In Arusha it dawned on me, that the distinction evangelical/non-evangelical makes no longer sense, and that the old evangelical churches are as missionary minded as they haven’t been for a long time. Their desire to send missionaries to Europe is strong. Maybe thus they could include into their vision their former mother churches, wherever these had become ashamed of all endeavours to lead others to a life in Christ …

Thomas Schirrmacher

No commingling of the traditional Gospel

To the reader’s letter “Ecumenism – the loss of the true Gospel?” by Wolfgang Nestvogel (idea Spektrum, No. 12, p. 43) as well as to the report “Christians should read the Bible instead of attending ecumenical meetings” (on idea.de)

Wolfgang Nestvogel claims that the World Evangelical Alliance has blurred the line between the Biblical gospel and justification by works. This is a defamatory statement, as, luckily, anybody can see for himself, since idea made the joint statement of the World Evangelical Alliance and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity available for download in German translation. Could anyone, who would like to know how I, as the person responsible for ecumenical relations, think about the subject, before passing judgement please read my book “Indulgences”.

Johannes Vogel recommends, instead of visiting major ecumenical events, rather to read the Bible. I read my Bible daily, on holiday just as much as on duty travels, and particuralely before major events. And ecumenical dialogue is essentially about talks with open Bibles in one’s hand. Or what else are we supposed to be doing in these conversations, which, as the above named, extend over five years?

Thomas Schirrmacher, World Evangelical Alliance, Head of the “Department for Theological Concerns”, which is also looking after all ecumenical contacts of the WEA, 53111 Bonn

 

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