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Theological Consultation On Rethinking Ecclesia: Towards a Borderless Church
Friday, Nov 03, 2017


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Rethinking Ecclesia: Towards a Borderless Church, the first theological consultation among the seven indeed paved way for new insights and directions from the bible through a two day vigorous exercise of working paper presentations and concept notes, discussions and debates in re-envisioning a church without borders. This Biblical conference which bore witness to her very own Church of South Indian biblical scholars both faculty and research students was held at the CSI Synod centre on the 25th and 26th of October 2017.

This two days deliberations started with the meditation led by the Moderator of the CSI Most. Rev. Thomas K Oommen, who urged the Biblical scholars and students to assess the needs of the church and engage in the faithful task of interpreting the scriptures to liberate the weak and the oppressed. He also emphasised the fact that the Church and the theological arena needs to listen and dialogue with one another to reduce the lacuna which exists between the seminary and the sanctuary. The General Secretary of the CSI, Rev. Dr. Rathnakara Sadananda, highlighted the importance of this consultation and said that today, we understand the Church as a sign and sacrament of the reign of God. She is an instrument of the reign of God and alternative that proclaims that another world is possible, that it is here and now in our midst. The Church is the penultimate, subject to change and transformation till she is absorbed into the reign of God. As a sign and sacrament of the reign of God, the Church has distinctive, discernible identity markers and borders, yet calling and exhorting people to the borderless reign of God.

Papers both from OT and NT Perspectives were presented and discussed only to become more relevant and sharper in its message to envision a borderless church. Biblical Scholars and research students through their love for the root languages in which scripture was written searched and came up with new interpretations of borderless-ness of understanding the ecclesia from the Bible. The papers presented were:

·         Rethinking Ecclesia: CSI’s future as the family of God  and Christ’s new creation: rethinking being church for this ‘Evil age’ with Paul

·         Isaiah 2 - Walking up to Zion together with people; towards borderless church

·         Borders, boundaries and Bible.

·         Rethinking Ecclesia: Towards a Borderless Church – Genesis 10: 1-5

·         Petrine community: towards borderless church

·         Ethnos: Church, Borders and Witness

·         Borderless church as an epitome of unity: revisiting the Judges  account of settlement

·         Imag(e)ining ecclesia with John: call of the fourth gospel to Being and Becoming Christ communities – towards a borderless church

·         Ekklesia in Ephesians and its implications for envisioning a borderless church in India

·         The paradigmatic challenge of Peter’s vision in Acts 10 and its relevance for a borderless ecclesia

Concept notes presented by Research scholars gave new impetus in understanding ecclesia in its changing times trying to address the needs of the fast changing world with its new challenges to the church.

All the papers and concepts presented will be reworked, compiled and edited in the coming days to sense a new direction for the understanding of ecclesia locally and globally. 

Rethinking Ecclesia: Towards a Borderless Church, the first theological consultation among the seven indeed paved way for new insights and directions from the bible through a two day vigorous exercise of working paper presentations and concept notes, discussions and debates in re-envisioning a church without borders. This Biblical conference which bore witness to her very own Church of South Indian biblical scholars both faculty and research students was held at the CSI Synod centre on the 25th and 26th of October 2017.

This two days deliberations started with the meditation led by the Moderator of the CSI Most. Rev. Thomas K Oommen, who urged the Biblical scholars and students to assess the needs of the church and engage in the faithful task of interpreting the scriptures to liberate the weak and the oppressed. He also emphasised the fact that the Church and the theological arena needs to listen and dialogue with one another to reduce the lacuna which exists between the seminary and the sanctuary. The General Secretary of the CSI, Rev. Dr. Rathnakara Sadananda, highlighted the importance of this consultation and said that today, we understand the Church as a sign and sacrament of the reign of God. She is an instrument of the reign of God and alternative that proclaims that another world is possible, that it is here and now in our midst. The Church is the penultimate, subject to change and transformation till she is absorbed into the reign of God. As a sign and sacrament of the reign of God, the Church has distinctive, discernible identity markers and borders, yet calling and exhorting people to the borderless reign of God.

Papers both from OT and NT Perspectives were presented and discussed only to become more relevant and sharper in its message to envision a borderless church. Biblical Scholars and research students through their love for the root languages in which scripture was written searched and came up with new interpretations of borderless-ness of understanding the ecclesia from the Bible. The papers presented were:

·         Rethinking Ecclesia: CSI’s future as the family of God  and Christ’s new creation: rethinking being church for this ‘Evil age’ with Paul

·         Isaiah 2 - Walking up to Zion together with people; towards borderless church

·         Borders, boundaries and Bible.

·         Rethinking Ecclesia: Towards a Borderless Church – Genesis 10: 1-5

·         Petrine community: towards borderless church

·         Ethnos: Church, Borders and Witness

·         Borderless church as an epitome of unity: revisiting the Judges  account of settlement

·         Imag(e)ining ecclesia with John: call of the fourth gospel to Being and Becoming Christ communities – towards a borderless church

·         Ekklesia in Ephesians and its implications for envisioning a borderless church in India

·         The paradigmatic challenge of Peter’s vision in Acts 10 and its relevance for a borderless ecclesia

Concept notes presented by Research scholars gave new impetus in understanding ecclesia in its changing times trying to address the needs of the fast changing world with its new challenges to the church.

All the papers and concepts presented will be reworked, compiled and edited in the coming days to sense a new direction for the understanding of ecclesia locally and globally. 

 



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