Theological News Apr 2007 Vol 36 No 2




TC-07 -- Studying Political Responsibility in Philadelphia

Dr Ronald Sider, head of the WEA’s initiative on civic engagement, will be a keynote speaker at the WEA Theological Commission’s annual session, TC-07 to be held in Philadelphia, USA July 30-Aug 3. A one-day consultation on ‘providence and political involvement’ will be held at Palmer (Eastern Baptist) Theological Seminary on July 31,where Dr Sider, a faculty member of the seminary, will speak. The second key-note speaker will be TC Member, Dr Claus Schwambach of Brazil, and discussion will be led by Dr Brian Edgar, Director of Public Theology for the Australian Evangelical Alliance. Expressions of interest for other short papers and contributions are also invited. The consultation will produce a statement for wide distribution and will also consider further study of the topic by the TC. Papers will be published in Evangelical Review of Theology.

Dr Sider was recently appointed by the WEA to head up a global effort to help national alliances in addressing the respective theological, political, ethnic, geographic, and gender issues of their country as they develop their own framework for evangelical civic engagement. He is president of Evangelicals for Social Action and co-author of ‘A Framework for Evangelical Civic Engagement’, a public policy statement developed for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).  Other key local officials will also be invited. Others interested in the topic should contact the TC office for more information.

The three-day meeting of the Theological Commission will also feature networking sessions where the TC will meet with local theologians and other leaders to share information on current trends, and its regular planning and strategy discussions. An important item for consideration this year will be the appointment of new members for the TC to expand its scope and to fill vacancies. There will also plans for transitioning the leadership as the TC seeks to move forward into a new era of service. Invitations are extended from interested people for submissions about potential members and leaders of the TC.

Attendance at TC-07 will include TC Commissioners, participants in its Global Membership scheme involving National Fellowships, seminaries and individual theologians and invited guests. Registrations are now open. For more information, submission of ideas for TC work and networking, and registration, contact Dr David Parker,

TC Study Units: HIV Curriculum development and other projects

The HIV and AIDS Study Unit set up at last year’s TC meeting in Kenya has progressed with a workshop held recently in Nigeria. The workshop, led by Dr Ken Gnanakan (India), met at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho, with over thirty participants. There was fruitful discussion following on from the keynote paper, and numerous ideas were presented to develop the guidelines established at the initial Kenya workshop (the Nairobi statement is on-line at

The consensus indicated the need for continued emphasis on workshops and development of curriculum materials. The International Council for Higher Education (ICHE) headed up by Dr Gnanakan will work on behalf of the WEA TC to produce a curriculum to integrate AIDS and HIV issues into regular courses and to encourage students and churches to initiate relevant action in their own areas. The curriculum will be made available to interested seminaries. Dr Gnanakan and Dr Danny McCain will work on developing a text book and a course studying the book of Romans in relation to the topic.

The TC is also sponsoring a Study Unit on Contextual Exegesis, led by Dr Matt Cook of Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. The aim of this project is to develop insights, guidelines and material that will assist people in understanding and preaching Scripture within their own cultural context. Other TC projects currently underway or in planning include a dialogue with the Seventh Day Adventist Church (Session II to be held August 2007), a task force on the Uniqueness of Jesus in relation to Jewish Evangelism (due in 2008) and the next phase of the World Evangelical Alliance—Roman Catholic talks, recently approved by the WEA International Council. The TC invites submissions on other topics of concern that could become subjects of study for the TC.

Lanka Publishing Progress

The head of LBC’s Publishing Unit, Caleb Sri Karnaikumar, has been selected to represent the Sri Lankan college and seminary at a post-graduate diploma course in translation. The University of Peradeniya has selected thirty distinguished translators for this programme. A spokesperson for the college said they were delighted that LBC has met the criteria set by the University for selection into this special group, and looks forward to the benefits it will bring as they continue to spearhead theological publications in the country. LBC’s theological text books are used by other seminaries and colleges in Sri Lanka, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

This publishing work is backed up by a strong campus-based tuition program. Twenty senior pastoral candidates recently enjoyed Dr David Tan of Singapore lecturing in an MDiv module on the Acts of the Apostles. Dr Tan is one of many overseas scholars who visit the seminary to deliver modules. An invitation is given to other who have burden to equip the next generation of leaders through the Sri Lanka's premier training institution to contact LBC at P O Box 2, Christopher Road, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, or email