JSM-Langham Continues Participation in the Historic Lausanne Congress
In 1974, John Stott participated in The First International Congress on World Evangelization to help write the Lausanne Covenant, a declaration by evangelicals worldwide that outlines the progress, resources and methods of evangelizing the world. Today, International Director Chris Wright carries on the tradition as he chairs the Lausanne Theology Working Group.
Langham Partnership International (LPI) is happy to work in partnership with ICETE (International Council for Evangelical Theological Education), and is one of its international “patrons.” This report from ICETE describes its preparation for the upcoming Third Lausanne Congress. Following the report is LPI International Director Chris Wright’s comments on the historic significance of JSM-Langham’s participation in these events.
ICETE has just participated in a significant exploratory consultation of the Lausanne Theology Working Group, held February 12-17, 2007, in Limuru, Kenya. The event was chaired by Chris Wright and co-sponsored by the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). This was the first in a series of such gatherings planned by this Lausanne group to articulate key theological challenges relevant to the task of world evangelization, in preparation for the Third Lausanne Congress to be held in 2010. ICETE’s delegates to the event were Douglas Carew of ACTEA (Kenya) and Sergei Sannikov of the Euro-Asian Accrediting Association of Evangelical Schools (E-AAA), Ukraine.
Radical Incarnational Ecclesiology
The theme of this consultation was “Following Jesus in Our Broken World,” and focused on the demands of radical discipleship and the ethical dimensions inherent in Christian conversion. Presentations considered issues of discipleship in contexts of power and violence, suffering and disaster, ethnicity, and the globalized marketplace, together with questions relating to the uniqueness of Christ, and Jesus as the truth in the postmodern world. What was found most needed was a robust theology of incarnational ecclesiology. As truth is experienced and communicated through proposition, presence, and praxis, our ecclesiology must be more effectively developed so that we might be both bearers and communicators of the truth to our suffering world. Succeeding consultations of this working group will focus on: the Whole Church (2008), the Whole Gospel (2009), and the Whole World (2010). The implications for evangelical theological education are multiple. Part of ICETE’s role is to provide both an ear and a voice for its worldwide constituency within such venues of global evangelicalism. LCWE hopes in due course to make the findings of this series available to ICETE constituency institutions.
<strong>Chris Wright Comments on His Role with LTWG</strong>
“One of the reasons that I was happy to accept the invitation from Doug Birdsall (Executive Chair of Lausanne) to take on the role of Chair of the LTWG, is that it had historically been founded and led for many years by John Stott in the years following the first epochal Lausanne Congress in 1974. John Stott himself strongly encouraged me to add this task to my main role in the leadership of the Langham Partnership. Another reason, of course, is that there is a lot of overlap between the work of Langham and the vision of Lausanne (not surprising, really, in view of John Stott’s formative role in both). It seemed to me that it ought to be possible for many of our Langham Scholars to be involved also in the Lausanne family and in its national and regional forums. Naturally, then, I was very pleased that four Langham Scholars were able to participate in the most recent meeting of the Lausanne Theology Working Group, in Limuru, Kenya, in February. These were: Athena Gorospe (Philippines), Cristian Romocea (Romania), Danut Manastireanu (Romania), and Ng Kam Weng (Malaysia). All brought stimulating case studies and perspectives to our discussion. I hope that even more Langham Scholars will be involved in future meetings of the Lausanne Theology Working Group.”
Dr Athena Gorospe, JSM-Langham Scholar, who teaches OT at ATS, Manila, Philippines, participating in the Lausanne Theology Working Group meeting in Kenya, February 2007.