There’s a debate raging in the Seventh-day Adventist Church about creation vs. evolution, particularly as its taught in higher education, e.g. La Sierra University. I am not about to get into that issue here.
I am presenting a theology of justice tomorrow at CrossWalk U. titled, “Justice Isn’t a Four Letter Word”. In preparing, I came across an idea in N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. Wright points out an irony in the creation vs. evolution debate. Keep in mind Wright isn’t talking about Seventh-day Adventists specifically.
The irony is that those American churches that protest most vocally against the teaching of Darwinism in their schools are often, in their public policies, supporting a kind of economic Darwinism, the survival of the fittest in world markets and military power.
- N.T. Wright
Surprised by Hope, p. 219-220
So my question: If the church won’t “flinch” in our stand for creation, will we be consistent? If we stand against Darwinism, will we stand against it in all forms, even social Darwinism? If not, it seems to me our convictions about creation have little real world significance other than a house of cards, propping up our beliefs.
I enjoy Good Magazine’s infographics. This recent one is interesting, mapping income levels in the USA among different religious groups. You can check it out here at The Almighty Dollar: Mapping Distribution by Religious Belief. Is there any truth to stereotypes? Just asking. Wish my Seventh-day Adventists had made it on this one. My guess, our average income is fairly high (at least in the USA). It’s been awhile, but I think Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart (not SDA’s) touched on this issue in Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventists and the American Dream. Premise, becoming an SDA was a way to move up the socio-economic scale for many people. Any thoughts Sevies?
It’s the time of year when we like lists—especially at the end of a decade (depending on how your counting). If you’re interested in the Seventh-day Adventist tradition, check out The Top Ten Adventist Stories of the Decade: a North American Perspective by Bonnie Dwyer over at the Spectrum Blog.
I have to mention Ryan Bell again (No, I am not his press secretary), he just posted a phenomenal article on the Spectrum blog, An Adventism I Can Believe In. It’s based on the article I blogged about yesterday from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist President Jan Paulsen. Good stuff, but make sure you read Paulsen’s article first. Ryan says, Paulsen’s article is one to print out and read over and over again. I agree, but so is An Adventism I Can Believe In. Thanks Ryan!
Ryan Bell and I were having a discussion last week with some friends about whether or not the General Conference President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jan Paulsen, is a former student of Jürgen Moltmann. We’d heard rumors that Paulsen attended Universität Tübingen in Germany where Motlmann was a professor for many years.
We now have confirmation. Yes! Yesterday Ryan sent me an article he found by Paulsen, titled “Christ’s Healing in a Changing World”, where the president writes:
Quite simply, we cannot express our faith—our desire to imitate Christ—in seclusion; our values and our beliefs find their true meaning only within the context of human relationships. In the words of my former teacher Jürgen Moltmann, “Likeness to God cannot be lived in isolation. It can be lived only in human community” (J. Moltmann, God in Creation, p. 222). [italics mine]
You can read the entire article Adventist World. It’s worth the read.