Saturday, 31 May 2008

Cluster Bomb Ban: At last something to be proud of being British

At last, something to be proud of being British - well sort of. On Wednesday 28th May, Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, made it as an international statesman. He declared that Britain will scrap all its cluster bombs and he called on other countries to follow the UK's lead. Cluster bombs which scatter when dropped from aircraft and are supposed to explode on impact but often do not, until disturbed, typically by children.

Ed Johnson, writing for Bloomberg says "Cluster munitions are canisters packed with as many as 650 small bombs that can cover an area of several thousand square meters. As many as 40 percent of the sub-munitions fail to detonate and pose a risk to civilians for years after a conflict has ended, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross."

According to Andrew Woodcock, writing in the Independent, the Prime Minister said he hoped Britain's action would "break the log jam" and make an international agreement on banning the weapons possible. He was speaking as talks reached their final stages in Irish capital Dublin on prohibiting the use of the weapons, which have been blamed for killing and maiming thousands of civilians in war zones. Speaking in 10 Downing Street, Mr Brown said: "We have decided, after a great deal of discussion, that we can help break the log jam so that we can get international agreement that would ban cluster bombs.

"We have decided we will take all our types of cluster bombs out of service. I believe that is going to make a difference to the negotiations that are now taking place. I look forward to other countries following us in this action and I look forward to other countries being able to take these cluster bombs out of service. I think this would be a big step forward to make the world a safer place."At the start of the conference, Britain was being criticised for "being the chief obstacle" to the signing of a treaty.

According to Kim Sengupta, writing in the Independent, "The two sets of weapons at the heart of the argument are the M85 and the M73, munitions fired, respectively, by artillery and rockets. British officials claim these are "smart" weapons which minimise the risk of "collateral damage" and are essential for military operations. The M85 is meant to self destruct and not pose a lingering threat to civilians. However, according to the United Nations, 300 civilians were killed or injured in Lebanon, where Israel used the weapons in 2006. An Apache helicopter can launch 684 M73 bomblets in one attack. They were used by the Americans in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Their use was criticised by US forces, who had to negotiate unexploded cluster munitions on their way to Baghdad. The first two British soldiers killed in Kosovo were casualties of Nato cluster bombs they had been trying to clear. Senior Foreign Office sources said the UK was not prepared to give up the M73 and the system was "non-negotiable". There was said to be flexibility over the M85, but the Ministry of Defence is expected to resist losing them."

Martin Bell observes, "Most senior military figures I know have no time for cluster munitions, on military as well as humanitarian grounds. A former adjutant general, Lord Ramsbotham, told the House of Lords: "I can find no justification for the deployment of these weapons in any activity the British arms has been involved in since the end of the Cold War."

"They are weapons of territory denial which substitute for infantry, but end up endangering the soldiers they are designed to protect. The UK's intervention in Kosovo was casualty-free in military terms, except for the soldiers who risked their lives – and in some cases lost them – trying to clear the unexploded ordnance."

UK government officials apparently came under pressure from the US administration, who refused to participate in the conference, not to ban the weapon. Britain's decision has implications for the storage of US cluster bombs on UK soil as well as the legal status of British military personnel serving alongside their US counterparts who may use these now banned weapons. The ban prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapons.

Sengupta writes, "Lord Ramsbotham, a fomer British Army general and chief inspector of prisons, is among a number of distinguished senior officers, including General Sir Rupert Smith, General Patrick Cordingley and Field Marshal Lord Brammall, who have asked the Government to sign the treaty. Lord Ramsbotham, who flew to Afghanistan yesterday as part of a parliamentary delegation, said: "I am going to ask the commanders there whether they intend to use cluster weapons and I would be very surprised if the answer is 'yes'. There are moral objections to using cluster munitions, but tactical ones as well. They were designed to stop Soviet armour in the Cold War. There is no place for them in the type of warfare we are seeing now."

In total, 111 Countries agreed to ban the use of cluster bombs. Israel, the US, China, India and Pakistan, however, did not agree. Israel, for example, dropped over 2 million cluster bombs in Lebanon in 2006 that killed so many civilians and continue to kill and maim children who pick them up thinking they are toys. According to Ed Johnson, "More than 70 countries stockpile cluster bombs and 34 are known to produce them, according to the Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of 200 civil society organizations."

