Evangelical - Unification Dialogue

Preface and Participants


At the invitation of the president of Unification Theological Seminary, Barrytown, New York, a formal theological dialogue was convened in June, 1978, between a group of Unificationist seminarians and a group of Evangelicals (or "born again" Christians) at Barrytown, followed in October of that year by a second and concluding gathering with most of the same participants and several others. The tapes of these two sessions were transcribed, then integrated and edited into book form by the conference convenor (Richard Quebedeaux) and moderator (Rodney Sawatsky), and Evangelical-Unification Dialogue is the finished product we present here.

Each participant has had the opportunity to read his or her transcribed remarks and make appropriate corrections in the text. The editors have attempted to maintain as much of the original dialogue as possible, despite the problems of repetition and organization. The transcript has been punctuated to present the dialogue as it was actually spoken. Because of the controversial nature of the gatherings, two participants have found it necessary to take on pseudonyms.

True "dialogue'' is risky business because "conversion" is always an inherent possibility in the process. At least dialogue may force the participants to change their minds about each other. To our knowledge, none of the Evangelicals here have become "Moonies," and none of the Moonies have become Evangelicals. But a large number of persons on both sides did change their minds. Stereotypes were broken, and all participants, we feel, gained a better understanding of what it really means to be a Unificationist or an Evangelical in contemporary American society.

The significance of this experiment in dialogue for Evangelicals and Unificationists alike—and for those who don't identify themselves by either label as well—will become apparent, we hope, to each reader of Evangelical-Unification Dialogue. Furthermore, it should be noted at this point that most of the evangelical participants in these events were grounded in the Reformed tradition (subsequent Unification/Evangelical dialogues were attended by Arminian Wesleyan Evangelicals and by Pentecostal Charismatic Evangelicals—with different results). Readers should be aware that this work is not a finished systematic theology. Rather, it is the transcribed result of eight days of spontaneous theologizing. Thanks are in order to all of the following men and women who, by their hard work, helped to make this book a reality: Jeanne Bannister, Patricia Gleason, Sylvia Grahn, Barbara Mallory, Michael Mickler, Lynn Musgrave, Lorna Skaaran, Helen Subrenat, Valarie Weber, Andy Wilson, Sarah Witt, and to Anthony Guerra and Patricia Zulkosky who helped to organize the conferences. Special thanks, in addition, is due M. Darrol Bryant who supervised the final copy editing, and John Maniatis, librarian of Unification Theological Seminary, who supervised the technical aspects of the production of Evangelical-Unification Dialogue in their entirety.

September 20, 1979 Richard Quebedeaux Rodney Sawatsky Editors


Charles Barfoot,author, Berkeley, Ca. Thomas Bower, Director of Development, University of Dubuque, Dubuque, la. Mark Branson, Secretary, Theological Students' Fellowship, Los Angeles, Ca. Roy Carlisle, Chairman of the Board, New College, Berkeley, Ca. Tom Carter, student, Unification Theological Seminary (UTS), Barrytown, N.Y. Virgil Cruz, Professor of New Testament Studies, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubuque, la. Daniel Davies, graduate of UTS and student, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Tx. Donald Deffner, Professor of Christian Education and Homiletics, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Ca. Paul Eshleman, Assistant to the President, Campus Crusade for Christ, San Bernardino, Ca. Evangelical X. Evangelical Y. Franz Feige, graduate of UTS and student, Drew University, Madison, NJ. Sharon Gallagher, editor of Radix., Berkeley, Ca. Beatriz Gonzales, graduate of UTS and Unification Church campus minister. Anthony Guerra, graduate of UTS and student, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Ma. Jack Harford, graduate of UTS and Unification Church campus minister. Irving Hexham, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Joseph Hopkins, Professor, Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa.

Lloyd Howell, graduate of UTS and Unification Church campus minister. Frank Kaufmann, graduate of UTS and student, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tn. Warren Lewis, Associate Professor of Church History, UTS, Barrytown, N.Y.

Patrick Means, Campus Crusade for Christ, Monterey, Ca.

Richard Quebedeaux, author, Berkeley, Ca., convenor of dialogue.

Rod Sawatsky, Director of Academic Affairs, Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; moderator of dialogue. John Scanzoni, Professor of Sociology, North Carolina State University, Greensboro, N.C. Let ha Scanzoni, author, Greensboro, N.C. Tirza Shilgi, graduate of UTS and Unification Church campus minister. Whitney Shiner, graduate of UTS and student, The Divinity School, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111. Pete Sommer, San Francisco Bay Area Director, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Redwood City, Ca. Johnny Sonneborn, member of Unification Church and student, New York Theological Seminary, New York, N.Y. Rachel Spang, member of Unification Church and student, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Nora Spurgin, member of Unification Church and counselor (M.S.W.), UTS, Barrytown, N.Y Helen Subrenat, member of Unification Church and Registrar, UTS, Barrytown, N.Y. Ulrich Tuente, graduate of UTS and Unification Church campus minister. Jan Weido, graduate of UTS. Jonathan Wells, graduate of UTS and student, Yale University, New Haven, Ct.

John Wiemann, graduate of UTS and Unification church campus minister. Mark Wilenchik, student, UTS, Barrytown, N.Y. Patricia Zulkosky, graduate of UTS and student, School of Theology at Claremont, Claremont, Ca.  

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