The Adventist Theological Society is providing instructional support for Hong Kong's China Adventist Seminary. Scholars from various disciplines have been teaching courses for CAS on campus and in various regional contexts with the purpose of nurturing deeper biblical and theological reflection on the part of our Chinese gospel workers. The scope includes BA and MA level instruction. The initiative reflects the China Union Mission's expanding mission and worker needs. Providing a unified biblical, theological, and missional vision and praxis is critical in CHUM's strategy for the future. ATS is financially underwriting the travel for up to four teachers per year for CAS's programs. "The Holy Spirit is impressing a new generation of young people to commit their lives in gospel work," said Larry Lichtenwalter, ATS general vice president. "The level of reflection and commitment on the part of these young people is inspiring. ATS scholars have been playing an important role in both generating and nurturing this inspiration through intensives that inform and inspire.
A beta version of the website The Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists (ESDA) will go live in mid-2018, with the full launch at the General Conference Session in 2020, and a print edition to follow. It will be the first online Adventist reference work, freely accessible to all. The site is being produced by the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR).
The encyclopedia attempts to bring a vast trove of accurate Adventist history and factual information to Adventists and the general public. The number of articles commission is currently at nine thousand, with more to be generated later. "Articles will appear in categories that cover every area pertaining to the church," says Benjamin Baker, ESDA project managing editor.
Among Adventists in some parts of the world, knowledge of the worldwide church and its history is lacking. The encyclopedia's articles will be thorough, comprehensive, and scholarly, but they will also be easily read by members everywhere, increasing the level of literacy about the church.
Categories will include history of the Adventist work in every country, biographies of prominent workers (deceased only), history of institutions and administrative units, and the history of major theological and ethical ideas in the church.
All of the articles will go through a rigorous screening, first through the category's assistant editor and editorial committee, then through double-blind peer review. Many of the more significant entries will also be reviewed by the encyclopedia's general editorial committee.
ATS members and officers are contributing heavily to ESDA. Regional editors include Felix Cortez, Dennis Pettibone, Passmore Hachalinga, Barna Magyarosi, Rudy Baloyo, and Adolfo Suarez. James Nix and Alberto Timm are two of the White Estate editors, and Nikolaus Satelmajer heads up the History of Theology section.
The last encyclopedia of the church was published in 1996 and has not been updated to reflect the widespread changes in the church since then.
You can keep up-to-date on the ESDA project at https://www.adventistarchives.org/encyclopedia.
The book Systematic Theology: The Church and the Last Things, by former ATS president Norman Gulley, came out in December 2016 from Andrews University Press. This fourth volume concludes Gulley's Systematic Theology series, which has taken more than thirty years to complete.
Gulley's idea for a systematic theology series came from his doctoral study at the University of Edinburgh. He became convicted that the Seventh-day Adventist Church needed to define a theological system unlike other systems -- based on Scripture alone.
"It is the largest theological work ever written by an Adventist author," said Ronald Knott, director of Andrews University Press. "These volumes will have a lasting impact on general understanding of Adventist theology for years to come."
Gulley's work has received broad engagement from scholars outside the Adventist world. David Dockery, president of Trinity International University, commended Gulley's work in the fourth book as "thoughtful in its approach, balanced in its engagement with others, wide-ranging in its research and interation, and clearly presented."
Gulley is currently working on Christ Our Assurance: How to Have Fitness for Last-day Events and Heaven; A Christ-Centered Book of Hope. This will be a companion source for the adult Sabbath School Bible study guides for the second quarter of 2018.
The other volumes in Gulley's series are Systematic Theology: Prolegomena (2003); Systematic Theology: God as Trinity (2011), and Theology: Creation, Christ, Salvation (2012), all from Andrews University Press.
-- Abigail King, Southern Adventist University student, contributed the substance of this article.
Two books on Creation in the Bible form a joint project of the Faith and Science Council constituent entities, which include Biblical Research Institute, Geoscience Research Institute, several Adventist scientists and theologians, and some church administrators.
The first book was The Genesis Creation Account and Its Reverberations in the Old Testament (Andrews Univ Press, 2015) with Gerald Klingbeil as editor. Ekkehardt Mueller is general editor of the series.
