Welcome to our new program!
By Request is designed to give you more ways (and times) to learn and discuss a variety of topics or questions for yourself, with your family, your friends, or the community around you. Instead of having a preset date and time for a class or event, By Request has you pick a time, with the presenter, and invite people to join you for the discussion.
Our presenters/facilitators can be available by Zoom in time zones that include Europe, Africa, North and South America, Australia, and parts of Asia.
Depending on who you choose, at the present time, we can offer discussions in English, Dutch, and French. As you will notice, the topics cover Biblical and social issues.
It works like this.
- You look at the menus and speakers on this site.
- You pick out something you would like to discuss, as an individual or a group, and then contact us with the button, below.
- We will put you in contact with the speaker you would like to invite and you can negotiate a Zoom time that works for both of you.
If you have questions about the program, you can also contact us at the above address.
We are looking forward to meeting you!
Tom de Bruin
Tom has been an Adventist pastor, conference administrator, well-reviewed college lecturer, European Kinship Meeting speaker, and is a Bible scholar. He is a longtime, much-appreciated, ally. Tom’s associations include: Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, British New Testament Society (treasurer), Journal of European Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (Editor), European Adventist Society of Theology and Religious Studies (Editor/Webmaster).
Conversations about the clobber texts:
Though there are many books, articles, and videos about these verses in the Bible, I believe that learning is often a process that works best with personal interaction and guidance. For this, I offer a monthly Zoom meeting for new (or less recent) members who have questions about the Bible and the LGBTQIA+ community.
One Hour Discussions for Zoom Groups of 1-15
Interpreting the Bible: Why Plain Reading Doesn’t Work
During this conversation, we will look at a text often used to condemn the LGBTQIA+ community and a text often considered pro-slavery. We will discuss reasons we cannot take the translations of the Bible at face value—and hopefully acknowledge we only do this when it suits us.
Marriage in the Bible
The Seventh-day Adventist Church consistently talks about the Biblical ideal of marriage. That said, what do we actually know about marriages in the Bible? In this discussion, we look at some famous examples of wedded Biblical couples and at the Biblical concept of adultery.
Abominations and Fornication
Using Old Testament texts, we will study and discuss views on the words and contextual use of the words abomination and fornication. We will note how these concepts are connected to idolatry.
In the beginning, God created man and woman…
This meeting is a discussion of gender binary as instituted in/at Creation.
Sex and Sperm (Leviticus 18/20)
This study is a discussion of the passages and context of Leviticus 18/20, the holiness code, and the role of sperm in Ancient Near Eastern society.
Cursed to Fornicate (Romans 1)
Our time together will be an in-depth discussion of the mention of same-sex relationships in Romans 1. We will look at how this passage works and how Paul talks about same-sex relations in his other letters.
Sodom, Strange Flesh, and Sodomy
We’ll look at Sodom and Gomorrah using Genesis 19 and the book of Jude. We’ll discuss the afterlives of these doomed cities, in the Bible and Christianity, including how Sodom’s sin became sodomy and later sodomy become anal sex.
Gender in the Time of the Bible
The biblical authors did not know about X and Y chromosomes, nor did they share our biological worldview. In this discussion, we discover how biological sex was theorized in the time of the New Testament.
“We will be like the angels”
Beginning with Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25, we will look at the gender and sex of angels and what sex they are imagined having.
Zoom series or longer sessions
Given the research on human brains and our ability to focus, we recommend that any session over 60 minutes includes a break.
Administrative Adventist Statements and Kinship’s Ideals
What does the Bible Really Say about LGBTQIA+ People
This four-session series includes:
- An introduction to basic Biblical study principles and collecting your focus questions
Gender and Sex in the Bible
Depending on what you like, our Zoom sessions could include:
- Genesis 1 and 2
- The gender of angels
- Sex in ancient times
- Same-sex relationships in the Bible
Ableism and Disability
Disability and sin are closely related in the Bible and in theology. I have taught a 13-week class on disability and ableism, which examines contemporary and historical views on disability. This opens our eyes to the “ablest” way able-bodied people often read the Bible, and how we can be more inclusive in our reading. Discussions could include disability theory and theology, physical disability, neurodivergence, and any text about disability in the Bible.
There is a lot of talk going around the church about Satan and demons. Through considerable study, I have become an expert on Satan in the Bible and history and can share many presentations on this topic. This could include:
- Why bad things happen to good people
- Why we give Satan too much credit
- Why Satan is hardly mentioned in the Old Testament, yet everywhere in the New
- Is Satan really a rebel
- What are demons, what is demon possession
Bible in Films
For this, you have enjoyable homework! I will choose a film that interacts with the Bible significantly. Before you come to our discussion, you watch the film. I could give a brief lecture on an important topic presented in the film, and we discuss this. I’ve taught the Bible in Popular Culture many times. This is entertaining and enlightening for people who like to watch films and think about them.
I can give talks on any passage in the New Testament if there is an interest. It is also possible to plan a series where we read through a biblical book together, I explain some complicated issues, and we learn from each other.