ACTEA eNews #26 -- September 2005
The mission of ACTEA is to promote quality evangelical theological education
in Africa by providing supporting services, facilitating academic recognition,
and fostering continental and inter-continental cooperation.
1. Philip Jenkins to address ICETE Consultation
The distinguished international scholar Philip Jenkins, author of the widely-acclaimed "The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity" (Oxford, 2002), will be a principal speaker at the forthcoming ICETE International Consultation 2006. Jenkins will be addressing the Consultation¹s theme: Global Christianity and the Role of Theological Education. Also addressing crucial aspects of the Consultation theme in plenary sessions will be: Carver Yu, professor of dogmatics at China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong; Chris Wright, Ministries Director of John Stott¹s Langham Partnership International; and Carlos Pinto, Rector of the Seminario Biblico Palavra da Vida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
ICETE's 2006 International Consultation for Theological Educators will take place 7-11 August 2006 at facilities in Chiang Mai, Thailand. [Note that this represents a change of venue from Singapore, reported in the last edition of ACTEA eNews.] The ICETE Consultation is intended for the ICETE constituency throughout the world.
Available space will be limited, so priority will be given to representatives from schools affiliated with one of the eight continental associations that make up the ICETE family, including ACTEA.
ACTEA encourages schools with Correspondent membership and those involved in ACTEA accreditation to begin the registration process for the Consultation. Full information regarding the Consultation and the registration process will be distributed shortly as a separate edition of ACTEA eNews.
2. French-speaking schools meet to discuss HIV/AIDS curriculum
From 25 to 29 July, forty-six representatives of theological institutions of francophone Africa met in Lomé, Togo, at the Ecole Supérieure Baptiste de Théologie en Afrique de l¹Ouest ESBTAO, in a conference initiated by the Bangui Evangelical School of Theology (BEST/FATEB), under the auspices of the TransAfrican Education Network (TEN) and the Overseas Council International (OCI) around the theme: "La formation théologique pour le développement de tout l¹homme" (Theological training for man's holistic development).
The "Conférence de Institutions Théologiques de l¹Afrique Francophone CITAF" (Conference of Theological Institutions of Francophone Africa) was organised around the "Programme Minimum en Commun" (PMC), i.e., a "Common Minimum Curriculum" for theological institutions in francophone Africa. The aim was: (a) to evaluate the PMC after three years of implementation, (b) to sketch and propose a PMC for Christian Women Ministry Programme, and (c) to integrate a course on HIV/AIDS in the PMC.
Schools with representatives at the conference included:
Benin Institut Biblique Baptiste du Bénin, Bohicon Institut Biblique du Bénin, Cotonou Gabon Institut Biblique de Béthel, Libreville Burkina Faso Centre de Formation Biblique et Agropastorale, Fada N'gouma Centre de Formation Biblique et Agricole de Banakeledaga, Bobo Dioulasso Institut Maranatha, Bobo Dioulasso Cameroon Institut Biblique Evangélique, Maroua Cameroon Baptist Seminary, Kumba Central African Republic Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de Bangui Ecole de Théologie Evangélique de Bangui Faculté de Théologie Biblique des Frères, Bangui Ecole de Théologie John H., Carnot Collège de Théologie Biblique d'Alliance, Alindao Chad Ecole Supérieure de Théologie Evangélique Shalom, Ndjamena Cote d'Ivoire Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de l'Alliance Chrétienne Association des Structures de Formation Biblique et Théologique, Bouafle Mali Institut Biblique Reed, Bougouni Rwanda Faculté de Théologie Evangélique au Rwanda, Kigali Togo Ecole Supérieure Baptiste de Théologie de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, Lome Institut Biblique Baptiste du Togo
3. Book on African traditional religion available upon request
The widely acclaimed book, "African Traditional Religion in Biblical Perspective," by Dr Richard J. Gehman, has been thoroughly revised and will be published shortly by the East African Educational Publishers in Nairobi, Kenya.
This book serves as an excellent textbook, covering all pertinent issues on the subject of ATR: the holistic worldview of ATR, the Supreme Being, mystical powers (witchcraft, sorcery and magic), spirits, the living dead, and the divinities. In addition to the general overview of ATR and a case study of the Akamba, it contains comparative studies of similar beliefs worldwide. A chapter on the biblical worldview helps the student to understand ATR in biblical perspective.
Dr Scott Moreau (Wheaton College Graduate School) provides this assessment of the first edition of this book:
"Dr Gehman provides an invaluable resource for helping us understand the complexity and reality of the many faces of traditional religions in African setting. His rich and thoroughly biblical evaluation will be an invaluable resource to Christians across the continent. It is a must-read for Christian theological education across Africa. I offer it my highest recommendation."
