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Reserve a Place at the Adventist Forum Conference


Reservations are filling up for the 2013 Adventist Forum/Spectrum Conference on September 6-8 entitled A Third Way:.  For those traveling from out of town, the discounted hotel rate at the historic Read House Hotel in downtown Chattanooga is only available through August 6th.Reserve your spot today to join experienced leaders in the field of interfaith relations including Brian McLaren, William Johnsson, Samir Selmanovic, and Ryan Bell, along with respondents from Adventist universities, Adventist churches, and other faiths, as we explore Christian identity in a multi-faith world. 

The title of keynote speaker Brian McLaren’s newest book on Christian identity may read like a joke: Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammad Cross the Road?  Yet, as McLaren states in his introduction, “To imagine Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed taking a walk across a road or even getting together as friends for a meal and conversation doesn’t have to introduce a joke: it could introduce one of the most important conversations possible in today’s world.”

This image of walking together recalls the beginning of Ellen White’s iconic first vision.  She saw an elevated narrow path along which a row of Adventists progressed precariously toward the city of God.  The Adventists crossed single file over roads, towns, countries, and indeed over the entire world.  They ascended ever upward with the light of the “Midnight Cry” from behind and Jesus as a focal point up front.

Her vision illustrates one way Adventists have related to the world.  Our elevated position precluded any convergence with other faiths. 

Is there a third way to maintain a strong sense of our unique Adventist Christian identity while relating to others with benevolence in our multi-faith world?  What if the narrow path is not really elevated above the world but instead meets Jesus where he said we would find him: across the road at the feet of the stranger; through the doorways of the hungry, thirsty, and sick; and behind the prison bars of the oppressed?  What if our inflated sense of self and overblown ideologies took on the humble spirit of Christ, regarding one another as more important than ourselves, creating space on the narrow path to enjoy the journey together? What does it mean to be an Adventist Christian in a multi-faith world?

While the speaker line-up is exceptional, the highlight for many will be the time reserved to explore these questions and more through audience response, small group discussions, and personal interactions over shared meals and breaks. 

There are several possible punchlines which McLaren suggests in answer to the title question of his book.  But, his last suggestion serves as an invitation to all of us.  “Because they hoped we would follow them.”  To join the conversation, register here.

Video Interview with Brian McLaren by Odyssey Networks


Brenton Reading writes from Shawnee, KS, a suburb of Kansas City, MO.  He is one of the co-chairs of the planning committee for the 2013 Adventist Forum Conference and feels a deep sense of gratitude that Brian McLaren and other experienced leaders will join us this year to help us explore the topic of Christian identity and interfaith relations.

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