For an illustration of a cluster bomb see BBC website.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Defending Christian Zionism: Responding to David Pawson

I remember 30 years ago, as a new Christian listening with awe to David Pawson’s audio tapes, fresh from Guildford Baptist Church and finding his teaching so helpful. Over the years I have benefited a great deal from his books and I have great respect for David Pawson. We have corresponded and met on two occasions over the past year and had in-depth conversations. We have found a good measure of agreement. We also debated one another on Premier Christian Radio on 22nd May 2008.

I am glad that David has felt able to commend my own book, Zion’s Christian Soldiers. “my fellow Zionists… will be disturbed by my agreement with much of Sizer’s criticism of this position.” (p. 19). “I am grateful to Stephen Sizer for drawing attention to the legitimate criticisms of dispensational Zionism. He has rendered a service to the cause of Zionism which was needed.” (p. 39) I have to say, however, that David’s book is a disappointment. I don’t think that is simply because David has put my name on the cover and admits on page 17, “Sizer is my main ‘target’” The book appears to have been written in haste and without much attention to detail. This might explain some of the factual errors it contains, besides the sweeping generalisations and occasional inflammatory language.

I am disappointed most of all because David does not engage with my arguments from Scripture but rather restates his own views while taking swipes at what he thinks I believe. This suggests that while his book was written as a defence of Christian Zionism and to refute the position I have taken in my two books, Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon? (IVP, 2004) and Zion’s Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel and the Church (IVP, 2007), he does not actually engage with either. And yes, in places, it does get a little personal.

Although David’s book has 160 pages, the font is larger than usual and the spacing wider than necessary so the book appears more substantial than it is. Also, I am sure it is embarrassing to David that on the front cover his name is unusually printed in a larger font than even the book title. Sadly, the book has no footnotes, no references and no bibliography so there is no way to check the occasional sources quoted. It is therefore a book to read but not particularly useful for Bible study.

The book has five main chapters besides and introduction and conclusion: Two Zionisms, Five Covenants, Two Peoples, The Promised Land and the Second Coming. The book concludes with an appendix critiquing a sermon by John Stott on the ‘Place of Israel’ which is included in my second book.

The saddest aspect of the book is the tone with which David occasionally writes. There is an impatience with positions he disagrees with and sometimes barely concealed anger. Sometimes David implies Divine judgement on those who challenge his position.

For example, in his conclusions he refers to an international conferences held in 2004 and sponsored by Sabeel in Jerusalem, entitled ‘Challenging Christian Zionism’. The participants included evangelicals, liberal and Catholic Christians together with Jewish and Muslim speakers and participants, who were deeply troubled by the failure of the international community to bring about justice for the Palestinians, peace for Israel and reconciliation between Jews and Arabs. Nevertheless, David, who was not a participant, writes, “Now a rising tide of anti-Zionism is added to the mix. The Archbishop of Canterbury consents to speak at a conference in Jerusalem… specifically denouncing Christian Zionism… The most belligerent speaker died shortly after returning home. Stephen Sizer was a delegate. Some preachers deliberately attack Israel… How does the Holy One of Israel feel about all this?” (p. 154)

In the Appendix, David summarises, despite very few actual quotes, an unpublished sermon by John Stott, which he graciously allowed me to include in Zion’s Christian Soldiers. In my opinion, the book is worth buying just for this sermon. David begs to differ however. “It is unlike such a careful scholar to build so much on so flimsy a foundation… when it comes to expounding particular texts Stott gets into difficulties, coming up with some unusual, even bizarre explanations… For Stott ‘Jerusalem’ does not refer to the Jewish capital at all but to “the whole present world order” which will be brought to an end before Jesus returns. This extraordinary claim…” (pp. 159-160).

David seems unaware that this is how the Apostle Paul associates Jerusalem with the opponents of Christ (Galatians 4:21-27) as does the Apostle John (Revelation 11:8). The writer to Hebrews calls us to look to another Jerusalem as our true home (Hebrews 12:22-23). He concludes with the regrettable comment, “it is a great pity that this sermon had not remained unpublished.” Perhaps it would be charitable to suggest it would have been better if David’s comment had remained unsaid.

