Beginning today, I am taking renowned oral presentations made in 1984 and shaping them into a readable book. I have taken on this book project and give you a sneak preview here with permission of Maxwell’s surviving family. The words that follow are from the Preface of the in-progress book.
Conversations About God 0
This book is entitled Conversations About God not only because of its content, but in order to make available in written form a series of twenty programs by that name presented at the Loma Linda University Church in 1984. In that memorable series, Dr. A. Graham Maxwell opened each evening’s topic with a presentation, followed by questions and comments from the audience, moderated by then-pastor Louis Venden. The book you hold in your hands is an edited version of the original “conversations.” The editor, Jon Paulien, has sought to preserve the flavor of the original conversations as much as possible.
These conversations offer another look at our heavenly Father in the larger setting of a universe-wide conflict over His character and government. God is infinite in majesty and power. Yet when He came in human form, He didn’t try to intimidate or overwhelm people with a show of majesty and power. Instead, He sat down among them. He conversed with them. He even invited their questions. As a matter of fact, Jesus taught some of His most important truths while reclining at a table, eating supper with His audiences.
As indicated in the title of this book, these twenty conversations will be primarily about God. But one could fairly raise the question, whose God are we going to talk about? God is not the exclusive property of Seventh-day Adventists. The Methodists and the Baptists worshipped God before Adventists came on the scene. The Lutherans were worshiping God before the Methodists and Baptists came on the scene. The Jews were worshipping centuries before there were any Christians. Adam and Eve were worshipping before there were any Jews and, before there were any people on our planet, so were the loyal angels throughout the universe.
God belongs to all of us. While there are religious differences among us, and those differences may be important, we are all members of His family. Or should we rather say that only the good ones among us are members of God’s family? Is it the way you count your children? Today you report you have one child; tomorrow maybe three. And the next day only two? Because you only acknowledge the children who are behaving well? Frankly we have all misbehaved. And yet God recognizes every one of us, counts every one of us, as members of the family of the universe. It is this amazing, gracious God that is the subject of this book. And “conversations” like this are needed today and will continue, because even eternity will not be long to enough to fully understand and celebrate our God.