Posted 12 January 2016
Speaking at the 7th to 10th January General Nordic Conference on Systematic Theology in Helsinki, the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, said that while the Church’s advocacy work must identify “hindrances” towards a more just and peaceful world it must also contribute to finding solutions.
Key themes of the conference were God and secularism; Christ and ecumenism; reformation; and service and advocacy.
Participants addressed these themes in the context of today’s highly pluralistic Nordic societies.
In addition to secular ideologies of various kinds, a wide array of Christian denominations and world religions alike have become part of the Nordic socio-cultural landscape.
Particularly in this landscape, hope must be the characteristic message of the Church, said Dr Tveit.
“The advocacy of the Church can only be based on a Christian faith that has a prophetic, critical approach that is aiming at transformation and hope; not marked by fatalism, by indifference or cynical words of devaluation of others, but by love,” he added.
Dr Tveit described hope as “a quality of faith”, and asserted that “a necessary condition for hope is that it expresses itself in love for others, whoever and wherever they are”.