My question to David is this. Was the coming of Jesus the fulfillment or the postponement of the promises God made to Abraham?David’s case for Christian Zionism requires him to show that unconditional promises concerning the land were made by God exclusively with a racial group descended from Abraham, and apply in perpetuity to their physical Jewish descendants, apart from faith in Jesus Christ. This he cannot and does not prove from Scripture.

This is why I continue to regard Christian Zionism as an oxymoron, a basic contradiction in terms. Nothing in David’s book leads me to think otherwise.

John Stott has commented on this blog, "I am glad and grateful that you have taken up the cudgels in defence of our views which have been misrepresented by David Pawson in his latest book. Now that I have entered my 88th year, I am really no longer able to enter into this kind of debate..."

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Global Anglicanism and English Orthodoxy

The Anglican Communion is "in the first stages of divorce". Over the past 125 years, or so, two positions have been moving further and further apart. Evangelical and Liberal. Gregory Venables, the Anglican Archbishop of the Southern Cone (read South America) observed “at present we are incompatible doctrinally and ethically and quite different in our presuppositions. Once we recognize that maybe we can have an amicable divide. This is separation from an apostate situation.” “The Anglican Communion in the US has been hijacked” Archbishop Venables said, by a liberal clique that is less concerned with theological integrity than with power. They do not “mind as long as they control it.”

Let me illustrate how bad the situation has become and what led Archbishop Venables to say this. Dr James Packer is the 81 year old author of the Christian classic “Knowing God”. In 2005, Time Magazine listed him as one of the 20 most influential theologians in the world. Dr. Packer serves at the parish of St. John's Shaughnessy in Vancouver, Canada. But last month, Packer was kicked out of the Church of Canada by his Bishop, Michael Ingham, for apparently ‘abandoning the faith”. Bishop Ingham has been in the forefront in the leadership of the Anglican Church of Canada pushing the church to abandon traditional Christian doctrine on sexual morality and biblical authority. In February, Ingham issued a "Notice of Presumption of Abandonment of the Exercise of the Ministry" to nine Anglican ministers and two deacons including Dr Packer. Responding Dr. Packer told an audience of orthodox Anglicans that scripture stories "prompt us to ask what God was doing…

I ask the same question: what is God doing not to the Anglican Church of Canada but the disorder that only seems to grow in the old west?" meaning the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. “We pray for an end to it but we do not see an end to it. I continue to pray that out of all this God is going to purge the old west of its poisonous liberalism which is weakening and shrinking the churches." He said it is "God's way of purging" to allow problems to "grow to its full stature so that its real nature can be seen so that finally it is squeezed out." "It seems to me that in a situation where arguably, elected bishops become heretical, what is the divine answer to that, there must be possibility for realignment for the faithful where heresy, doctrinal and moral is approved." "God is preparing and toughening us for specially demanding conflict. In our call to mission, I suspect that over the next generations it is going to be exceedingly tough as we face secularism and ethnic religions surge which do not tolerate Christianity. The pressure is on and increasing. God is toughening us for mission."

More than 30 clergy have received licences to serve in the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) under the archiepiscopal authority of the Southern Cone because of disagreement with the Canadian Church over homosexuality. In a sermon preached recently on Romans 1:18-32 entitled, the Gracious Wrath of God, I highlighted God’s charge against us: “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

Although Bishop Gene Robinson has not been invited to the Lambeth Conference this July, he will conveniently be there for a fringe event. He has decided to bring his male partner on a ‘honeymoon’ to London the same week. And no doubt he will be promoting his new book, “In the Eye of the Storm”

The former Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, said this of the book: “A timely, courageous and revealing personal memoir from the figure at the centre of the explosive storm that is changing the face of Anglicanism worldwide…This is Gene Robinson’s own story, told with simplicity and humility and revealing his passionate faith.... This honest account will encourage anyone seriously committed to the message of Jesus, and shows him deeply committed within the Anglican Communion even to those who vilify him.” Isn’t this precisely what the Apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 1, “they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

Is that not what Richard Harries is doing? This is why 280 Bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion will not be at Lambeth in July. Instead they will meet together in Amman to explore how to maintain a gospel witness in the Anglican Communion and prepare for an Anglican future in which the gospel is uncompromised and Christ-centred mission a top priority.

