Des Ford has died and I weep. I weep for Des, my friend and brother in Christ. I weep for my church — the Adventist church — with which no reconciliation came about.
Des and I first met at Avondale College in Australia. He was an experienced minister already ordained who returned for one year to complete a baccalaureate degree; I was a young man six years his junior, training for the ministry.
Friends - Level - Des - Others - Avondale
We became friends, more on the intellectual level than the emotional. Des did not open himself to others. After Avondale our paths diverged: I went to India, Des remained in Australia. But we met up from time to time. We didn’t agree in all matters but we respected one another. The format for discussion was always the same: Des would say, “Let’s walk,” and we’d head for the hills, he striding out briskly, I panting to keep up. He did most of the talking. On one furlough when we visited Avondale we found Des sick as a dog. He had left strict instructions that he wanted no visitors — except Bill Johnsson.
I was there at the famous/infamous conference held at Glacier View ranch in Colorado. Three of us, professors at the Seminary — Gerhard Hasel, Fritz Guy and I — were appointed to prepare a statement summarizing the week-long discussions (Hasel, Guy, and Johnsson — a later generation found it hard to believe, but it was us. Those were the days before theologians had become polarized).
Statement - Council - Friday - Meeting
We worked closely together and prepared the statement. The council received it, debated it, and voted it overwhelmingly on the final Friday of the meeting.
Des Ford stated that he accepted the statement.
Hours - Meeting - Document - Floor
Then, only hours before the meeting closed, a new document suddenly came to the floor. I was profoundly troubled, wondering what was going...
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