GCSDA Corruption #32
November 14, 2000 Silver Spring, Maryland, USA .... [Bettina Krause]
A proposed series of meetings between the
Adventist Church and the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) will
aim to break down stereotypes and foster greater understanding
between the two groups, says Dr. Bert B. Beach, director of
inter-church relations for the Adventist Church worldwide.
The dialogues were proposed at a November 8 meeting
Adventist Church world headquarters between church leaders and
Dr. James Stamoolis, executive director of the WEF's Theological
"It's primarily about getting to know each other,"
says Beach, who
began working on the idea with Stamoolis about a year ago. "We
want to move beyond false stereotypes, to see where we agree
and disagree, and to explore areas where we could mutually
benefit by working together, such as on religious liberty initiatives."
If approved, the first meeting will take place
at Glacier View,
Colorado, September 9 to 14, 2001. The dialogue-conversation will take the form of a series of papers,
produced by both the Adventist Church and the WEF's Theological Commission. The papers would be
presented at a series of annual meetings over a period of four or five years.
The Theological Commission of the WEF, headed by
Stamoolis, facilitates networking between evangelical
theologians and produces scholarly and popular works on Christian theology. Its stated goal is to "encourage
Christians around the world to develop and articulate a biblical theology which takes into account the needs
and opportunities of local contexts within a global perspective."
Dr. George Reid, director of the Adventist Church's
Biblical Research Institute, says the meetings are not about
forging agreements on theological or doctrinal issues. "There is no interest in ecumenism as such on either
side," says Reid. Instead the two groups will produce papers aimed at establishing a profile of each group, in
order to foster better understanding and to remove stereotypes. Parties to the dialogue will also review areas
of doctrinal agreement and disagreement and discuss hermeneutics, or biblical interpretation.
Stamoolis, of the WEF, says that he hopes the
outcome of the talks will be a "clear understanding between the
parties in the dialogue regarding each others' position. I would like to see respect and an honest agreement to
disagree when, after examination and study, the two sides find themselves on opposite sides of an issue."
The WEF, which traces its history to 1846, is an
organization bringing together evangelical Christian
denominations and organizations from 111 countries, and serving a constituency of some 160 million
Christians. -Copyright © 2000 Adventist News Network .
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4
Related Web site: www.worldevangelical.org