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Christians the best people to speak on Christology

November 24, 2017

Christian leaders should be invited to speak at the open forum on Christology instead of non-Christian speakers or those who lack the credentials and authority to touch on such topics.

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By Dr Tan Eng Bee

The Christian community was made aware of an open forum entitled “Understanding Christology” (Mengenali Kristologi), organised by an NGO called Nur Fitrah.

Apparently, a concern was raised over the authenticity of a speaker invited to the forum who claimed to be a former nun in Indonesia. Nur Fitrah is checking to see if she really is a former nun, while the Bishops Conference of Indonesia revealed she is not and that her claim is untrue.

It’s common knowledge that there is such a subject as “comparative religions” that is offered and taught at religious organisations or institutions of higher learning. It is one of the most frequently discussed and researched subjects within the walls of different faiths due to its sensitivity.

To the said NGO organising the forum, can I offer a suggestion – that is, the best person(s) to speak on or hold a fruitful talk or discourse on “Mengenali Kristologi” would be Christian leaders and seminary lecturers or seminary-trained pastors and Christians who have what it takes to speak on Christology.

Touching or speaking on someone’s religion can be a sensitive issue, especially if it is an open forum with no control mechanism in place. Any misinterpretation or misconstrued beliefs on Christology may incur adverse reactions and call into question the speaker’s wisdom and understanding of Christology in the first place.

Anyone trying to speak on Christology without a clear understanding of the subject matter is a concern to the Christian community as Christians know their God whom they believe in and commit to in terms of submission, worship and adoration.

Speakers who feel they have what it takes to speak about Christology ought to know that it is the study of Jesus Christ and his work, his divinity, his uniqueness and redemptive nature as the saviour and Son of God, among others. They must not by any account deviate from what the Bible says about Jesus Christ and his divine nature.

As such, any teaching or discourse in an open forum by any party trying to deny, discredit or demean Jesus Christ’s sovereign nature as a member of the Holy Trinity, or disregard his divine nature and attributes as stated in the Bible, would mean demeaning, insulting and disgracing Jesus Christ and the Christian community, which has always lived in peace and harmony with people of other faiths.

Therefore, if any NGO or interested party wishes to know more about Christology or what Christians believe in, they should invite Christian leaders to sit in the forum to give firsthand information on the topic rather than having non-Christian speakers or those who may not have the credentials and authority to touch on a topic like Christology.

Please handle the open forum with care if the authorities permit it to proceed, but bear in mind that no one has the moral right to discredit or twist what the Bible says about Jesus Christ.

It is said that “a theological presentation of the person and work of Jesus Christ by finite man is an awesome task”, even for Christians, what more when people of other faiths who have no adequate understanding or knowledge try to speak or expound on Jesus Christ or the Christian faith.

I can only hope that good sense will prevail and that the forum will not project any false belief or imply any negativity about Jesus Christ, but that honour, respect and reverence will be the order of the day if the forum is to proceed.

Dr Tan Eng Bee is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.


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