EFA – "Biblical Theology of Persecution and Discipleship" Seminar
(3rd – 5th April 2006)
‘In the shadow of the cross’ a seminar on the Biblical theology of persecution and discipleship, organized by the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia (EFA) in partnership with Voice of the Martyrs (VoM) brought together 34 delegates from 13 countries for a time of learning and sharing. The seminar itself was held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 3rd
April, 2006. This was a programme for training of trainers (ToT).
The need and enthusiasm for this seminar was clearly seen long before the first day of the seminar, by the various queries made by prospective participants. Some of the queries included, “Theology of persecution??? What will be the seminar contents?”, “Please pray that we will get the visa needed to come to Sri Lanka in order to participate at this seminar. The teaching that we will receive here, will be a source of strength for our national Church”.
Rev. Glenn Penner of the Voice of the Martyrs was the resource person at this Training of Trainers (ToT). During the 3 days of the seminar the delegates got the opportunity of learning various dimensions of the biblical theology of persecution which included the following.
- God as Sufferer
- God as Self – Giver
- The day of the Lord
- The call of Discipleship: The Call of the Cross
- Persecution in the Book of Acts
- The Theological Teachings of Persecution in Acts
- How ought Christians to respond in the face of persecution?
- Background to the Corinthian Epistles – Cross – Centred Ministry
The participants especially from resitricted countries thanked the EFA and VoM for a very relevant and timely seminar. Participants from several countries expressed that the seminar topic “A Theology of Persecution and Discipleship” met a long felt need in their country of examining the theological basis for responding to persecution.
As in the words of one participant from Pakistan, “We have never looked into this subject in such depth on what the Bible had to say on persecution and discipleship. Also neither our Churches, seminaries nor institutions touch on this. This should be part of the curriculum of every Bible college”.
Every participant pledged to take this teaching to their respective countries and teach this material to the national leadership.
Each participant was gifted a copy of “In the shadow of the cross” which was the textbook for the course.
EFA would follow up with the specific needs of each of the Asian National Alliances in the area of further training and assistance.
God used this seminar in a tremendous way to bless each participant and Alliance who attended.