First full day of Lausanne III Congress

I will be brief today, as it is almost 1am, after a very full day.

The first (nice) surprise of the day was the Orthodox ikon on the screen at the devotional time in the morning.

We have started our daily studies in Ephesians. Our little group is very animated. A real pleasure.

Ajith Fernando was the Bible teacher this morning. Absolutely great. I am sure you can find on the Lausanne III website his speech (easy to google search; I am too tired now for a summary).

The second plenary dealt with the controversial topic of truth, so dear to Evangelicals. Os Guinness had a great presentation, even if he let some questions unanswered, one of theme being that of the criterion for truth which begs the question of the place of tradition in Biblical interpretation.

I had the pleasure of participating in two meetings of Evangelical theologians and other academics, called by Doug Birdsall, the Chairman of Lausanne. We have discussed about the task of theologians in the future of the Lausanne Movement.

I have met numerous older friends during this day: Robert Calvert, Scottish Presbyterian minister in Rotterdam; David Neff, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, Peter Kuzmic, Professor at Gordon-Conwell and Rector of Osijek Seminary; Rene Padilla, veteran on Lausanne; Vasilica Croitor, our new Romanian hero; Stelian Tofana,Romanian Orthodox theologoian and dear friend; Femi Cakolli, pastor in Kosova; Corneliu Constantineanu, new Rector of the Pentecostal Institute in Bucharet; Matthew Fow, a Chinese leader I met years ago in Chiang Mai, Thailand, during a seminar on communism; Fr Ioan Sauca, working at WCC in Geneva; Rosalee Velloso Ewell, a brilliant Brazilian woman theologian; Christo Greyling, my World Vision colleague, author of Channels of Hope; Chris Wright, head of Langham and Chair of Lausanne Theology Working Group; Anne-Marie Kool, Dutch misioloogist teaching in Budapest, and many, many others.

We have also had a regional meeting, where we had all 12 Romanians present there. I add a few pictures with our delegation.


Cu Pr Sauca si Pr Mihai, colegul meu in WV


With Fr. Tofana, Orthodox NT scholar, and Vasilica Croitor

In the evening we have celebrated the persecuted church, with a moving testimony of a girl from North Korea whose father was martyred by the communist regime there.

On this theme, I have found out today that the absence of the over two hundred Chinese leaders from Lausanne cannot be blamed completely on the communist regime in China. It seems that on the one side, the leaders of Lausanne did not do due diligence in contacting the leaders of the official church in China, and, on the other side, the underground church tried to use this opportunity to blacken even more the image of the registered church. As a result, the leaders of the so-called Three-Self Church felt offended and made sure, together with the communist authorities, that the delegates are not allowed to travel to cape Town. Just another sad story of western inability to deal with the complicated communist contexts and eastern disunity among Christians. A real shame.

Tomorrow Ruth Padilla de Borst is going to be the Bile teacher. She is amazing. I can hardly wait. John Piper has already made a fool of himself by making a lot of fuss around this appointment. Shame on him. At his age he should know better or, at least, be more gracious. I am afraid I am not interested to listen to him on Wednesday. I cannot stand misogyny and fundamentalism.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

43 thoughts on “First full day of Lausanne III Congress”

  1. Brother, I like your definition of ‘brief’. And I am happy to be able to read 2 blogs now on the Lausanne Congress. I did read an article in the New York Times about the Chinese issue that gave more details, maybe you will have time to skim it at

    Please keep the posts coming- and John Piper is very much worth listening to even if you don’t agree with his ‘complemantarian’ stance.
    Many of us are looking forward to seeing through your eyes and hearing through your ears. 🙂

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    1. I was thinking about this and I decided to come and listen to Piper, even if I cannot stand his misogyny (com,plementarianism is just an euphemism for something much more ugly).
      By the way, Ruth was great in her preaching today, and gracious in talking about the putting down of women in our society, including the Christian community.

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      1. So complementarianism is now a synonym for misogyny.
        Man – you complete lack of objectivity is appalling to say the least!

        Piper is fundamentalist??? I suppose you can say that…since the word can mean almost anything you want to…And can especially be applied to someone more conservative than you!

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      2. Complementarianism imposed ungraciously on others, from the height of one’s rigid neo-reformed pedetal is fundamentalism. For me.
        But you do not have to agree, of course.

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      3. Indeed…and because we are in post-modernity our opinions are equally valid and sensible…I wonder if you ever called your Orthodox buddies misogynists in print? 🙂 After all, I doubt that the Orthodox church has a more modern view about women than Piper!

