Shhhhhhhhh – it’s a secret…

July 19, 2007

The Biblical Research Institute (BRI) was “organized in 1956 and operated as part of the world headquarters, [it] … exists to answer and expound on questions of doctrine for Seventh-day Adventists and for those interested in Adventist beliefs. BRI distributes informative papers on specific topics; presents programs for ministers’ meetings; provides specialized short courses for ministerial education programs; operates a vigorous program of Bible Land seminars in Israel and publishes major book-length studies on specific subjects. It also issues a periodic newsletter of theological information and discussions.” (From the GC website.)

The BRI’s newsletter mentioned above is called Reflections and it has been issued four times a year since 2003. Until now it has only been available via email to SDA theologians and administrators. Recently a decision was taken by the BRI to post Reflections on their website – including all past issues. HOWEVER, “The newsletter is only accessible to pastors, theologians, and administrators of the church. User name and password are required.” http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/

The weird thing is, there’s nothing particularly controversial or difficult about the information contained in the newsletter– this is after all, an official GC organization.

I do know the secret password (and it is kind of odd theologically for an SDA organization) but I won’t reveal that here. What I have done is uploaded all the issues of Reflections, 1-19 on box.net (a very cool file-sharing site). They are then available now via the widget you see in my side-bar.




  1. I skimmed a couple of the issues that you posted and wonder why this would be held back from the members. There is nothing earth shattering here. It actually seems to contain some Adventist apologetic material that the church would probably want in the hands of the members…maybe they want the pastors to give it to them.

  2. Very cool Widget, I signed up to Box.net 1 gb free quite a deal. Thanks for freeing the information.

  3. I just came across your site today and I’ve been reading some of the articles with great interest.

    Although I haven’t skimmed through the articles of Reflections, I find it interesting that the BRI would deliberately withold any information from the members of the church and I doubt that it will be for ill intentions.

    I do attend church with one of the directors of the BRI so I will ask him of this and whatever his response is, I will share.

    Thanks for the heads-up. Much appreciated.

  4. I have sign up an account on box.net but unable so far to get access you the document. It will be great if you can please explain to me how to access to those document within box.net

  5. Hi, I finally saw the famous widget. Thank you very much. It would be great to have more of this type of materials made available to the great public. I downloaded all the the materials. They are just amazing.

  6. Having not joined Box.net and read the BRI newsletter, you can take or leave what I have to say. But I have two cents to offer as to why the newsletter is being restricted.

    The type of writing in a newsletter versus the scholarly articles that BRI is known for generating are very different in tone and probably in the effort that is put into them.

    My guess is that it has more to do with supporting the freedom in which the contributors write, rather than the intent to restrict information from the general public.

    I would venture a guess that this lack of wide-spread distribution allows the newsletter authors to voice thoughts that they might not in other arenas. They are likely persons who’s thoughts and opinions are often used as expert sources on various topics. A medium in which they can be assured that their thoughts are going to quoted in a professional manner can be freeing. They are likely to mention ideas, projects, opinions without completely supporting or having thought out their reasons. It becomes more of a friendly dialogue (“catching up”), rather than a scholarly journal.

  7. hello! how can i view all the issues of reflections that you’ve posted. i already have an account @ box.net. thanks much

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