The fourth Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Conference organized by the Biblical Research Institute will be held in Rome, Italy, on June 10–20, 2018. The theme of the conference is eschatology.
The church’s international Bible conference, which is held every five to seven years, is a forum for theological discussion in the church with the purpose of bringing unity of understanding. It also fosters fellowship among Adventist theologians, scholars, and administrators from around the world. The organizer of this year’s conference, Elias Brasil da Souza, who is director of the church’s Biblical Research Institute (BRI), says he expects a large number of delegates.
Plenary session speakers will include Jiří Moskala, Ángel Rodriguez, Artur Stele, Ted Wilson, and the scholars of BRI. Besides the plenary sessions, more than 80 presentations will fill out the ten-day conference. The papers for the conference are now under review.
Study tours to biblically relevant sites will also be part of the program, including visits to the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, the Catacombs, the Via Appia, and the ancient Roman community of Ostia, an archaeological area contemporary with the life of Paul. The sites illuminate both the New Testament and early church history.
“We will be affirming our Adventist eschatology, our unique identity, and seeking to understand better the biblical teaching on this subject and looking for ways to communicate our eschatological hope more effectively,” says Brasil da Sousa. “We need to emphasize our distinctive thinking.” Papers will deal with eschatology in the Old and New Testaments, church history, and missiology, among other disciplines. The hermeneutics related to eschatology will also be discussed.
The Bible conference is organized by the BRI with the support of the North American Division. ATS plans to provide live streaming for the conference’s main events.
The ATS chapter at the Adventist University of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, has produced a book from the papers presented at its first symposium, held in May 2017. The book takes its title from the symposium theme, The Sabbath and the Bible.
The eight contributors included Elias Brasil de Souza, director of the General Conference Biblical Research Institute; Adventist scholar Ron Du Preez; Sampson Nwaomah, dean of the AUA Theological Seminary; and several scholars from the AUA faculty and the Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office. Among the topics are the Sabbath and feast days; the significance of Sabbath in Ellen White’s writings; and the biblical view of physical intimacy within marriage on the Sabbath.
“The first Adventist Theological Society Adventist University of Africa chapter symposium turned out to be a success,” says Eriks Galenieks, AUA professor of Old Testament and organizer of the symposium, “due to the full support of the Bible scholars, theologians, and active participation of the university students.” Galenieks currently functions as the ATS AUA chapter president.
A second ATS symposium will take place on the AUA campus on May 3–5, 2018, with the theme of “The Trinity and the Bible.”
Copies of the book The Sabbath and the Bible may be obtained by sending an email to Davidson Razafiarivony, ATS AUA chapter secretary.
ATS president Carl Cosaert will be the presenter in a new video series to be filmed in Israel in April and May 2018.
The subject of the six-part series is Jesus and the Gospel of Mark. Cosaert will be leading a tour of the Holy Land in April 2018 and will proceed to a three-week film shoot after the tour is over. He wrote the six scripts for the series over the past couple of years.
“I’ve led more than 20 tours to the Middle East in the last decade or more and always had a dream of being able to share some of that in a wider venue,” says Cosaert. “This is the fulfillment of that dream.”
He describes the series as something a little different from the norm. “There are all kinds of videos about Israel, and you can easily tell the story of Jesus,” he says. But in this series he will share the story from what scholars believe is the earliest account of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, using the setting of holy sites in Israel as the historical backdrop.
The series is tentatively scheduled to air on Hope Channel after production is complete.
ATS is assisting with the project—one more of the important ways that ATS is delivering theology and biblical understanding to the church and to the world.
Jack Blanco, the first-ever ATS president, continues to publish. His latest book, Words to Live By, is the 2018 devotional for adults. Dr. Blanco gleans comments on favorite thoughts from well-loved books, such as The Desire of Ages, The Sanctified Life, and Christ’s Object Lessons, expressing timeless truths of God’s love and providence for His children through the ages.
Three Faith and Science conferences are planned for 2018. Two will be in India for the Southern Asia Division territory, one at the end of April and another at the beginning of May, and one in Rwanda for the East-Central Africa Division in December. ATS leaders and scholars will be among the presenters, including Ed Zinke, Frank Hasel, and Art Chadwick.
The Faith and Life video series produced by Felix Cortez for ATS Academy is now airing in Hope Channel’s regular programming. In the United States Eastern time zone (EST), programs show as follows: Sunday, 9:30 a.m.; Monday, 2:30 a.m., 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m. For Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), add five hours. Later in 2018, the videos will also be added to ATS Academy.
On Vimeo.com you can watch videos of the presentations at the ATS “Heritage of the Reformation” conference in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, in November 2017. Log in to Vimeo and search for Adventist Theological Society or go to this page. Thirteen videos are available.
If you are on the ATS subscription list, you received the call for papers email for the next ATS annual conference, to be held in Denver, Colorado, USA, on November 14–17, 2018. The theme is the Holy Spirit. Send proposals to John Reeve, ATS President-Elect at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Reeve, president-elect of ATS, is currently teaching an intensive Church History class on the Reformation through modern church at Middle East University in Beirut, Lebanon. “The students are hard-working and determined to learn,” Reeve says. “It is a friendly and committed student community intent on serving God. This is an Adventist school facing challenges with faith and hope.” The students are from 27 different countries. “When I eat in the cafeteria,” Reeve says, “I find at least four or five languages spoken around the table. Usually English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and French crop up, with everyone trying to learn and appreciate all.”
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