Samuel Koranteng-Pipim

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Samuel Koranteng Pipim (born December 10, 1957) is a US-based Ghanaian author, speaker, and theologian. Trained in engineering and systematic theology, he based his office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where, up until 2011, he ministered to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan. He has authored and co-authored more than a dozen books. He has spoken around the world at events for youth, students, and young professionals. He helped begin and has sat on the Board of Directors for the Generation of Youth for Christ organization (GYC), a revival movement of Seventh-day Adventist youth in North America.

He resigned his ministerial credentials in May 2011 and requested to be disciplined according to church protocol. He was disfellowshipped by his local church on June 15, 2011.[1]

Biography[edit]

Pipim was born in Ghana, West Africa.[2] He holds a degree in engineering from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana,[3] where he subsequently served as a research and teaching assistant.[citation needed] Having been a leader in a non-denominational, charismatic movement, Pipim later became a Seventh-day Adventist. After accepting the call to the gospel ministry, he worked in the Central Ghana conference as its Coordinator of Campus Ministries.[citation needed] He later went to the United States to pursue a ministerial training at Andrews University where in 1998 he received a PhD in systematic theology, specializing in biblical authority, interpretation and ecclesiology.[4][5] His doctoral dissertation, The Role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical Interpretation: A Study in the Writings of James I. Packer, was under the supervision of Raoul Dederen, with Clark H. Pinnock as the external examiner.[6]

In 1998, his church leadership in Michigan appointed him to direct its newly created department of Public Campus Ministries to cater for the spiritual needs of students on secular university campuses.[citation needed] Since that time, Pipim's theological ideas and philosophy has had a significant effect on students and young adults the world over.[7]

Theology[edit]

Method[edit]

In the 1990s, Pipim played a role in the Adventist debate over the Bible's authority and interpretation, an issue that came into greater prominence with the publication of Old Testament scholar Alden Thompson's Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers (1991).[8] Perceiving this work “as the archetypical product of historical-critical methodology,”[9] Pipim and six other scholars of the Adventist Theological Society issued a rejoinder in their book Issues in Revelation and Inspiration.[10]

An Evangelical publication, Reformation & Revival Journal, describes Pipim's Receiving the Word as “a provocative Adventist treatment which looks at the pros and cons of various methods of Bible study.”[11] 'Seeking a Sanctuary describes Pipim as a leading critic of what he deems "liberal Adventism."[12]

In a work on “Adventist Views on Biblical and Prophetic Inspiration,” a colleague of Pipim's judged Receiving the Word as “one of the most influential landmarks in that debate” and one of “the two main conflicting poles around which gravitate[d] the contemporary discussions on [the Bible's] inspiration” during the second half of the 1990s.[13]

In addition to challenging the method of moderate liberalism, Pipim's book also worked to make a strong case for his church's 1986 “Methods of Bible Study” statement, which “urge[ed] Adventist Bible students to avoid relying on the use of the presuppositions and the resultant deductions associated with the historical-critical method.”[14] Receiving the Word also claimed the use of contemporary higher criticism (the historical-critical method) was undermining key Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and practices.[citation needed] The book generated considerable reaction—both for and against. Some took exception to the book, dismissing it as a "fundamentalist" view.[15] Scholars who embraced the church's historical positions, however, were more supportive of the book.[16]

Pipim contributed to the Biblical Research Institute's book Interpreting Scripture, published in 2010, a work which attempted to provide answers to questions often raised concerning the Bible.[17] Besides CAMPUS (Center for Adventist Ministry to Public University Students) and the Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism, Michigan Conference's outreach school, Pipim also regularly teaches intensive courses on hermeneutics to students enrolled at, AFCOE (Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism), ARISE (A Resource Institute for Soul-winning and Evangelism), and LIFE (Lay Institute for Evangelism), supporting institutes run by Adventist supporting organizations.[citation needed]

Positions[edit]

