Theological News Jul 2003 Vol 32 No 3


Editor: Dr. David Parker

Excerpts from this issue

TC Member Writes on Key Ethical Issues

Dr. Brian Edgar, Convenor of the Australian Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission and member of the WEA TC has made available two papers on key ethical issues. One paper which appeared in an abridged form in the mid year issue of the Alliance's journal Working Together is on Pacifism, Just War and Peacemaking: Dimensions in the Twenty First Century. It explores the dramatic changes that have taken place in the way war is now conducted. New styles of warfare present new ethical problems. The other paper is Research on Human Embryos: right or wrong?

Dr. Edgar, who is a member of the Australian Government's Gene Technology Ethics Committee (GTEC), teaches at the Bible College of Victoria in Melbourne Australia. Both papers can be obtained by contacting or visiting the AEA website,

Theological Commission interests furthered in Asia-Pacific region.

As reported in our last issue, Dr Rolf Hille, the WEA Theological Commission Executive Chair, travelled to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Korea during February and March 2003. He said, "Besides giving lectures at some different seminaries and universities, the main purpose for this trip was to strengthen and build up a stronger network with leading Evangelical theologians in these various countries."

Dr Hille reported, "First, discussions were held with representatives of the Evangelical Theological Society of Japan. These contacts will be followed up with the aim of having a representation from this area in the core group of the Theological Commission."

In South Korea, extensive talks were conducted with representatives of the Korean Evangelical Theological Society. The KETS showed considerable interest in the work of the TC. The chairman, Dr. Young Tae Han and the secretary, Dr. Jae Sung Kim, of this organization are to participate as guests in the TC business sessions to be held August 15-18, 2003 in High Wycombe, England.

Furthermore, Dr. Hille contacted in Australia different seminaries in Sydney and Melbourne to introduce the respective faculties there to the work of the TC. The goal is to hold a joint conference in the future with the Theological Commission of the Australian Evangelical Alliance in order to interact more closely with them on different issues. Australia is a very important continent for the TC as two leading figures of the TC Executive Committee are from Australia: Dr. David Parker of Brisbane, TC publishing director, and Dr. Brian Edgar, of Melbourne. Dr. Hille met with Dr. Parker in Sydney to discuss the CD-ROM project and other publication matters. As a result, the CD has become available again (see elsewhere in this issue for details).

In New Zealand, Dr. Hille spent several days with Dr. Bruce Nicholls, former TC executive director, who successfully build up the TC in the first twenty years of its existence as a full-time director. With his invaluable experience, Dr. Nicholls advised Dr. Hille in discussions on the current situation of the TC, what can be learned from the past and what new steps can be taken in the future with ongoing work.

Theological interest in Brazil revived

The WEA Theological Commission was represented at a conference at Louveira, Brazil, March 19-22, 2003 to reestablish the Fraternidade Teologica Latino Americana (FTLA - Brazilian Evangelical Theological Society) in the country. On behalf the TC, Dr. Claus Schwambach of Brazil participated in this national meeting which was organised by staff of the Faculdade Teologica Sulamericana (FTSA) of Londrina, Brazil. There were lectures given there by Ricardo Barbosa, then chairman of the Brazilian FTLA, Antonio Carlos Barro (FTSA), Alexandre Brasil (FTSA), Julio Zabatiero (FTSA), and Dr Rene Padilla. During the conference, Julio Zabatiero, principal of the FTSA, was elected a new chairman of the FTSA. One main aim of the FTSA in the next few months is to reactivate the local issue groups and revitalize the organization in the process. Dr Rolf Hille, Executive Chair of the TC who was unable to attend the conference personally, expressed his thanks for Dr Schwambach's willingness to attend. Dr Hille said, "We have had difficulties in finding a continuing representative for our work from Latin America, so I am pleased that we have been able to be involved in this important conference. We hope that we may be able to explore further representation through our participation in the Lausanne Forum 2004."

New African Seminary Tackles Local Needs

The Rwanda Evangelical Faculty of Theology (FATER) was established in the year 2001 by the 29 member Alliance of Evangelicals of Rwanda (AER). The move to create FATER was influenced by incidents in Rwanda's recent history that practically destabilized all the country's institutions, the need of reconciliation and unity, the shortage of trained leaders and theological institutions in the country, and the difficulties involved in sending students abroad.

It was decided to establish immediately a Faculty that would initially offer a university level first degree theological program, but gradually introduce other programs including a centre for research and professional ministry training.

FATER'S operations began in a small hall within the building of the Inkurunziza Church in the city center of Kigali. Thirty five students from various churches/denominations affiliated with the AER began classes in November 2001, and another group of 14 students began classes in December 2002. Currently, FATER carries out its operations in a rented property at Kicukiro, Kigali.

FATER is governed by the Administrative Council whose members are elected from among the Legal Representatives of member churches/denominations of the AER. It sees itself an institution owned and managed by the churches, whose programs focus on community needs and are demand-driven. It is guided by the conceptual framework of excellence in management, and is accountable to its stakeholders. FATER has many needs, including teachers, scholarships for faculty development, library development, office equipment, vehicles and property.

For more information, contact Rev. Inno Festus Mashanda, Dean of Faculty at P. O. Box 4210, Kigali, Rwanda or

Reports of Conferences and Documents welcome .