Theological News Apr 2012 Vol 41 No 2



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Future Honouring the Theological Achievements of Bible Translators

The German-language evangelical missiological society (Arbeitskreis für evangelikale Missiologie e. V.) (AFEM), has acknowledged the activities of Wycliffe Bible Translators and of Bible translators in general. The AFEM Chairman, Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, emphasized that Bible translators around the world deliver enormous theological achievements which are largely ignored by members of the theological guild. Additionally, indigenous Christians are themselves increasingly more actively involved. Bringing the Bible into a new language and culture demands not only great linguistic proficiency (and nowadays also computer proficiency). Theological ability and ample sensitivity are also required. The theological discipline of history of church and dogma should not only honour this as it applies to the past but also to the present.

At its annual conference in the Forum Wiedenest association, AFEM invited retired linguist and Bible translator, Prof. Dr. Ursula Wiesemann, as guest of honour.

New Book on Racism

The WEA Global Issues series has launched a new title, Racism, which is written by Thomas Schirrmacher, Executive Chair of the Theological Commission, and Richard Howell, General Secretary of the Asia Evangelical Alliance. The book also contains an supplementary essay on caste in India.

Dealing with questions such as whether some races are more intelligent than others, and the intolerance and violence associated with race, the book claims that racism is not only wrong theologically, and against the dignity of humans, scientifically there is no evidence in favour of dividing humans into different races. “Biologically speaking all humans belong to one race. E.g., when you need a blood transfusion, you should not look for a blood donor from your 'race', but someone with the same blood group transcending all 'races'.”

Christianity has a New Address and Look

By Kim Cain GCF (adapted from Evangelical Association of the Caribbean News Dec 2011 8:8)

The story of Christianity as a worldwide faith is being written before our eyes”, declared Dr. Dana Robert of Boston University School of Theology as she addressed a group of world church leaders on the fundamental realignment of Christian faith around the globe. “Christianity has undergone one of the greatest demographic and cultural shifts in its 2000 year history,” Robert said. She was speaking to the Global Christian Forum (GCF) at Manado, Indonesia, which in itself reflects changing patterns of Church engagement.

Uniquely, the gathering has brought together leaders from all major church traditions, all theological perspectives and major world communions including the Anglican Communion, the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Pentecostal World Fellowship and representatives of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for promotion of Christian Unity. In a statistical analysis of the changing demographics and practices of global Christianity, Mr. Peter Crossing of the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity, told the GCF that a century ago (1910) 66% of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, but today it accounts for only 26% of the world’s Christian population. He said the Global North (defined as Europe and North America) contained over 80% of all Christians in 1910, falling to under 40% by 2010. In 1910 less than 2% of all Christian lived in Africa but by 2010 this had skyrocketed to 20% of world Christianity.

Crossing, who is a researcher for the Atlas of Global Christianity, said that whilst the overall number of Christian’s globally had remained fairly constant over the last one hundred years there had been “dramatic change in the centre of gravity of global Christianity.”