Other than his contribution to Adventist discussions on biblical methodology, Pipim has also been involved in some of the most contentious issues in his church.[18][better source needed] For example, Pipim contributed to the book Prove All Things (2000), the most extensive critical appraisal of Women in Ministry, a book by scholars at Andrews University such as Gerard Damsteegt.[19][better source needed] He actively participated in the church's creation-evolution discussions during the “Faith and Science Conferences” in 2002 and 2004.[citation needed] He has spoken out against the black and white racially based church structures in North America, the biblical legitimacy of homosexuality, what he calls "unbiblical" divorce and remarriage, certain worship styles, church growth methods that employ gospel gimmicks, prayer warriors and other trends in the church.[20][better source needed][21][better source needed][22][better source needed] Also through his reviews of some scholarly works and his foreword or endorsement of certain published authors, he has also articulated his own views on such topics as the atonement of Christ, abortion, and war.[23][better source needed][24][better source needed][25][better source needed]

Work[edit]

Public speaking and writing[edit]

Pipim has travelled extensively, speaking in churches and church gatherings, at schools, civic events and other venues.[citation needed] He has also appeared on various Christian TV channels including 3ABN, Hope Channel and Amazing Discoveries.[citation needed] Pipim has also spoken in many African Universities giving a lecture series, dubbed the "Why" lecture series which largely consists of him asking a series of “Why” questions intended to illustrate his points.[26]

Pipim has authored a number of books including Must We Be Silent? and Here We Stand.

Youth ministry[edit]

Between 1999 and 2011 Pipim served as the director of CAMPUS (Center for Adventist Ministry to Public University Students), a division of Michigan Conference Public Campus Ministries department. It is located near the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

CAMPUS was the department through which the Michigan Conference birthed, sponsored and directed the beginnings of Generation of Youth for Christ, then known as the General Youth Conference or GYC.

Pipim has also been active in the Adventist Church's young adule ministry in other parts of the world. One of the ways he has done this is through an organization in Africa, ALIVE (Africans Living In View of Eternity). ALIVE is sponsored by CAMPUS and is a movement that intends to “change the face of Africa,” by mobilizing “committed and dedicated young people with the courage to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.” In the words of a leader of ALIVE, this new breed of Africans are responding to the call “to lead by principle and conviction . . . [and to] to cease settling for mediocrity and become an agent of positive change.”[27]

Generation of Youth for Christ[edit]

Writing about the history of GYC, a retired communication director of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, states the leaders of GYC were attracted to Pipim's “can-do, tell-it-like-it-is, traditional Adventism” and his “‘higher than the highest’ philosophy: of excellence that he advocated through CAMPUS.[28] Empowered by Pipim's conservative theology and ideals, “these scattered students began dreaming what they called the great experiment in 1999.”[28] Critics however, saw GYC as nothing more than another manifestation of reactionary, Historic Adventism.

Until his resignation in 2011, Pipim continued to play a large role in shaping the direction of the youth movement through sitting on GYC's board of directors and being a regular presenter at GYC's annual conventions. During the 2008 convention, GYC stated that Pipim had "developed a reputation for his bold messages and commitment to the ultimate authority of God's Word.”[29]

Resignation, Rape Allegations, and Re-baptism[edit]

On May 31, 2011, Dr. Pipim resigned from his employment with the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and canceled all his speaking appointments due to what he termed a "moral fall" while traveling overseas.[30] The purported victim was a 20-year-old woman, who claimed through her counselor that she was raped by Pipim. The counselor involved was Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, a Christian recording musician, published author, counselor, and seminar presenter.[31][32]

In response to these claims, Pipim prepared a document titled, 'An Answer to Everyone: A Response To False Accusations', which he presented to the Ann Arbour Seventh-day Adventist Church on May 29, 2012, before disseminating for wider publication on June 3, 2012.[33]

