More than 360 Seventh-day Adventist theologians, college and university professors and church administrators, convened in Rome, Italy from June 11-21, for the fourth International Bible Conference (IBC). The gathering, which takes place every few years, seeks to explore a chosen theme associated with theological studies, through the presentation of papers, discussion panels and professional networking. The event is organized by the Biblical Research Institute (BRI), which exists to “promote the study and practice of Adventist theology and lifestyle as understood by the world church,” by providing research-based theological resources and by “facilitating dialogue within the Adventist theological community.” In Rome the chosen theme was eschatology, a word that literally means “the teaching of the last things” and describes the study of last day events and associated subjects. The choice of location (Rome), partnered with the theme (eschatology), is meaningful, explained BRI's sparkling and communicative director Elias Brasil de Souza.
The meetings, although interesting for the multi-faceted human friendship, Christian camaraderie and some breakout sessions, nonetheless appeared as excessively homogeneous, unilateral and paternalistic. No alternative voices were included. No women’s voice, no non-Adventist alternative readings, nothing other than BRI-ATS affirmative and institutionally compliant theologians. As if only Adventists knew what eschatology is all about. Unfortunately that’s not the case. We have not invented Eschatology and today's primary exploratory and fresh theological/cultural ideas on eschatology don’t come from us.
Compact - Tone - GC - President - Sermon
And the same compact, unidirectional and paternalistic tone also flavored the GC president’s sermon on Sabbath morning, June 16, 2018. Everywhere around us world events are pointing to the soon coming of Jesus, said church president Ted Wilson. And it’s time for every member to get involved and do something to spread the news. Based on Matthew 24: 36–39, where Jesus taught that just before His second coming the world will be like “the days...
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