Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Ball’

New views

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Launch reflects healthy state of origins discussion

Brenton Stacey
Public relations officer
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

Participants at the launch of a book about creation see it as a valuable contribution to the discussion about origins despite expressing differing views about its content.

In The Beginning shows “we don’t have all the answers—we never have,” said panelist Dr David Tasker, field secretary for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific, during the launch (Ladies Chapel, August 18). Editor Dr Bryan Ball summarised the tone of the discussion. “These are perspectives on origins. They’re not the only perspectives. They’re not the final perspectives.”

In The Beginning editor Dr Bryan Ball with wife Dawn. Credit: Angela Brown.

Dr Steve Thompson described contributing a chapter about the New Testament use of the Genesis text as his “most spiritually enriching writing exercise.” He referred to Hebrews 11:3 as giving a “brief, elegant and informed” Christian response to speculation about origins. “It says that while the world is a phenomena that can be observed with human senses, the act of creation is pre-phenomenal.”

Moderator Nathan Brown, book editor at Signs Publishing Company, asked about the importance of mystery and wonder in the theology of creation. Steve, borrowing from Plato, responded by noting the tension between “a human narrative of an evolutionary beginning” and “a human, divinely inspired narrative of a created beginning.” “A likely story: that’s all scientists can deliver,” he said. The inference: that is all theologians can deliver, too.

Two-thirds of In The Beginning discusses origins from a theological basis. “God’s revelation in Scripture is the primary source of information about origins,” said Bryan in his opening, “and this places upon us an obligation to understand what Scripture says and not to impose upon it what we want it to say.”

Avondale College of Higher Education president Dr Ray Roennfeldt thanked Bryan for remaining respectful of differing opinions and for expressing that difference in the book. He wanted to read more about the humanity and the interpretation of Scripture, about how to live with the incommensurate worlds of science and Scripture, and about how to communicate this to postmoderns “who know we don’t have all the answers even when we don’t tell them we don’t have all the answers.” Ray closed by paraphrasing John Calvin: “I hope as you read this book, you will feel God’s witnessing with your spirit that these things are so.”

Links

Solid, significant discussion of origins
Dr Lynden Rogers reviews In The Beginning

A rewarding search
Research fellow reflects on writing about origins

A rewarding search

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Research fellow reflects on writing about origins

Brenton Stacey
Public relations officer
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

Dr Bryan Ball describes In The Beginning: Science and Scripture Confirm Creation, of which he is editor, as his most difficult publishing project. One of his writers submitted a poor-quality manuscript; another didn’t submit at all. But the rewards have tempered these initial frustrations.

What did you learn about science from this project? What surprised you?

Dr Bryan Ball is editor of In The Beginning, a new book about creation and science. Credit: Colin Chuang.

What surprised me most wasn’t necessarily the science but the number of scientists who question some of the basics of evolution. I knew there were some, but there’s actually quite a number.

What did you learn about Scripture?

An immense amount. I asked Dr Richard Davidson from Andrews University, who’s probably one of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s foremost Old Testament scholars, to give his interpretation of the first two verses of Genesis. His chapter is detailed and persuasive, and it leaves the door open for two interpretations of the age of the earth. And I like that because it doesn’t force us into a corner.

We’ve moved as a church on this?

Yes, that’s right. We’re still moving, still searching.

What role does faith play once we confirm, or prove, creation?

I don’t think we can prove creation any more than we can prove evolution. It’s a great leap of faith whether you opt for evolution or whether you opt for creation. My view is that there is far more evidence to substantiate faith in creation than there is in evolution.

So, why do we need another defence of creation?

It makes the point for Christians, and especially for Adventist Christians, that the basis for our understanding of origins is not science, it’s not the natural world, it’s the revealed word of God. There’s been a tendency to place the emphasis on science at the expense of biblical truth. But we have to put the Bible first and interpret science in the light of Scripture rather than Scripture in the light of science.

Can We Really Believe The Bible?. The Seventh-day Men. Now In The Beginning. You’re an influential defender of the faith. How do these titles challenge our faith?

They challenge us to think for ourselves and to not just accept what others say or even what the church says.

What does editing a book like this do to your devotional reading of the Bible?

It’s increased my understanding of the nature and of the significance of the book of Genesis. I’ve already got a couple of sermons out of the material. Genesis is a mine of information and of truth—through its stories, its prophecy, its symbolism, its allusions. People who read In The Beginning will be richly rewarded.