Pipim was scheduled to be re-baptized into the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church on June 9, 2012, as part of the Ann Arbor Seventh-Day Adventist Church. However, his re-baptism was cancelled due to revelation of information about a separate "moral situation" that he and his wife had been in possession of for two years.[34] With both the affirmation and disapproval of members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dr. Pipim was finally re-baptized on June 20, 2014 at the Columbus Ghanaian Seventh-day Adventist Church in Columbus, Ohio.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://drpipim.org/resignation/149-update-on-pipims-resignation.html
  2. ^ "Dr. Samuel Koranteng Pipim speaks about making a difference". March 11, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ More About Dr. Pipim, retrieved July 8, 2011 
  4. ^ To Ordain or Not to Ordain? The Campaign for Women's Ordination, Part 1, retrieved August 26, 2011 
  5. ^ More About Dr. Pipim, retrieved August 26, 2011 
  6. ^ “The Role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical Interpretation: A Study in the Writings of James Innel Packer”.
  7. ^ Shirley Burton, for example, has chronicled how Pipim inspired public university students to mobilize as a spiritual army that could positively impact the church. See, her “With Such An Army,” Inside ASI Magazine, Spring 2008, p. 14, accessed April 19, 2011.
  8. ^ Thompson, Alden. Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers (1991). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald.
  9. ^ McIver, Robert K., “The Historical-Critical Method: The Adventist Debate”.
  10. ^ Frank Holbrook and Leo van Dolson, eds., Issues in Revelation and Inspiration, Adventist Theological Society Occasional Papers vol. 1 (Berrien Springs, MI): Adventist Theological Society Publications, 1992. OCLC 25701461.
  11. ^ John H. Armstrong, “Annotated Bibliography,” Reformation & Revival Journal, A Quarterly Journal for Church Leadership, vol. 9, no. 4 (Fall 2000), p. 151. accessed on May 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Bull, Malcolm and Lockart, Keith. Seeking A Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventists and the American Dream. 2nd edition. Bloomington and Indianapolis: University of Indiana Press, 2007. pp. 278, 35.
  13. ^ Timm, Alberto R. “A History of Seventh-day Adventist Views on Biblical and Prophetic Inspiration (1844–2000),” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 10/1-2 (1999), pp. 534-535.
  14. ^ “Methods of Bible Study: Presuppositions, Principles, and Methods,” available on the General Conference and Biblical Research Institute websites (http://biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/documents/Methods%20Bible%20Study.htm). Published in the Adventist Review (January 22, 1987), pp. 18-24.
  15. ^ Alden Thompson, En Route to a `Plain Reading' of Scripture," Spectrum 26:4 (January 1998), pp. 50–52. George R. Knight, “Book Review: Receiving the Word,” in Ministry, December 1997, p. 30; cf. his, “The Case of the Overlooked Postscript: A Footnote on Inspiration,” Ministry, August 1997. See also Charles Scriven, “Embracing the Spirit,” Spectrum 26 (September 1997): 28-37; Norman H. Young, “‘Moderate Liberalism’ Threatens Adventism,” Spectrum 26 (May 1997): 49-50; cf. Timothy E. Crosby, “The Bible: Inspiration and Authority,” Ministry, May 1998, 18-20; Robert M. Johnston, “The Case for a Balanced Hermeneutic,” Ministry, March 1999, 10-12.
  16. ^ Besides the favorable review of the book by the Director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference, George W. Reid, “Book Review: Receiving the Word,” in Ministry, December 1997, 30-31, Receiving the Word was also endorsed by the following prominent thought leaders of the church: Norman R. Gulley, Paul Gordon, Raoul Dederen, Clifford Goldstein, Alberto R. Timm, William H. Shea, Keith Burton, C. Raymond Holmes, Artur A. Stele, and Randall W. Younker. Their endorsements appear at the back of the book, where Raoul Dederen sums up their evaluation of the book: "An amazingly clear and competent presentation which will supply Seventh-day Adventists with a reasoned statement of their own position and challenge liberals to reexamine their fundamental presuppositions. I wish it the widest circulation."
  17. ^ See: Pfandl Gerhard, ed., Interpreting Scripture: Bible Questions and Answers (Silver Springs, MD: Biblical Research Institute Studies, 2010).
