Four questions on the SAMS conference

January 19, 2010

Steve Hayes asked four questions from those who attended the South African Missiological Conference. I’ll just answer them today:

1. What do you think was the best paper/presentation?

I think that of Tom Smith. Not necessarily because of some amazing academic insight (although I don’t doubt for a moment that Tom can make a contribution to the South African missiological scene), or because he’s a good friend, but because Tom gave us a story. Not a wow story of someone fixing the world in a few days, but a small story that says a congregation can actually take on challenges which is even more daring than what many at the conference would have thought necessary. I say this was the best, because I saw how voices from different sides of the conversation all thanked Tom for what he said, and how his story was used again and again afterwards. The only paper I think I might vote for rather than this one might have been that of Willem Saayman, but that is only from what I gather from Reggie’s tweets, since I couldn’t attend it.

2. Please give an abstract of the most important points.

Abstract of the most important points in Tom’s story? Well, he’ll do a better job, but let me try.

    • Attempting to work on reconciliation in practice is difficult.
    • Reconciliation between black and white people in South Africa require deep friendships

I hope Tom will write on his paper. But you can also follow much of what he said by reading the stories he writes on his blog.

3. What was the most important/significant thing you learned at the congress (not necessarily from the paperts — chatting to people over coffeee late at night often yields better insights)

The names of a number of local theologians which I must read.

4. Were you inspired to do anything as a result of the congress? If so, what?

Go and read these voices. Break out of my enclosed white theological space even further.

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One Response to “Four questions on the SAMS conference”

  1. Steve Says:

    Who were the local theologians you were inspired to read?


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