News: 2010

Inter-American Division Biblical Research Committee held September 23, 2010 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

On September 23, 2010, Ángel Manuel Rodríguez and Clinton Wahlen attended the Inter-American Division Biblical Research Committee, held for the first time at the Inter-American Theological Seminary on the campus of Antillean Adventist University in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Theologians from across the IAD considered a number of issues, including a study Bible in Spanish, the next division-wide Bible conference, regional symposia, and plans for the coming quinquennium. We were also favored with a tour of the construction in-progress on the new union offices and Ellen G. White Research Center. Near the university campus is also an Adventist academy, hospital, and several churches.

Visit to Solusi University in Zimbabwe

On a recent visit to Solusi University in Zimbabwe, Dr. Gerhard Pfandl spoke to church members and students on the origin and history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Solusi Mission, the site of Solusi University, was the first Adventist mission station in Africa. It was established in 1894 on 12,000 acres (4,900 hectares) of land granted by Cecil Rhodes, the prime minister of Cape Colony, to Pieter Wessels and Asa T. Robinson, representing the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Africa, which had raised £500 for the purpose of opening a mission among the Matabele people. Today, because of the economic downturn in recent times in Zimbabwe, Solusi at the present time has only about 2000 students.

Symposium on Revelation held at the Baden-Wüttemberg Conference, Germany

December 10-12, 2010, the Baden-Württemberg Conference, Germany, convened a symposium on Revelation which was followed by a workers’ meeting on the same topic. Speakers were Ekkehardt Mueller (BRI), Martin Proebstle (Bogenhofen Seminary), and Ingo Sorke (Southwestern Adventist University). Frank Hasel (Bogenhofen Seminary) moderated the symposium. At this time Ekkehardt Mueller’s new publication on the Book of Revelation was introduced to the audiences, and the first limited edition was sold out during the meetings.

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division Summer Program for their Pastors

In December 2010, seventy-three pastors from 9 countries of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division attended the Adventist University of Africa summer program at Helderberg College near Cape Town. Among the lecturers was Dr. Gerhard Pfandl, Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute, who taught the course “Issues in Seventh-day Adventist Theology.”

Scholars visited Spicer Memorial College in Pune, India; and the Peninsular Malaysia Mission near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

In August, Ángel Rodríguez, Kwabena Donkor and Clinton Wahlen visited Spicer Memorial College in Pune, India for discussions related to the establishment of a Biblical Research Committee that would serve the Southern Asia and Southern-Asia Pacific regions. While there, members of BRI spoke to the theology students (which number over 200) and answered their questions. Rodríguez and Wahlen continued on to Malaysia for a theological forum with about 60 attendees, held at the Peninsular Malaysia Mission near Kuala Lumpur. Richard Sabuin, chairperson of the Biblical Studies department at AIIAS in the Philippines also made presentations. The subject was the Sabbath and other issues related to Adventist theology. Wahlen also held a session, summarizing his presentations, for Adventist pastors and professionals at the Penang Adventist Hospital in Penang, Malaysia.

A Seminar on Revelation in Peru

The Ellen White Research Center of the Peruvian Union University had invited to a weekend about the Prophecies of the Apocalypse, and people came by the hundreds. Presenters were Dr. Merling Alomia, Dr. Norman Gulley, Dr. Larry Lichtenwalter, and Dr. Ekkehardt Mueller. Not only were the meetings extremely well attended during the weekend, but on Monday more than 400 ministerial students gathered for additional meetings.  The Peruvian hospitality in a country in which the Church is growing rapidly was extraordinary.

Pastoral Council of the Central Brazil Union

A unique seminar took place in the Central Brazil Union in August 2010. The Union had invited various employees of the church for a conference in which among other things theological and biblical topics were presented. The audience consisted largely of administrators and some workers of schools and universities, hospitals, the publishing house, the media center, etc. This is a group often neglected. While pastors receive continuing education, these workers are frequently left out. Here was a good opportunity to meet with leaders in Brazil and discuss some of their questions. Dr. Ekkehardt Mueller was the main lecturer dealing with Scripture, creation, and Revelation 17.

Japan Union Bible Conference

Japan has a population of 120 million, 13,000 of whom are Adventists. From January 25-28, 2010, the Japan Union organized a Bible Conference for its ministers and administrators. The five scholars of the Biblical Research Institute together with Jon Paulien of Loma Linda University and Merlin Burt of the White Estate provided a tight schedule of lectures on a wide spread of topics. About 100 of the 150 ministers working for the Union attended in person, the rest were able to follow the lectures on the internet.

Inter-American Division administrators, theology teachers, pastors and lay evangelists traveled to Egypt, Jordan and Israel

From February 15-March 1, 2010, more than 200 administrators, theology teachers, pastors, and lay evangelists from the Inter-American Division, accompanied by four scholars of the Biblical Research Institute, journeyed from Cairo, Egypt, to Mt. Sinai to experience a sunrise on top of Mt. Sinai and visit the famous St. Catherine’s monastery at the foot of Mt Sinai. From there they crossed into Jordan, visiting the rose-red city of Petra and Amman, the capital of the kingdom of Jordan, before entering Israel. A highlight of this trip was the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and the visit to the places where Jesus lived and walked. The climax of this trip was a four-day Bible conference in Jerusalem with visits to the Dead Sea, Masada, and the biblical places in and around Jerusalem.

Class on "Issues in SDA Theology" Taught at the Theological Seminary in Cernica, Romania

During March 2010, twenty-six MA students from the Theological Seminary in Cernica , Romania, attended the class “Issues in SDA Theology” taught by Dr. Gerhard Pfandl, associate director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference. Topics dealt with in this class included the Trinity in Adventism, Creation, Independent Ministries, Hermeneutics, and the Remnant Church.