The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Rei Lemuel Crizaldo as the new Coordinator of the WEA Theological Commission. As a younger leader from the Philippines, Crizaldo will bring fresh perspectives into the work of the commission whose purpose it is “to provide international theological reflection on issues of importance affecting the church and society everywhere, in faithfulness to Christ and with the aim to serve the Church.”
Crizaldo is part of the Younger Leader Generation (YLG) of the Lausanne Movement. He is a thinker and a communicator whose writing and active online engagement bring together people reflecting on contextual theology, holistic ministry, and the impact of digitality. He also teaches these subjects in several seminaries in the Philippines. His experience in connecting people and forming collaborative work include his role as advocacy coordinator for Micah Global’s national expression in the Philippines and a regional coordinator role for Tearfund’s theology network in East and Southeast Asia.
“In fear and trembling but also with much hope and excitement, I respond to God’s call to serve the global Body of Christ,” Crizaldo shared upon his appointment. “I particularly look forward to helping develop theological conversations that are marked by strong prophetic conviction rooted in Scripture while being reflective of the rich diversity of voices from within the global evangelical community.”
Crizaldo’s appointment to the commission reflects the increasing shift of the WEA’s “base” to the Global South and highlights the need to pay closer attention to the theological concerns of the majority of Christians. As the Gospel continues to take root in different regions of the Majority World, which include some of the most difficult of contexts, the commission will seek to create new opportunities for those at the periphery of theological discussions, including younger evangelicals, to gain a hearing.
The quarterly issues of the commission’s Theological News and the Evangelical Review of Theology (ERT) journal will continue to serve as key platforms for theological reflections arising from the frontlines of the globalizing Church. And as the pandemic has heightened not only the online presence of churches but also critical conversations happening in the digital space, the commission is keen to support faithful evangelical perspectives on public issues.
Dr. Theresa Lua, Director of WEA’s Global Theology Department, said: “I am confident that Rei will do well in his role given his passion for theological reflection and dialogue, his ability to connect and work with people from different cultures, and his creativity as a thinker and writer. His energy and enthusiasm as a young theologian will bring fresh impetus to the work of the Theological Commission.”
And Bishop Dr Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretary General of the WEA, commented: „Everything evangelicals do is ultimately driven by theology. This is why our theological experts are involved in all aspects of our everyday work. So I am glad to know our theological commission and the whole department is in good hands.”
Dr. Rosalee Veloso Ewell, who served as Executive Director of the Theological Commission since 2010, assumes a new role as the WEA’s Global Ambassador for Theology. She will represent the WEA in global theological discussions and on the board or leadership of a number of Christian and inter-faith organizations, bringing the WEA’s unique voice to conversations beyond its own constituency.
With the vision of serving as “a prophetic evangelical voice that is globally representative, faithful to Scripture, theologically informed and which speaks with clarity and relevance to both the church and the world,” the Theological Commission is one of the entities under the Global Theology Department of the WEA. Other entities include the Evangelical Review of Theology, International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), Re-Forma, Increase, International Institute for Islamic Studies, Society of Christian Scholars, and the Evangelical Training Directory.