And that is why, following the Bishop’s meeting in Amman, together with over 1000 leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million church-going Anglicans, I and Joanna hope to attend the Global Anglican Futures Conference in Jerusalem. And that is why I am also co-sponsoring, along with 29 other incumbents, an historic meeting for church leaders at All Souls, Langham Place on the 1st July entitled “Global Anglicanism and English Orthodoxy”. This meeting will be an excellent opportunity: to hear first hand from some orthodox Anglicans from around the worldto pray for the future of the Anglican communionto stand alongside our gospel partnersto express our concern for historical Anglican orthodox beliefto consider the way forward in gospel mission Speakers will include:

Henry Orombi (Archbishop of Uganda): Orthodoxy and Effective Mission
Greg Venables (Archbishop of the Southern Cone): Orthodoxy and Global Connections
Jim Packer (St John’s Shaughnessy Canada): Orthodoxy and Personal Experience
Peter Jensen (Archbishop of Sydney): Orthodoxy and True Anglicans

Despite what others may say we have no plans to “jump ship” and leave the Church of England or put ourselves under overseas bishops, but rather to stay as gospel-faithful Anglicans. Nor do we have any intentions to start some new “political’ organisation - the evangelical world has enough of those already! This could be a significant meeting both for the perceptions of orthodox Anglicans elsewhere in the world as well as within the Church of England, and for those who have the responsibility for putting together a way forward for our denomination.

Click here for more information on GAFCON and Anglican Mainstream

To listen to a sermon on Romans 1:18-32

Monday, 19 May 2008

Lost in Transit: On the Road to Jakarta

I should have noticed her before, but I didn’t. Perhaps it was because of the unfamiliar surroundings – Abu Dhabi airport. Perhaps it was because there were hundreds of other people of colourful nationalities milling around waiting for flights. A few Europeans, several groups of Muslim pilgrims and a lot of what appeared to be migrant workers on their way to work or home. Perhaps it was because I was tired. It was gone midnight and I had already spent three hours waiting for my second leg flight to Jakarta. The computer enhanced female voice of the flight announcer ensured no one fell asleep.

But there she was. Standing right next to me as I sat down to watch the BBC World Service news. She could only have been 10 years old. She had a far eastern complexion and dark hair. My parental instinct kicked in when I realised she was standing alone and not responding to the airport staff who periodically came up to speak with her.

The men in uniform clearly felt awkward and didn’t want to touch her, so they gently coerced female passengers nearby to speak to her. They urged her to go with them but she would not comply. They spoke in Arabic but she could not or would not reply. They offered her drinks and food. She refused. I spoke to her in English but she would not respond to me either. I felt utterly helpless.

They searched her plastic bag. It contained some clothes and papers but no ID, no passport, no ticket. How could she have become stranded on the secure air side of the airport terminal? Then it dawned on me. Had she been abandoned? Who could do that to a child? What would drive a parent to leave a child in an airport terminal? Then she was gone, although her meagre belongings remained left on the seat.

As I pondered, it became a picture of why I was making the journey of 7278 miles each way to Jakarta in order to give a 25 minute talk. The international conference to be held at the University of Indonesia was commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) under the title “Freedom and Right of Return” . While Israel celebrates 60 years as a sovereign nation, Palestinians lament 60 years of occupation, exile and denial. Like the young girl in Abu Dhabi airport, Palestinians have been abandoned by the international community. Their lands seized, their olive trees uprooted, their homes demolished, their villages erased from the map, their basic human rights ignored, denied or marginalised. That was whi I was going to give a 25 minute talk about Western complicity in the Nakba, and from a Christian perspective what our responsibility is in the Middle East.

On the second leg from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta, I counted two other Europeans and maybe 300 Indonesians on the flight, returning home from working in the Gulf region or a pilgrimage to Mecca. Half way across India we turned back because of a medical emergency and made an unscheduled landing in Bombay which delayed us for two additional hours. It reminded me of the inconvenience and delay caused to the Samaritan who stopped to help the man who ‘fell among thieves’ on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem.

