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Adventist Church expects joint statement with World Evangelical Alliance

August 13, 2007 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States .... [Ansel Oliver/ANN]

Members of delegations representing the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Evangelical Alliance which met August 5 to 10 Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The two organizations will each vote on their conclusions from the meetings and are expected to release a statement of common goals within the next few months.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) are expected to announce a joint statement within the next few months identifying the common goals and results of theological discussions between the two institutions, delegates from both organizations announced in an August 9 press release.

Each organization plans to vote on recommendations stemming from conversations when representatives met in the United States at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, August 5 to 10.

"We were able to share with the evangelical world the Adventist self-understanding in an effort to eliminate prejudice and clarify questions about our message," said meeting organizer John Graz, secretary of the Council on Interfaith Relations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

"Instead of finding out about us through questionable means, this allowed us face-to-face interaction to share where our church stands," he said.

The two institutions shared a "large measure of theological agreement," said Angel Rodriguez, director of the Adventist Church's Biblical Research Institute. The discussions were led by Rolf Hille, chairman of the Theological Commission of the WEA, and William G. Johnsson, assistant to the president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for Interfaith Relations.

The WEA represents some 420 million Evangelical Christians from different denominations in 127 countries. The Adventist Church has 15 million members in more than 200 countries.

This month's conversations followed an initial round of discussions between the two organizations held in Prague, Czech Republic, in August, 2006.

"Each denomination [in the WEA] has its own distinctive identity; it's not their goal to diminish the differences, but acknowledge them and respect them," Rodriguez said. "We're not seeking to merge the two institutions."

Adventist participants agreed with the WEA Statement of Faith, which focuses on the Bible as the Word of God, the Trinity, the person of Jesus Christ and his saving work, justification by faith, prayer, conversion, sanctification, and the Second Coming of Christ.

According to the release several areas of disagreement became apparent between the two organizations regarding Adventist teachings including pre-Advent judgment, the role and authority of Ellen G. White, and the Sabbath as the day of worship for Christians.

However, participants concluded that common issues would allow Adventists and the WEA to cooperate on common issues, such as religious liberty, Graz said.

Papers prepared for the meeting by Adventist scholars will be available within the next month on the Web site www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org.


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ANN Staff:

Ray Dabrowski, director; Ansel Oliver, assistant director; Taashi Rowe, editorial coordinator; Elizabeth Lechleitner, editorial assistant. Portuguese translation by Azenilto Brito, Spanish translation by Marcos Paseggi, Italian translation by Vincenzo Annunziata and Lina Ferrara and French translations by Stephanie Elofer.


 
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