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Theological News Apr 2002 Vol 31 No 2

04.29.2002

Editor: Dr. David Parker

Excerpts from this issue

Note:

We are invite all who receive the printed version of WEA TN to consider a voluntary donation of approx US $10 for two years to assist with production costs. WEA Theological News has been published now for more than twenty years and we thank those who have supported us during this time. Our aim is to provide information about theological work around the world and to bring you news of the work of our Commission. We welcome feedback and especially contributions of news. Earlier, TN was offered on a formal subscription basis, but in recent times there has been no set charge. To help us continue to publish regularly, we are once again inviting your financial support. Donations can be sent in US $$, Euros, Sterling or Australian $$ (payable to Theological Commission) to Editor, WEF TN, 17 Disraeli St, Indooroopilly Qld, Australia, 4068 Enquiries Parker_david@compuserve.com Fax (+61 7) 3878 3108

HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

The impact of Post-modernist thought-patterns in Southern Africa is most clearly seen in our country's attitude to the HIV-AIDS crisis. More than 25% of South Africans are HIV+, many younger people are dying, and the plight of AIDS-orphans is becoming desperate. Yet "Politically Correct" leaders are studiously avoiding making moral judgements, and are denying the principle of cause and effect, that you reap what you sow. Personal morals are relative. Our President is famous for questioning the link between HIV and AIDS (reiterated in a recent TV news bulletin by ANC Government spokesperson, defending the Government's intention to appeal against a High Court ruling that the Government must provide anti-retrovirals to HIV+ pregnant women). Even worse, the nation is seems determined to promote the promiscuity that causes AIDS in its Love Life campaign to stop AIDS.

A recent top radio talk-show featured as guest Cherellyn Dudley MP who exposed the sex-education authorised by the Education Department as actually teaching 10-year old children how to have sex without penetration, including massage and oral sex ("make sure your gums are healthy"), and recommending that girls practice putting condoms on boys. A crudeness has swept the air-waves with explicit adverts on "erections" and a sexy model pointing a microphone between her thighs urging "vagina monologues" in "the fight against sexual violence". There is a programmed discontinuity between cause and effect. Moral actions don't have consequences.

What is the Church saying and doing? There are many excellent programmes operating at grassroots level, both in teaching Lifeskills with Christian Values (Scripture Union has pioneered this), and in caring for AIDS victims in their dying, and for orphans left destitute. Salvation Army has provided Homes, and SIM International has begun a special ministry in this area. But officially we are getting mixed signals from the mainline churches: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is widely respected here and abroad, has a radio-blip to promote the so-called anti-AIDS LoveLife programme: "Sex is a gift from God. Love your children enough to talk to them about sex". But he fails to tell parents what to say--that God designed sex for marriage. The "Confession" paragraph in a continental Anglican Report on AIDS confessed the sin of discriminating against those who have AIDS, but there was no mention of confessing the sin that cause 99% of all AIDS cases in the world: extra-marital sex. That would not be politically correct in our post-modern world!

by Rev Hugh G. Wetmore, South Africa

AABC Celebrates "Biblical Higher Education"

The Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges held its 55th annual meeting February 14-16 in Orlando, Florida. Built around the theme "Celebrating Biblical Higher Education," the meeting featured plenary sessions led by Robert Andringa, President of the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities; Kenneth Gangel, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Dallas Theological Seminary and Scholar-in-Residence at Toccoa Falls College; George Murray, President of Columbia International University, and Don Page of Trinity Western University. Association President, Dr. Daniel Anderson gave a challenge during the annual banquet session. Throughout the conference, Richard Allen Farmer, Dean of the Chapel at Taylor University led in worship. Special workshops were offered for Bible college presidents, academic deans and student deans on topics relevant to their specific responsibilities. A special emphasis was placed on workshops for board members to help them with their governance responsibilities. In addition, there were thematic workshops dealing with assessment and planning, teaching and learning, and accreditation processes. One series of workshops focused on ideas for developing graduate-level education, writing for publication, and developing on-line education.

At the annual business session, delegates approved a proposal to explore an expansion of the association's ministry into graduate education, programmatic accreditation, and a new affiliate category where professional development services would be offered to schools that do not have and may never have AABC accreditation.

The timing of these potential initiatives coincides with AABC's current effort to complete a comprehensive review of its own standards. At an earlier meeting of the AABC Commission on Accreditation, the commission responded to a number of philosophical issues raised by the ad hoc Task Force on Standards.

AABC now has 92 accredited members, ten candidates for accreditation and 13 applicant schools for a total of 115 institutions. AABC institutions enroll over 37,000 students.

Randall Bell, Assoc. Director AABC rebell@aabc.org

Environmental Stewardship Study Book in Preparation

Dr. Ken Gnanakan, director of the WEA Theological Commission project on environmental stewardship and Vice Chair of the TC, has spent a profitable four week period at Fuller Theological Seminary through the Global Research Institute preparing a study book for the project. It is expected that the book will be ready by June for printing.

As part of his preparation for the book, he has been in contact with Acton Institute, Au Sable Institute and Evangelical Environmental Network personnel. Insights gained from this work will assist greatly in the project and in Dr. Gnanakan's ongoing efforts in the this area in his home country of India.

Dr. Gnanakan, a resident of Bangalore, can be contacted at gnanakan@vsnl.com

Reports of Conferences and Documents welcome.