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Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization

12 June 2010

The Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization is to be held in Cape Town from 16-25 October 2010.

In order to stimulate discussion before the congress actually takes place, some of the papers are already available:

They also announced that this month’s discussion theme would be “religious pluralism”, and my contribution to that theme is here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 13 June 2010 10:31 am

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks so much! This is a very helpful list of articles. I found Tim Keller’s article quite interesting (it certainly overs quite a nice thematic overview of mission in a global and a local context). Lausanne has journeyed some way in the last 25 years!

    Thank you particularly for your post on religious pluralism – I tend to agree with your post (if I have understood it correctly). Religious pluralism is important, we ‘work against’ other faiths at our peril! In my little book ‘An uncommon spiritual path: The quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity’ I discussed the notion that we needed to make some distinction between the salvific work of Christ and the revelatory nature of Christ.

    In terms of the revelatory nature of God in Christ; I have frequently witnessed good examples of God’s will for the world (as expressed in the person and work of Jesus) in religions other than Christianity, and persons who do not consider themselves to be Christian. A popular example of such a person is Ghandi. Here is Cape Town I know many Muslim friends who exemplify the values of the Kingdom of God (caring for the poor, working for justice, etc.) It is clear that Christ can be seen outside of the Church and even outside of the Christian faith (in my book I cite the two theologians who proposed this perspective, that I was most aware of, namely Raimundo Pannikar and Karl Rahner).

    Of course the salvific work of Christ is a more complex matter. Conservative and less subtle approaches to evangelism would simply consider salvation to come through a rational ascent to the sacrificial death for Jesus (i.e., mentally and verbally ‘confessing’ one’s sin and accepting the atoning sacrifice for those sins). There are of course many other theological (and entirely Biblical and traditional) approaches to soteriology that leave space for different approaches to Christian salvation, or even broader salvation through Christ. For example, in that same little book I ask the question whether the death of Jesus is constitutive of salvation or illustrative of God’s loving salvific desire. The answer is probably a bit of both. If this is the case there is some possibility to experience the saving love Christ even in places where Christianity (as a religion) has not yet managed to reach, or significantly encounter, people.

    I discussed some of these notions in a post on my blog some years ago entitled ‘A 90 second overview of world religions‘.

    Anyway, all that was just to say that I tend to agree that we must advocate for religious freedom without compromising the work and person of Jesus. By the way did you ever read Martin Prozesky’s paper that argued why a secular state (e.g., South Africa) is better than a religious state (e.g., Iran) or antireligious state (the former Soviet Republic)? He argued convincingly that a secular state protects the right to belief (or non belief) of all its citizens, whereas the other two approaches force a religious (or non religious) perspective upon all of their citizens.

    Thanks for the stimulating post!

    God bless,


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