The Worker's Study Life

A look at books, reviews, and discussions

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

By J. D. SNIDER, Manager, Review and Herald Book Department

The Power of Unity

It is highly essential for our ministerial fraternity to study unitedly along certain fundamental lines. And this becomes the more essential as the work expands and the workers increase in number and scatter over the five continents and the isles of the sea. The larger this working force, the more impossible be­come any central gatherings other than for ad­ministrative matters. Yet the situation in the world about becomes increasingly complicated and intense, and the hostility of the enemies of last-day truth deepens as the final conflict nears.

These factors constitute a challenge for growing fellowship through united study and expression of view by means of the annual offerings of the Ministerial Reading Course. The necessities and possibilities of the Minis­terial Reading Course as a unifying and really stimulative molding force are not understood or utilized to the extent they deserve. Surely a minimum of five especially strong and really essential books each year (including the elec­tive), for united reading by all workers, is a narrow enough margin of safety. Ministers in these intensive times need to follow a program of intensive study, lest the careless be crowded out by those who are ever reaching out for more information, better understanding, clearer principles, superior methods, and greater spirit­ual light and life.

Most carefully chosen under wide counsel, and authorized by the large, representative Advisory Council of the Association, this 1938 offering of the General Conference united study program is bound to strengthen your ministry. And when a thousand ministerial comrades march forward with unity of view and oneness of understanding, great will be the results in the pursuit of such a program. This provision affords the only postgraduate work many ministers ever obtain. Constant, advanced study is imperative in these days of competition, for others who are abreast of the times will march on and leave the indifferent and unprepared behind.

The General Conference headquarters staff and the Advisory Council of the Association have already given their supporting example of personal enrollment in the new course, and have given us their permission to use this information. Let all—executives, evan­gelists, pastors, Bible workers, departmental leaders, teachers, ministerial interns, physi­cians, nurses, theological students—enroll for this course of exceptional value, and thus foster the unity of view and utterance so greatly needed at this time.                          

L. E. F.

Learn and Live

I enjoy listening to a good public speaker. Most people do. A well-spoken message is effective in that it is associated with the witchery of personal charm. It is arresting, compelling, convincing. But at last the voice is silenced. The magnetic spell is lost. The speaker is gone. For a whole hour he held us enthralled. Some of the things he said we can never forget. But much that we should like to remember is soon gone from us. After a few hours, or days at most, all we have left is a vague remembrance of beautiful words and phrases, chosen with great nicety and made to march in and out, round and round, in a galaxy of brilliance, at the will of a polished speaker.

Not so with the message printed on the pages of a good book. The printed page offers a perpetual invitation to the seeker after knowl­edge. It never tires in its mission of mental and spiritual enlightenment and never ceases in its work of contributing to culture and re­finement. Books pass the torch of wisdom from generation to generation, and brighten the darkest recesses of earth's remotest pre­serves. The mind cannot come to its full fruition without their aid. And the mind is still the true measure of the man.

We begin life with many different endow­ments, but a sound mind is the greatest of all. In the ministry of life, it is the finest tool the Creator has given us. The best possible prep­aration for life is the training of this mind, First it must be filled with useful information.

Biology teaches us that nature discards or deadens any faculty or equipment that is not used. That rule applies to mind as well as muscles—and there is not much delay in ap­plying it. The mind will dry up if it is not used frequently and sometimes vigorously. Fortunately, work lying mainly in the realm of the intellect can be fully as well learned late in life as early—in fact, it often seems to be mastered better after the fervid years of youth have passed. The minister must keep his mind growing, or he is lost. And the only way to grow is to reach out for new material.

In his book, "The Carpenter of Nazareth," * M. E. Olsen stresses that point convincingly and effectively, and in doing so he has per­formed an enduring service, not for our minis­try alone, but for our denomination as a whole. Knowing the value of adult education and the need for futher supervised study of many of our workers and laymen who cannot return to the classroom for formal instruction, he writes infectiously under the captions, "The Carpen­ter of Nazareth," "Sons and Daughters," "The Call to Christian Service," and "Shall We Make Room in Our Lives for the Study Ex­perience ?"

Doctor Olsen's book is an eloquent plea for self-improvement, pointing out avenues of ad­vancement toward that mental, spiritual, and cultural energy which in our hearts we all so greatly covet. The next time I meet one of those half-starved, stifled souls who despair of further growth and power, and who need to renew old-time ambitions, I am going to suggest that he read this book.


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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

By J. D. SNIDER, Manager, Review and Herald Book Department

January 1938

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More Articles In This Issue

God's Call to His Church

Autumn Council Highlights

Undue Losses in Church Membership—No. I*

Any study of the trends which cause loss of church membership in North America must be approached in a spirit of hum­ble consecration to the task of holding our be­lievers in a fellowship with the Saviour, and with an earnest prayer that they may be sancti­fied.

Imparting A World VisionImparting A World Vision—No. 1

Address at Blue Ridge Educational Convention, August, 1937.

Successful Short Efforts

Efficient Evangelistic Methods and Pastoral Technique

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Correct methods of advertising do much to make evangelistic meetings successful.

Reaching Youth Not of Our Faith

Young People's Night for Evangelism.

Build For Lasting Membership

In recent months we have heard much con­cerning the need for conserving our con­verts. Our leaders have urgently appealed by voice and pen for us to put forth every pos­sible effort to stem our losses through apostasy.

Filing Sermon Materials

Please suggest a method of keeping notes, clippings, ideas for sermons, etc., in orderly arrangement so that they are available at a moment's notice.

Momentous Implications At Oxford—No. 1

Religious liberalism has undermined the meaning of the nature and citizen­ship of the kingdom of God, together with the time and manner of its establishment,—turns vainly to the creations of its own reasonings and fancy in unwitting harmony with the impending events so clearly revealed.

Transfer of White Estate Materials—No. 1

It is fitting at this time that we should re­view with our workers throughout the world field certain facts regarding the activities of the White Estate during the past twenty-two years, and that we should make a statement regarding the provisions made for the future conduct of its work.

Position and Balance of Parts

How may I overcome slight disadvantages of certain weak parts?

Ministers I Have Heard

There were four main classes of preachers: the long-winded, the dry, the concise, and the interesting.

Editorial Keynotes

Our three-point enlargment.

Our New "Medical Missionary" Section

Introducing our designated medium for the new medical missionary association

Launching the New Association

The launching of any plan intended to extend the work of God in the earth is, I am sure, of interest to every Seventh-day Adventist worker.

A Call to United Action

Sensing our responsibility in giving leader­ship to this part of our work, as well as to all others, the General Conference leaders call upon all, leaders and people alike, to stand before the world as living exponents of health reform principles.

Battle Creek Medical Council

Our Medical Administrators' Council, held October 17-19, 1937, in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, prior to the Autumn Council, proved from several viewpoints to be a most profitable occasion.

Basic Principles of Health Teaching No. 1—Avoid Extreme Views and an Uncharitable Spirit

Health education is one of the impor­tant objectives the Medical Department is seeking to promote through its Asso­ciation.

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

Medical Missionary Association of Seventh-Day Adventists

Authorized by Action of Battle Creek Autumn Council, October 22, 1937.

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