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2010 Discussions

Date: January 23, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Rebekah Wang-Cheng Scriven

Position: Medical Director for Clinical Quality, Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, OH

Topic: “Health Reform and Health Care Reform: How Can Adventists Take the Lead?”

Venue: Biology Amphitheatre

Attendance: 80

Presentation: Scriven reviewed key events in SDA health care (1863-1905), discussed the 13 largest non-profit hospital systems, & showed that SDA system with 37 hospitals in 12 states is the largest. Despite annual $2.3 trillion for health care, the US is 25th in the world in quality care.  Alarming statistics show high rates of obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes conditions.  Four films portrayed hospitals catering to doctors, not patients, and CEOs getting $5-$13 million salaries & benefits when that money could go for employee health & wellness programs.  Concluded that we must retake the lead in churches, schools, & hospitals in teaching people better health habits.

Date: February 27, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Fritz Guy

Position: Research Professor of Philosophical Theology at La Sierra University

Topic: “I Believe in Thinking”

Venue: Biology Amphitheater

Attendance: 87

Presentation: Guy stated: “There is no substitute for good thinking, and not all thinking in our church is good thinking.”  He added, “Bad theology has messed up a lot of lives!”  Guy defined “good thinking” as evidential (based on sufficient evidence), coherent (it makes sense; is not contradictory), progressive (always seeks more knowledge), accommodates the complexity of reality (in divergent fields), modest (does not take itself too seriously).  Good thinking enriches our experience, makes our lives more meaningful (from singing to sex), and makes our religious beliefs more solid and durable.  “The adventure of good thinking will go on forever!” he concluded.

Date: March 27, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Robert Johnston

Position: Professor of new Testament & Christian Origins, Emeritus, SDA Theological

Seminary, Andrews University

Topic: “Noncombatancy in an Age of Terrorism?”

Venue: Chemistry Amphitheater

Attendance: 51

Presentation: Bob discussed 3 positions (pacifist, combatant, non-combatant) & gave a historical overview of SDA Church stands on Civil War,  Korean & Vietnam Wars.  He also examined numerous OT & NT texts regarding war & killing (service men presented in positive light), including 6th Commandment (& 10 meanings of  “to kill”), & historical context for Ellen White’s statements on the 30 Years’ War (good results), Civil War (“perplexing,” God’s people should not engage in it), yet she commended Adventists drafted into Swiss army. He argued for a “just war” (against terrorism) & concluded that if one has to kill to protect one’s family, that is following the Golden Rule.

Date: April 24, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Bruce Moyer

Position: Retired Professor of Mission, Andrews University Department of Missions

Topic: “Recent Developments in Adventist-Muslim Relations”

Venue: Biology Amphitheater

Attendance: 52

Presentation: After sharing historical backgrounds on Muslim-Christian relations, Moyer highlighted SDA overtures to Muslims (1950-2010). He explained the approaches of Gospel Outreach, Adventist-Muslim Relations, Faith Development in Context, the Atlanta Initiative, Adventist Interfaith Initiative, Adventist World Radio, and how SDA outreach in “soft” and “hard” Islamic areas differs.  Toleration and contextualization are crucial if SDAs are to retain the more than 41,000 “Special Affinity Groups” (Muslim-Adventists). He hopes new church leaders, US foreign policy, the Holy Spirit, and the 2009 General Conference “Roadmap to Mission” will facilitate merging the two cultures.

Date: September 25, 2010

Speakers: Dr. Niels-Erik Andreasen; Dr. Ann Gibson; Dr. Duane McBride

Positions: President, AU; Professor of Accounting, AU; Professor of Sociology, AU

Topic: “Perspectives on Atlanta: Three Andrews University Faculty Reflect on the

General Conference Session of 2010”

Venue: Biology Amphitheater

Attendance: 90

Presentation: Andreasen (chaired GC Nominating Committee) described its 220 members, no cell phones policy, discontent with predetermined candidate lists, which delegations supported Wilson’s nomination.  McBride (AU Exhibit) described hall’s reunion/carnival atmosphere, amazing spectrum of exhibits, “groupies” coming for photos, raucous market stalls (food, clothes, crafts, backrubs, etc.), and wide spectrum of SDA views.  Gibson (AU delegate) described the tight security, yellow card voting procedure, boring revisions process, controversy over marriage issues, breadth of thought & diversity among delegates, and groundswell support for more delegates under age 30.

Date: November 13, 2010

Speaker: Dr. James Hayward

Position: Professor of Biology, Andrews University

Topic: “From Birding to Conservation: Adventists’ Engagement with Nature”

Venue: Physics Amphitheater

Attendance: 69

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Presentation: After showing slides of his work at Protection Island in Washington State, Jim showed how SDAs James Tucker (founder, American Birding Association), Floyd Murdoch, Benton Basham, & Kevin Easley have played key roles in the development of American birding. Yet despite their agrarian tradition, EGW writings about God’s “second book of nature,” natural healing methods, and focus on health, Creation, the Sabbath, & the relationship of science to faith, Adventists’ belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ often militates against their involvement in the current environmental movement and efforts to curb global warming.

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