Please intercede with us this week for Dr. Stavan John in India.
India, the world’s largest democracy, is home to over 1.38 billion people, 80% of whom are Hindus. Rising Hindu nationalism in recent years has troubled religious minorities, including Muslims (14% of the population) and Christians (2%). The 2019 landslide reelection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to both the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party and the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteer paramilitary, has exacerbated fears and escalated discrimination against non-Hindus.
Stavan teaches at South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), a client school of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. As part of SAIACS’ strategic faculty development plan, Stavan recently completed a PhD in Systematic Theology at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) in the United Kingdom. His dissertation, titled “The Risen and Ascended Humanity of Christ in T.F. Torrance’s ‘Complete’ Christology,” examines Christian understandings of Jesus’ bodily resurrection.
Stavan’s research is especially important in Indian contexts influenced by Hindu avatar theology, which emphasizes the spirit over the body. Stavan’s work offers a corrective, showing that Christ has achieved the salvation of whole persons. Check out Stavan’s 2021 article for Modern Reformation on “Chalcedon and Indian Christologies.” Stavan and his wife Christina have a nine-month-old son named Ishan.
Stavan shares the following message:
Dear ScholarLeaders Community,
Greetings! I write to you with gratitude for your prayers and support during my PhD studies at OCMS. Recently, I successfully defended my thesis on Thomas F. Torrance’s Theology of the Ascension.
My thesis journey was challenging and difficult but also a joy. I praise the Lord for bringing so many people into my life to encourage and help me. I’m especially grateful to ScholarLeaders for your prayers, encouragement, and support. I cannot believe that I have reached this milestone. All glory and praise be to the Lord!
Kindly pray for the ministry of SAIACS. Please pray for wisdom for our leaders as they seek to effectively address some of the most pressing theological and missional challenges in our context. Despite all these obstacles, please pray that we will continue to equip students to proclaim Christ faithfully and winsomely in an increasingly hostile environment.
Please pray for the many Christian organizations here to be able to generate more indigenous financial resources to continue building up people holistically with the Gospel.
Please also pray for peace and harmony to reign among various communities in our country. Pray that the Lord will raise up God-fearing leaders to govern our country wisely.
Please pray for me as I work on publication-oriented revisions to my thesis over the next few weeks, so that I can send it to potential publishers soon. I will also be teaching classes at SAIACS from January through March 2023 and would appreciate prayers as I prepare to teach.
Please pray for my wife as she works on a theological editing project. We would also appreciate prayers for our son, Ishan, who is nine months old. Kindly pray that the Lord will be at the center of our lives as a family and that we will together serve the Lord faithfully.
It has been a great privilege for me to be a part of the ScholarLeaders community. I look forward to staying connected to the ScholarLeaders community in the days to come.