

    Lastly, how about our own Adventist Church. Thousands of unborn children have perished inside our Adventist hospitals as a result of our practice of allowing abortions on demand with impunity starting back in 1970, a practice in violation of our own guidelines and the Lord's dictum against the killing of innocent human beings?

    If we emulate what beasts of prey do, don't we share in the Image of the Beast? This is why Ellen

    White did warn us that we were in danger of becoming a "sister to Babylon." And do not forget that she issued said warning when our church was still pro-life! Imagine what she would say today!

    • George Tichy
      27 March 2013 @ 1:53 pm

      Since you are already changing the subject, let's change it again. A question for you:

      Did YOU support the US' war against Iraq?

      • Nic Samojluk
        02 April 2013 @ 1:38 pm

        No!

  4. Anonymous
    26 March 2013 @ 3:10 am

    There are many of us who know Nic personally who marvel at his ability to interject his favorate topic into any topic no matter how distant and unconnected that topic might be.This ability is truly unique. When he is talking in a group, no matter what the subject, we all are wondering how he is going to connect, for example, a discussion on the Trinity, to abortion.  No one else but Nic would try to do it, but, he always seems to be able to bring it off.  Amazing.

    But to the topic at hand, the author makes a number of excellent points not the least of which is the one in his first footnote when he wonders what happened to Dr. Knight between the time he wrote his history books and when he wrote his strange book on the Apocalyptic Vision and the Neutering of Adventism (Review and Herald, 2008).  When I wrote a book review of Apocalyptic Vision published some years ago in Adventist Today, I suggested that this book was his personal atonement for being such a candid author when it came to discussing the real history of Adventism.not the mythic history of apologists.  In Apocalypic Vision Dr. Knight repented of being a historian and decided to be an apologist in his retirement years.  It is really sad since it is the opposite of what usually happens when some churchman retires.  He then is free to tell us what he really thinks about some part of the strange theological system of Adventism or how politics manifested itself in how decisions had been made at the GC..  

  5. Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
    26 March 2013 @ 9:42 am

    "It is really sad since it is the opposite of what usually happens when some churchman retires.  He then is free to tell us what he really thinks about some part of the strange theological system of Adventism or how politics manifested itself in how decisions had been made at the GC." (Dr Taylor)
    ————
    Dr Taylor is indeed a smart individual who not only is able to catch out Dr Samojluk's elusive ways of using any and every opportunity to get Adventist Hospitals to stop committing the abortion of innocent unborn human offspring especially since there is a 'thou shalt not kill' clause somewhere within Adventism, he [Dr T] then makes a very pertinent observation of finding that many Adventist administrators, Pastors and other employees have a lot to say about what's wrong with the Church after they retire or resign.  This is a very important observation indeed (even more significant I would say than Dr T catching out Dr S's favourite topic). 

    It seems quite clear to me from this that many within Adventism are accustomed to ‘biting the hand that feeds them’ or as a colloquial saying goes "they eat in your plate and then break it when they're done" in which the 'break' is substituted by a distasteful unmentionable word.  That within our church there exists many who aren't converted to what we believe historically as a church is alarming indeed.  They occupy seats of authority and influence yet these disgruntled theologians, administrators and employees together with educators at our training institutions run amok and go unchecked for years.  I think we need to be more discriminate in who we employ as a Church.  Many come into Adventism bringing in a lot of baggage which is still with them when they leave.

    • Stephen Ferguson
      26 March 2013 @ 11:38 am

      Regardless of partisan claims, I think you make a good point about the difficulties of paid Church employment, whether one's views are too liberal or too conservative for the 'mainstream Church.'  I would personally think it quite difficult to tie one's most personal beliefs to one's wage packet.  I have much sympathy for Church employees – of both liberal and conservative views.  

  6. Nic Samojluk
    26 March 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    Erv wrote: "There are many of us who know Nic personally who marvel at his ability to interject his favorate topic into any topic no matter how distant and unconnected that topic might be.This ability is truly unique."

    You marvel at Nic's ability to connect the issue of abortion with the Beast of Revelation, while I am amazed at our blindnes who cannot see the elephant which is in the room. The Bible uses beasts of prey as symbols for organizations who use they raw power to attack and destroy the weak and the powerless.

    We have become fixated on the theory that this applies only to Rome because the Catholic Church in the distant past did perseecute and kill dissenters, and this fixation on the past does not allow us to look in the mirror.

    Read Rev. 13: 11-17. It describes a lamb like beast which comes out of the earth but ends by talking like a dragon. It performs miracles causing fire to come out of heaven, and forbids free trade to those opposed to its power.

    Is not this a fit description of what the U.S. has been doing? It started as a democratic nation, but it ended talking like a dragon. It has raineed fire from the sky on its enemies and it has imposed trade embargoes on many nations. And four decadees ago, it legalized the killing of innocent unborn children.

    The result has been the extermination of 55 million human beings in our country alone, and more than 300 million in China. It says that it decceives the whole world. The worst part is that it has deceiveed even the elect, the Adventist leadership, who were led to participate in this atrocious genocide of the unborn.

    Erv, how can't you see what I see? Am I the one who is blind, or is it you perhaps and our Adventist leaders? You be the judge. The biblical predictions are taking place in front of our eyes, but wee are blind to this undeniable fact.