Links

New views
Launch reflects healthy state of origins discussion

Solid, significant discussion of origins
Dr Lynden Rogers reviews In The Beginning

Bestseller ahora en español

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Academic’s book translated and republished

Nathan Brown
Book editor
Signs Publishing Company
Warburton, Victoria, Australia

An Avondale academic’s bestselling book about the Bible has now been published in Spanish.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? has now been translated and published as Todavia Podemos Creer en la Biblia?

Dr Bryan Ball’s Can We Still Believe the Bible? has now been translated and published as Todavia Podemos Creer en la Biblia? by Asociación Casa Editora Sudamericana, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s publishing entity in Argentina.

Bryan, an honorary senior research fellow at Avondale College of Higher Education, revised Can We Still Believe the Bible? to coincide with this year’s 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version. Signs Publishing Company, the church’s publishing entity in the South Pacific, reprinted the revised edition after twice reprinting the original.

Inspired by teenagers at a local Seventh-day Adventist church, Bryan first wrote Can We Still Believe the Bible? in 2007. It is available for $19.95 from Adventist Book Centres.

Bestseller revised and reprinted

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Academic celebrates anniversary of “the book that changed the world”

Sonja Larsen
Public relations assistant
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

An Avondale academic has revised a book about the Bible to coincide with this year’s 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version.

In reprint: Can We Still Believe the Bible? now features two new chapters. Author Dr Bryan Ball revised the book to coincide with this year’s 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version.

Dr Bryan Ball’s Can We Still Believe the Bible? And Does It Really Matter? (Signs Publishing Company) features two new chapters, “The book that changed the world” and “The genius of Genesis.” The honorary senior research fellow writes to show readers the Bible is credible, substantiated and the Word of God.

“The King James Version has influenced the English-speaking world for four centuries, and in much more than matters of faith and religious belief,” says Bryan, a former president of Avondale College of Higher Education and of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific. “No other book has played such a major role in the development of Western civilisation.”

Bryan notes the Bible’s foundational role in Western civilisation—promoting values such as freedom and integrity. He believes Western civilisation’s decline may be because it is turning away from the Bible. So, he contends the question, “Can we still believe the Bible?” really does matter. “There has never been a time when truth is of so little consequence. The one million dollar question is, ‘Who do you believe?’”

Evidence such as archaeological discoveries, fulfilled prophesy and historic manuscripts substantiate the Bible and its authenticity, says Bryan. He sees the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version as an opportunity to remind us of the importance of the Bible to our life and to the values of our society.

Inspired by teenagers at a local Seventh-day Adventist church, Bryan first wrote Can We Still Believe the Bible? in 2007. Thousands of copies have been distributed as an evangelistic resource since then.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? is available for $19.95 from Adventist Book Centres.—with Nathan Brown, book editor, Signs Publishing Company

Bible scholar

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Profile: Dr Bryan Ball

Nathan Brown
Book editor
Signs Publishing Company

Honorary senior research fellow: Dr Bryan Ball.

Dr Bryan Ball is an honorary senior research fellow at Avondale College of Higher Education. He is also a former president of Avondale and of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific. Connections asks Bryan about the revised edition of Can We Still Believe the Bible?

What is the significance of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible?

The King James Version influenced the establishment of Protestantism in the English-speaking world. It remained the only English version for nearly 300 years. Today—400 years on—it is still the preferred version in some parts of the world and its influence on millions from many generations and from many countries has been incalculable.

What is the role of the Bible in the living of our faith?

It is the Word of God as traditionally understood. As such, it reveals God’s perspective on humanity and human history and His way of putting right the obvious and deep-rooted sickness in the human race. It does this by confronting us with the reality of ourselves and all of humanity—and the reality of Jesus, the divine answer to the human dilemma of sin and its consequences.

How does your experience as a former church leader influence what and how you write?

Some of my other books have dealt with more historical aspects of Christianity, but this one came from my observation of changing attitudes to the Bible in the church, particularly among young adults, and to declining awareness of the crucial importance of the Bible to the survival of authentic Christian belief and lifestyle.

How do you use the Bible in your daily life of faith?

I tend to read longer passages at one sitting—sometimes a book at a time, often several chapters in succession. Maybe that’s one advantage of being retired! I also read from different versions, although my favourite is the New King James Version. That dates me, but I like it for its genuine attempt to reflect the precise meaning of the original languages.