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Sabbath School for a New Generation

Among Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbath School is a time for discussion and learning. It is the belief of this site that Sabbath School should be an exciting venue for the discussion of new ideas, instead of rehashing old arguments. So welcome to a virtual Sabbath School, a Sabbath School for a new generation.

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I am an Electrical Engineer, working at Intel in the Portland area. I received my undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California. The views expressed on this website are my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of anybody else. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Those crazy sea mammals

According to a recent article in the LA Times, Newport Beach is having a terrible time with all these sea lions running around. They pulled a fairly typical freshman prank, as in "Hey let's see how many people we can crowd onto a boat.

Tonight, the Harbor Commission will discuss the situation, which took on added urgency after 18 sea lions piled onto a 37-foot sailboat this month and sank it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Veritas Forum

I found this website with quite a few mp3 files of various talks by Christian speakers. I just finished listening to "Rethinking Relationships," with Don Miller, who is the author of Blue Like Jazz. It was quite entertaining, but also helpful. He talks about the relational aspects of religion. This is very important and I frequently lose sight of it.

Here is the summary of the talk from the Veritas website:

Donald Miller is the author of Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality and Searching for God Knows What, in addition to articles written for numerous magazines. He is a frequent speaker on issues concerning the relevancy of Christ to the human struggle. Miller also leads an a small campus ministry at Reed College, which had the recent distinction of being ranked one of the "most godless" colleges in the country.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Wesleyan Quadrilateral

This weekend in sabbath school we discussed the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, which is based somewhat on the teachings of John Wesley, although the name was only created for it about thirty years ago. The quadrilateral includes Scripture, Reason, Experience, and Tradition. Reason, Experience, and Tradition are all used to interpret scripture. I have run across it several books that I have been reading lately, so I thought it would make an interesting discussion. Here are a few articles that I dug up while preparing this lesson.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Book Review: Searching for an Adequate God

It is hard to summarize the ideas presented in this book to fit in a short post, so I will do my best. This book takes the form of a debate, between Free-Will Theists and Process Theists. Free-Will Theists typically come from an evangelical background and Process Theists are a subset of liberal, mainstream protestantism. Despite the difference in their backgrounds, there are many ways that both of these theories about God are similar. Both try to answer the question, "If God is All-Powerful and God is good, why does evil exist?" They both answer the question by limiting God's powerfulness. In the Process model, they describe two methods that God could use to bring about change in the world. The first is persuasion and the second is cohersion. Process thought would maintain that cohersion is inconsistent with a loving God. Free-will theists are uncomfortable in limiting God in this way, but they do recognize that by giving humans free will and self determination, God has limited himself in what he can do.

If you are interested in why evil exists (known as Theodicy), but are unsatisfied with explanations that you have heard, I highly recommend this book. I especially appreciated the thoughts of Richard Rice (a SDA theologian) and David Wheeler.