  18. ^ Here We Stand: Evaluating New Trends in the Church (2005). Berrien Springs, MI: Adventists Affirm. ISBN 0-9677622-1-9; Must We Be Silent: Issues Dividing Our Church (2001). Berrien Springs, MI: Berean Books. ISBN 978-1-890014-03-2; cf. http://www.drpipim.org. For a review of Must We Be Silent, see Muchee, Julius Mucunku (2001). Book Review of Must We Be Silent? In Asia Adventist Seminary Studies, vol. 4 (2001), pp. 122-125. Bennett, Shakeela (2001). Book Review of Must We Be Silent? In Adventists Affirm, vol. 15, (Spring 2001), pp. 61-63.
  19. ^ Mercedes Dyer, ed., Prove All Things: A Response to “Women in Ministry”(2000). Berrien Springs, MI: Adventists Affirm, pp. 17-44; 179-218, 287-312, accessed May 4, 2011.
  20. ^ See his Must We Be Silent: Issues Dividing Our Church, pp. 299-441; cf. “Saved by Grace and Living by Race: The Religion Called Racism,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 5/2 (Autumn 1994): 37-78. “Racism Vrs. Christianity.”
  21. ^ “Born a Gay and Born Again?: Adventism's Changing Attitude,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society,10/1–2 (Spring–Autumn 1999): 141-183
  22. ^ See his Must We Be Silent: Issues Dividing Our Church (2001). Berrien Springs, MI: Berean Books. ISBN 978-1-890014-03-2. See also Here We Stand: Evaluating New Trends in the Church (2005). Berrien Springs, MI: Adventists Affirm. pp. 37-51, 101-121, 139-161, 241-257, 381-390, 495-510, 535-600, 749-761, 779-794; ISBN 0-9677622-1-9.
  23. ^ Review of Clark H. Pinnock's The Wideness in God's Mercy: The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions (1992). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans; Pipim's review is found in Andrews University Seminary Studies 33 (Autumn 1995): 315-318.
  24. ^ Review of Abortion: Ethical Issues & Options (1992) ed. David R. Larson. Loma Linda, CA: Loma Linda University Press; Pipim's book review is found in College and University Dialogue 6:3 (1994):26-27.
  25. ^ “Foreword,” in Karl Tsatalbasidis & Keith Phillip, I Pledge Allegiance: The Role of Seventh-day Adventists in the Military (2007). Keith Philips. pp. 11-14.
  26. ^ For example, during his March 2010 lecture at Ashesi University College in Ghana, Pipim outlined the following steps or principles to aid Africans in their quest to improve conditions on the continent: 1. Know and understand the problem; 2. Grow people to think outside the box; 3. Pursue excellence; and 4. Don't underestimate the power of one person. See, “Dr. Samuel Koranteng Pipim Speaks about Making a Difference”, accessed March 18, 2011.
  27. ^ Karemera, Valmy Stephen. “President's Welcome,” http://www.africansalive.org, Accessed March 22, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Shirley Burton, also a retired communication director of ASI, writes this in the Inside ASI magazine, the official publication of the International ASI organization: “They were enrolled at some of the nation's most well known schools: Harvard, Brandeis, Wellesley, Brown, Princeton, Rutgers, Boston University, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Michigan. All were Seventh-day Adventist youth trying to maintain their religious roots on secular campuses... All wanted something more from their religion than ‘anecdotes and entertainment.’ And then they heard about CAMPUS at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor... The message of CAMPUS and its mentor Samuel Pipim reached these students. Dr. Pipim's challenge for spiritual and academic excellence fell on willing ears and hearts. Students liked his can-do, tell-it-like-it-is, traditional Adventism. Committed to Dr. Pipim's ‘higher than the highest’ philosophy of excellence, these scattered students began dreaming what they called the great experiment in 1999.” (Shirley Burton, “With Such An Army,” Inside ASI Magazine, Spring 2008, p. 14), accessed April 19, 2011.
  29. ^ 2008 GYC programming booklet, p. 16. The same description is found in the 2009 and 2010 GYC programming booklets.
  30. ^ Carpenter, Alexander (May 31, 2011). "Samuel Koranteng–Pipim Cancels Speaking Appointments and Resigns from Michigan Conference". Spectrum. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  32. ^ https://www.jenniferjill.net
  33. ^ http://drpipim.org/
  34. ^ http://spectrummagazine.org/blog/2012/06/08/pipim-rebaptism-canceled-another-victim-identified
  35. ^ http://spectrummagazine.org/article/alita-byrd/2014/06/26/samuel-koranteng-pipim-re-baptized

External links[edit]