Dr Gehman will send a complimentary copy to the first 300 responders who will place this book in the library of African-based theological institution. You should send your request to: email@example.com
Please indicate (a) the name of the institution for which the book is requested and (b) the postal address. These complimentary copies will be sent by surface mail in January 2006, however, the requests should be received immediately. As soon as available, information will be provided for ordering further copies from the publisher or distributors.
4. Evangelical Review of Theology available on revised CD
The revised WEA (World Evangelical Alliance) Theological Resource Library CD-ROM is now available. This CD contains a wealth of information including the full text of the important Evangelical Review of Theology up to October 2000, books and monographs from the WEA Theological Commission, several other WEA publications and a number of Bibles and other resources. This CD is now available in Version 2 (2004) with Libronix technology, and two additional resources. Cost is US$50 including shipping. (Payment may be made also in sterling or euro, but not by credit card.)
For ordering/payment details, contact WEA TC Publications at: firstname.lastname@example.org
[from WEF Theological News]
5. Reading books on the internet
An increasing number of books, both old and new and including those in the areas of biblical and theological studies, are available at no charge for reading (or at least, browsing) on the internet.
Both require registration for use. For amazon.com this requires a credit card number (which will not be charged, unless you decide to buy the book). For print.google.com registration requires a google account name (like gmail). Both sites also have limitations on the number of pages of a book that can be read resulting from one search (but one can start a new search in order to extend that limitation).
While there are instructions for use at both sites, one might also begin at the very user-friendly site of the Tyndale House (Cambridge) which does the searching of amazon.com and print.google.com for any title Tyndale House has in its well-regarded library. This site is found at www.tyncat.com
Further information about using internet resources for biblical and theological studies is published in issues of the ACTEA Librarians eNews, distributed in both French and English.
You are encouraged to subscribe by contacting ACTEA at email@example.com indicating your interest. As with ACTEA eNews, there is no charge for this newsletter.
6. Keeping up with Africa--Reviews of Recent Books
Mbugguss, Martha, Zacharia Samita, Ogova Ondego, Kiragu Wachira, Peterson Wang¹ombe, and Oliver Kisaka. "Same Gender Unions: A Critical Analysis." Nairobi: Uzima Press, 2004. 146 pp, pb, about $7.
This book, written entirely by Africans residing in Nairobi, is a response to the tensions in the worldwide Anglican Communion regarding homosexuality. The summary statement notes, "This book seeks to analyse same gender unions from a traditional, societal, legal, medical and biblical perspective through a balanced and objective approach, while clearly showing that, whichever way you approach it, homosexuality has seriously damaging consequences." The authors include journalists, lecturers and church workers who write on their areas of expertise with clarity and depth.
This is no right wing diatribe but is rather a thoughtful analysis of a pressing issue that is increasingly affecting the African church. The preamble, written by the Anglican archbishop of Kenya, gives a historical overview of recent developments in Canada, the US and the UK, and documents decisions of the 1998 Lambeth conference, showing that some western communions defied the worldwide church's earlier position that practicing homosexuals must not be ordained as priests. Several authors blame the western media for making homosexuality such an issue in Africa because it is almost unknown in African society (a Kenyan study is cited). The courage of African Anglicans is also underlined because some African communions have already lost western financial support as a result of their stand.
Every section is done well, including a survey of African literature that quotes widely from African writers and political leaders. The legal chapter develops a response based on Kenyan law and notes that human rights are for all, not particular groups; the author also insists that African societal values should be the basis for its legal code, rather than the individual approach that is common in western societies. The final chapter outlines a biblical basis for the writers' position and gives a solid interpretative framework for the book.
This book is an important and timely addition to the debate over Christian attitudes toward homosexuality because the African Anglican communion, led by Nigeria's Archbishop Peter Akinola, has been leading the fight for Anglicans to remain biblical in their approach. Theological libraries in Africa should all have a copy, and this book may also be helpful in the West because (ironically enough) it is politically correct to listen to African perspectives on worldwide church debates. Such African input could therefore be very significant for the direction taken by the Anglican communion in the next Lambeth conference.
[Review supplied by "BookNotes for Africa", a specialist journal that offers 40+ such reviews per issue on recent Africa-related publications 40+ relevant for theological educators and libraries in Africa and overseas. The subscription rate within Africa is US$8 for four issues (airmail); $12 to overseas addresses. Send inquiries and orders to: BookNotes for Africa, PO Box 250100, Ndola, Zambia, email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
"This journal is readable, affordable and essential for effective Christian awareness in the African continent."
Dr Scott Moreau, Editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly
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