The second book will be similarly titled: The Genesis Creation Account and Its Reverberations in the New Testament. It will be edited by Tom Shepherd. A release date has not been set. A number of ATS leaders will contribute chapters, including Clinton Wahlen, Tom Shepherd, Randy Younker, Felix Cortez, and Ekkehardt Mueller.
Rather than go head-to-head with other viewpoints on creation or evolution, the series is a straightforward in-depth study of Creation in the Bible accounts. The purpose of the books is to lay out a clear Adventist understanding.
The Faith and Science Council voted to provide free copies of the first book to evangelical scholars, many of whom hold views that tend toward theistic evolution. More than four thousand copies were sent to libraries and scholars in North America. Ekkehardt Mueller reports that responses were positive, including scholars saying they believe the same way and wish to see the second book when it is published.
A popular version of each book is being produced for church members and other lay people. The first book, He Spoke and It Was: Divine Creation in the Old Testament, edited by Gerald Klingbeil and Gary Swanson, came from Pacific Press in 2015. A popular book on the New Testament will follow the publication of the scholarly New Testament volume from Andrews University Press.
In 2014, Randall Younker, publications vice-president for ATS, and students from the Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University began a new excavation at San Miceli (Salemi) in western Sicily, exploring the emergence of an early Christian village and church from a formerly pagan Roman community.
Vice-president Younker is also senior project director of the excavation project at Tall Jalul, south of Amman, Jordan. The field director is Dr. Paul Gregor from the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University. "At Jalul we are excavating a tenth-century B.C. reservoir," says Younker. "It's unique and significant. But there is not a known Bible connection. However, Jalul was occupied during the time of the Monarchy and Divided Monarcy. The Jalul site has been active since the 1980s.
Teams from Andrews University have returned each summer to continue the projects, and the 2017 participants have been selected. This year's dig in Sicily runs from June 12 to July 14, and at Tall Jalul from June 25 to July 28.
Two officers were re-elected at the Adventist Theological Society executive committee meeting in Loma Linda, California, on April 16, 2017. Voted: General vice-president: Larry Lichtenwalter (term expires 12/31/20); Secretary: Clinton Wahlen (term expires 12/31/20). The two officers' terms expired after the 2016 board meeting, prompting a vote at the spring meeting.
Carl Cosaert, ATS president, is the author of the third-quarter 2017 Adult Bible Study Guide and companion book on the book of Galatians.
A new sharing book on the importance of the Creation story in the Great Controversy, entitled Choose You This Day, was released in early 2017. The Pacific Press book was co-authored by ATS scholars Leonard Brand and Richard M. Davidson. Single copies of the book are available for US $2.49, with significant discounts on bulk orders.
From April 27 to May 1, 2017, a number of ATS scholars were guest speakers at the 12th annual South American Biblical-Theological Symposium, held this year at River Plate Adventist University in Argentina. Among the keynote speakers were Artur Stele, Elias Brasil de Souza, Ekkehardt Mueller, Frank Hasel, Alberto Timm, Clinton Wahlen, Kwabena Donkor, and Felix Cortez. The symposium, titled "The Just Shall Live by Faith," focused on exegetical, historical, theological, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the book of Romans.
ATS scholars Leonard Brand and Arthur Chadwick have completed the long-awaited third edition of the classic Faith, Reason, & Earth History: A Paradigm of Earth and Biological Origins by Intelligent Design, published by Andrews University Press. A free e-book version is available from Adventist Learning Community here.
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The ATS chapter in Germany has two events planned for the remainder of 2017. On July 7–9, a symposium called "Reformation" will be held on the campus of Marienhöhe College in Darmstadt. Heinz Schaidinger, theology lecturer at Bogenhofen Seminary in Austria, is the speaker. Click here for the brochure. General Conference president Ted Wilson and Rene Gehring will be guest speakers for a one-day ATS youth Sabbath, entitled "Reformation in Our Generation," scheduled for October 21. Click here for details.
In April 2017, John Reeve (ATS president-elect) and Larry Lichtenwalter (ATS general vice-president) visited the Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education to present papers at a symposium on the Reformation in Europe during the 16th century. While there, the two officers also established a new Ukrainian ATS chapter with some 39 charter members.