Eventually arriving in Jakarta, 24 hours after departing London, we were given VIP treatment getting through passport control. And during the conference we were given a police escort for our fleet of vehicles delivering us to and from the university each day.

Participating organisations and NGOs included the Centre for Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Indonesia; the International Union of NGOs defending Palestinian Rights (Iran); Neturei Karta International - Orthodox Jews who oppose Zionism (USA); the Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism (me); The United Ulama Council (South Africa); the Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt); Bethlehem Bible College (Palestine); Innovative Minds (UK) together with other speakers from Norway, Lebanon, Australia and Switzerland. Members of the Indonesian parliament and various Middle East ambassadors mingled with journalists, reporters, students and faculty from the university.

The conference explored five key elements:

The History and Origin of the Conflict over Historic Palestine.
The Right of Return: Its Legal and Moral Principles.
One or Two State Solution: The Quest for Equality.
Referendum by Native Palestinians: Resolving Conflict.
The Right of Resistance: Its Moral and Legal Principles

During the conference I was interviewed by The Jakarta Post, Tabloid Jumat and Adnkronos.

On this anniversary of the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba and of Israel ‘s Independence is it not time to resolve the conflict? If Israel continues to refuse to comply with UN Resolutions, end its military occupation of Palestine and withdraw the illegal settlements and return to the June 1967 borders, and if the international community lacks the political will to impose the Road-Map Two State solution, then we must call for One State for all.

Perhaps it is time to campaign for Palestinian emancipation, for equal rights with Israelis and above all the right to vote. Israel wants to be a democracy, a Zionist State and keep the Occupied Territories. It can have two but not all three. It can be a democracy and Zionist State by withdrawing from Palestine (Two States). It can be a democracy in all the land and give up Zionism (One State). Or it must recognise that it is a Zionist State in all the land but not a democracy (Pariah State).

Will the Palestinians remain like that young girl I met in Abu Dhabi airport, ‘lost in transit’ for another 60 years? That is up to you and me.

My prayer is best expressed in this song by Garth Hewitt.

May the justice of God fall down like fire
and bring a home for the Palestinian.
May the mercy of God pour down like rain
and protect the Jewish people.
And may the beautiful eyes of a Holy God
who weeps for His children
Bring the healing hope for His wounded ones
For the Jew and the Palestinian.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Joint Declaration by Christian Leaders on Israel’s 60th Anniversary

We, the undersigned, church leaders and representatives of our different denominations and organisations, join together on the 60th anniversary of the Israeli state to offer a contribution to that which makes for peace.

We recognise that today, millions of Israelis and Jews around the world will joyfully mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel (Yom Ha'atzmaut). For many, this landmark powerfully symbolises the Jewish people’s ability to defy the power of hatred so destructively embodied in the Nazi Holocaust. Additionally, it is an opportunity to celebrate the wealth of cultural, economic and scientific achievements of Israeli society, in all its vitality and diversity.

We also recognise that this same day, millions of Palestinians living inside Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the worldwide diaspora, will mourn 60 years since over 700,000 of them were uprooted from their homes and forbidden from returning, while more than 400 villages were destroyed (al-Nakba). For them, this day is not just about the remembrance of a past catastrophic dispossession, dispersal, and loss; it is also a reminder that their struggle for self-determination and restitution is ongoing.

To hold both of these responses together in balanced tension is not easy. But it is vital if a peaceful way forward is to be forged, and is central to the Biblical call to “seek peace and pursue it” (Ps. 34:14). We acknowledge with sorrow that for the last 60 years, while extending empathy and support to the Israeli narrative of independence and struggle, many of us in the church worldwide have denied the same solidarity to the Palestinians, deaf to their cries of pain and distress.
To acknowledge and respect these dual histories is not, by itself, sufficient, but does offer a paradigm for building a peaceful future. Many lives have been lost, and there has been much suffering. The weak are exploited by the strong, while fear and bitterness stunt the imagination and cripple the capacity for forgiveness.

We therefore urge all those working for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine to consider that any lasting solution must be built on the foundation of justice, which is rooted in the very character of God. After all, it is justice that “will produce lasting peace and security” (Isaiah 32:17). Let us commit ourselves in prophetic word and practical deed to a courageous settlement whose details will honour both peoples’ shared love for the land, and protect the individual and collective rights of Jews and Palestinians in the Holy Land.

“Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid” (Micah 4:4)

  • Adam Hunter, Mansfield Ohio
  • Dr. Alan Kreider, Associate Professor of Church History and Mission, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
  • Right Revd. Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham in the Church of England Diocese of Oxford
  • Dr. Alun Morinan, CAAT (Campaign Against Arms Trade) Christian Network National Co-ordinator
  • Revd. Andrew Bevan, Pastor, Littlemore Baptist Church, Oxford UK
  • Revd. Andrew Sillis, Vicar of St Nicholas' Church, North Hayes, Middlesex, UK
  • Revd. Andy Ward, Vicar of St Augustine’s Church, Derby, UK
  • Revd. Dr. Anna Robbins, Acting Principal of London School of Theology
  • Antony Brown
  • Revd. Arani Sen, Emmanuel Church, Southall, UK
  • Arli Klassen, Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee
  • Revd. Canon Ben Enwuchola, Chaplain to the Nigerian Community in UK
  • Bernard Fillion-Dufouleur, retired law professor
  • Revd. Canon Dr. Bill Musk
  • Bill Robinson, President, Whitworth University, Spokane, WA, USA
  • Bill Rose, Tampa Florida
  • Revd. Bob Almond, Senior Minister, Kirby Muxloe Free Church, Leicester, UK
  • Bob Roberts Jr., Senior Pastor NorthWood Church
  • Brian Haill, President of The Australian AIDS Fund Inc.
  • Revd. Brian Jolly, Minister, Altrincham United Reformed Church, UK & Trustee of UK Charity Biblelands
  • Brian McLaren, author/pastor
  • Canon Bridget Rees, Chair of Friends of Sabeel UK (outgoing)
  • Brother Andrew, author of ‘God's Smuggler’, ‘Light Force’
  • Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA
  • Catherine James, member of the Board of Cytun, Churches Together in Wales
  • Cathy Nobles, Reconciliation Walk...the journey continues Field Director
  • Charles Clayton, National Director of World Vision in Jerusalem on behalf of World Vision International
  • Chris Alexander
  • Revd. Dr. Christopher Cocksworth, Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge
  • Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford
  • Father Claude Mostowik, Director of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre, and National President of Pax Christi Australia
  • Claudine Castelnau, Journalist of l'Église réformée de France, Paris
  • Revd. Colin Brookes, Assistant Vicar at St Barnabas Church, North London
  • Revd. Colin Chapman, author of ‘Whose Promised Land?’ ‘Whose Holy City’ ‘The Cross and the Crescent’
  • Right Revd. Cyril Ashton, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Doncaster
  • Dave Bergen, Executive Secretary, Christian Formation, Mennonite Church Canada
  • Right Revd. David Atkinson, Bishop of Thetford in the Church of England Diocese of Norwich
  • Revd. Canon Dr. David Hewlett, Principal of The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Foundation
  • Very Revd. Dr. David Ison, Dean of Bradford Cathedral, Church of England Diocese of Bradford
  • David J Carter
  • David Robinson, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement
  • David and Elspeth Rymer
  • Revd. Dean Ayres, Chaplain of Thames Valley University, London
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Donald G. Peters, Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee Canada
  • Revd. Dr. Donald Wagner, Professor and Dir., Center for Middle Eastern Studies, North Park University, Chicago
  • Eddie Lyle, CEO, Open Doors UK and Ireland
  • Revd. Dr. Elizabeth A. Smith, Chair of Leeds Methodist District
  • Elizabeth Deeks MBE
  • Revd. Elizabeth A Welch, Moderator, West Midlands Synod, United Reformed Church
  • Episcopal Bishop's Committee on Israel/Palestine for the Diocese of Olympia
  • Evelyne A. Reisacher, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and Intercultural Relations at Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Revd. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, Presbyterian minister, member of the Presbytery of Great Atlanta & Moderator of the 214th General Assembly of the Presbyterian church (USA)-2002-2003
  • Frederic W. Bush, formerly of Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Revd. Canon Garth Hewitt, Director of Amos Trust and Canon of St George's Cathedral, Jerusalem
  • Prof. Gary Burge, Wheaton College, author of ‘Whose Land? Whose Promise?’
  • Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director/CEO, World Evangelical Alliance
