2023 ATS Symposium and Annual Meeting
The 2023 Adventist Theological Society (ATS) annual meeting convened in San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) from November 14-18, 2023.
“Our ETS sessions were well attended,” says Rahel Wells, president of ATS. “Each of the sessions was standing room only. Tuesday’s meeting focused on general theological anthropological topics. During Wednesday's session, we used a different format. The speakers presented three versions of a difficult text related to anthropology. A discussion between the panelists and the audience followed this. We dug deep during these sessions, and many attendees expressed their appreciation for the format and wished for more time to continue the discussions.”
The topics presented on Tuesday and Wednesday included:
What Makes Us Human?: The Distinctness of Humanity in Anthropological and
- Theological Perspective by Stacie Hatfield, Andrews University
- Jesus’ Anthropological Dehumanization in the Matthean Passion Narrative by Carlos Olivares, Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo
– Theological Anthropology in Context: Towards a Biblical-theological Context of Creation-Fall-Restoration by Jan Barna, Newbold College
- An Immortal Body: How the Garden of Eden Informs our Understanding of the
Post-Resurrection Body by Thomas Toews, Union College
- Three Monist Views on a Difficult Text: Death, Paradise, and a Comma
Moderator: John Reeve, Andrews University
- Luke 23:42–43: The Thief on the Cross and Paradise–Beyond the Comma
Kim Papaioannou, pastor
- The Significance of “Today” in the Gospel of Luke: The Dawn of a New Era by Eike Mueller, Newbold College
- Anthropological Orthodoxy and Heresy in Luke 23:42-43 from the Perspective of Discourse Analysis and the Levels of Intentionality by Laurentiu Mot, Adventus University in Cernica
The North American Division Ministerial Association hosted the Friday evening. Pastor Dwight Nelson’s topic was On the Eve of Destruction: Is Imminence Still God’s Preferred Modus Operandi?
The Sabbath schedule was filled with a panel discussion, an afternoon plenary session, the presentation of a Festschrift to Ekkehardt Müeller, and breakout sessions covering the topics based on the apocalyptic, biblical/theological, restoration, and mission. Recordings of the week's meetings will be uploaded and available on the ATS YouTube channel soon.
Another highlight of the week was an international guest attending the meetings due to the generosity of an ATS scholarship. “Hosting an international guest on scholarship has been a desire for several years,” says Wells. “It was exciting to see it come to fruition. We had forty applicants that we reviewed. The individual chosen has taught for 20 years, holds a PhD, and has been unable to attend the annual gathering because of financial constraints. We will continue to offer an annual scholarship. Watch for announcements for the application process in 2024.”
Saturday evening, a short annual business meeting was held. It was primarily informational, and no voted actions were recorded.
During this meeting, Rahel Wells passed the torch of ATS leadership to Eike Müeller and Christie Chadwick, president and president-elect, respectively. At the time of her election five years ago, Wells became the youngest person to lead ATS. “We are witnessing a transition to a new generation filling the leadership roles,” says Wells. “Those in the positions of president, president-elect, and secretary are now of the same generation.”
ATS WILL TRAVEL TO GILLETTE, WYOMING
During the 2024 Believe the Promise International Camporee in August, ATS will host a booth in the exhibit hall. “There will be thousands of Pathfinders attending,” says Rahel Wells, past president, ATS. “They will be accompanied by adults who may not have had exposure to ATS."
Watch ATS News for more information in the coming months.
JATS SEEKS AUTHORS
The Journal of the Adventist Theological Society (JATS) needs your help. The editors are currently seeking submissions of articles to complete upcoming issues of the journal. Do you have published papers or articles you haven’t yet submitted? Please review the writers’ guidelines and complete the submission process. You can read about guidelines and submission requirements at https://www.atsjats.org/writers-guidelines.
ATS MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
Newly Discovered Document and Adventist Origins
During the recent Women in Adventist History Convention held at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland, Michael Campbell examined the university’s heritage collection. That is when he made a significant discovery—the very first issue of The Hope of Israel, a Millerite periodical printed on July 19, 1844.
