I spent last Friday in London at a meeting of many of those going to Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization held in Cape Town, South Africa, 16-25 October 2010.
In the afternoon we were privileged to have a session with Rev. Dr. Chris Wright, International Director of the Langham Partnership International and Chair of the Lausanne Theology Working Group. He explained how John Azumah had challenged the group what does it mean to say “The whole gospel for the whole church to the whole world” and that this led to a three year plan as seen in the Evangelical Review.
What is the Gospel
- The gospel is historical e.g. 1 Corinthians 15
- The gospel is a new humanity e.g. Ephesians 2
- The gospel is good news and must be communicated
- The gospel produces ethical transformation – obeying as well as believing
- The gospel is truth to be proclaimed in the world – it leads to conflict against falsehood and idolatry
- The gospel is a cosmic reality – Colossians talks about it growing in the power of the Holy Spirit
What is the Church?
- The Church often just means all Christians – but let’s dig deeper: the wholeness of the church in terms of the brokenness of the world, ethnicity, gender etc.
- Challenged by the Tearfund statement on the church.
- The church as whole and apostolic is crucial, we need to see a better ecclesiology to under gird our strategies of evangelism.
What is the world?
- Theology has to grapple with a created world and yet the demonic cultures alive in the world.
- The world of God’s creation: just as Lausanne 1974 brought together the importance of a dualistic approach of personal evangelism and social action, so the impact of Cape Town needs to bring in the impact of “the earth is the Lord’s” and that is a part of evangelism.
- Are we indoctrinating people into a Christian culture when Christianity is only used in the NT 3 times, and yet the word disciple is used hundreds of times!