On the Shoulders of Giants: Traditioned Innovation and Leading Change
Leaders of theological schools in the Majority World stand on a rich heritage. The growth of theological education has followed the growth of the church, albeit more slowly. In most places, schools have benefitted from the investment of missionaries and the legacy of Western higher education. However, current contextual realities, as well as the educational and economic pressures facing schools today, require a new vision and courageous leadership to bring about necessary change. The executive leader embraces the challenge to look to the horizon and chart a course toward the new destination. In doing so, she or he must often navigate the tension between the accepted historical approach and innovative ideas. Theological institutions, particularly those in the Majority World, feel these tensions acutely. They recognize that inherited models will not serve them well as they meet new challenges, but at the same time they strive for excellence and recognition within the Western systems.
Becoming More Truly Christ’s Followers and More Truly South Asian
“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are” — Jose Ortega y Gasset
A welter of challenges faces the church in South Asia. Some are daunting, but each is an opportunity the Christian community can engage and use. The key challenge concerns identity. Over the last decade, South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), an evangelical mission-centered institute of theological studies in Bangalore, India, has every three years or so sought to discern the opportunities and threats in its sub-continental circumstances. These stakeholder consultations and faculty brainstorms have formed the prelude to the team setting its objectives.
Why Contextual Theology Matters for the Church
Abraham Waigi Ng’ang’a
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1: 15–20
The passage cited above presents to us one of Paul’s theological masterpieces.
Faculty Research in Asian Seminaries
Abstract: Asian seminaries lag behind their western colleagues in scholarly output through research, writing, and publication. This article explores multiple factors that contribute to the challenge of developing a research culture among Asian seminaries, including the mission, academic systems, and resources within the school. Increasing scholarly output serves the mission of the school and provides opportunities for increased partnerships in service to the church.
International Partnerships from a U.S. Perspective
Abstract: The number of collaborations between U.S. and international theological institutions may double in the next few years. Two Association of Theological Schools peer groups have recently completed a dialogue concerning global partnership practices. Their suggestions to the Association highlighted the practicalities of reciprocity and the value of attention to formation while imagining an international organization to facilitate accreditation and other academic logistics. As the number of majority world Ph.D. programs also increases, the arrangements between institutions will take on a more robust peer-to-peer quality.
Book Review: Taking Up the Mantle: Latin American Evangelical Theology in the 20th Century
In Taking Up the Mantle, J. Daniel Salinas weaves together complex threads of a Latin American Evangelicalism that has roots in religious divisions in Europe in the 17th century, reached Latin America in the missionary movements of the 19th century, and remains somewhat fragmented today. Despite theological conflicts between what Salinas refers to as the three main wings of Latin American Protestantism (Pentecostalism, dispensationalism, and denominationalism), and despite the violence that has long plagued many Spanish-speaking countries, the Latin American church has still seen tremendous theological growth. There has also been significant progress toward a more ecumenical expression of Christianity in Latin America. This book uncovers relatively unexplored chapters of Latin American theological history. It should spur us to further recognize and explore the unique place of Latin American Evangelicalism in the context of global Christian theologies.
Reseña bibliográfi ca: Taking Up the Mantle: Latin American Evangelical Theology in the 20th Century
En Taking up the Mantle, Daniel Salinas teje la complejidad de los hilos de la fe evangélica en Latinoamérica. Los hilos divididós en Europa en el siglo XVII, llegaron a América Latina en los movimientos misioneros del siglo XIX y permanecen divididos hasta hoy día. A pesar de que existen conflictos teológicos entre los tres mayores grupos del protestantismo de Latinoamérica (Pentecostalismo, dispensacionalismo y denominacionalismo— según la perspectiva de Salinas) y a pesar de la violencia que ha plagado los países de habla español, existe un crecimiento teológico latinoamericana. Además, ha ocurrido un avance importante hacia una expresión ecuménica en la historia de Latinoamérica. Este libro descubre secciones de la historia latinoamericana que no se han explorado hasta ahora. Este estudio debe estimular la iglesia latinoamericana con el conocimiento de que también están parados sobre los hombros de gigantes.