If (since) "The doctrine of justification by faith is in fact the great ecumenical doctrine" and a declaration that we are indeed forgiven. If it is also a statement that all people, thus justified, are part of the family of Abraham and therefore have a place at the ecclesial table, then doesn’t it stand to reason that everyone at the table should have a voice, especially if the topic is justification by faith (the great ecumenical doctrine)? Certainly, we don’t expect some to just sit there while others are permitted to speak? What is really going on here? O.....I think I get it…Some of us are now are allowed to get on the ecclesiastical bus but are expected to shut up and sit in the back (to change the metaphor)!
The whole doctrinal debate/discussion over Justification by faith smacks of Eurocentric hegemony. Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t hear the voice of the world, but white brothers only (as brilliant and needed as they are). Are there not just 'new perspectives' but other perspectives to be heard as well, ones that could inform and enrich current understandings?
It reminds me of the numerous incidents where little precocious and perceptive black kids have gone home and said, “Mommy, why does the teacher only pick the white kids for all the answers?” I feel their pain.
Maybe, we can listen and learn something about J by F from the following:
A Latin American voice
Tamez, Elsa. Amnesty of Grace: Justification by Faith From a Latin American Perspective. Nashville: Parthenon, 1993.
An Asian voice
Kim, Chang-Nack. "Justification by Faith--A Minjung Perspective." Chicago Theological Seminary Register 85 (1995): 14-23
An African voice
Maimela, Simon S. "Justification by Faith and Its Continuing Relevance for South Africa." In Theology and the Black Experience: The Lutheran Heritage Interpreted by African and African-American Theologians, ed. Albert Pero and Ambrose Moyo, 35-41. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1988.
Hear a prophet of your own:
“The [Two-]Third[s] world church will find its greatest struggle in learning to be a teacher of the West. The Western Church will find its agony in being taught to be a learner.” - Harvie Conn (italics mine)
Disclaimer: My tone is intended to be pointed not acrimonious. Those that know me, know that I’m really just a big, black teddy bear type. That being said, I really do mean what I say here.