Seeking Peace is a collaboration between Tearfund UK and The Warehouse, which invites participants on a journey of exploring the story of God within the contexts of their communities, their history and their world.
With clear descriptions, theology and suggestions on methodology, Seeking Peace provides a guide to Bible studies and reading scripture in places of historical and geographical significance. It aims to create spaces where people can share current concerns and develop tools for re-reading their stories in the bigger story of God at work in the world. This resource is designed to create space for collective rather than individual journeys, ideally with diverse groups of people.
What does the Bible say about Apartheid? In South Africa, when we asked this question, we found that the Bible was used in turn to ignore, defend and oppose Apartheid. When we asked what the Bible had to say about human enslavement, the Bible was used to both support and oppose slavery. When we asked what the Bible says about women leadership in the church, the Bible was used to both support and oppose women in leadership. To simply ask the questions, ‘Is it biblical?’ or ‘What does the Bible say about…?’ does not help us live in faithful obedience. We need to develop other tools and ask different questions of scripture in order to deepen our understanding of who God is, drawing us into lives of obedience.
Throughout the history of the church, context has played an important role in determining the conclusions we have come to when we answer the question, ‘What does the Bible say about…?’ For theologians answering this question, their time in history, nationality, socio-economic and political contexts significantly influenced the conclusions they reached. It is critical for every generation and every community to do their own readings and studies of God’s word together. Each must ask the question afresh, ‘What does the Bible say about …?’ so that we can join in the work that God is doing now in our neighbourhood.
To this end, we want to reflect on how, where and why God worked in scripture; how, where and why God worked in history; and so better expose to us, how, where and why we can collaborate with God in our world, making the story of God bigger, more visible to us, bearing prophetic witness to those around us.
Through this resource, we are promoting a three-fold interconnected pilgrimage. This approach can be used in any order, to connect the following three ‘texts’: