Martin Haase/Ansel Oliver/ANN
A group of Seventh-day Adventist scientists and theologians continued the church’s worldwide dialogue on faith and science recently. Forty-six delegates met at Friedensau Adventist University in Germany for a conference, the first one of its kind in the church’s Euro-Africa region.
The conference provided the foundation for a dialogue on questions, both in theology and science that impact the European Adventist Church’s understanding of the Biblical narratives regarding the origin of earth and its varied life forms.
“Creation serves as an anchor point in Seventh-day Adventist theology, ethics, lifestyle and understanding of reality,” read a final statement issued at the conference.
“The meeting was less controversial than previous meetings,” said Ekkehardt Mueller, associate director of the church’s Biblical Research Institute.
Delegates were “interested in coming up with solutions and proposing alternative theories in explaining difficulties,” said Mueller. “The problem is not data, but interpretation of data. It’s a challenge on both sides.”
Delegates stated they were not meeting to revise Adventist teachings regarding creation. “Effective dialogue on the tensions between the worldviews (faith in creation and evolution) needs to proceed on a broader basis than simply apologetics and anti-evolution rhetoric,” the final statement read. “A great need is felt for an improved and more efficient communication and cooperation between organizations in favor of creation, inside and outside the Adventist Church.”
Similar discussions have taken place in many of the church’s 13 world administrative regions following a first international conference in Utah in August of 2003. (See ANN, August 26, 2003.)