Arminianism and Adventism conference

Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States—Andrews University will present a seminar October 14–17, 2010, celebrating the soteriological heritage of Adventists.

This event, “Arminianism and Adventism,” commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Arminian Remonstrance. The conference will discuss the Adventist understanding of salvation with its roots in seventeenth-century Arminianism and Wesleyan thought. Top scholars will explore issues relating to a biblical understanding of human nature, freewill, God’s grace, atonement, and predestination.

Plenary speakers include: Barry Callen, Denis Fortin, George Knight, Gary Land, Hans K. LaRondelle, Roger Olson, Ángel Rodríguez, and Woodrow Whidden. Other speakers include: Richard Davidson, JoAnn Davidson, and JiÅ™í Moskala.

This event is sponsored by: Andrews University, Adventist Theological Society, the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and Andrews University Press. Participants can register at www.PlusLine.org. For more information, visit www.andrews.edu/arminianism or email arminiansymposium@ andrews.edu. [Keri Suarez]

Why some teens will remain Adventists as adults

Silver Spr ing, Maryland, United States—A study of active Seventh-day Adventist youth in Europe offers a snapshot of what factors could be associated with young Adventists who foresee themselves in the church in 20 years.

Key preliminary indicator s include a congregation that offers a “thinking climate.” The study suggests that youth who felt they could develop an original position in their faith by asking questions and challenging church leaders said they are more likely to remain in church compared to youth in congregations that just emphasize conformity.

The Valuegenesis Europe study is the first of its kind for the Adventist Church on the continent. Researchers hope the new data, based on 6,000 responses, can serve as a tool for church leaders shaping management of Adventist ministry in Europe.

Manuela Casti, a lecturer at Newbold College in England and the study’s chief researcher, said high exit rates among youth in Europe motivated her involvement in the study. The new data could highlight a need for increased administrative support for the Church’s Family Ministries, said Corrado Cozzi, youth director for the Church’s Euro-Africa region, who also serves on the study’s research committee. He said a young person’s decision to become an Adventist was found to be more influenced in the long run by family, a church pastor, and other adults at church than by a youth pastor or peers.

And while researchers said mothers are usually the bedrock of faith in the home, it is fathers who might actually determine a positive decision for church. Survey respondents who discussed faith issues with their father were 70 percent more likely to foresee themselves remaining in the church than those who said their father did not discuss religion with them.

In addition to the importance of family and other adults, researchers found relevance in church programming itself. Respondents who heard preaching that was “helpful to their daily lives” at church were 450 times more likely to want to remain active in their faith than those who did not identify with weekly sermons.

Whether a young person has supportive parents or a supportive church congregation, the key is to provide an environment of frank, open, and transparent exchanges, Casti said. She is grateful to adults who allowed her to grow up in such an environment. “That’s why I’m still here.” [Ansel Oliver, Helen Pearson/ANN]

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June 2010

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