Seminar jointly organised by the Vaivakawn Pastorate Youth Fellowship and the ATC

A Seminar onSeminar-pic1 “The Bible and the Contemporary World” was jointly organised by the Vaivakawn Pastorate Youth Fellowship and the Aizawl Theological College on May 14, 2016 at ATC Quadrangle, Durtlang Leitan. Around 400 youths from the three local churches namely, Kanan Presbyterian Church, Vaivakawn Presbyterian Church and Vaivakawn Vengthlang Presbyterian Church participated the seminar. Representatives from Women Fellowship, Men’s Fellowship and the Officials from the Pastorate along with the Pastor, Lalsangbera and members of ATC Faculty attended the seminar.

The first session was led by Mr. Sairenga Sailo, leader of Vaivakawn Pastorate Youth Fellowship. And the devotion was conducted by Rev. Prof. C. Lalhlira, Principal, ATC which was followed by a presentation of the first paper, “The Trustworthiness and the Authenticity of the Bible” written by Rev. Dr. K. Lallawmzuala. He highlighted the various ancient texts of the Bible where he argued that “in textual criticism the shorter text with less explanation is thought to be more original”. He discussed how the English Bible came into existence with a Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus (1466 – 1536). With the discovery of other ancient texts King James Version was published in 1611, however, this was revised after 250 years of its publication with  the permission of the Church of England and named Revised Version. It became one of the main sources for the translation of the Mizo Bible (OV). Do we still rely on the Bible in the age of the advancement of science and technology? He affirmed that the ideology of the world’s great transformations had its foundation on the Bible. For example, Non-Violent Movement, Civil Rights Movement, S. African Black Revolution and even Human Rights Movement – all were influenced by the teaching of the Bible. Comparatively to many good books the paper presenter believed that the Bible might have made the greatest impact to the nationalities even today. The revelation of God is manifested in Jesus Christ which is documented in the Bible, moreover, the contemporary world is able to discern the Word of God through the Bible. It is crucial to be in the world with the Bible.

Mr. Laltanpuia Chawngthu, Assistant Leader of Vaivakawn Pastorate Youth Fellowship led the second session and the second paper “The Existence of God” was presented by Rev. Laldingluaia, ATC. The resource person listed down four points on the mSeminar-pic2eaning of the Word of God in the Mizo context. It was the kerygma of the western missionary which was accepted by the first generation Mizo Christians. It was orally handed down to the people and later on it was written down, and named the Bible. The Bible is regarded as the Word of God, inspired by God. However, there seems to be no consensus among the people on the authority, infallibility and power of the Bible. The inner experience of the Holy Spirit is also given utmost importance by some people as the Word of God which cannot be rejected but there is no standard rule laid down by the official church. Theology is also regarded as the Word of God. “The Word” which is revealed to the people or the Word which is Jesus Christ points to the existence of God. Jesus Christ is the Word, God incarnate – “the word becomes flesh and dwells among us”. Therefore, the event of Jesus Christ manifests that God exists.

The moderator of the third session, Rev. Dr. L.H. Rawsea, introduced some of the issues on the translations of the Bible and the general discussion followed. Youths came up with various questions on the authority, the infallibility and the translations of the Bible. Issues on Science, philosophy and the Bible were also discussed at length.

It can be concluded that this kind of seminar is helpful in the age of science and technology as many youths have existential problems. The advancement of technology poses the fundamental questions to the Bible and specifically to our faith. It is our hope that the seminar would enrich all the participants in their faith journey.