Mark was one of several British delegates to the conference, and he is currently a postgraduate student at Regents College Oxford, and he has also been the student pastor at Kings Sutton Baptist Church in North Oxfordshire for the past three years.
He explained that Oxford is an historical city with a university well over a thousand years old which has high reputations of both academic and theological excellence. For four years his postgraduate project has focussed on the Abrahamic faiths; Judaism, Christianity and Islam
"These three world faiths have come from the same root, Abraham," Mark Macaulay explained. "They all derive from a common thread, the one creator God.
In practical terms, they function like the relationships of a family: they all have the same source – the same 'head' if you like, but the cousins and other family members don't get along. The disagreement is not 'who' God is, but rather about 'how' to relate to God."
The Australian Missionary News IPTV anchorman, Mark Tronson, commented that he would love to be in one of the postgraduate classes at Regents College to hear further discussion of these issues.
As a Baptist Minister with oversight of these historical and theological relationships, Mark Macaulay highlighted two important aspects that should be considered for pastoral ministry.
The first aspect is to determine the context. In the West, for example, he sees that the biggest issue is the decline of what some see as 'values' and others now see as 'oppressions' – such things as the laws, controls, discipline and punishment that form our society. The emphasis has been progressively on individual freedom, he feels that we as a society are 'making it up as we go', and there is a need to encourage the idea that God is in charge and God as our guide.
The second aspect for pastors to consider is that of relationships. There is an urgent need to get back to the idea that we all have a responsibility for each other, rather than the idea that we have rights over each other, which leads to inevitable conflicts.
Mark Macaulay, nonetheless was upbeat about the future for Gospel proclamation in England, where the historical root of the Christian faith remains formidable in a time of change and challenge.
This interview with Mark Macaulay can be viewed on the Australian Missionary News IPTV at either tv.bushorchestra.com/BWC/videopages/mark_macaulay.html or www.safeworlds.net