March 25 – Day of Dialogue

 

The preparations are in the final stage for the event that will take place on March 25 in the Triumfator-church in Utrecht (the Netherlands). Until recently the church was the home of one of the congregations of the United Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN).  It has now been bought by the Adventist Church, after its former building in the center of the city was sold. Those who have not yet visited this ‘new’ Adventist church should decide to do so. The event of March 25 is an excellent opportunity.

On March 25 a day of dialogue will take place around the theme: DO I GO or DO I STAY? Most of my blog readers will know that some six months ago a new book of mine was published. The theme of this special day reflects the title of the Dutch edition of that book. (The English edition is entitled: FACING DOUBT.) This book has caused a considerable amount of discussion. A small group has now taken the initiative to organize a day of dialogue devoted to this topic.

The first part of the program will consist of two short introductions. Pastor Rob Doesburg will explain why he decided to leave the Adventist Church. After having studied to become an Adventist pastor, he continued his theological studies elsewhere, and he is now a pastor in the United Protestant Church in the Netherlands. His story promises to be very interesting and personal. I will be the second speaker and will explain why I decided to remain in the Adventist Church—despite my doubts regarding some doctrinal issues and my worries about recent trends in my church.

These two introductions will be the basis for an open discussion during the rest of the morning. In the afternoon the visitors can choose from five different ‘workshops’. The topics will be:

  1. Who makes the decisions in the Adventist Church?
  2. How do you read the Bible?
  3. Contemporary trends in Adventism
  4. Question regarding the 28 Fundamental  Beliefs
  5. How relevant is the church of today?

The final part of the program will be a plenary discussion. Hopefully it will also become clear whether this initiative must be followed by something else—and if so, in what form.

I look forward to this day with great interest. I believe it can help many people to understand more clearly their own role and place in the church, and how they can constructively deal with their own doubts and concerns. I hope this can be a start for a further, open dialogue, in which difficult questions are not evaded.

If you happen to be in the Netherlands around that time, please note these details:

Where:          Triomfatorkerk (Adventist Church, Utrecht) Marco Pololaan 185, Utrecht.

Time:             25 March,   10.00  to 16.00 hrs.

(Bring your lunch. There will be soup and coffee. No program for children. Adequate parking near the church).

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