        Love, Chris

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      4. I applaud your consistency…but to accuse all of these people/organization of misogynims means (more or less) to accuse the Christian Church throughout the centuries as misogynist…Perhaps you should rethink this, especially since (I am pretty sure of this) most Orthodox women, wife of ‘complementarians’ etc feel very much loved by and they would protest themselves (the women) against this characterization (caricature?). But maybe those women are not enlightened enough – of course! 🙂

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      5. I beg to differ. Maybe you shpuld ask those women rather than pretend you know what they think. You may have a few surprises.
        I am afraid the majority of the Church is still under the spell of Augustine, a man who lived in debauchery before his conversion and his subsequent aversion to women was transformed into doctrine, What a pity that Augustine was able to bully and demonise Pelagius and that Celtic Christianity was swallowed up at the Synod of Whitby. We would have had a very different Church today if these tragic events did not take place.

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      6. Paul Levy,on his blog, at Reformation21.org (Carl Trueman’s site)
        seems a bit upset with Ruth Padilla
        and her exposition of Ephesians 2 at Lausanne.
        As a woman, I just don’t get the obsession with this issue.
        While I respect, appreciate and hold to the Inerrantist view,
        it’s a little hypocritical to see the huge volume of blog articles
        with the complementarian/egalitarian view points debated.
        These vastly outnumber the number of articles speaking to the problem of pornography (which for the most part is much more a male issue).
        If the men are to be leaders in the home, can we not focus more on helping train men to be the leaders God intends them to be in their marriages?

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      7. No surprise that neo-Reformed sites dislike Ruth profoundly. Even if unintended, he message message makes then feel guilty. And rightly so, because they are.
        I totally agree that is very cheap for men to spend most of their time preaching about what women cannot do, while letting slip the much more important issue of our responsibilities as men (the only thing over which we have a say and duty).
        I must confess I am sick and tired of the useless disputes between Calvinists and Arminians on one side and complementarians and egalitarians on the other.
        I refuse to be held captive to these reductionist views of Christian doctrine. I am convinced Calvin was not a Calvinist and Arminius was not an Arminian.
        Similarly, I refuse to choose between complementarianism (in most cases just an – conscious or unconscious – expression of outdated patriarchal male domination) or egalitarianism (often a – conscious or unconscious – expression of subliminal Marxism).
        In this field I am a great admirer f Celtic spirituality (what a sad thing that the Synod of Whitby) killed it!) that was able to create a more biblical holistic view of the roles of humanity – women and men together – in the service of zgod and his creation).

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      8. Maybe you should ask all these women; the ones I asked certainly do not feel hated by their churches (or husbands)! You may have many (not a few) surprises.

        I won’t dispute your interpretation of Augustine, and I like Celtic Christianity myself. However – you would have a very hard time to prove that women were leaders/pastors in Churches well before Augustine. So blaming Augustine for certain erroneous doctrines in the West holds, but not for all the positions on women. Besides, I don’t think the Eastern Churches accepted much of Augustine anyway – and you do not see women leading Orthodox Churches. Where does their “mysoginism” come from? Maybe this is not mysoginm after all…it just correct Biblical interpretation…?

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      9. In Eastern Christianity the source of misogynism is neo-Platonism, I think, hence their innate fear of sexuality in general and women in particular.

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      10. I see. What about the early church? You can always find an explanation! 🙂
        It seems to me that there is no evidence whatsoever (very early) for women leaders in the church…?

        I repeat – there is no “AHA” moment in exegesis. The current interpretations of the Biblical text are driven by the culture, not by the text! While context, culture, etc should be taken into consideration…the text is always supposed to challenge culture, not to conform to it (unless of course the culture is on the same page with Scripture, but that is rather rare, especially today)!

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      11. I hope we can all find explanations for the things we believe. We would not believe them otherwise.
        Do you function differently? Or you are not able to allow for me what you see as acceptable for you?

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      12. The issue of early examples of women in ministry is a serious one and I have seriously considered it.
        I am not an expert on church history, but I think that we may find some different models, if you have eyes for them.
        But, no doubt, early Christianity was mostly misogyne.
        It seems they were not able to escape culture, as we are not very able to.

