Theological News Jul 2011 Vol 40 No 3



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Hope II for Europe

The WEA Theological Commission Chair, Dr Thomas Schirrmacher, opened the recent Hope II conference in Budapest, which was co-sponsored by the TC. He also moderated several of the events and gave three plenary addresses. Other speakers who addressed the 500 participants included Philip Jenkins, Os Guiness and Vishal Magalwadi. The TC also had a special track for evangelical theologians, which focused on how evangelical apologetics could be adapted to the very different cultural and historical situations of the countries of the former Communist world, like Latvia, Romania, Ukraine and Czech Republic.

The first Hope conference was held in 2002. This year’s conference opened on May 9 marking the anniversary of the first moves toward the creation of what later became the European Union. The original vision for a united Europe was deeply rooted in Christian values. The aim of Hope II was to reinvigorate those values and the participants agreed to work towards greater cooperation to deal with the economic and moral decline in the continent.

Keynote speaker Philip Jenkins anchored the plenaries with talks on Europe yesterday, today and tomorrow. Originally from Wales, the Penn State University historian addressed several myths widely accepted in Europe. He argued that Europe was deeply rooted in the Christian faith, and scoffed at the vague phrase ‘spiritual impulse’ used in the proposed European constitution.

Redcliffe Lecture On-line

Redcliffe College, a training college in Gloucester, UK, dating from 1892, has streamed on-line a lecture in the Bible and Mission series by Eddie Arthur, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators. The subject is ‘Reading the Bible with the Global Church’ and it was originally delivered as the college Annual Lecture. It is available on the Redcliffe website at

The annual lecture was organised in partnership with Bible Society, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Keswick Ministries and Biblefresh. The evening, hosted by Tim Davy, Lecturer in Biblical Studies, was enjoyed by a variety of local Christians, mission agency members and Redcliffe staff and students. It was also streamed live over the internet which enabled people around the globe to watch, and contribute using Twitter. In addition to Eddie's lecture, the audience discussed some of the issues raised in small groups, and there was a time of question and answers with Eddie Arthur.

Early Christian Sites Neglected

Dr Thomas Oden, Director of the Center for Early African Christianity (CEAC) says, ‘Many of the early African Christian sites are in shambles, hard to find and have no logistical support for convenience or even accessibility...[These sites] have been buried in the sands of the desert and the fires of the Arab conquest. They need to be recovered not just by Africans of the north but also by young Christians of the south.’

The goals of CEAC are to encourage efforts to study, reassess, preserve, and protect these neglected sites, and to support and encourage travel to the ancient pilgrimage sites of North African Christianity. CEAC believes that both research and tourism will contribute to the rediscovery of a shared past buried in the sites of Early African Christianity and rebuilding common interests between Muslims and Christians in North Africa. Executive Director of CEAC, Michael Glerup, has drawn attention to various informative resources including the Global Heritage Network Site: Cyrene which focuses on endangered archaeological and cultural heritage sites in developing countries, with a current interest in Cyrene.