日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

The General Secretary's Diary


Those of us in the Kyodan who are eager to see progress in evangelism should keep an eye on two books published recently by the Kyodan Board of Publications. One is Our Evangelism, edited by the Committee on Evangelism, and the other is Believers' Guide, edited by the Research Institute on the Mission of the Church. I was asked to give brief reviews on each of them.
Our Evangelism is a collection of talks given at a series of evangelism seminars that were conducted from the fall of 2007 through the fall of 2008 at various locations across Japan. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of Protestantism in Japan, the book was published through
the strong support of the Kyodan Board of Publications. It records testimonies of four pastors who fought for God over several decades, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus at the risk of their lives. Evangelism is about building up the church of Christ in this land that we love. We who belong to the Kyodan are called to this purpose, and this book strongly asks readers to commit to that. I feel that it should be read by Kyodan believers as well.
Believers' Guide is a timely publication produced through the good efforts of the Research Institute on the Mission of the Church. At the recent 37th General Assembly a decision was made regarding one of the sacraments, namely communion, so the Kyodan is now at the point when it ought to have its own common ground of faith and truth. In question and answer form, Believers' Guide clearly explains the basis of Christianity as derived from the Kyodan Confession of Faith, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer. Therefore, it clarifies the beliefs on which the Kyodan stands.
It is said that the foundations of the Christian church are the Bible (canon), the creed (credo), and order and organization (ordo). The Kyodan has indeed inherited the traditions of the Christian church and recognizes the Bible as the canon and professes the Kyodan's Confession of Faith, which is mainly based on the Apostles' Creed and is the result of trials and efforts of faith. This Confession of Faith has produced an institutional church with a clergy system, as an embodiment of biblical order, as well as a constitution and bylaws by which church governance is conducted.
It is desired that the Kyodan will proactively engage in evangelism, standing on this foundation of faith, and that it will be further equipped as an organization and as an institution. In this sense, it is my sincere hope as general secretary that Kyodan believers read these books and make the most of them so that each one will be nurtured in faith and be equipped as faithful witnesses of Christ. (Tr. YY)
--Naito Tomeyuki, general secretary
 このたび、教団の伝道の前進を願う私たちにとって、注目すべき二冊の本が刊行されました。一冊は伝道委員会(Committee on Evangelism)編『わたしたちの伝道』であり、もう一冊は宣教研究所(Research Institute on the Mission ofthe Church)編『信仰の手引き』です。今回はこの二冊の本を短く紹介することとします。
 『信仰の手引き』は、宣教研究所委員会の労作として時宜を得て刊行された本です。というのは、聖礼典(特に聖餐)をめぐる教理理解に決断をくだした第37回教団総会(General Assembly)を終えた今、私たちは教会を真に教会たらしめる信仰の真理を共通の基盤とすべき時を迎えているからです。この本の内容は、教団信仰告白(confession of faith)と、いわゆる三要文といわれる十戒と主の祈りをふまえたキリスト教信仰の基本を問答形式で分かりやすく解き明かしたものです。従って、それはそのまま教団がよってたつ信仰とはどのようなものなのかを明らかにしているのです。そもそも、キリスト教会形成の土台は聖書(カノンcanon)と信条(クレドーcredo)と秩序・組織(オルドーordo)と言われています。私達の教団はまさにキリスト教会の伝統をしっかりと受けとめ、聖書を正典として受け入れ、歴史の中での信仰の戦いによって勝ち取ってきた使徒信条を初めとした基本信条を受け継ぎつつ教団信仰告白を告白し、それにふさわしいみ言葉の秩序としての職制をもつ制度的教会なのです。それ故に教憲・教規(constitution/bylaws)を定めて教会政治を行ってきているのです。教団が今後益々伝道活動の主体として教団は信仰にたち、組織的に制度的に整えられていくことが求められているのです。

Kyodan Newsletter
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