Echoing an old guest post on the first VCUKI Symposium, and the second one, the following is shamelessly borrowed from my friend Neal Swettenham, Theological Coordinator for Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland!
Is our theology just theology or a Just theology?
Are we making the best connections between theory and practice? How well are new theological ideas being communicated to those leading in Vineyard churches? Are we confident in applying biblical concepts such as justice within our contemporary landscape or is there a risk of focusing too much of our attention on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of doing church?
Just Theology? aims to stimulate fresh theological thinking and harness creative perspectives to help build healthy churches. We want to develop and strengthen links between those leading Vineyard churches and those engaged in theological study, in order to encourage theologically informed and Spirit-led responses to the challenges that we face as a movement.
In particular, we want to focus this year on the topic of justice itself. Justice flows from the very character of God and involves restoring wholeness to individuals, communities and creation itself. So what is God saying to us about this at the present moment? As the gap between rich and poor gets bigger than ever, do we, as Vineyard churches, have a distinctive contribution to make to the debate on justice?
Our keynote speakers are well positioned to help us explore these issues.
Dr. Krish Kandiah is the CEO of Home for Good, a popular author, speaker and contributing editor to Christian Today, and former President of the London School of Theology. He is passionate about helping the most vulnerable in society and brings a wide range of political, media and global experience to find practical solutions to issues of injustice and inequality.
Andrew Wallis OBE, FRSA, is founder and CEO of Unseen, a multi-award winning charity, ‘working towards a world without slavery’. He was formerly Senior Pastor of Bristol Vineyard and following his full-time commitment to Unseen, he was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to the Eradication of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
I hope to be presenting a paper on theology, unity and Justice – drawing on my wider theological project, a Vineyard understanding of the Lord’s Supper, and a range of theological influences.