Theological News Jan 2008 Vol 37 No 1



  • New Faces for the WEA Theological Commission
  • Our New TC Members: Dr James Nkansah-Obrempong; Dr Justin Thacker; Dr Christopher Hall;
  • Dr Ken Gnanakan—Thanks for Twenty Years of Service
  • BWA plans international conference on theological education
  • TC study program developing
  • EA Adds Two New Member Bodies with Interests in Pastoral
  • Ministries and Theological Education
  • Verbum Transforming Ecumenism? The Global Christian Forum by David Parker, Executive Director, WEA Theological Commission


New Faces for the WEA Theological Commission

At its annual meeting in Philadelphia in September 2007, the WEA Theological Commission was pleased to welcome several new members. They were Dr James Nkansah (Kenya), Dr Justin Thacker (UK), and Dr Chris Hall (USA). We are proud to present brief details of these new colleagues in this issue. The TC also noted that it had lost some members— including Dr George Vandervelde (Canada) who died earlier in the year, Dr David Hilborn (UK) who moved to a new ministry and was unable to continue, and Vice-Chairman, Dr Ken Gnanakan (India) who resigned after more than twenty years involvement. Warm thanks and appreciation were expressed for these people.

There are still vacancies on the TC which need to be filled as soon as suitable people are identified and funding can be arranged. These include people from Spanish-speaking Latin America, Francophone Africa, East or South East Asia and North America. In particular the appointment of women is a high priority. The TC is seeking recognised younger evangelical theologians who have a vision for its global work, and who have the ability to participate in its program of activities; funding for appointments is an important factor.

The TC also appointed Dr Brian Edgar as Vice-Chairman and Dr David Parker as Executive Director. With this development, Dr Rolf Hille, who has carried the dual role of Chairman of the Executive and Executive Director, relinquished the latter role. It is anticipated that Dr Hille, Rector of Albrecht Bengel House, Tuebingen, who has been with the TC for more than twenty years and chair for more than a decade, will step down from this role in the near future to concentrate on other matters.

Following the TC-07, Dr David Parker has moved into the role of Executive Director on a part-time basis, which is an expansion of his previous editorial and administrative work. As part of the comprehensive transition to younger and new leadership which is taking place and the development of a new forward plan, the TC is also wanting to find a suitable person to take over from Dr Parker. Expressions of interest and suggestions are invited. Details of the role and other arrangements are available from the TC office. It is hoped that a new team can be ready to take over from the 12th General Assembly of the WEA which will take place in October 2008.

The TC also strongly supported by the increasing number of Global Members, many of whom participated in TC-07. The Global Membership Scheme enables individual theologians, institutions like seminaries, churches and missions, and especially national Evangelical Fellowships and their theological associations, to be involved fully in the life and work of the TC. An annual subscription is payable which brings with it the TC publications including Evangelical Review of Theology and invitations for participation in consultations and study units. Further details may be obtained from the TC office.

Dr Ken Gnanakan—Thanks for Twenty Years of Service

At the 2007 annual meeting of the Theological Commission, it was announced that during the year Vice-Chairman, Dr Ken Gnanakan had concluded his service with the TC. He has been involved for more than twenty years in various roles, including Study Unit leader and more recently Vice-Chairman.

In writing to Dr Gnanakan after TC-07, TC Chair, Dr Rolf Hille, said, ‘It is a deep pleasure for me to express our appreciation for your great work on behalf of the TC. At our last meeting in Philadelphia, we publicly expressed our gratitude to you for your more than twenty years of dedicated service, creative vision, and world consciousness. I personally want to thank you for all the fellowship, advice, and perspective you gave to our work and I pray that you will continue with some of our study groups or task forces, mainly concerning the issues of HIV and ecological problems.’

Dr Gnanakan lives in Bangalore, India, where he has received support from his organisation, ACTS, for some of his TC activity. As well as continuing to be involved with the wide-ranging activities of ACTS, Dr Gnanakan is actively promoting Christian higher education on a global scale through the new organisation, The International Council for Higher Education (