Pavel Černý - Featured Author - EJT (Spring 2019)
Rev. Pavel Černý, ThD is a Pastor, seminary tutor, missiologist and ecumenical worker. He teaches at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic and lectures at the various missiological and ecumenical conferences. His article “The Church: Relic of the Past or Part of the Gospel Story?” appears in the first 2019 issue of the Evangelical Journal of Theology.
Article Summary: The Church: Relic of the Past or Part of the Gospel Story?
This article is a practical-theological discourse about the appearance and the importance of the Church. For many who are interested in Christianity, there are different obstacles in the form of the institutional Church and organised religion. We cannot avoid the fact that the Church does not have a favourable reputation in our society. Not just for people watching her from the outside, but even the mere existence of the Church sometimes creates a problem for our individualistic society. This trend was fostered in the 1960s and ‘70s when the Church was overlooked and rejected by theologians of various Christian traditions, including for example adherents of Liberation Theology. The Church was sometimes understood as a deformed expression of a certain entity that should in reality be the Kingdom of God. However, the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels gives the Church quite an important role, and the focus of the New Testament Epistles is church planting and building. In spite of all critical comments and distortions of the past and the present, I will argue that Christianity cannot exist without the Church. The Church is not a relic of the past but a substantial part of the gospel. We are allowed to seek a contextualised expression of the Church, but not to avoid her altogether. She is not an invention of Christians; she is the beloved bride of Christ that plays an important role in the plan of salvation and a crucial role in interpreting the Scriptures.
Education 2006 ThD in theology, Charles University, Prague 2002 Lic.Th. Exams in Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology and Ethics, Charles University, Prague 1974 MTh in theology, Faculty of Protestant Theology, Charles University, Prague
Employment 2016- Lecturer at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Prague 2010-2016 Pastor of the Church of the Brethren, Prague 1993-2010 President of the Church of the Brethren, Lecturer at the Theol. seminary 1974-1993 Pastor of the Church of the Brethren (Evangelical, reformed)
Research Abroad 2013 Wheaton College, Illinois, USA, research in Pastoral Theology (six weeks) 2002 Wheaton College, Illinois, USA, research in Missiology (six weeks) 1996 Wheaton College, Illinois, USA, research in Missiology (six weeks) 1991 Singapore, Haggai Institute, (theology and leadership) (six weeks) 1980-1981 All Nations Christian College, England (nine months)
Memberships of Boards and Networks 2012- President of the Institute of William Wilberforce 1996-2005 Vice-President of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Czech Rep. 2005-2009 President of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Czech Rep. 2006-2018 Societas Oecumenica 2012- Chair of the board of Fellowship of the Evangelical Theologians in CZ 2006- Central European Centre for Mission Studies 2002- Board Member of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians 2016- President of the Unity of Contanz (Fellowship of Protestant Christians) 2018- Central and Eastern European Association for Mission Studies