With a passion for reaching out to young people and the secular or skeptical mind, Dan Serb, president of the Irish Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, recently launched a new ministry titled BelievAble Talks.
He shared that the initiative is specifically aimed at anyone interested in the often contentious relationship between religion and science. It is designed, he said, as a platform for open and honest dialogue, where questions and doubt are welcome.
“The main premise of the initiative is that the beauty of rational and life-enriching thought is found in the process of inquiry and the search for objective truth,” Serb said.
Now he plans to produce materials meant to evaluate and give a fair hearing to varying (and sometimes opposing) views on spirituality, faith, and science by engaging some of the latest theories and research from relevant fields of study.
The first project on this platform is launching the docuseries “Beyond the Burden of Proof.” This seven-part series focuses on faith, truth and reality, religion and violence, cosmology, the theory of evolution, morality, and the future.
“The presentations are not sermons or Bible studies,” Serb said. “The objective is to provide an ‘open door’ for further inquiry on spiritual matters.”
The series launched on August 1, 2021, with the first episode, “The Faith Imperative.” Episodes are being uploaded at intervals of one to two weeks. Episode 2, “The Truth About Reality,” and Episode 3, “The Burden of Peace,” are already available. All episodes can be viewed on the initiative website and its YouTube channel. They will also be available on Adventist Review TV.
While it is an initiative of the Irish Mission, the series has been made possible by an international collaboration of funders, advisors, and experts.
“This is a solely Adventist ‘product,’ and it has been a very enriching and exciting project to work on thus far,” Serb said. “It is also clear proof that geographical borders and distance are, nowadays, rendered inconsequential.”
The Trans-European Division Mission Board enthusiastically supported the project, alongside sponsorship from the British Union Conference and the Emerald Foundation in the U.S.
Endorsing the new series, TED president Raafat Kamal wrote, “The TED has made a strong commitment to supporting and enhancing online outreach — and to have a series that is very approachable for those of a secular mindset is a wonderful tool for the European mindset.” He also noted the substantial benefit it will have for other parts of the world in our increasingly global village.
Valued contributors to the project include Andre Brink (True South Media/Adventist Review) as producer; Evelyn Tomkelski for animation, graphics, website design, and social media; and Saake Botha for video editing, among others. Dan Serb is listed as the writer and presenter.