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      13. I think we have a problem if there were in the service of “zgod” – whoever that may be! 🙂
        I read good things about Celtic Christianity…but I am not sure you want to idolize that, because any version of Christianity has its blind spots here on earth! I agree with your comments about Calvin and Arminius.
        However- what bugs me about your comments the most, is that you caricature your opponents and your accuse them of things that are simply not true (the neo-Reformed feel guilty; Piper tries to impose his complementarianism on others etc). As far as I know, Ruth was supposed to speak on Ephesians 2, and not on the status of women…In any case – that is besides the point. Believe me – Piper and most of the reformed DO NOT SPEND most of their time discussing these issues, they are much more concerned about missions and the glory of God.
        Piper is a 7 point Calvinist (that is what he said; if there can be such a thing). However, if you read his writings, he is very very gracious towards people who have a different view. It can be seen from this book where Charles Simeon (Calvinist) has a discussion with Wesley:
        http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/online-books/the-roots-of-endurance

        Many blessings.

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      14. I am not naive or idealistic about celtic Christianity. No human thing is ideal. Yet, there are a number of things we can learn from them that were forgotten i the ‘winning Roman Christendom’.
        I have tried (probably unsuccesfully) not to make broad sweeping statements about neo-Reformed. What I do not like is their aggressiveness and sectarianism. I was discussing here only what happened in Cape Town.
        Listen again to what Ruth (and Piper) said. You may find answers to some of your questions, even if you are biased (as we all are)

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      15. Cristi, you say that current interpretations of the Biblical text are driven by the culture, not by the text!

        It is not just current interpretations that conform to culture, it has always been this way. Just a generation ago,(from discussions I heard between some older Christian women of God)
        many of our church’s ‘godly’ men interpreted
        the submission of women this way: Yes, sister it was wrong for your husband to beat you, but, you must forgive him and go back home to him and pray that he will stop beating you. Yet, there was no censure for the abusive husband and some even preached or prophesied while the whole congregation knew about his insidious sin. (I’ve actually heard that from a pastor)
        It was considered a burden that the wife must bear, however I wonder how many of these men were counseled that they must love their wives as Christ loves His bride and told to ‘stop beating their wives’ or suffer some consequences.

        God’s word is infallible, but men are not.

        We focus so much on women, yet if we are true complementarians we should be building up godly men to lead godly families where submission to the husband is as easy as submission to Christ.

        That is why I do appreciate the Reformed movement so much, because some of their leaders really do work on building up the men into being the spiritual leaders God intended them to be. And they truly teach to love one’s wife as Christ loves His church.

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      16. I agree with you Rodi. Danut – thank you for the conversation…It does not seem that we are getting anywhere. Use of hyperbola is good in certain contexts, I am not sure it is good/useful for conversation in these contexts!
        Blessings!

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  2. In the United States, the role of women is the great dividing factor amongst the denominations that still consider the Word of God as Inspired and authoritative(Baptist,Pentecostal,Presbyterian, Reformed and Orthodox). I am seeing more progress though, as women are given more prominent teaching roles through the leading of womens groups within the church and through the internet at least in the Baptist and Pentecostal churches in the USA(the ones I am personally most familiar with).

    But pastors like John Piper offer the greatest resources for Bible study. Did you know that all of his published books can be accessed for free on his website and he has extensive works translated and available in Romanian?
    One thing God has certainly blessed him with is Wisdom, and though his preaching style is not dynamic, the words he uses whether in written or oral form are most certanly inspired and life changing.
    I have never met him or heard him speak (except on video) so I really look forward to your comments on his preaching.
    By the way, I have been reading your blog ever since RM website was up and running, and I thoroughly enjoy it. From the 2 dozen sites I am subscribed to, yours is the only one that delivers global news and I am very thankful for your ministry. God bless you with many long years in your global ministries!

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      1. Danut,

        Thanks for your blogs. If you have time in the future, can you write a blog on the history, importance, and impetus of the Lusanne Movement, for those like me who know little about it ?

        Thanks

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      2. Dear Gabriel,
        I hope I will have time for it. This is a very period period for me, with lots of travel (almost 40 days away from home in one trip). It can only get better 🙂

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    1. @Rodi,

      In the list of US denominations you mentioned above, you left out Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (they do not ordain women, but women are found in all other church leadership roles and offices).

      About the Evangelical preachers, I find it disconcerting that one teaches God’s Word but the evangelical churches have no Word AND Sacrament (as the early Church did), and one teaches the Gospel of our Lord and Savior without the “means of grace.”

      Means of Grace: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=572

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  3. @Gabriel Borlean
    I am not very familiar with the Lutheran church. What is the difference between the Missouri synod and ELCA? And what is the importance of the sacraments? Thanks for advance for taking time to answer my questions.