  • George Brushaber, President of Bethel University
  • Gilles Castelnau, Pastor of l'Église réformée de France, Paris
  • Revd. Glenn R. Palmberg, President of the Evangelical Covenant Church
  • Right Revd. Graham Cray, Bishop of Maidstone in the Church of England Diocese of Canterbury
  • Canon Dr Graham Kings, vicar of St Mary Islington and theological secretary of Fulcrum
  • Right Revd. Greg Rickel, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, US.
  • Revd. Gregor Henderson, President, The Uniting Church in Australia
  • Revd. Gretchen Winkler, Lutheran Church of Martha and Mary (ELCA), Mt. Prospect, IL. USA
  • Revd. G. T. Jones, Secretary, Church & Society Department, Presbyterian Church of Wales
  • Hugh Mowat
  • Jack Haberer, Editor, The Presbyterian Outlook, Virginia, USA
  • Right Revd. Jack Nicholls, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Sheffield
  • Right Revd. James Bell, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Knaresborough
  • James and Tricia Goddard
  • Revd. James Ramsay, University of East London Chaplaincy
  • James W. Skillen, President of the Center for Public Justice
  • James Wishart, Northampton UK
  • Janet Plenert, Executive Secretary, Mennonite Church Canada Witness
  • Jennifer Oldershaw, Coordinator, Friends of Sabeel UK
  • Baroness Jenny Tonge, Patron, Friends of Sabeel
  • Jerry Marshall, Marketing Strategy & Action Ltd.
  • Jim Wallis, Sojourners
  • Revd. Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance
  • Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland Church
  • Revd. John Angle
  • John Berg, VP for Program Advancement and Development at Middle East Fellowship
  • John Brown, Secretary for Youth Work in the United Reformed Church
  • Revd. John Coles, Director of New Wine
  • Revd. John Cribb, retired United Reformed Church minister, UK
  • Revd. John Hubers, Former Director of Reformed Church in America's Mission Programs in the Middle East and South Asia, PhD student in Christian-Muslim relations at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
  • Revd. John Owen, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Wales
  • Right Revd. John Pritchard, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford
  • Revd. John Pritchard, Chair of Governors, Southlands College, Roehampton University, and formerly general Secretary of the Methodist Church’s Overseas Division
  • Revd. John White
  • John & Debby Wright, Senior Pastors, Trent Vineyard, Nottingham, UK
  • Jonathan Bartley, Co-director, Ekklesia
  • The Revd. Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary, the Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • Karen Shurety
  • Revd. Kathy Galloway, Leader of the Iona Community
  • Revd. Ken Summers, Minister at St. George's and Birkdale United Reformed Churches, Southport, and Senior Chaplain South Town Centre Chaplaincy Team
  • Dr. Kevin Bray, Member of the National Council of Churches of Christ in Australia, Chair of the Canberra Ecumenical Working Group on Palestine-Israel and Chair of Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine
  • Revd. Kevin Watson, Yorkshire Synod Moderator, United Reformed Church, UK
  • Kristine Glenn, US
  • Leo Roberts, Youth and Children’s Work Training and Development Officer, United Reformed Church
  • Leonard Rodgers, Director of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding: An International Coalition
  • Revd. Leslie Budhi, Pastor of Edenthorpe Pentecostal Church, Nr Doncaster, UK
  • Leslie McLoughlin, Fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK
  • Linnea Nilsen Capshaw, Deep Shift
  • Revd. Liz Moody, St Christopher's Church, Hanwell, London
  • Lynn Green, International Chairman of YWAM
  • Lynne Hart
  • Maged Rizk, Christian publisher
  • Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and co-founder of Peace People
  • Revd. Malcolm Duncan, Leader of Faithworks
  • Marianne Smith, Director of Public Relations for Hope Ventures International
  • Revd. Marie Dove, Methodist Minister, Batley, West Yorkshire, UK
  • Marilyn Borst, Director of Global Ministry at Peachtree Presbyterian Church
  • Prof. Mary Grey, Patron of Sabeel, Chair of Theology Group Sabeel UK
  • Dr Merryl Blair, Lecturer in Older Testament Studies, Churches of Christ Theological College, Mulgrave, Australia
  • Right Revd. Michael Doe, General Secretary of USPG Anglicans in World Mission
