After a year of webinar series on Faith and Bayan, the book was launched formally last June 25 at the Asian Theological Seminary, also streamed at the Facebook pages of Truth or Dare, OMF Literature, and Bawat Isa Mahalaga.
Asian Theological Seminary Chancellor, Dr. Melchor Go declares: “Today, we celebrate the significant contributions of the men and women behind this book project, even as they articulate an appropriate response to the spiritual, political, and social issues confronting the Church and society. It attempts to bring to bear the principles of the Holy Writ in transforming our world, hoping to make it a much better place for all of us, where the rule of God can bring hope, healing, and peace.”
Dr. Federico Villanueva, one of the editors of the book, revealed that the theme of the entire book is “Lament and Rise up” because the church today is wrecked with the overemphasis on joy and thanksgiving, while the theology of lament was set aside. This book will tell the church that it is indeed necessary not just to rejoice but to lament as well for it signifies spiritual strength and renewed motivation to fight the good fight of faith at the same time rise up to take a stand for God and country.
“Lament is a sign of taking a stand and rising up. The more we lament, the more hopeful we become knowing God will do something on our behalf at the same time we will take a stand as well. So brethren, let’s lament and rise up!” Dr. Villanueva said.
According to PCEC JPARCOM and Theo Comm Executive Director, Dr. Aldrin Penamora the book was started with a question that connects taking a stand and the concept of lament. Upon talking about the concept of the Book and webinar itself, he was amazed with the unification of purpose of the editors so they put up the webinar which served as a prelude to the Book. In spite of the pandemic difficulties the webinar and the writing of the book pushed through.
The book also serves as a lesson on how every Evangelical can develop empathy, compassion and mercy to the poor and the oppressed in our society based on his overwhelming observation on how Christians approached the outgoing administration’s war on drugs. “I hope when everyone reads this book, this is not just for leisure reading, but also it will serve as a wake up call for every Evangelical for social action.” Dr. Penamora concludes.
Bawat Isa Mahalaga Convenor, Pastor Carlo M. Dino is confident that the book will serve as a call to a kind of Public Theology that redefines compassion,empathy and active participation in addressing the issues of the nation.
“Many Evangelicals do not even think what social action really is all about because we seldom hear it from our pulpits. I hope this book will contribute to socio-political discussions asking questions on how the church should participate in the moral and socio-political aspects of the nation. I hope it will not be too late for pastors and members to read and study this book so that it will create social action among us because we are called to be salt and light in the Philippines.” Pastor Dino said.
Jubilee Evangelical Church Pastor Telo Flores, one of the attendees, has high hopes that the book will open further discussions on the Church and Integral Social Responsibility. “It is very significant because it talks about issues that are important in our society. It will open more discussions about the topics that need to be talked about. Some people may agree, some may disagree but what is nice about the academic discussion is it begins conversations.”