News: 2009

Zambia Union

The Zambia Union with 600,000 members is the largest union in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  From the 4th to the 10th of January, 2009, Gerhard Pfandl was invited to be the main speaker at the ministers’ meeting of the Central Zambian Conference. He presented a variety of topics ranging from “Independent Ministries” to “Sunday and the Mark of the Beast.”

Theological Forum at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines

About 160-180 theologians, teachers and students participated in the 12th AIIAS Theological Forum held on the campus of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines, from October 29-31, 2009. The general topic was “Current Trends in Adventist Theology.” Ángel Rodríguez, Ekkehardt Mueller, Clinton Wahlen, and Gerhard Pfandl from the Biblical Research Institute presented three lectures each, ranging from the “Trinity in Adventism” to “Homosexuality and Scripture.” Many participants expressed their appreciation for the candid way the theological pluralism in the church was addressed and several attendees remarked that this was the best Forum they had ever attended.

South German Union Bible Conference

The South German Union in conjunction with its conferences organized a meeting for all its pastors dealing with the important issue of hermeneutics. The meetings took place from July 3 to 5, 2009 at Seminar Marienhoehe. Speakers were Ángel Manuel Rodríguez and Ekkehardt Mueller from BRI, Fernando Canale and Richard Davidson from Andrews University, and Stefan Hoeschele from Theologische Hochschule Friedensau. Church members interested in the topic of interpreting Scripture were also admitted. Open questions and honest answers contributed to the good spirit of the meeting.

Newfoundland Camp Meeting

The Newfoundland camp meeting was held July 20-25, 2009, at Woody Acres Camp located in a wooded area with access to a lake. Gerhard Pfandl presented a series of lectures on Righteousness by Faith which were greatly appreciated. One afternoon was set aside to go whale watching and visit a bird sanctuary in one of the many bays of the island. Although small the camp’s family atmosphere was a success with young and old.

Malawi Union

Malamulo Secondary School was the setting for the worker’s meeting of the Malawi Union which has more than 300,000 members. The meetings were held from the 11th to the 15th of January 2009, and they were attended by about 150 ministers, administrators and their wives. The main speaker, Gerhard Pfandl, presented a series of lectures on Current Trends in Adventist theology, Adventist History and Eschatology.

European Theology Teachers' Conference

More than sixty theologians from the three European Divisions participated in the European theology Teachers’ Conference, held May 27-31, 2009, at Zaoksky Adventist University 100 km (62 miles) outside of Moscow. The conference dealt with the topic of postmodernism and Christian education. The Biblical Research Institute was represented by Kwabena Donkor, Ekkehardt Mueller, Gerhard Pfandl, and Clinton Wahlen. Apart from lectures and discussions, the program included a visit to Yasnaya Polyana, the home of Leo Tolstoy, located 12 kilometers southwest of Tule, and the Kremlin in Moscow.

Dominican Adventist University Bible Conference

From May 7-9, 2009, all five scholar of the Biblical Research Institute participated in a Bible Conference at the Dominican Adventist University organized by the Dominican Union Mission. The theme of the conference was the twenty-eighth fundamental belief – Growing in Christ. Five hundred pastors, students, and administrators listened to a variety of topics ranging from “Evil Powers and Occult Practices in the Apocalypse” to “Perfect in Christ.”  The history and procedure of how this new fundamental belief came into existence was explained by Dr. Ángel Rodríguez, Director of the Biblical Research Institute. Other presenters included Drs. Eli Henry, Vice president of the Inter-American Division, Efrain Velasquez, Academic Dean of the Inter-American Division Adventist Theological Seminary, and Jon Paulien, Dean of the School of Theology of Loma Linda University.

Bible Symposium in the Netherlands

On January 24th and 25th of 2009, a Bible Symposium dealing with the interpretation of biblical eschatology took place in Rotterdom-Schiedam, Netherlands. The meetings were very well attend. The Union President Wim Altink set the tone by presenting a sermon on the sure prophetic word (2Pet 1:19). Dr. R. Davidson and Dr. J. Moskala from Andrews University together with Dr. Ekkehardt Mueller from the Biblical Research Institute presented lectures on principles of prophetic interpretation, typology, Israel in prophecy, Isaiah 65, Ezekiel 38-39, and Revelation 12-14 and 17. There was a wonderful spirit of  fellowship and unity.

Course Taught at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) from June 15 - July 2, 2009

“Issues in SDA Theology” was the course Gerhard Pfandl taught at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines. Fifteen MA, M.Div, D.Min, and Ph.D. students had registered for the class, but several Ph.D. students, who had already completed their class work, attended as auditors. AIIAS, a General Conference institution, offers only post-graduate programs and serves primarily the Northern- and Southern-Asia Pacific divisions, but students come from the South Pacific, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Conference Held for the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) on Ministerial and Theological Education

Three BRI representatives made a total of eight presentations dealing with issues of Hermeneutics, Mission, and the Role of the Adventist Theologian to a gathering of seventy educators and administrators from throughout the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), August 9-13, 2009. The meetings were held in the newly constructed Centennial Hall on the campus of Samyook University. Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, Kwabena Donkor, and Clinton Wahlen attended from BRI and, in addition to their presentations, answered questions from the floor as part of panel discussion held on the final day of the conference. Other topics considered at the conference included Pastoral Formation and Leadership Needs, the Integration of Faith and Learning, and other practical subjects related to ministerial training. Sizeable delegations from outside Korea were in attendance, including Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, and seventeen from China. Besides the BRI representatives, presenters included a number from NSD, Montemorelos University, the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), and the Adventist Review and Ministry magazines.