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2013 Max Points: 180 Write essay (1,250-1,500 words) analyzes Escobar's thesis compares contrasts theological contribution theologians discussed earlier . Your paper explore components builds thesis, critique idea Christian theology contextual engaging theological schools American / global setting.
Samuel Escobar is known to be a leader within the Latin American Theology. He chaired the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students and is currently president of the United Bible Societies. He continues to live and teach in Spain.
In 1970, upon a meeting between several evangelicals who sought to free themselves from a fundamentalist American perspective, the Latin American Theological Fraternity was born. Its members, Samuel Escobar, G. Rene Padilla, Orlando E. Costas, and Andrew Kirk wanted to reclaim a personal identity within a fraternity that was not bound to any church associations nor institutions. Instead, they sought to speak for an international and nondenominational environment. The Fraternity discussed theological issues in relation to the needs of the Latin American people. Within a few years, Escobar and other representative members of evangelical Christians gathered in Chicago united by their concern of the alleged conflict between evangelism and social action. The overall idea was to try to relate and balance civic responsibility and Christian beliefs so that the latter may contribute and enhance the former. Consequently, in 1973, the Chicago Declaration was signed specifically addressing these issues. It was renewed twenty years later because of growing social and moral crisis.
Such initiatives had become a point of reference for a number of theologians who understood that religion failed to explain people certain phenomenon because of which they often redrew their faith. Escobar was among those who understood that a different approach was necessary that would bring people together again in faith. His theology thus is constructed to reconsider Biblical revelations in the light of social and political realities. He directs his focus on a theology of mission, a topic that he expands in The New Global Mission. He speaks of a new missionary force and argues on what evangelical mission should look like. In this respect, the church has a global mission to unite believers from all over the world. It is within these premises that Escobar participated as a founder member of the Fraternity which was sought as an international movement. Starting here, the basis was established for a theology that incorporated the social context, the church, and the state. Escobar treated theology in the light of both post-Christian world and postmodernity. That is to say that religion had to be rethought according to the cultural changes in a world that shifted from non-religious background to a "more religious world." What Escobar understood is that cultural changes do not need to be disregarded because they appear in contradiction with Christian life but instead, missionary work should focus on how to explore every new circumstance for its benefit. In Escobar's vision, every individual is a missionary who shares the responsibility of faith within his social circles. He does not draw on missionary work specifically as an institution, however he does acknowledge the accomplishment of such work as an integral mission. The process thus must bring the contribution of individuals who are socially active in sharing their faith, while the church must act as a point of reference between what role should it play and, in this respect, to fulfill its mission as opposed to being just another social organization.
Theological literature differs according to whom and when it was written. That is what contextual theology argues on, much in the sense in which contemporary African writings on Jesus Christ least resemble what was written on the same topic by French theologian John Calvin half a millennium ago. What has constantly changed, contextual theology argues, is not the Scripture, but the setting. This religious coming of age is subjected to various interpretations which raise different questions and these questions lead to the formulation of new theology that addresses one given context. In this respect, evangelicals have sought to relate the topic of theology to missiology within a context of understanding cultural changes. Furthermore, each issue that was addressed needed to be correlated within a given community's background. And so, Escobar's theology of mission encompasses social sciences and Biblical revelation, that is to say that Escobar first and foremost advocates for the Bible as laying the foundation for a theology of mission. To him, individuals are to carry out the work of the missiology department insofar as they commit themselves to evangelical revelations.…[continue]
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