Featured Articles

God’ impression; My inspiration

By Dr Arceli H. Rosario

I was sitting in my office one afternoon, mulling over the idea how the college could raise funds. I listed possible ways. I also benchmarked how other colleges and universities did their fundraising. One of the ideas that hit me was writing a book and giving the proceeds to the college. My excitement, however, was like a wild fire doused with a thunderstorm. “What book will I write?” “Who will publish it?” “Will people buy it?” These were few of the questions I asked. I did not mention my desire to any one. Mentioning to people that you will write a book and donate the proceeds is like saying you will go to the moon and dig gold there. That’s how I felt–the idea seemed too wild to be shared. Few days later, Mr. Joe Sarsoza, the editor of the Philippine Publishing House (PPH), visited SPAC. He said, “Will you please write the adult devotional book for 2014?” I wanted to cry. It’s one of those days when you see God’s hand orchestrating events and working in the hearts of people without you doing anything except to dream big, wild dreams that only God will not laugh at. I said yes, not knowing how I could do it.Continue Reading

Image of God, Human Dignity, Social Issues: A search for meaningful dialogue

Favorite lines from the 1st SONA of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte: A take from the man in the street

RPido

Pres. Duterte:Thus to our religious bishops, leaders, priests, pastors, preachers, imams let me assure you that while I am a stickler for the principle of separation between church and state, I believe quite strongly that there should never be a separation between God and State.”

Man in the street: I love the lines above. Unless you have a fair grasp of the historical antecedents of the phrase, “separation of Church and State,” you shall remain imprison (it happens to me several times or from time to time) by your extreme religious prejudices. That is why the lines above are simply but a philosophical twist. While we can separate our diverse religious tenets/ beliefs from how the State should be run, but not our belief in the existence of God. Think of the United States of America where the blessings of democracy overflow like milk and honey; and think how the sacred phrase, “separation of Church and State”, is reverenced in all their democratic rituals, yet the phrase, “In God we trust” solely shines brightly in their nation’s motto. Moreover, this was inscripted on their coins and paper currency in 1864 and 1957, respectively and still in appearance up to the present. Just think of the great mess if we allow the church to impose their religious will on many of our national dispositions or think, on the other hand, if the State would connive with the Church in a holy matrimony for the running of its affairs. History tells us that cats and dogs are hazardous to unite. Let each one eat his or her own meal though each belongs to one and the same owner.

Church and State are two different entities in their primary purposes and intent. The Church patronizes on the salvific ends of man, woman and other individuals, while the State focuses rather on their immediate and basic needs such as, employment, free basic education, affordable medical and transportation services, peace and order, etc. Obviously, these are the things that are not within the ambit of the fundamental functions of the church. Certainly,  the Church cannot in any way provide nor sustain those.  No wonder Matthew 12:17 makes this distinction very clear: “Render unto Caezar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

In the Philippines, however, free expression of one’s faith or any belief in something or someone believable or unbelievable and tax exemptions for religious institutions for that matter (highest form of grace ever granted by the State to anyone –  this makes the Church the most powerful entity after State) are fully secured under our democratic best practices. Tax exemptions for religious institutions, by the way, is a greatest proof of  Church separation from the State although the relationship is not totally annulled or divorced. That is why the phrase, “there should never be a separation between God and state” means, at least to me, we may differ in our approaches to reach the throne of God ( although some have indignantly claimed that they are the only ones to have been divinely destined to own an inclusive line of communication to God- magnifico habladuria!), but our belief in the One Supreme Being (expressed in different names. To others, it is Allah) must unite us all. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or what have you, all believe in one Supreme Being who sustains and protects our national sovereignty and patrimony. He is also the Uncaused cause of our existence as a nation. In fact, this is our nation’s secret of strong resiliency in the midst of dire devastations in the past- our faith in the sovereign God. Hence, it is really a national shame and disgrace if we disown God in all facets of our national existence. By all means, “there should never be a separation between God and State.”

The rest of the article will appear in his 2nd book project, The Idiot Explains.

The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author except where statements attributed to individuals other than the author.

The model Jesus; there is no other name.

RPido
Faculty, Theology Dept.
Web Coordinator
Advancement, Recruitment and Alumni Director

Allow me to mention some of the Bible characters that are, in one way or another, have been joyfully alluded to almost perfect symmetry of Christ character, and worst, by some so called self-proclaimed “moralists,” to equal footage of Christ holistic semblance of unwavering moral fortitude. Superfluous title(s) have been invented by superfluous people to dub them with angelic titles such as “man/woman of integrity” or “man/woman of uncompromised principle” without understanding, perhaps, that such exaggeration of biases (exaggeration because to be or being biased is not necessarily bad) may tend at times to self worship of the person, that is tantamount to idolatry. Or in some picturesque, they used these names to indirectly gratify their egos by telling people that at some point as if they, too, have achieved such kind of glorified character. Well and good, but naughty ones. Now, let us try to evaluate some of these Bible characters and see if such warrants our perfect sublime admiration. And to be more plain, we may ask, why are they mentioned in the Bible anyway?Continue Reading

The Theology of Reconciliation: A Point of Pointlessness

 

By RPido, Web Manager/Faculty, Theology Department

The word “reconciliation (katallasso)” is a doctrine that many preachers or believers of God like me love to talk about but hate to dispose it when it bounces back to our face. Because by human measure, our views of reconciliation is, by and large, effected by our innate nature to be always on top of our egoistic ecstasy. “What should I take the first step to be reconciled with him/her when he/she started all of these mess? “The church will only reach out to them when they come into full realization of the mistakes they have done.” “How can I accept his/her offer of reconciliation when he/she never said ‘sorry’ at all?” These are the common expressions we love to utter when our views of reconciliation are at times put to a crucible test. I, myself, is no exception to this.