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    1. Rodi,

      Besides the 3 reasons I gave, on WHY the Sacraments are important in the life and worship of the Church (and considered part of the Gospel, by Lutherans, in other words Gospel = the Word + the Sacraments)
      is a 4th reason:
      painly and humorously (if you can stomach Rev. Fisk’s sense of humor) portrayed in this video podcast:

      http://www.youtube.com/user/Revfiskj#p/u/8/CmuOkkyIqWU

      Enjoy!

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      1. Gabriel,
        Thanks for your detailed response. And Danut Manastireanu (I am sorry, I don’t know how I should address you) thank you for your graciousness in allowing us this dialogue 🙂 And may God give you some extra rest in there somewhere for skimming through this long exchange. But it’s all for the good 🙂

        I am a lay person, love to read the Bible and believe it is the inerrant word of God. I love to read religious,historical and theological books, but always return to read what Jesus said and the rest of the New Testament and Old (in that order) to keep me grounded.

        I was away, and tonight I got as far as viewing the video and I also skimmed through the cyberbrethren website.
        my thoughts from the video:

        the Vancouver gathering of Christians and pagans celebrating together was shocking.
        However, I see a huge division among denominations even when it comes to the Lausanne congress. I think the leaders need to discuss the priority of the gospel, if they ascertain that the congress is departing from their mission of proclaiming Christ to the nations, but how many churches (individual and collectively) criticize but have no evangelistic effort + humanitarian effort of their own?
        So, a world of people die every day, never having heard the gospel and many others die never having the opportunity to eat to live or receive life saving medicine from rich countries that go to sleep with a full belly?
        I am getting tired of hearing the same old same old. especially from our US churches. Also, I don’t see what is wrong in our working together with other denominations in missionary efforts. Do we think Christ will condemn a south american tribesman to hell because a catholic missionary taught him what we may consider a ‘wrong doctrine’?

        But, I know how we (my own evangelical community included) may think.
        We think, if it’s not our brand of gospel, then it doesn’t even count, because those people are not really saved anyways. Americans are finally learning (from all the missional books that have been published lately)that we can’t go into a foreign country and demand of our converts there to dress like us, worship like us and think like us. There really are some minors in this sense.
        Back to the video:
        Pastor Fisk speaks with a lot of conviction, but I wish he would quote Scripture when he authoritatively says things like
        :if you don’t do these 6 things (the Lutheran sacraments) you’re not a christian and the Lutheran doctrine is the only one that holds out your salvation.

        He is young and I compare him to Mark Driscoll, whose sermons I enjoy regularly (online) and what makes me comfortable listening to Mark Driscoll is that he references everything to the Scriptures. If Pastor Fisk did that I could follow him and check his references, otherwise it is opinion for me.

        The other works you mentioned, and it’s funny, because my dad just transferred some collections of books to me, so I started reading the Church Fathers, just read the Didache (never even heard of it before he gave it to me), however, to me the extrabiblical books do not carry the same weight as the Scriptures do. I am not saying they are not highly valuable and extremely useful, but they are NOT the Gospel.

        I intend to (Amazon)read the book you mentioned and look forward to reading about lutheranism as I go through the Church Fathers. Thanks again for the bullet points and familiarizing me with everything.
        Feel free to disagree with me and let me know why, I am open to changing my mind (mostly if you can point it out in the Bible)
        I am curious if you were born into a Lutheran family, or if it’s something you found and how you got to that point and anything else you might want to add. I sincerely appreciate your time and your zeal for Christ.
        Unlike a majority of ‘Christians’ you know what you believe and I respect you for this.

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  4. Hi Rodi,

    The difference between the ELCA and LCMS are pretty big … especially nowadays:
    ELCA, has a very open policy for homosexuals (including of ministers), ordains women, and does not consider the Divine Word to be innerant and innfalible ( Bible only to contain God’s word), are some of the major distinctives.

    The importance of the sacraments ? … boy … how do I answer this so important question/issue ?

    For 1) … one has to see/read how the early Christians (1st and 2nd century) viewed the Eucharist and Baptism … reading the Didache, Justin Martyr, or St. Ignatius 6 letters.

