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Rodrigo D. Tano, PhD.


Biography

Selected Essays an Doing Contextual Theology from a Filipino Evangelical Perspective DR. RODRIGO D. TANO (DipTheo, Ebenezer Bible Institute, 1955; A.B., Far Eastern University, 1966; M.T.S., Gordon-Conwell Seminary, 1974; M.Div., New Orleans Baptist Seminary, 1975; Ph.D., Baylor University, 1979) is counted among the honored handful of scholars who pioneered the cause for contextualization among Filipino and Asian evangelicals. His PhD dissertation at Baylor, Theology in the Philippine Setting: A Case Study in the Contextualization of Theology (published by New Day Publishers in 1981) was a landmark work that opened to Filipino and Asian evangelicals the promises and perils of contextualization. It is said that the book also caught the watchful eye of the Philippine military, whose leaders - in those frightful days of Martial Rule under the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos would send undercover agents to his classes at bible school and seminary; they obviously feared what possible revolutionary fervors it may stir up in the otherwise theologically and politically conservative sector inhabited by Filipino evangelical churches. Another anecdote that has filtered down to us in the present is that of senior students at Ebenezer who, taking to heart their lessons on contextualization under him, suggested that the graduation committee discard the traditional academic toga in graduation ceremonies in favor of the native barong tagalog and baro’t saya! Only the copious tears of the ladies in the graduating class - no doubt prompted by the ruckus the proposal had stirred up – made them reconsider their proposal. If anything, these contrasting vignettes underscore the risky and complicated task he faced as a contextual theologian. At various times, Dr. Tano had served as President of his alma mater, the Ebenezer Bible College (the former bible institute) in Zamboanga City; President of the Alliance Biblical Seminary (the present-day Alliance Graduate School) in Manila; President of the Philippine Association of Bible and Theological Schools; Member of the Executive Committee of the Asia Theological Association; Area Dean of the Asia Graduate School of Theology (AGST)-Manila, and chairperson of the Theology Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC); President and Bishop of his mother denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP); Member, Theological Commission and the Task Force on Ecumenical Relations, World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF); Member, International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education; and Scholar-in-Residence and Visiting Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Massachusetts. He had also pastored several Alliance churches in his many years as a seminary professor, conference speaker, and lecturer. It can well be said that a little over half a century after he received his call as a minister of the evangelical gospel, Dr. Tano is still at it, this time, as a shepherd to a younger generation of scholars of the Word at the AGST-Manila, where he now serves as program director for theology, and at his home seminary, AGS, where he is also a faculty for its innovative Master of Ministry program for church workers. In the year 2005, he and his wife, the former Milagros Pamaran, marked their golden wedding anniversary.
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This is a modest project conceived to honor the legacy of one of our denomination’s – if not, Filipino evangelicalism’s ...