19 October 2022 |
The following paragraphs are the background to the piece you’ll be reading and discussing this week, called “Ten Celebrations of Adventist Theology.”
I’m probably a lifelong rebel. Always exploring, examining from different angles. As an engineer, I love dreaming of crazy, innovative ideas that ultimately must meet the test of the real world. Some enjoying world-class success and others a devastating failure.
Religion, although it deals with things we cannot measure, see, or feel, also must be tested in real life. “By their fruits shall ye know them”.
I was baptized too early. As an 11-year-old, I accepted it all—hook, line, and sinker. But at Andrews University, I learned to question, explore, and think.
Since 1973 I’ve worked in “worldly” electronics firms until my recent retirement. I’ve been blessed by meeting many sincere, kind, creative, and ethical individuals. I’ve seen God bless his own creatures, regardless of creed.
But I’ve been troubled by the conflict between logic, faith, and glaring inconsistencies in the church. I’ve been frustrated by poor decision making, intolerance, religious arrogance, and hypocrisy…also in my own life…
In recent years, that frustration boiled over when I watched the 2015 General Conference session and heard Ted Wilson’s words following the vote regarding women’s ordination. Words I perceived as trampling on the women of the church. I almost smashed my iPad.
At the 2021 Autumn Council I heard Ted Wilson’s Sabbath sermon, which struck me as negative, intolerant, and un-Christian. When I awoke at 3 a.m. that night, my anger had not subsided. Then I remembered: “Turn your negative energy into something positive”. I grabbed my Mac, sat up in bed, and wrote the “10 Celebrations of Adventist Theology”.
I was tired of being negative, I was tired of being tired of….
That night I forced myself to look in my mental mirror and ask myself what I really believed. I had to be honest. And it was cathartic. No longer an inherited or pass-me-down belief. Yet always a work in progress.
I want to raise my view of Ellen White by following her advice and look up to the Bible. I want to raise my view of the Bible by looking up to Christ. It is not sola scripture, but sola Christ. I don’t worship the Bible, but the Lord of the Bible. I want to learn from Him who reveals himself through so many channels.
I want a belief that is a big tent, but built on the rock. Not a house-of-cards religion that collapses if just one card falls.
So, I would like to share with you my journey through the Ten Celebrations of Adventist Theology in the Adventist Today Sabbath Seminar (ATSS) on October 22. Contribute your comments, critiques, and questions, and in our dialogue, I hope we can lift each other in growth and understanding.
Carsten Thomsen is a retired engineer active in the Nærum church in Denmark.
Raj Attiken is retired as president of the Ohio Conference, and now teaches at Kettering College.
How to join:
One-click link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83924513993
ATSS starting time depends on where you are. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, it’ll be 10:30 AM. On the east coast, 1:30 PM.
Times around the world:
- Reykjavík: 5:30 PM
- College Place: 10:30 AM
- Lincoln: 12:30 PM
- Denver: 11:30 AM
- Bracknell: 6:30 PM
- Loma Linda: 10:30 AM
- Nairobi: 8:30 PM
- Gackle: 12:30 PM
- Hosur: 11:00 PM
- Waco: 12:30 PM
- Keene: 12:30 PM
- Kaarina: 8:30 PM
- Stockholm: 7:30 PM
- Möckern: 7:30 PM
- Cape Town: 7:30 PM
- Madrid: 7:30 PM
- Paris: 7:30 PM
- Honolulu: 7:30 AM
- Cooranbong: 3:30 AM (Sunday)
- Perth: 1:30 AM (Sunday)
- Manila: 1:30 AM (Sunday)
- Tokyo: 2:30 AM (Sunday)
- Auckland: 5:30 AM (Sunday)
The class is intended to last about 2 hours, though the conversation often continues to 4 PM (Eastern time).
About our class:
- The AT Sabbath Seminar is intended to be a courteous forum. We discuss and ask questions politely. We don’t accuse, get angry, or put people down.
- Stick to the topic in both comments and chat discussion.
- Make your comments and questions short—don’t dominate.
- Keep your microphones muted unless you are called upon to make your comment or ask your question.
- Indicate your interest in speaking by raising your electronic hand—under the “reactions” button.
- Please use your name when you sign in! Not your phone number, not your initials. This will help us differentiate you from unwelcome guests who want to disrupt us. You can set your name after signing on by clicking on the 3 dots next to your picture, which drops down a menu.
- If it should happen that we are attacked so that we have to stop the meeting, we’ll quickly post a new meeting link on our AT Facebook page.
We look forward to getting acquainted with you!
- Gerald Winslow
- Jon Paulien
- Bryan Ness
- Bill Knott
- Marko Lukic
- Andreas Bochmann