Ajith Fernando on Cape Town 2010 (Part 2 of 2)
Ajith Fernando has been kind enough to share his thought’s with Koinonia as he looks towards taking part in Cape Town 2010!
Continued from Monday’s post...
2. Prosperity theology is growing at a remarkable rate in the emerging churches.
This is a worrying sign as often with it comes a deficient gospel, and a somewhat selfish and triumphalistic form of Christianity. While attracting large numbers of people it could leave the core thinkers in our nations unimpressed by the gospel of Christ because of selfish and triumphalistic that will do little to commend Christ to a nation.
I believe there will be a good emphasis at Cape Town on a more biblically balanced approach to the blessings of God upon the faithful. My hope is that this will have an impact upon churches all over the world.
3. The Islamic challenge will also be addressed in a major way at Cape Town.
I think there is a major divergence in the approaches to Islam among evangelicals across the globe. In our part of the world, many evangelicals, though aware of the dangers associated with the expansion of Islam, basically view the Muslims through evangelistic eyes. Our basic approach to them comes out of a yearning to see them acknowledge the Savior of the World.
Sadly, many Christians elsewhere seem to see them first and foremost as a threat or as enemies. I think that we should leave governments to deal with such threats and concentrate on opening doors to what God has clearly asked us to do--to share the gospel with them. This is a prime example of how other agendas have dampened our evangelistic passion and sidelined our evangelistic program.
I am hoping that Lausanne III will give a biblically faithful and wise approach to Islam that will influence the church worldwide.
·What is your role in the Lausanne conference?
The Bible expositions at Lausanne III are on Ephesians, and I will do the first one. I have written a whole book on Ephesians 1, and now I have to cover that rich chapter in 25 minutes! I must say that I had a lot of fun preparing this exposition. I will be highlighting some key gospel truths that emerge in this chapter.
I never thought that I could glow over a 25 minute talk on a passage that earlier took me five 1-hour talks to cover. But that is the beauty of Bible exposition. There are so many different ways to tackle a text. And if we stay close to the text, it can be a thrilling exercise.
There are some statements coming out of this conference. And I have been part of the drafting team for the basic statement of beliefs that need stressing as we look at the task of world evangelization today. This was a stretching and enriching experience for me as we grappled with what we should include and what the wording should be.
The committee is chaired by the esteemed theologian-pastor Sinclair Ferguson. It was a real joy for this Methodist to work for the first time with this gracious Calvinist. He is a wonderful chairman and his graciousness really kept us sane as we faced some tough challenges along the way. Chris Wright serves as the main writer for this group.
Ajith Fernando, ThM, DD, is national director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka and a Bible expositor with a worldwide ministry. He studied at Asbury Theological Seminary and Fuller Seminary, and spends much time mentoring young workers and counseling Christian workers. He is active in Colombo Theological Seminary as chairman of the academic affairs committee. Among many other works, he is the author of the Acts Volume of the NIV Application Commentary.
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