International Conference Reaffirms God as Creator Through Scientific Evidences

Over 500 Seventh-day Adventist teachers, university professors, ministers and church administrators met for Inter-America’s territory-wide Faith and Science Conference at Montemorelos University in North Mexico. Image by Montemorelos University

August 3, 2017 | Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico | Laura Marrero/IAD Staff

Seventh-day Adventist educators, ministers and administrators from across the Inter-American Division (IAD) reaffirmed their commitment to teach, preach and share the biblical account of the origins of the world and its theological implications during a ten-day Faith and Science Conference held in Montemorelos, Mexico, July 20-30, 2017.

Edward Zinke, bible scholar and philanthropist addresses delegates during the international conference held July 20-30, 2017. Image by Montemorelos University

More than 500 delegates reviewed scientific evidences with some 35 Bible scholars and scientific experts to expand their knowledge of the natural world to share in classrooms, institutions, churches and around the world.

“School teachers and university professors must be ready to show the veracity of the Bible from a scientific perspective when evolution arguments are pressing,” said Dr. Gamaliel Florez, education director for the church in Inter-America and main organizer of the event.

“Evolutionist theories have not been able to darken the truth about creation,” said Florez.

Theologians presented an in-depth study and interpretation about God, creationism and the Bible.

“If the creation story ceases to be part of the basis of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, we basically lose everything,” said Edward Zinke, a bible scholar and former member of the Biblical Research Institute Committee and the Faith and Science Council. Zinke is a philanthropist who has been supporting research in the areas of science and biblical studies at different parts of the world.

Dr. Gamaliel Florez, education director for the IAD prays with church leaders during the conference. Image by Montemorelos University

“If we do not have our foundation in the Bible as any other philosophical principle, then it is not a strong foundation,” added Zinke. “Jesus Christ and His Word is our foundation and because of His adherence to the Word of God, we can proclaim His message and await His coming.”

Zinke emphasized the importance for church leaders and educators to ensure that the Adventist educational system is founded in God so that young people can further proclaim and prepare others for eternal life.

As part of the conference, delegates visited La Huasteca Ecological Park in Monterrey, where they explored the canyon and reviewed ecological particularities on site.

As the conference came to a close, three presentations were made to summarize the main subjects.

On the biological evidence, Dr. Jim Gibson, director of Loma Linda University’s Geoscience Research Institute in California, spoke of scientific research papers that highlighted the complexity of the origins of life and compared the difference between the doctrine of creation and the theory of creation. He explained that “worldviews have implications over the interpretation of scientific research, but that the research must continue to be done with the highest degree of scientific standards as creationist scientist have done.”

Gibson said that teachers and theologians must be familiarized with the perspectives of creationism and evolutionism to be able to help students better understand current worldviews.

Dr. Efrain Velazquez, president of the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary speaks during the conference. Image by Montemorelos University

Dr. Ronny Nalin, associate scientist from the Geoscience Research Institute, concluded that “when looking at the natural world through the filter of our Biblical understanding of the origins, we find difficulties that we should call opportunities and points of affirmation are obtained.”

Dr. Efraín Velázquez, president of the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary (IATS), cautioned the delegates to keep silent if they are tempted to use inadequate arguments to present the biblical view of origins. “Regardless of personal convictions as educators and scholars, our tone should not be absolutist, it must always be seasoned with humility.” Velazquez warned, that fundamentalism inspires horror and not devotion and recommended that dialogue should opened with those who hold different worldviews, while exhorted Christians to do their “homework” as they study the Bible and nature.

The group of scientists and theologians took time to respond to delegates during a Q&A session.

“We have a message and that is to give glory to God and worship Him as our Creator,” said Dr. Elie Henry, executive secretary of the church in Inter-America. “I think we are leaving more Adventists than when we came here, believing firmly in the eternal gospel in the fear of God, worshiping Him as Creator so that we can reaffirm in our classrooms that God created us all.”

President of Montemorelos University Dr. Ismael Castillo challenged teachers, educators and ministers to ensure that each educational institution continues to be a strong beacon highlighting Creation and the principal truths found in the Bible.

View from the balcony of Montemorelos University’s main church on campus during the international conference. Image by Montemorelos University

“With the help of the faculty, our university will be known for its science based on the Word of God during the coming years,” said Castillo.

For Dr. Edgar Brito, president of the Adventist University Institute of Venezuela, in Nirgua, Venezuela, the conference brought him clarity on the vital importance of teaching natural science and Biblical truths.

“The relationship between nature and the personal knowledge of God must be calibrated so that it can help us mark the educational philosophy as we explain to our students what it means to worship a God who gives us lessons through nature and Who reveals Himself through His Word,” said Brito.

Dr. Florez expects that through the halls of the 14 Adventist universities and hundreds of primary and secondary schools throughout Inter-America, “a young generation of Seventh-day Adventists will be secure in the “faith in the Holy Scriptures and God as the Creator of the world.”

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Categories From the Headquarter, RSS English | Tags: | Posted on August 4, 2017