Our conviction and strong desire is to foster biblical, theological, and historical studies that strengthen the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s message and mission.

New Study of the Psalms to Be Released

A new book of essays on the Psalms, the first of two volumes, will soon be released by ATS in English. The book is already available in Spanish, co-published in Peru by Ediciones Theologika and ATS.

“When He Calls To Me, I Will Answer Him”: Selected Studies In The Psalms was edited by Richard Davidson, of Andrews University, and Edgard Horna, Old Testament professor at Peruvian Union University (UPeU), and translated by Joel Iparraguirre, a theology student at UPeU. The book is sponsored by UPeU and ATS.

The book was officially presented to the theology faculty and students at UPeU in a special ceremony on November 5, 2018. Davidson gave a lecture on “Doorways of the Psalms.” Several members of the theology faculty and university administration also formally expressed appreciation for the publication of the volume.

Ernst Wendland, writer of the preface, says about the book’s contents, “In terms of their academic quality, I found all of these studies to be well-written, scholarly, perceptive, interesting, and most informative.” Wendland teaches at the Lusaka Lutheran Seminary in Zambia and is a visiting professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Among the contributions is an essay dealing with worship and ethics in Psalm 15 by Elias Brasil de Souza of the Biblical Research Institute and Jônatas de Mattos Leal of Andrews University. ATS vice president and SDA Theological Seminary dean Jiri Moskala wrote on the problem of evil in Psalm 73.

“I believe this volume will make a substantial contribution to the study of the Psalms and to affirming and enhancing our understanding of biblical teachings dear to Seventh-day Adventists,” Davidson said.

The second volume of studies on the Psalms will be released in 2019.

Carl Cosaert – Reflections of the Past President

Carl Cosaert

As he prepared to hand over the reins of the Adventist Theological Society to John Reeve, society president Carl Cosaert talked about how gratifying it is to see ATS becoming more visible and relevant to Adventist church members as well as the scholarly community.

In four years of leadership, “my time has given me a greater appreciation for the breadth of the ministry of ATS,” he said. The society funds travel expenses for professors to hold Bible conferences, and the annual symposium and the journals will continue, but “now to be able to reach out through Hope Channel, it’s been really rewarding to see.”

Cosaert was referring to the ATS Academy initiative begun under Felix Cortez to create video programs featuring the deep pool of scholarly knowledge and expertise in ATS and the greater Adventist church. A total of 55 videos have been created so far on a wide variety of biblical topics, with the aim of bringing theological understanding and hope to Adventist lay members and spiritual seekers in the world; another extensive series is in preproduction.

“In our brochures we say that ATS is a dynamic, relevant resource for the Adventist church, but I questioned the relevancy of it when it was limited to only a scholarly journal,” Cosaert said. “That’s not to undermine the scholarly work.” The videos are “a nice way to share the strong scholarly resources and information that we have in the society with people who could now appreciate them.”

One of the challenges Cosaert sees is a degree of skepticism toward education, and the perception that “perhaps we [in academia] are disengaged with the life of the normal Adventist believer and maybe the mission of the church—you know, we’re off in our ivory towers, just thinking of ideas.” ATS can play an important role in showing that theological scholarship is of great benefit to the church and important to its mission. “That’s our hope and our prayer,” he said. “It’s been a privilege for me to be able to be connected with that.”

2018 ATS Symposium - Denver


The Sabbath program of the 2018 ATS annual meeting took place at the Denver South Seventh-day Adventist Church in Denver, Colorado, on November 17. The all-day program featured presentations roughly 45 minutes in length, plus an interview and a discussion panel.

Youssry Guirguis, a native of Egypt, shared his testimony of God's provision as he advanced through Adventist academic studies at his own expense. Guirguis now teaches at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand.

In a morning interview, Carl Cosaert spoke to Youssry Guirguis, who currently teaches at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand. Guirguis, a native of Egypt, gave his testimony of advancing through the stages of scholarly study in the church using his own money. This need arose each time he wished to study at a more advanced level because the school he needed to attend was in a different division, and no financial help was forthcoming. In each case, God provided for his needs.

After a paper in the afternoon by Larry Lichtenwalter on “The Holy Spirit in Galatians,” John Reeve convened a discussion panel with his co-authors Martin Hanna and Darius Jankiewicz, who together compiled the book Salvation: Contours of Adventist Soteriology, recently published by Andrews University Press.

The afternoon concluded with breakout sessions that examined more specialized topics, such as "The Holy Spirit in the Uproar of Spirits: Exploring a Mission Strategy in the Chinese Adventist Church" led by Liang Chuanshan; and '"Distinguishing the Work of the Holy Spirit from the Demonic Spirits in the Contemporary World" by lsacka Vitus Ndaruhekeye.

Rahel Wells, associate professor of Biblical Studies in the department of religion and biblical studies at Andrews University, was elected to a two-year term as president-elect of the Adventist Theological Society, at the 2018 ATS business meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Speaking about his impressions of the presentations on the Holy Spirit at the 2018 symposium, John Reeve said, “I come away with an overwhelming awareness of the unselfishness of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is uplifting and promoting everyone else, . . . is give, give, give.” He also gained a new appreciation for the importance of the Holy Spirit in our salvation, he said. “Conviction of sin is the Holy Spirit’s task, according to Scripture, and conviction of sin is the first step in salvation. The Holy Spirit is involved in every aspect of salvation.” And another revelation was the sense that the Holy Spirit is an example of how we are told what we need to know and not what we want to know.

John Reeve Assumes Presidency of ATS

New president of ATS John Reeve introduces the program at Denver South Adventist church in Denver, Colorado, on November 17, 2018.

