Christ and Reconciliation

Training Leaders International is a missions organization devoted to training leaders in the global south who find themselves in need of formal theological education. TLI (as it is often called) just started a journal called Journal of Global Christianity (JGC). The journal was birthed out of three desires:

  • To provide the global church an opportunity to interact with each other on topics that impact them directly.
  • To spur on those in particular who have an overwhelming amount of access to educational opportunities to see the need more clearly and possibly be moved to even help meet that need.
  • To challenge and encourage readers throughout the world.

I had the privilege of being a part of the first issue of this very practical/pastoral and theological journal. In it I review Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen‘s Christ and Reconciliation. Here is my review:

Living in the third millennium we find ourselves in a world shaped by cultural, ethnic, sociopolitical, economic, and religious plurality. These are the sorts of issues that Christians cannot ignore while doing ministry in a globalized world, yet many Christians have been guilty of not paying serious attention to these realities. Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen in Christ and Reconciliation attempts to address this problem. Christ and Reconciliation is volume one of a five-volume systematic theology project designed to address these issues while staying faithful to Scripture, the long-standing tradition of the church, and a broadly evangelical perspective. In this the first volume, he explains that this project is built upon two key convictions. First, it builds upon the conviction that systematic theology, or what he calls constructive theology, must be faithful to Scripture and to Christian tradition, especially but not limited to confessions and creeds. Second, this project is based upon the conviction that in order to coherently argue for the truth of Christian doctrine in our pluralized world, there is a need for Christian theology to engage in conversation and dialogue with those outside of our tradition (p. 24). Holding on to these convictions results in what he calls a “fresh innovative vision of Christian doctrine and theology” (p. xii). One might call this theological project “fresh and innovative” not because he deviates from Scripture and Christian tradition, but rather because he addresses various topics not normally addressed in systematic theology for instance: violence, race, ethnicity, inclusivity, colonialism, and the theology of other religions…..

You can read the rest of the review here.



Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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