ATS Members Lead Division’s 20th Anniversary
Robert Osei-Bonsu and Selom Kwasi Sessou serve the West-Central Africa Division (WAD) as president and executive secretary, respectively. Each of these men is also a member of the Adventist Theological Society. Recently, the WAD celebrated its 20th anniversary since its formation in 2002. Osei-Bonsu and Sessou highlighted activities and milestones during the division year-end meetings in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria.
Trim Conducts Accreditation Inspection
During a trip to the Adventist Heritage Center (AHC) in Cooranbong, South Pacific Division, ATS member David Trim conducted an accreditation inspection of the center. https://adventistreview.org/news/leader-assesses-praises-adventist-heritage-centre-work-in-australia/
ATS MEMBERS ON STAGE
Biblical Creation Scientist Making Impact
Christian scientists who believe in biblical creation are still making an impact. Ronny Nalin, director, Geoscience Research Institute, shared the functions of the GRI and how these assist in meeting the institute’s mission.
“We exist, and we are here — you and I — because God created the universe, because God created this world and fashioned it for us to inhabit it. We are here today because God willed us. We are here today because He sustains our being.”
Ensuring Mission Goes to All the World
David Trim shared key data about church membership and its impact on the Adventist mission. As a worldwide church, we must focus our mission on sharing the gospel and balance it with a mission refocus to use resources where they are needed. “In 2023, there is an urgent need to make sure that our mission goes to all the world,” says Trim.
Mission 150 Commemoration Can Reignite a Passion for Mission, Leaders Say
A year-long commemoration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s worldwide mission is being planned for 2024. “The 150th anniversary of this epochal event…offers an unparalleled opportunity to emphasize mission to church members,” Trim says.
ATS MEMBERS ON THE SCREEN
ATS Members Profiled on Adventist News Network
Several ATS members were recently featured in the Adventist News Network’s ANN Profiles. You can view their stories at each of the following links.
Ronny Nalin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuxxJZh7V7I
David Trim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwNv3p1F9os
Geoffrey Mbwana https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wNsxsQs-k0
Exploring the Archives With David Trim
Why is record-keeping and historic preservation of church records vital? David Trim shares how the world church keeps records in a two-part series.
28 Fundamental Beliefs
Frank Hasel features dialogues with Adventist theologians as they discuss the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Understanding the reasoning and history behind these beliefs is crucial for developing a firm foundation for faith.
- Frank Hasel and Keldie Paroshci discuss “The Experience of Salvation."
Growing in Christ
Keldie Paroschi and Galina Stele join Frank Hasel to discuss “Growing in Christ.
- Beyond Buildings: What is the Church
Discover how the church is more than a physical structure in this episode.
- Does God Have a Remnant Church
Keldie Paroschi and Clinton Wahlen join in the discussion of a remnant who keeps the commandments of God and has the faith of Jesus.
- Embrace Diversity and Unifying the Church
Larry Lichtenwalter, Keldie Paroschi, and Frank Hasel tackle the concept of unity and its relevance to us today.
- What is the Meaning of Baptism?
In this episode, Tom Shepherd and Keldie Paroschi join Frank Hasel to explore the meaning of baptism.
- Why is the Lord’s Supper Important?
How is the Lord’s Supper connected to baptism? How did the Passover meal influence today’s communion service? These questions and others are discussed in this episode.
- Unveiling the Mystery of Spiritual Gifts
This episode explores and identifies spiritual gifts. Why are they important? And are there ways to discover them in our lives?
- Is Ellen G. White a Modern Prophet?
What is the Gift of Prophecy, and how do Ellen G. White’s writings point to the Bible and affirm it?
- Do the Ten Commandments in the Bible Still Matter?
Jiri Moskala, Keldie Paroschi, and Frank Hasel discuss the continued relevance of the Ten Commandments.
- Why Is the Sabbath Day Still Important?
This episode discusses the Sabbath and its continuing importance in today’s society.
- How Stewardship Can Change Your Life
Rahel Wells, Keldie Paroschi, and Frank Hasel examine stewardship. Is it just about money? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9yjpA9fc-Y&list=PL-k2Gb-DBYo8Gjxx9GU3EvQMPKR7owMwh&index=18
- What Does Living Like Christ Mean?
What does living like a Christian look like? This episode is a discussion on avoiding extremes and how to find balance in all areas of life.
- God’s Design for Marriage and Unity
This episode focuses on marriage, family, and how these reflect Christ’s relationship with the church.
- Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
Richard Davidson and Keldie Paroschi join Frank Hasel to discuss the Sanctuary and Jesus’ role there.
- The Second Coming
Keldie Paroschi and Frank Hasel to unravel the Second Coming of Jesus and all that is attached to it.
- The Truth About Death and Resurrection
Frank Hasel and Keldie Paroschi dive deep into the promises of the resurrection, its significance in our relationship with God, and its transformative impact on our lives.
- What Is the Millennium and How Does Sin End?
This episode focuses on the end of sin, the purpose of 1,000 years of Christ’s reign, and the judgment.
- What Is the New Earth
Frank Hasel, Keldie Paroschi, and Esther Knott discuss “the promise of a new world where God’s love, promises, and eternal communion are fully realized.”
Life With God, Season 4
The ATS production of Life With God continues with Season 4. This season, a featured guest and student panelists will consider the topic “God Is Beauty.” Adelina Alexe returns as program host.
- God Is Beauty With Nathan Greene
- God Is Beauty With Anthony Bosman
- God Is Beauty With Suzanne Phillips
- God Is Beauty With Richard Davidson
- God Is Beauty With Lael Caesar
- God Is Beauty With Eike Müeller
- God Is Beauty With Ante Jerončić
- God Is Beauty With Jo Ann Davidson
- God Is Beauty With Jo Ann Davidson, Part 2
- God Is Beauty With Santiago Fernandez
- God Is Beauty With David Sedlacek
- God Is Beauty With Esther Knott
ATS MEMBERS IN PRINT
What if truth doesn’t transform character? How will our transformed lives look when we are living the truth we have? Shawn Brace reflects on this in his article, “What Good Is Truth?”
How can we reach out to the religious “nones” in today’s society? Shawn Brace shares thoughts about this group and their needs in “The Euphoria of Lawlessness and the Allure of the Gospel.”
In his article, “Not My Will, But God’s,” John Peckham asks, “Why do humans struggle so much with self-control, and what can we do about it?” He has a three-word answer.
Clifford Goldstein asks, “Which will you choose—eternal life or nothingness?” in “Eternity’s Coming (With or Without Us)”.
In “Self-Killing in Scripture,” Ángel Manuel Rodriguez ponders seven deaths by suicide in the Bible and writes about what can be learned from them.
“Whom We Miss Seeing,” by Enno Müeller, shares those individuals who are often not in the spotlight. They may not be well known, but their contributions often impact in far-reaching ways.
John Peckham reminds us that the busyness of life can cause us to lose sight of the importantance in “Called to the Work of Studying.”
Throughout history, Christians have had to stand for their principles in the face of culture. In “CounterScript,” Justin Kim reviews several historical characters and introduces a new show called CounterScript that is available on Adventist Review TV.
What does it mean to have “Identity in Christ"? Félix H. Cortez provides insights into how the disciples became transformed as they followed Jesus. Cortez writes, “Jesus did not destroy the identity of His disciples to create a new one. Instead, He cleansed their identity by ridding them of wrong ideas and detrimental practices.”
Shawn Brace says, “It’s time for us to move into the neighborhood” in “And the Word Became Flesh.”
Can a person indeed be free when discipline and boundaries are imposed? In “What Sticky Keys Reveal About Our Spiritual Identity,” Justin Kim teases out answers by contrasting two methods of piano playing.
Clifford Goldstein had a revelation while holding two green apples in his hands and writes, “I Can’t Unsee It.” https://adventistreview.org/cliffs-edge/i-cant-unsee-it/
What does “The Closer You Come” mean for your daily life? In his article, “The Closer You Come to Jesus, " Clifford Goldstein provides some thoughts about this.”
In “Knocking on Knuckleheads,” Justin Kim writes about maintaining dignity and self-control when provoked.
