KOREA: Asian Adventist Theologians Come Together for First Time
August 9-13, 2009, marked a historic moment in the young history of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), the Seventh-day Adventist Church administrative region covering the territories of China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Theologians, Bible teachers, college chaplains, and administrators from the NSD and beyond came together for the first time to think together and interact about important issues affecting ministerial and theological education in that part of the world, including also a significant delegation from mainland China. Supported by division leadership, the team, led by Miguel Luna, divisional Ministerial Association director, organized a well-designed program focusing upon issues of biblical interpretation, the integration of faith and learning, and the cultural adaptation of theological education to an Asian context. The event was hosted on the campus ofSahmyook University, located in Seoul, South Korea.
CHINESE DELEGATES: Seventeen Chinese-speaking delegates were among the many attendees at a first-ever regional Seventh-day Adventist Church conference on ministerial and theological education, held in August in Seoul, South Korea.The conference was cosponsored by the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference, evidenced by the presence of three members of that team, including its director, Angel Rodríguez, and two associate directors, Kwabena Donkor and Clinton Wahlen. Other invitees to this event included Raquel Korniejczuk, academic dean ofMontemorelos University in Mexico; Willie Hucks, associate editor of Ministry magazine; David and Carol Tasker from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Philippines; Gerald A. Klingbeil, an associate editor of the Adventist Reviewand Adventist World magazines; as well as Chek Yat Phoon and Sally-Lam Phoon from the NSD.
During the four-day event participants listened to and interacted with numerous papers that were read by invited international Adventist scholars as well as scholars and professors from within the territory of the NSD. Critical issues of biblical interpretation, envisioning the ideal Seventh-day Adventist seminary (or religion department) of the future, the deliberate and systematic integration of faith and learning, as well as more contextualized theological position papers presented by professors from the four tertiary level educational institutions located in the NSD territory (Hong Kong Adventist College, Sahmyook University, Saniku Gakuin College in Japan, and Taiwan Adventist College).
One of the important actions of the conference was the unanimous request to recommend to the NSD executive committee the establishment of a regional biblical research committee that could begin to systematically discuss emerging theological questions and prepare helpful theological material for the growing church in that part of Asia.