The Real Presence of Hope and Love
Books and Culture 19:11-14 Sep/Oct 2013
In 1966, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in partnership with Christianity Today magazine, sponsored the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin. Further confer- ences followed over the next four years. Finally, in July 1974, a ten-day gathering was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, for discussion, fellowship, worship, and prayer. The influence of many noteworthy global leaders marked this event, but the most important development was likely the adoption of the Lausanne Covenant, whose chief architect was the late John R. Stott. The Lausanne committee has remained a grass-roots conversation, right through the third global gathering, held in Cape Town (October 2010). The Cape Town Commitment urged all Christians to work together in unity for mission. This led to conversations with Catholic leaders, including the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In a visit to Rome in 2011, I heard Vatican leaders specifically ask for more conversation between Catholics and evangelicals. The first Lausanne Catholic-Evangelical Conversation was held at Mundelein Seminary (Illinois) on April 18–20, 2013. We began with two presentations on the centrality of Christ, the one available here by Hans Boersma and another by Edward T. Oakes.