Clinton Wahlen is an Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute.

I am often asked, “What do you do at the Biblical Research Institute (BRI)?” The short answer is, we research, write, and speak on biblical issues that arise. The BRI has been established as a theological resource for the Seventh-day Adventist church to foster theological unity worldwide. We seek to accomplish this through three main avenues: research and publication, lectures and presentations, and as a consultant to church leaders on biblical, doctrinal, and theological questions. In your vital and challenging work as a church elder, we at the BRI want to help you in every way we can. You can learn more about what we do and find many free resources, including documents and answers on many different subjects on our website: Here are some other ways in which we may be of service to you:

1. Publications. Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, newly-elected General Conference president, in his sermon at the recent GC session in Atlanta, urged church members to “Utilize wonderful resources such as the Biblical Research Institute’s new book on hermeneutics that helps us know the correct way to interpret the Scriptures.”1 Easily one of the most important resources we have ever published, Interpreting Scripture: Bible Questions and Answers, deals with questions like “How did two million or more Israelites cross the Red Sea in one night?” (Exod 14:21-22), “Did Jesus make all foods clean?” (Mark 7:18-19), “Are the evil angels kept in a burning hell?” (Jude 6) and many other passages “hard to understand.” In just three or four pages, for each of the nearly 100 Bible passages considered, clear but not overly simple answers are given. Some more general questions are also answered, for example, “Who decided which books would be included in the Bible?” and “Why are there four Gospels?” Two other recent books published by BRI are Understanding Scripture: An Adventist Approach (dealing more generally with how to study the Bible) and Toward a Theology of the Remnant (a careful examination of the biblical and theological basis for our understanding of the remnant). 

Of course, we also write for a variety of church publications, such as Adventist World and Ministry. Three from BRI are authors of recent Sabbath School quarterlies: BRI director Ángel Manuel Rodríguez on the atonement, and associate directors Ekkehardt Mueller on the epistles of John and Gerhard Pfandl on the gift of prophecy. Quarterlies from the two other associate directors are forthcoming: Kwabena Donkor on the fundamental beliefs and Clinton Wahlen on the epistle of James. Four times a year we also send out a very helpful electronic publication called Reflections. Recent issues have dealt with such subjects as creation versus evolution, homosexuality, law and the Sabbath, and the justcompleted GC session. If you are interested in this quarterlyresource, check with your pastor who should be receiving it regularly by email.

2. Speaking appointments. The second area of activity involves travel to the various fields to hold seminars, conduct Bible conferences for pastors, elders, Bible teachers, and administrators, as well as teach intensive courses at our universities and seminaries. This serves to enrich the biblical understanding of church workers and encourage fellowship and dialogue among us on areas of mutual importance or concern. We also speak at workers’ meetings, camp meetings, gatherings of theological societies and participate in television programs for the Hope channel. 

3. Consultation. Third, BRI acts as a consultant to pastors, elders, and church administrators. For example, we provide input on Sabbath School lessons prior to their publication and on various other committees ranging from issues of science and theology to mission and church policy. We also answer questions that arise from various quarters of the world church. Some of these involve issues specific to a given field and so are best handled through regional Biblical Research Committees which, so far, have been established in seven divisions. Other questions come to us by phone, letter or email. Our aim is to always serve the needs of the church and foster theological unity among us.

As we near the end, we see Satan working even more desperately to introduce doubts and divisions among us. This should not be a surprise inasmuch as Revelation 12:17 shows him making war specifically against the remnant because he knows that his time is short. That is also why the climax of the three angels’ messages calls for endurance by God’s people through “keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (14:12). Our prayer at BRI is that the Lord may use us all, workers and lay members, to understand His Word clearly and share it powerfully and intelligently with those around us.

1 See the full text of this sermon at: http://www.adventistreview. org/article.php?id=3614.

Clinton Wahlen is associate director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference.