Whose Faith and Science Conference?
by Ervin Taylor
by Ervin Taylor, August 21, 2014
The website that contained information about the SDA General Conference Faith and Science Conference starkly reveals the narrow range of opinions held by the Seventh-day Adventists who were permitted to be presented at this conference. In no sense can the presentations made represent the views of a majority of Adventist scientists, as revealed in surveys obtained a decade ago. Those surveys showed that a majority of Adventist scientists did not support the idea that earth or life upon it was only 6,000 years old. It would be very surprising that such views could have changed so radically in just 10 years. Whether the theological views expressed at the conference represent those held by a majority of Adventist theologians is therefore open to question. If the titles of the presentations are any indication of content, what was permitted to be presented were only the most radically conservative viewpoints, bordering on explicitly fundamentalist.
In many respects, a more accurate title for the conference should have been, “The Brand-Davidsons-Chadwick-Zinke Faith and Science Conference.” Their multiple presentations dominated the schedule. Their names and how many times they made a presentation (in parentheses) is: Leonard Brand (12 times), Richard and Jo Ann Davidson (separately a total of 10 times), Art Chadwick (9 times) and Ed Zinke (7 times). Wilson II is on the program twice, speaking on: “God’s Authoritative Voice” and the last presentation of the conference, “God’s Final Message and Your Role.” From the titles, some might wonder how Wilson II receives his information—straight from God by some special supernatural means or does he obtain it the same way that other humans receive information?
Whose Faith and Science Conference is this? It is certainly not a Faith and Science Conference representing the wide spectrum of views held by Adventist scholars, both scientists and theologians. It is a conference to advance a highly focused rightwing theological agenda of certain members of the Adventist Church, an agenda which was first clearly articulated by the Adventist Theological Society more than a decade ago and is now being carried out.
If anyone would like to obtain a copy of the program, please feel free to email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to email it to you.