11 April 2019 | The 47th Annual West Coast Religion Teachers Conference met the weekend of April 5-7 at Pacific Union College in California. The meeting brought together 35 Adventist theology and religion faculty from Loma Linda University, La Sierra University, Pacific Union College, Walla Walla University and Burman University: the Adventist institutions of higher education in the western United States and Canada.
The theme for the weekend was “Authority and Heterodoxy, Then and Now,” with the time spent in sharing papers and conversation among colleagues. In order to facilitate openness and candor the meetings were not open to the public. Presentations discussed the problem with creeds (Jim Wibbering, PUC); heterodoxy in the Christian tradition (Katrina Blue, PUC); the 40th anniversary of Ford’s Investigative Judgment presentation during an Adventist Forum meeting at PUC (Kendra Haloviak, LSU); the hidden agendas at the Glacier View council (Gil Valentine, LSU); the recent editorial changes to an Adult Bible Study Guide (Jon Paulien, LLU); the temperance movement (Rick Rice, LLU); Daniel 8 (Mathilde Frey, WWU); the impact of Des Ford’s 1979 presentation on Alden Thompson in particular and Adventism at large (Alden Thompson, WWU); Adventist anthropology and thanatology (Steve Reasor, BU); and exclusivity vs inclusivity in Adventism (Jim Walters, LLU).
On Sabbath afternoon a group visited Ellen White’s home at Elmshaven. Saturday evening included a dinner and view of the Napa Valley from the president’s house.
“It was good to see collegiality, critical thinking and gracious fellowship among those who are on the front lines of interpreting the Bible and Adventist thought to young people during these challenging times,” one participant summed up the gathering.
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