    2) the explanations to Luther’s Small Catechism on What is a Sacrament ?
    a sacred act
    a) instituted by God
    b) in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element,
    c) and by which He offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ. (see Acts 2:38, 1 Cor 10:16)

    in his updated version of “The Spirituality of the Cross – the Way of the fist Evangelicals” by Gene Edward Veith (1/3 of which can be read on Amazon.com via Look Inside feature) … on the question of:
    “How do we attain, a saving, life-chaning faith?” (pg.) Gene answers “The answer, in Lutheran spirituality, has to do with the so-called ‘Means of Grace.’ We are connected to Christ, and the Holy Spirit works both faith and good works in our lives by means of the Word and the Sacraments.”

    For more information I would recommend you check out http://cyberbrethren.com/ blog and Issues Etc. web-radio for reformation theology.

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  5. @”By the way, Ruth was great in her preaching today, and gracious in talking about the putting down of women in our society, including the Christian community”
    Ruth trebuia sa spuna unde anume. Ca nu in America ori Europa. California are 50 mil locuitor si 2 senatori; ambii femei. Guvernatorii alesii de revolutia conservatoare de saptamina asta au fost in majoritate femei. Da, in biserica femeia e privita altfel. Necazul e ca ar trebui privita altfel. Altfel cum? SI de ce altfel? Pt simplu fapt ca Biserica n-ar trebui sa fie complementara lumii. Oare ce-ar fi ca pastoritele sa analizeze impactul teologiilor lor asupra familiei? Femeile sunt bune predicatoare. Doamna Meijer are vinzari de predici de 100 mil. USD pe an. Complementarismul pare a fi un business bun, daca nu ma-nsel. Personal, am facut o constatare: lumea e condusa de femei si copii; d-aia merge atit de bine.

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  6. Dar pe copii unde sa-i incadram?
    Va jucati putin cu cuvintele!
    Pt prima data numarul femeilor angajate a depasit pe cel al barbatilor. Si asta, pt dvs, europenii, intr-o tara inapoiata, SUA. Unde ar mai trebui imbunatatita situatia? In tarile musulmane, Africa, etc… ma indoiesc ca cineva sa fi fost atit de specific. Mi se pare mie sau nu doar conservatorii au probleme sa se adapteze la PoMo, mai sunt si altii, mult mai laudati. Lumea e intr-o schimbare; retorica de stinga a ramas inapoi. De ce s-ar grabi biserica s-o prinda din urma? Pt a se intoarce inapoi?

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  7. @”I am afraid the majority of the Church is still under the spell of Augustine,….
    What a pity that Augustine was able to bully and demonise Pelagius and that Celtic Christianity was swallowed up at the Synod of Whitby. We would have had a very different Church today if these tragic events did not take place.”
    In ce ma priveste, am crescut printre evsnghelicii din Arad mult mai preocupati de meciurile UTA-ei (era campioana atunci) decit de Istoria Bisericii… Apoi, am crescut printre “moisisti” care erau biblicisti. Unul dintre ei, amintea des surorilor cele scrise de apostolul Pavel; tinar fiind, mi se parea amuzant. Cred ca plimbarea prin lume e buna si deschide orizonturi. Din pacate, inchide perspectiva biblica…

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    1. Desigur, daca prin perspectiva biblica va referiti la interpretarea fundamentalist-literalista a Bibliei, ea merita sa fie inchisa pe veci, pentru a deschide perspectiva lecturii deschise, normale a textului sacru. Si eu am inceput acolo unde sunteti dvs., dar , slava Domnului, am scapat de robia gramaticii si a literalismului. Asta nu inseamna nicidecum ca am ajuns la Adevar. Pe acesta il detine doar Cristos, caci el este Adevarul. Dar macar sunt pe drum.

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  8. @”pentru a deschide perspectiva lecturii deschise”

    E ca o carte care se scrie in continuare. Fiecare cum ii place.
    Evident, e dreptul dvs sa decideti ce doriti. Avem o istorie comuna pina la un punct: apropiati ca virsta, comunism, evanghelicalism romanesc, etc… Stim bine amindoi c-a fost si mult aprostie pe vremuri; Doamne cite interpretari anapoda… Exista un lucru bun din trecut pe care nu trebuia sa-l parasiti: era o diferenta mare intre sistemul lumii si Imparatia lui Dumnezeu… In ultimul timp, intelepciunea lumii e tot mai buna… ceea ce impune o lectura deschisa ce conduce intr-o directie in care apropierea cu sitemul lumii e tot mai mare. Daca dvs n-ati ajuns la Adevar, eu cu atit mai putin. Ma tem ca durmul unei lecturi deschise nu duce intr-acolo. Nu ca v-ar pasa dvs. prea tare de avertizarile mele…

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    1. Iarasi va inselati. Imi pasa, si cred ca este extrem de important, dar nu cred ca teama dvs. este justificata, cel putin in cee ce ma priveste.
      Dar, desigur, traim cu totii cu riscul de a autoinsela. De aceea avem nevoie, clipa de clipa, sa depindem de harul Domnului.