ATS MEMBERS ARE PODCASTING
THIS WEEK IN ADVENTIST HISTORY
A Digital Pioneer
Learn about the life of Bert Haloviak, one of the directors of the GC Office of Archives and Statistics and a pioneer of providing Adventist Church archival materials online in a digital format.
Creation of the Geoscience Research Institute
Learn about the creation of the Geoscience Research Institute.
Passionate Adventist Painter
Learn about religious liberty advocate Bert B. Beach (1958-2022) and artist and illustrator Vernon Nye (1915-2013).
Publication of Te Maramarama
Learn about the first Adventist publication in the Tahitian language and the growth of the Adventist Church in the Pacific.
Help! One of my church members is doubting the Trinity!—Joseph Kidder and Timothy Baze.
Pastoral Leadership: A Catalyst for Whole-Church Ministry—Boubakar Sanou
What does ministry look like in the New Testament? Three ways that pastors can enable and empower their church members to become active ministers in their communities.
Shepherding With Silicon—Damian Chambers
Do ChatGPT and other AI tools create new ethical and theological issues, and how should clergy respond? How can—or should— a pastor harness the power of AI in his or her work?
ADVENTIST PILGRIMAGE PODCAST
Adventist Pilgrimage Podcast is a monthly podcast hosted by historians Greg Howell and Michael Campbell that focuses on the academic side of Adventist history.
Ghost in the White Estate
What happens when you find a ghost* in the White Estate? Dr. Michael Campbell and Dr. Greg Howell explain what they found.
What if Indiana Jones Was an Adventist?
Dr. Michael Campbell shares some of the cool new things he’s found.
How Do Seventh-day Adventists Interpret the Bible?
He's finally done it! Greg Howell has defended his dissertation, and we can stop writing (abd) after his name. We can also stop pretending we knew what his dissertation was about because Dr. Michael Campbell is sitting down with Dr. Howell to find out. (Hint: It is about how Seventh-day Adventists interpret the Bible... and why we argue so much).
ADVENTIST HISTORY PODCAST
The Adventist History Podcast is a monthly podcast telling a story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted by Matthew J. Lucio.
Ellen White: Prophecy and Plagiarism (Part 1)
A trio of young Adventist historians (William Peterson, Don McAdams, Ron Numbers) wanted to apply the tools of their trade to a study of Ellen White. What they discovered has changed our understanding of Ellen White.
Ellen White: Prophecy and Plagiarism (Part 2)
In this episode, we focus on one of the people we introduced in the last episode: Ron Numbers. His book, Prophetess of Health, has been cited as one of the most (if not the most) important scholarly studies on Ellen White. We explore how the book was written, what it says, and what happened after it was published. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TKvoMdILHA&list=PLoqG9ECFWUvk8taQyiUiGy4ZIUWP8kbCv&index=56
Ellen White: Prophecy and Plagiarism (Part 3)
In this episode, we continue our story of the project to study Ellen White using modern techniques, especially source criticism. We meet a new player on the scene, this time a pastor named Walter Rea.
Ellen White: Prophecy and Plagiarism (Part 4)
In this episode, we conclude our story about the project to study how Ellen White was understood by looking at Walter Rea's book, The White Lie, and Fred Veltman's study of The Desire of Ages.
ELLEN WHITE PODCAST
Ellen White’s Failed Prophecy
Many critics think Ellen White made a failed prediction (and is thus a false prophet) when she wrote, during the Civil War: “When England does declare war. . . .” Dr. Jud Lake looks at that statement and explains what Ellen White meant.
Was Abraham Lincoln a Prophet? What might Abraham Lincoln and Ellen White have in common? Dr. Jud Lake explores this question in the finale of his series on Ellen White and the Civil War.
Is Jesus God? What Did Ellen White Believe?
Dr. Jud Lake responds to a video where a pastor said Ellen White was going to hell over a particular statement she made. Dr. Lake gets to the bottom of this.
ATS MEMBERS ARE WRITING BOOKS
Hearts of Faith by David Trim
Hearts of Faith briefly reviews the Millerite Adventist movement, explores the history of Sabbatarian Adventists, and pores over the vital development of a common identity among those who still held on to the blessed hope of Christ’s soon return.