  • Right Revd. Michael Langrish, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of ExeterDr. Michael Marten, Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies with Religious Studies, School of Languages, Cultures and Religions at the University of Stirling
  • Right Revd. Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Winchester
  • Revd. Prof. Michael Taylor, Patron, Friends of Sabeel
  • Right Revd. Nicholas Reade, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Blackburn
  • Revd. Nick Stanyon, minister Christ Well, Manselton United Reformed Church, Swansea, UK
  • Pam Peters-Pries, Executive Secretary, Support Services, Mennonite Church Canada
  • Revd. Patrick Forbes, semi-retired Anglican priest, writer and broadcaster
  • Paul Gordon-Chandler, author of ‘Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslim Road: Exploring a New Path Between Two Faiths’
  • Revd. Paul J. Kottke, Senior Pastor at University Park UMC, Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Dr. Paul W. Robinson, Director and Professor, Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) Program, Wheaton College
  • Revd. Paul Weaver, General Superintendent of Assemblies of God in Great Britain
  • Peter Adams, working in Intercultural Relations at St Mary’s Church, Luton, UK
  • Right Revd. Peter Broadbent, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Willesden
  • Right Revd. Peter Price, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Bath and Wells
  • The Most Rev'd Dr. Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia
  • Porter Speakman Jr., University of the Nations, Colorado Springs
  • Revd. Pryderi Llwyd Jones, Morlan Faith and Culture Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales
  • Revd. Ray Adams, Deputy General Secretary, The United Reformed Church
  • Revd. Ray Skinner, Anglican Team Rector of Morden, Surrey, UK
  • Right Revd. Richard Llewellin, formerly Bishop at Lambeth
  • Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Revd. Canon Richard K. Toll, Friends of Sabeel - North America
  • Dr. Robert E. Cooley, President Emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA. USA
  • Right Revd. Robert Evens, Bishop of Crediton in the Church of England Diocese of Exeter
  • Dr. Robert Miner, PhD., Amman, Jordan
  • Robert J. Suderman, General Secretary, Mennonite Church Canada
  • Rod Benson, Ethicist & Public Theologian at Tinsley Institute (Morling College)
  • Roger Parmentier, Pastor of the Eglise Réformée France (Retraité), Le Mas d’Azil, France
  • Revd. Dr Ross Clifford, President of the Baptist Union of Australia
  • Revd. Rowena Francis, Northern Synod Moderator, United Reformed Church UK
  • Revd. Sabina Alkire, Chaplain Associate at Magdalen College, Oxford University, and Director of Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
  • Dr. Samuel O. Morris, Lead Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Columbus, MS USA and President Jerusalem Institute (for Biblical Exploration)
  • Dr Severine Deneulin, Lecturer in International Development, Department of Economics and International Development, University of Bath, UK
  • Sharen Green
  • Simon Barrow, Co-director, Ekklesia
  • Revd. Simon Winn, Vicar of St Joseph the Worker, Northolt and Trustee of the Church Mission Society (UK)
  • Right Revd. Stephen Platten, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Wakefield
  • Stephen Rand, writer
  • Revd. Stephen Sizer, author of 'Christian Zionism', 'Zion's Christian Soldiers'
  • Dr. Stephen Travis, St John's College Nottingham
  • Steve Clifford, Pioneer/Inspire
  • Revd. Dr. Steve Griffiths, Director of Centre for Youth Ministry, Cambridge
  • Steve Smith, Director of Operations for World Indigenous Missions
  • Stewart Hemsley, Chair of Pax Christi British Section
  • Theresa Freeman
  • Revd. Thomas Chin, Pastor, Wesley Methodist Church, Melaka, Malaysia
  • Right Revd. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts
  • Revd. Tony Crowe, Whitstable, Kent, UK
  • Right Revd. Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract in the Church of England Diocese of Wakefield
  • Dr. Vernon Grounds, Chancellor of Denver Seminary
  • Right Revd. Wallace Benn, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Lewes
  • Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary, Old Testament scholar and author