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      1. Ma refeream la o directie, sa-i zic asa. Nu neaparat la dvs ca persoana; nu va cunosc. Desi daca apucati intr-o directie sunteti vizat.
        Necazul e ca mai intii PoMo, nu mai cauta adevarul fiind sceptic inprivinta sanselor de aflare si apoi e ciudat cum se face ca tot ce e acceptabil in lume devine in concordanta cu Scriptura. Daca ar fi fost invers si cineva ar fi gasit mai intii in Scriptura o interpretare si peste 20 de ani lumea ar fi luat-o inctr-acolo as crede ca avem de-a face c-o interpretare valida. De obicei e invers.
        Multumesc pt atentie.
        PS- Stiti bine cit de e simplu era in comunism: dracu’ era negru (ma rog rosiatic)… pe cind acum…

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      2. Trebuie sa agreez cu Doru aici. Dupa parearea mea, majoritatea interpretarilor mai deschise/liberale care le gasim acum in biserici nu sunt pt ca existat un “aha moment” in exegeza…ci sunt acolo pt ca au fost influentate de cultura din jur. Principiul meu de interpretare (unul din ele) este urmatorul: daca 1900 de ani interpretarea unui text a fost intr-un anumit fel, si in 1900 (mai probabil 1950) cineva vine cu o interpretare diferita de parintii bisericii, reformatori, puritani etc…trebuie deschisi ochii bine si judecat cu mult discernamant, pt ca e f improbabil ca noi avem dreptate si ceilalti sunt gresiti. The Holy Spirit has a history…si trebuie luata in serios.
        E exegeza/interpretarea mea dictate de text si afirmata de istoria bisericii, sau este dictata/influentata de cultura la care sunt presat sa ma coformez?

        Sa avem mare grija, pt ca au fost multi care au rezistat comunismului, dar au cazut in fata lumii si a liberalismului/materialismului etc.
        I am warning myself first and foremost! Blessings!

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      3. My friend, you always agree with Doru,so, no surprise there 🙂
        As to Biblical interpretation, I have the strong impression that you are simply demonisimg culture (which is typical to Reformed and neo_reformed people), forgetting that besides its fallennness, it is also an expression of the divine beauty and wisdom in the initial creation, which the Fall failed (thank goodness!) to totally obliterate (unless you believe in, what I think is, that dubious unbiblical and dubious doctrine of ‘total depravity’).
        In terms of hermeneutics, I favour Randolph Tate’s approach of giving equal attention to the three lenses that shed light on the revealed text – 1. the world behind the text (the general culture at the time when the text was written); 2. the world within the text (the particular culture of the community out of which the text arose); 3. the world in front of the text (contemporary culture).
        Of course, the revealed text is the controlling factor, but without the dyachronic (in the history of God’s faithful community) and synchronic (preset day diversity of the body of Christ) engagement in a continuous interpretive process of this text, that will simply remain a lifeless idol.
        To end this, I also want to add the essential element of the Incarnation of God the Word into our world as the controlling factor of our interpretive efforts, for the glory of God.

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    1. I don’t understand how you can make a statement like this: “I am demonising culture.” Just because I do not allow the culture (and I do not mean the Christian culture) to dictate the interpretation of a text? Culture changes, and you know as well as I do, that a woman leader in a church in the Middle East is almost unthinkable…
      I am not sure you understand what “total depravity” means. It certainly does not mean that all culture and the rest of the world is demonic/depraved.

      I generally agree with Tate’s approach (In fact I just taught a course relying on a very similar approach), but I do not see how that would support certain liberal positions. In any case – it looks like this discussion is not going anywhere. Fiecare o tine pe a lui…You can find explanations for every position you take Perhaps we can talk one day in person. Many blessings.

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      1. You do not know me. I tend to exagerate to make a point. This is called hyperbola.
        You definitely do not seem to see anything good in culture. Read again what you wrote and you will understand.
        I know that there are ‘soft’ versions of ‘total depravity’, but I doubt the neo-Calvinists are ‘guilty’ of that.

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