Thursday 1 September is the Global Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation when Orthodox, Evangelical, Catholic and other Christian communities around the world come together to pray for God’s good earth and our responsible use of His gift to us.
Please see the background to this day and resources for prayer here and spend a few moments with us in prayer.
Keon-Sang An, An Ethiopian Reading of the Bible: Biblical Interpretation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, American Society of Missiology Monograph Series Book 25 (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015). ISBN 978-1-498220699; also available on Kindle
This book gives a good background to the multiple influences on the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the way in which the tradition has made these things uniquely Ethiopian, with the Ark of the Covenant expressing this par excellence. The author also picks up well the need to avoid confusing traditionalism with tradition, giving good examples of the dynamism of Ethiopian tradition, which is still responding to different influences in a specifically Ethiopian way.
The key scholarship of this work lies in the analysis of preaching in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, drawing on a sample of 80 contemporary sermons, with detailed analysis of 8 of these, that gives insight into how the Ethiopian Orthodox Church differentiates itself from other Christian traditions present in Ethiopia, in particular Protestant denominations. The analysis of the sermons leads draws important and detailed conclusions both in relation to the use of the commentary tradition, and more generally how preachers use the Bible in their teaching.
Significant general conclusions are drawn with respect to: the substantial influence of the tradition of the EOTC in preaching; the significance of context in preaching with its emphasis on contemporary relevance; and interpretative strategies that locate significance in the present rather than the original setting and are orientated towards narrative and the identification of seeking out interpretative keys, either symbols or particular characters.
This book would be a very useful help to people interested in Ethiopia and its Christian expressions, and who are seeking to understand the Orthodox expression better.
Since LOI came into being, Mark Oxbrow has done a fantastic job in getting it established. It’s a challenging prospect, then, to be taking over from him as he prepares for upcoming retirement. But I’m committed to seeing this dialogue prosper under God’s direction. I have been active in Orthodox-Evangelical dialogue for almost 20 years, in Britain and internationally. (The resources section of the website offers the written evidence of that!) Orthodoxy has given me so much, both in terms of spirituality and Christian fellowship, and in turn I am glad to share from my own Evangelical tradition.
With my wife Ann, I live on the Isle of Man (you might need to look it up!), and serve Christ’s church as an Anglican Reader and Methodist Local Preacher. I am a senior research fellow at Spurgeon’s College (London), and apart from LOI I work as a historian of 19th- and 20th-century Christianity.
So, please pray for me as I learn the ropes, and for the initiative. I’ll post more shortly about our next consultation, in Addis Ababa.