Spes Christiana

During the ETTC that was held in April at Collonges the members of the EASTRS approved the proposal to transfer the journal Spes Christiana from Friedensau University to our society. Reinder Bruinsma was elected to serve as the general editor for a four-year term and an editorial board was also elected, with appropriate terms of references. One of those who was elected to the editorial board felt unable to accept and the EATRS board approved a new name in his place.  The editorial board thus consists of:

  • Aulikki Nahkola (Newbold)
  • Marko Lukic (Belgrade)
  • Daniel Olariu (Cernica)
  • Nestor H. Petruk (Sagunto)
  • Stefan Höschele (Friedensau)
  • Oldrich Svoboda (Sázava)

On June 17 the board had a short first meeting (via Zoom) to get the ball rolling. They will have a more substantial editorial meeting sometime in September, when normal academic life has resumed.

The 2019 issue of Spes Christiana will still be the responsibility of the current editor, Stefan Höschele, and the new team will care for the issues from 2020 onwards. We have agreed that we will aim for two issues per annum (spring and autumn) of ca. 150 pages each. Occasionally an issue may be dedicated to one specific theme.

Soon there will be a further call for articles through this website, with the guidelines for the authors. The editorial board hopes to see a constant flow of quality articles in various disciplines from the members of our society. We also hope that we can call upon our members to act as peer reviewers when needed.

It is our intention to have a section in our journal in which publications are reviewed that have been written by our members, and academic publications that are deemed of interest to most of our members.  If you have any publications to suggest for review, please send me the details. I will also be on the outlook for selected publications and will approach members with requests to write a review.

Articles and correspondence for Spes Christiana may be sent to Reinder Bruinsma, editor.

Symposium on Trinity at Italian Adventist University

The Adventist Theological Society and Italian Adventist University will host a Symposium on the Trinity to be held at IAU Villa Aurora, Florence, Italy, on June 19-22, 2019.

This Seventh-day Adventist statement of belief in the Trinity is simple, not filled with explanations of how God can be three in one. Yet, it is complex in that it clearly declares both the oneness and the threeness of God. The history of the doctrine is also complex, both in Christianity at large and within Adventism. Currently in Adventism, there are a number of challenges to the idea of conceptualizing God as a Trinity so that continued study is necessary. Some want a biblical prooftext to support a doctrine, and will take a single idea about God from Scripture to represent the whole conception of God. The complexity of all that is revealed by God about God in Scripture does not lend itself to a prooftext approach to understanding God.

This symposium is intended to clarify from Scripture the fulness of the revelation about God, from history the complexity of human attempts to understand God, and from theology the attempts to express the fulness of the revelation. As such, papers will be considered which add to the understanding of the scriptural revelation on the Trinity, the historical attempts to understand the nature of God in both Adventist history and in the history of Christianity in general, and the theological attempts to express the truth about God.

Speakers include Greg Howell, Denis Kaiser, Jiri Moskala, John Peckham, Trevor O’Reggio, John W. Reeve, Teresa Reeve, Matthew Tinkham, Ekkehardt Mueller, Alberto Timm.

The cost to attend the Symposium is 220 € and is all inclusive: full board in a double room at the IAU Campus, from Wednesday June 19 in the afternoon to Sunday June 23 breakfast, and one tour.

For reservation and payment information, contact centro@casaurora.it ; Subject: ATS-IAU Symposium.
Deadline for Reservation: FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2019.

See the schedule here.

European Adventist Theologians Gathered in Collonges

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From 24 to 28 April 2019, about fifty European theologians from all over Europe, representing in particular the various Adventist theological faculties, gathered for four days of conferences, reflection, exchanges and visits on the theme of pastoral ministry and ecclesial leadership. This ETTC (European Theology Teachers Conference) occurs traditionally every two years, each time on a different Campus.

The Collonges Adventist University (France) welcomed with great pleasure and attention the trainers of future pastors who have been very receptive and responsive to the conferences that addressed the issue of ministry from different angles. To introduce the subject, Walter Alaña, Dean of the Adventist Theological Seminary in Peru, present in the context of a new agreement between Collonges and Lima, addressed ‘the theology of pastoral ministry from an Adventist perspective.’

The paper presentations would then follow one another to enrich the topic. Miguel Guttierrez (Villa Aurora, Italy) discussed the ‘prophet as a model of spiritual leader;‘ Oldřich Svoboda (Sazava, Czech Republic) explored the New Testament vocabulary of ecclesial leadership; Ivan Milanov (Newbold, England) compared ‘prophetic and cultic leadership;’ while Nestor Petruk (Sagunto, Spain), addressed a missiological dimension. Richard Lehmann (Collonges, France) approached the issue of the ministry from the perspective of the shepherd, sharing lessons from his long experience. As well as Reinder Bruinsma, who explored the question of ‘authority and conscience’ in relation to the freedom of the pastor. Alexander Schulze (Friedensau, Germany) considered the ministry in relation to the challenge of youth and its integration into the Church; a reflection usefully completed by Bjørn Ottesen (Newbold, England) on the issue of young pastors and the question of authority from participation and influence. Daniel Olariu (Cernica, Romania) focused on the happiness of ministers. Rudy Van Moere (Belgium) addressed the question of the ’pastor’s dilemma in a postmodern society,’ while Gabriel Monet (Collonges, France) concluded by showing the relevance of an evolution in the conception of the ministry in a changing world.

During the business meetings Tihomir Lazić was elected as President-elect and the journal Spes Christiana was adopted. A yearly membership fee of €15 was agreed, which will be waived for non-employed students. Finally, Budapest was chosen as the location for the next ETTC in 2021.

In addition to these stimulating conferences, an afternoon at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, home of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, provided an opportunity to understand how the working commissions of this important United Nations body function, but above all to be sensitive to the “Faith for Rights” project, which seeks to encourage faith actors to be a a driving force for human rights.

Another afternoon took place in the old city of Geneva, with a visit to the International Museum of the Reformation, a discovery of landmarks related to Jean Calvin and the Protestant Reformation, but also a lecture by Michel Grandjean, a renowned Calvin specialist, who explored the conception of the ministry in the writings of the Geneva reformer; before a final meeting with Blaise Menu, the moderator of the Geneva Company of Pastors, who presented the history and current developments of this original organisation.

Spiritual times marked this theological meeting, with devotionals leaded by Marius Munteanu and Daniel Duda, the educational leaders of the two European divisions of the Adventist Church; a beautiful holy communion to begin the Sabbath; participation in the Sabbath worship of the Church of Collonges with the sermon of Luca Marulli, the president of the Association of European Theologians; or a very musical end of the Sabbath in the Chapel of the Maccabees, at the Cathedral of Geneva, a high place of the Reformation.

For Gabriel Monet, Dean of the Faculty of Theology of Collonges and coordinator of the conference: ‘These moments between Adventist theologians are precious, not
only for theological stimulation around an important theme, which remains to be explored, but also for fraternity and fruitful exchanges that provide an incentive to pursue
our important teaching ministry for the Church.’

After Collonges 2019, the next ETTC will take place in 2021 in Budapest.