John Reeve became president of ATS at the time of the 2018 annual symposium in Denver, Colorado, November 17, 2018. He is professor and chair in the department of church history at the Theological Seminary, Andrews University. Reeve was voted in as president-elect two years earlier and assumed the presidency after the ATS business meeting in Denver, when a new president-elect was chosen.

Reeve has been active in ATS for 10 years and is also a long-time member of the Adventist Society for Religious Scholars (ASRS). He comes to leadership in ATS at a time when two key doctrines of the Adventist Church—the trinity and salvation—face significant challenges. Reeve said it’s possible he was nominated to lead ATS two years ago because of his specialties in these doctrinal areas. And concerning what to focus on theologically at ATS, he said, these challenges provide him with marching orders.

“Now is a good time for the theologians of the church to hold onto biblical truth. Biblical truth is what has always animated us as Adventists, and it should be what animates us in the future. The Bible has been the centerpiece for our faith and learning, and it should continue to be so,” Reeve said.

Affirming the foundational roles that the creators of ATS set in place, Reeve said he will continually look for ways that it can be an active educating society. “That’s the genius of ATS. It is a society of scholars, yes, but a society of scholars in the service of educating the people of the church.”

Jumping in to meet the doctrinal challenges right away, Reeve announced that a conference on the topic of the trinity has been set up for February 22-23, 2019, at Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU). Speakers are likely to be Jiri Moskala, Larry Lichtenwalter, John Peckham, and Reeve. That meeting will be followed by the previously announced trinity conference at Villa Aurora in Florence, Italy, in June 2019. Reeve and Moskala have also begun to compile a major book on the trinity that they hope to see released by 2020.

Reeve and the ATS leadership continue to pursue plans for the next video series to follow Faith and Life. No formal decisions have been made, Reeve said, but ATS officers are taking input on the type of program to pursue.

“ATS can play an important role in showing that theological scholarship is of great benefit to the church and important to its mission."

Carl Cosaert, past president of ATS

News Shorts

Wells Is Voted as President-Elect of ATS

At the ATS business meeting on November 15, 2018, Rahel Wells was elected ATS president-elect for a two-year term leading to the office of ATS president in 2020. Wells is associate professor of Biblical Studies at Andrews University. She earned her PhD at Wheaton College, researching the Old Testament portrayal of God’s response to the suffering of animals. As president-elect, in addition to other responsibilities, she will serve as organizer for the annual ATS November conferences in San Diego, California (2019) and Providence, Rhode Island (2020).

ATS Represented at NAD Teachers' Convention

Past president Carl Cosaert represented the Adventist Theological Society in a booth at the 2018 NAD Teachers' Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Cosaert spoke to teachers, administrators, and conference workers about the resources of ATS, gave away copies of Perspective Digest and JATS, and showed Faith and Life videos on a monitor in the booth. “We had some good conversations, and there seemed to be good, solid interest in the material,” Cosaert said.

Kenya ATS Chapter Selects New Leader

The ATS chapter on the campus of Adventist University of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, recently chose a new president. Davidson Razafiarivony, associate professor of New Testament and director of Master of Divinity and pastoral theology studies, took over from Eriks Galenieks on Sept. 18, 2018.

Montemorelos Chapter to Hold Symposium on the Sanctuary

The ATS chapter at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico is partnering with the Biblical Research Institute to hold a symposium on the topic of the sanctuary. The date is July 3-6, 2019, and speakers are tentatively set to include Felix Cortez, Jiri Moskala, John Reeve, and Richard Davidson, and others.

Past President to Teach in China

Carl Cosaert, past president of ATS, will be going to Kunming, China to teach on the Pauline Epistles, July 9-Aug. 9, 2019. The trip is sponsored by ATS.

Plans Confirmed for Trinity Meeting at Villa Aurora

An ATS-sponsored symposium on the topic of the trinity is planned for June 19-22, 2019, at Villa Aurora Adventist Institute of Biblical Culture in Florence, Italy. Presenters will include Rodrigo Galiza, Denis Kaiser, John Peckham, and John Reeve. The symposium’s program is yet to be confirmed.

Faith and Science Conference Coming to Rwanda

The Adventist University of Central Africa will host the next Faith and Science conference, December 11-19, 2019. Special guest the minister of education for Rwanda, the Honorable Eugene Mutimura, will give a speech on December 12. ATS officer Ed Zinke, a primary organizer of the Faith and Science events, will be a seminar speaker, along with Frank Hasel, Arthur Chadwick, Gerald Klingbeil, Leonard Brand, and others. The Faith and Science conferences bring biblical and scientific studies and training related to creation and earth history to local pastors and church workers.

AUA Chapter to Partner with BRI in West Africa for Conference

In 2019, the ATS chapter of Adventist University of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya will join with the Biblical Research Institute branch in the West-Central Africa Division for a theological conference that will be held at Valley View University in Oyibi, Ghana, March 6-7, 2019, on the theme of ecclesiology. Topics will include the priesthood of all believers, church ordinances, mission, worship, music, contextualization, and discipline. “We are looking forward to having a wonderful experience as theologians from this part of the world continue to interact and wrestle with these theological and practical issues in our church and provide direction for the way forward,” said Davidson Razafiorivony, ATS chapter president at AUA.

Next ATS Symposia Dates and Topics Set

ATS leaders voted details of the next two annual symposia. For November 20-22, 2019, the topic is “Christ in all Scripture,” and the location is San Diego, California. The theme for 2020 is “Christianity and Islam,” and Providence, Rhode Island will be the site.

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