A Logsdon Seminary professor was part of an elite
group invited to speak at the 21st Baptist World Alliance World
Congress July 22-26 in Durban, South Africa.
Dr. Rob Sellers, Professor of Theology, and
Logsdon’s Connally Professor of Missions, spoke on the topic, “Neighbors of
Other Faiths,” as part of the World Congress, which was attended by more than
2,500 global Baptists from 80 countries.
“It was extremely exciting,” said Sellers of his
experience at the BWA World Congress, which occurs every five years; the 2010
World Congress was in Honolulu. “The meeting was characterized by immense
enthusiasm, joy and wonderful color.”
Sellers’ talk centered on answering the question,
“How does a church develop positive relationships with congregations in their
neighborhood that belong to other faiths?”
“I encouraged those in our forum to get better
acquainted with the neighbors of other faiths by doing such things as: 1) tour
other houses of worship; 2) respond to hate, violence and conflict with public
presence; 3) exchange pulpits with the religious leader of another faith; 4)
engage social justice causes; and 5) introduce your congregation to religious
practitioners of multiple traditions,” said Sellers, who co-presented with a
Maori Baptist from New Zealand. “I also challenged them to improvise and
experiment … asking them to strike their camps and move out from among those
who might be insular and exclusivist; instead, go intentionally to a new, more
Currently, BWA brings together 210 Baptist
groups representing more than 47 million baptized believers in more than 200
countries. The Alliance is divided into six regional or geographical
fellowships; each regional fellowship is served by an executive secretary.
Sellers has been aligned with BWA for more than
15 years, and has served in various capacities, including the Peace and Justice
Commission, and Christian/Muslim Interfaith Relations.
Each worship service featured a speaker from
one of BWA’s six global regions: Anthony Carroll from the Bahamas, Peter Chin
from South Korea, Donald Ndichafah from Cameroon, Dimitrina Oprenova from
Bulgaria, Luiz Soares Silvado from Brazil, and Joel Gregory, from Baylor
University’s Truett Seminary.
“When you’re part of the World Congress –
especially the worship sessions – it is inspiring to be there with Baptist
brothers and sisters from all over the world,” said Sellers. “I was energized
with the joy of being a global Baptist, and excited to be there as part of a
group committed to the priesthood of believers.”
The theme for this year’s World Congress was
“Jesus Christ as the Door.” The next World Congress is scheduled for Rio de
Janeiro in July of 2020. The joint meeting – combined with the Baptist Youth
Congress – will be called, “Celebration 2020.”
Dr. Sellers will also be the featured speaker
for this year’s Logsdon Forum on November 16, 2015.
For more information visit www.logsdonseminary.org.