Theological News Jan 2013 Vol 42 No 1



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TC Chair Presents Evangelical Case at Key Discussions

TC Chair, Dr Thomas Schirrmacher was a key contributor to a recent hearing in Geneva sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on the misuse of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. The public event urged the Pakistani government to 'take realistic and solid steps to stop abuse of the blasphemy law that are causing massive human rights violations.' 'Tinkering with procedural amendments has not delivered; it has failed to mitigate extremely sad consequences of a law that is inherently susceptible to abuse,' the group said.  

In his statement to the audience, the head of the delegation of World Evangelical Alliance, Thomas Schirrmacher, thanked the World Council of Churches, and especially its General Secretary, Olav Fykse Tveit, and its Director of International Affairs, Dr Matthews George, for organising the event and for making the situation of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan a central public topic for many years already. 

Schirrmacher stated that even though the fate of Christians, Ahhmadiyas or Hindus comes to the attention of the global audience and media, actually the blasphemy cases in Pakistan and the discrimination of minorities have many Muslim victims. Thus WCC and WEA are not only fighting for their member churches, or for religious minorities only, but for every human in Pakistan. Dr Schirrmacher also recently participated in a consultation on Christian-Muslim dialogue attended by WEA representatives, WCC and Christian World Communions.  

Call for Papers on 'Applied Trinitarianism'

The Theological Commission calling for papers and discussion for a theme issue of theEvangelical Review of Theology in 2014 on Applied Trinitarianism.' 

The church fathers thought many of their pastoral problems resulted from Christians interpreting their faith and the Bible inside the cognitive structures of the various secular worldviews of their cultures (with results such as docetism and Gnosticism); the clear articulation of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity was an attempt to provide a more fully developed cognitive structure in light of which to interpret and apply the biblical message in a balanced and complete manner.  

Thomas K. Johnson claims we should now apply the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity as a diagnostic system for diagnosing the health and balance of individuals, churches, and Christian movements, as well as use it as a framework for cultural and ethical questions. (See; then click WEA Global Issues Series.)  

For this purpose we now invite contributions for a theme issue of ERT in 2014. Essays should be 6,000 to 8,000 words, following the ERT guidelines. As we started the discussion in the US and have some potential contributions, we now especially invite contributors from other regions. Articles and enquiries should be sent to

TC to Partner in Urban Mission Summit

TC Executive Secretary, Dr. Rosalee Velloso Ewell, will be one of the keynote speakers at the first annual International Society for Urban Mission (ISUM) Summit. It will be held January 26-29, 2013, in partnership with the World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission and Micah Network, a WEA global partner. This year's theme is 'Integral Urban Mission'. Hosted at the Evangelical Church of Bangkok, the conference will be an interactive, participatory, four-day experience including hands-on, immersion opportunities and lectures, workshops and keynotes.

'We are looking forward to meeting together to build trust, wisdom and be inspired to better engage our new urban world! Through this Summit, our hearts are to "seek the peace of the city" (Jeremiah 29:7) for our various urban cities scattered around South East Asia and the globe,' ISUM writes.  

Evangelism: The Hallmark of Evangelical Faith

On page 3 of this issue, we present the 1300 word statement, Evangelism, the hallmark of evangelical faith. This statement was drafted by the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance to encourage discussion in the lead up to the General assembly of WEA in Seoul 2014. It was read by the Secretary General of WEA, Geoff Tunnicliffe, to the Pope and the 250 delegates of the Vatican Synod at the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. The Synod was attended alternately by Geoff Tunnicliffe and Thomas Schirrmacher. 

(see PDF version of TN page 3 for full text of this statement)