Letters to the Editors

Our readers weigh in on recent articles.

Supporting our PKs

My mother—a pastor’s wife—shared the June 2018 issue of Ministry with me due to its content about youth since my husband and I work at a Seventh-day Adventist academy. Instead of reading the first articles, the one that jumped out at me was the article “PK for Life!” by Tere Barron. She spoke straight to this PK’s heart, putting into words so many of the feelings I felt growing up. Even though I was blessed with a father who made me a huge priority as his child, sadly, this is because his own father, also a pastor, did not do this for him and he tried to do better. By the midpoint of the article I was in tears. My father died unexpectedly last October so the torch has been passed with finality.

I wish there were a way for more PKs like myself to read this article and share it. Many don’t have access to Ministry magazine. PKs are a lost demographic—even more so ones who grow up and don’t work for the church like my husband and I do. The only ones that completely understand us are other PKs, and our lives are very lonely. Many conferences are now making cuts, presumably to save money. Perhaps they perceive a lack of desire to participate, but these cuts don’t allow young pastors to bring their families to pastors’ meetings. Gatherings for only pastors/church workers’ families are so vital to create community and understanding and give courage to pastoral families.

Thank you for your inclusion of this article. I hope that you continue to give voice to the unique life that PKs live and provide them with resources for growth and encouragement.

—Jaclyn Knight, New Market, Virginia, United States

Supporting our youth

Thank you for having the courage to publish the editorial “It’s Their Time Now” (Jeffrey Brown, June 2018). We live in a world vastly different than the one in which we grew up. Yet most of us, I fear, mindlessly rehearse the Bible truths we grew up with rather than try to interpret the Bible in terms of present realities.

In a world where school shootings, institutional bigotry, and mindless despoiling of our planet and its resources are indisputable, what is our message? Will we resurrect some trite formulas from the past, or will we listen to our young adults and formulate responses that resonate with them and speak to today’s societal changes? The Bible is relevant. But it is often made irrelevant by our carelessness in seeing its radical claims in our lives and in society.

It’s time to emphasize orthopraxy as well as orthodoxy.

—Stephen Chavez, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Supporting our faith

The lead article by Elmer Guzman and Flavio Prestes III, "Making the Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary: An interview with Jacques B. Doukhan" (April 2018), is an expertly done interview with a profound and experienced Seventh-day Adventist professor-scholar. The winsome, but weighty, verbal exchanges between interviewers and interviewee enrich the reader intellectually and theologically and whet the appetite for the projected completion of the SDAIBC in 2020, date of the next General Conference Business Session.

It is refreshing to note the editorial intent to maintain the prioritizing of health in the SDAIBC that is evident in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary. Witness the following statement by Doukhan: "That is why the Seventh-day Adventist faith... also concerns our lifestyle, the way we eat and drink and work, and the way we think and behave in this world." Responding to an inquiry about his personal contribution in the first volume of the SDAIBC, commenting on Genesis, Doukhan aptly makes mention of "the ideal of a plant-based diet (1:29, 30; 9:3), the distinction between clean and unclean meats (7:2, 3; 8:20)." I believe that this continuation of a fine tradition of articulating balanced positions on diet and lifestyle on the scholarly (theological and scientific) level is contextually important in Seventh-day Adventism.

I hope that the completed volumes of the SDAIBC will find their way into libraries of Seventh-day Adventist institutions of learning around the globe and that pastors and other church employees will have opportunity to acquire these nourishing volumes affordably, with book and equipment allowances. —John Tumpkin, Cape Conference , South Africa

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