But what really is reconciliation? Why there is a need for reconciliation? First, reconciliation is sought in the highest sense of the word when disruption of relationship has occurred between two parties or one has turned hostile to the other. In short, estrangement of relationship necessitates reconciliation. So that when relationship is not estranged reconciliation loses its definitive meaning or value. In other words, reconciliation, under this circumstance, is, therefore, nullified. Under the highly confusing pluralistic disposal of the doctrine of reconciliation, who should be our ultimate model and who needs to be reconciled?Continue Reading

Evolution and Creation: Theory versus Assumption

By RPido
(Faculty, Theology Department)

This presentation won’t delve into sparring debates of experts identified with evolution and creation for the reason that these two, though they shared some common academic idiosyncrasies, are entirely two different paths with different destinations. An evolutionist who begins with science must end with science. Because the discipline of science entails strict empirical scrutiny of something that they perceive at least, at its inception, worthy of scientific excavation or experimental test in order to establish a scientific fact of the same. In fact, this something may not be considered a full-fledged scientific fact or even a scientific theory until a body of legitimate scientists (Academy of Science) would declare it so.Continue Reading

Ordination of women: Is theology the sole basis?

Understanding the issue on ordination of Women: Is theology the sole basis?
Part I
RPido

The issue on ordination of women has been in the front line of many discussions in the church, school, and even workplace today. Not only does the Seventh-day Adventist church has so much of debate, paper presentations, dialogues on this issue but other denominations as well equally share the same amount of mastication of this seemingly never ending battle of the sexes  in today’s generation of the faithful.

Should women be ordained to the male-dominated gospel ministry of the church? Both sides have taken the Bible as their advocate exhausting all best arguments in order to raise their banner of victory. Each side claims that the Bible is covering them with the full blanket of authority to dispose the proper hermeneutical interpretation of the relevant Biblical passages. One uses a particular Bible text(s) to support his/her stand, while another destroys it like a crumpled paper. And the show of mental force goes on and on – ad infinitum.  For as long as both parties seek refuge in the Scriptura in trying to assert their claims as true, then this battle will soon transform into an Armageddon and we shall all get destroyed and divided. Division among members will continue to sink in. Emperor Constantine has this to say – “division in the church is worse than war.” I am not saying that the Bible is wrong. I am a firm believer in the “Sola Scriptura” dictum. In fact, I am of the opinion that there is no issue on this planet earth that the Bible does not touch. Although realities may not have direct or explicit representations in the Bible, yet its significance is never wanting (Dan 12:4)). For example, where in the Bible can you find terms like laptops or personal computers? Not even the name General Conference office has direct representation in the Bible. But its significance and relevance are ever present therein. There is not an instance of our lives where the Bible is silent. Only the brain is silent. But the problem is, we rely too much on some theologians to interpret the Bible for us. This is the very reason why up to now both sides of the issue cannot meet in mid-center. I have attended one religious gathering where one theologian was asked to give a report about their committee findings on the issue. And I dare say, I pity the Bible. It is like a pendulum swinging to and fro until it rests in no side, but the middle. I think this issue can be best resolved if we limit the presence of theologians in the committee en banc exploring on this issue, and instead allow other experts like Adventist/Christian sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, lawyers, historians, educators, etc.. to come together in a forum duly called for to dissect the physiological structure of this issue so that we may be able to strike a broader chord of understanding on what exactly is the role of women in the ministry. Should women be ordained to the ministry or not?Continue Reading

How did Jesus teach?

By Cristopher Verian Luaya
(Faculty, Theology Department)

Introduction

Not all of us are faculty. But all of us are teachers. But today, I am specifically referring to teaching faculty. Each one has different teaching strategies. However, Jesus should be our foremost model in our teaching approaches.

Jesus was a teacher. Not just a simple teacher but a Great Teacher. People called him a Rabbi. A rabbi is someone who is a teacher of the Torah. A rabbi has students. Obviously, Jesus has the twelve disciples and others as his students, who listened to Him as their teacher.

In an academically community as SPAC, teachers have great role in making a difference in the life of every student. The future of our students largely depends on what we tell them in the classroom. We are their rabbis. In other words, we, teachers, are persons in authority as far as the classroom setting is concerned.

However, the question remained unanswered. Do we teach like Jesus? How did Jesus teach?

How Did Jesus Teach?

Allow me to share some important points with you. This is obviously important because we have Jesus as our model. No other people is worth emulating as Jesus. He is the source of everything as far as teaching is concerned.

First, Jesus was teaching by example. All we say in the classroom will be useless if we don’t perform them ourselves. The golden rule Jesus teaches is “love one another” (John 13:34a, NIV). In other that His disciples would follow His command, Jesus should be the first to love others. He confirms, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (verse 34b). Because “by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (verse 35).

See! Jesus taught by example. He did not exempt Himself. He was bound to his own command. Therefore, whatever words we say in the classroom, always remember that we are also bound to those words.Continue Reading