From the Worldwide Faith News archives

"Communiqué" of Reformed - Adventist Dialogue

Date 20 Apr 2001 11:57:00

April 20, 2001
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

International Theological Dialogue Between 
The Seventh-day Adventist Church and the
World Alliance of Reformed Churches

Jongny sur Vevey, Switzerland, April 1-7, 2001


Jongny sur Vevey, April 7, 2001 - Representatives of 
the Seventh-day Adventist Church and of the World 
Alliance of Reformed Churches met in Jongny sur Vevey, 
Switzerland, from April 1 to 7, 2001, for the 
international theological dialogue between the two 
Christian world communions. The dialogue was hosted 
by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its aims were to 
promote and foster mutual understanding between 
Adventist and Reformed Christians and churches as well 
as to explore the contemporary challenges faced by 
Adventist and Reformed churches as they seek to 
participate in God's mission in the world. The general 
theme of the dialogue was "The Church in the Setting of 
the Reformation Heritage: Its Mission in a World of 
Widespread Injustice and Ecological Destruction".

Participants were drawn from various parts of the world 
and took up topics of global significance. Following the 
delivery and discussion of the papers, the participants 
produced a final report for submission to their 
respective appointing bodies. In the first part of this 
report, partners in dialogue described some of the 
distinctive elements of their respective traditions, 
articulated the common doctrinal ground they share and 
offered some mutual clarification designed to dispel 
misunderstandings on either side. In the second part 
they brought their perspectives to bear on 
contemporary problems such as socio-economic 
injustices (poverty, HIV/AIDS, violence), ecological 
destruction, and different forms of prejudices related 
particularly to religion and gender. In the course of 
these discussions, a number of issues were noted which 
merit future considerations. These include the question 
of biblical interpretation and the Sabbath. It will be for 
the sponsoring bodies to determine whether future 
conversations shall take place. 

The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Bert Beach (USA, 
general secretary of Seventh-day Adventist Council on 
Interchurch Relations) and Prof. Cynthia Rigby (USA, 
Reformed, Associate Professor of Theology, Austin 
Theological Seminary). The Adventist representatives 
presented the following papers: "Seventh-day 
Adventists: A Profile" (by Dr. William G. Johnsson, 
Australia/USA, Editor of the Adventist Review), "The 
Apocalypse: God's Answer to the Human Cry for 
Ultimate Justice" (by Dr. Roy Adams, Grenada/USA, 
Associate Editor of the Adventist Review),  "Keepers of 
the Garden: Christians and the Environment - An 
Adventist Perspective" (by Dr. John T. Baldwin, USA, 
Professor at the Seventh-day Theological Seminary at 
Andrews University), "Seventh-day Adventists and 
Religious Freedom - An Aspect of Justice" (by Dr. John 
Graz, Switzerland/USA, Director of the Department of 
Public Affairs and Religious Freedom of the Seventh-day 
Adventist General Conference), and "Protestant 
Theological Heritage in Seventh-day Adventism" (by Dr. 
Hans K. LaRondelle, The Netherlands/USA). 

The Reformed representatives presented the following 
papers: "The Challenges of the post-Cold War for 
Protestant Christianity in Latin America" (by Dr. Arturo 
Piedra, Costa Rica, Professor of Church History at the 
Latin American Biblical University), "Church Concerns 
from the Southern Africa Perspective: A Presentation to 
the Adventist-Reformed Dialogue" (by Revd Ruppert 
Hambira, Botswana, Synod Secretary of the United 
Congregational Church of Southern Africa);  "Women's 
Concerns from a Dalit Perspective" (by Dr. Nalini Arles, 
Dean of Master's Studies of the United Theological 
College, Bangalore),  "The Doctrine of Forgiveness and 
Its Implications for Justice: A Reformed, Feminist, North 
American Perspective" (by the Reformed Co-Chair, Dr. 
Cynthia Rigby, USA, Associate Professor of Theology, 
Austin Theological Seminary) and "Reformed 
Ecclesiology and Missiology" (by Dr. Alan Sell, 
England/Canada, Professor of Christian Doctrine and 
Philosophy of Religion at The United Theological College, 
University of Wales).

Other participants included Dr. Niels-Eric Andreasen 
(Adventist, Denmark/USA, President of  Andrews 
University), Dr. George Reid (Adventist, USA, Director 
of the Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring), Dr. 
Angel M. Rodriguez (Adventist, Puerto Rico/USA, 
Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute, 
Silver Spring), Dr. Setri Nyomi (Ghana/Switzerland, 
General Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed 
Churches), and Dr. Odair Pedroso Mateus 
(Brazil/Switzerland, Theological Secretary of the World 
Alliance of Reformed Churches). 

Participants shared in daily devotions. They attended 
the closing worship, followed by lunch, on the Adventist 
Sabbath, April 7, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church 
at La Lignière, in Gland, Switzerland.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches links 75 
million Christians in 214 churches of Presbyterian and 
Congregational origin in 106 countries. 
The Seventh-day Adventist Church represents more 
than 11 million adult baptized Adventist Christians 
worshipping in some 47.000 local churches in 204 

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