ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, March 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Report
 

Rome Scholars Network: Evangelical-Catholic Relations

The week-long course was made up of twenty-one sessions which were delivered by Leonardo De Chirico, Gregg Allison, Greg Pritchard and Mike Reeves. “This week has been something of a dream come true.”

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus, Will Graham ROME 02 JULY 2016 09:18 h GMT+1
The RSN students and teachers of the 2016 inaugural edition. / RSN

The morning of Friday 1 July brought to a close the inaugural edition of the Rome Scholars Network (RSN) held in Rome.



Under the leadership of the Italian lecturer and pastor, Dr. Leonardo De Chirico, the Network brought together Protestant scholars and ministers from across Europe, the United States and Australia who discussed Evangelicalism’s increasingly incoherent relationship with Roman Catholicism in today’s ecumenical climate.



The week-long course was made up of twenty-one sessions which were delivered by De Chirico, Professor Gregg Allison (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Dr. Greg Pritchard (President of the Forum of Christian Leaders) and the leading British Evangelical theologian Dr. Mike Reeves. Between them they lectured upon such pressing themes as:



- Roman Catholicism: A Worldview and a System.



- Vatican II and Beyond.



- The Protestant Reformation vs. Roman Catholicism: The Issues at Stake.



- Justification by Faith Alone.



- Sola Scriptura Then and Now.



- An Evangelical Assessment of the 1999 Joint Statement on Justification by Faith.



As well as the classes, the attendees received first-hand reports and strategies from various Evangelical ministries engaged in direct contact with Roman Catholicism both at a grassroots and an academic level. Students also enjoyed two days visiting the Vatican museum and St. Peter’s Basilica.



 



THE IMPORTANCE OF ROME SCHOLARS’ NETWORK



In an exclusive interview with Evangelical Focus, De Chirico commented upon the importance of the past week, “RSN fills a gap because in the Evangelical world no think-tank currently addresses the theme of Roman Catholicism from a scholarly perspective nor equips workers for training in this area. This has to be a global initiative because Catholicism is a global issue”.



“Given that the fifth centenary of the Reformation is just around the corner, the message coming from many Catholic quarters and some Evangelical leaders is that the Reformation is over. We at RSN do not agree. The Reformation is as relevant as ever since the Gospel and the five solas are as relevant as ever. Roman Catholicism is employing a strategy of absorption in order to swallow up Evangelicals. In spite of its friendly tone from Vatican II onwards, Rome has not changed a bit in its fundamental structure”.



When asked about his impressions of the first edition of the RSN, the Italian replied, “I am overwhelmingly pleased with such a high quality group of scholars and communicators of the Gospel. In all honesty, this week has been something of a dream come true. It has been the first step in a long-term deep Evangelical analysis of Roman Catholic theology and practice for the honour of God and the sake of the Gospel”.



 



FEEDBACK



Evangelical Focus was also able to gather the views of some of those present.



Greg Bastin (Pastor and Bible School Teacher, Switzerland):



“I was really glad that we covered so many subjects throughout this week and that we didn’t get an atomistic view of Catholicism but we saw it as a whole theological system. What I really valued was to be in a group that esteems the Gospel and truth far above tolerance and compromise. We sadly live in an age where everything is relative even in Evangelical circles. It was good to see some sharp lines drawn in the sand because we don’t want to compromise the Gospel”.



Mark Gilbert (Author and Evangelist, Australia):



“When I heard about the RSN I couldn’t wait to fly twenty-four hours around the world to meet with some of the world’s best Evangelical thinkers on Roman Catholicism and I wasn’t disappointed. We were presented with a sensitive, carefully articulated and very engaging synopsis of Roman Catholicism throughout history and today. We gained a better understanding of the Roman Catholic Church’s mission to unify world Christianity under the Pope and their particular interest in incorporating the Evangelical churches. All this in the sumptuous city of Rome with a great group of brothers and sisters from American, Europe and Australia”.



Zefjan Nikolla (Pastor and Bible Translator, Albania):



“It has been a very informative work to see Roman Catholicism as a whole system and not just in an atomistic fashion. In this sense the RSN has been very helpful. I am aware now of the overwhelming task that we have to do in sharing this knowledge because so many Evangelicals do not understand what Romanism is all about”.



Espen Ottosen (Information Director in Norwegian Lutheran Mission, Norway):



“I used to serve as a missionary in Peru so it has been really interesting to get to know how Evangelicals should think about reaching Roman Catholics with the Gospel, not just the nominal ones but also those Catholics who are more knowledgeable of their faith. This week will also help me reflect about what to do in Norway where some are being attracted by Roman Catholicism”.



Benjamin Hlastan (Apologist, Evangelist and Church Planter, Slovenia):



“I’m so glad. It was a privilege to be here. It was very informative and I learnt about a lot of specific key issues that we need to deal with in our relationships with Catholics. Leo and the other teachers have been greatly helpful. It’s very important to know who we are as Evangelicals before engaging Catholics. I’d like to apply all I’ve learnt here into my pastoral context in Slovenia. I realize that we really need to inform our pastors and missionaries more fully about Catholicism. At the end of the day a major question is at stake: Is the perfect work of Christ finished or not? That makes all the difference in the world”.



Garrick Bailey (PhD Student and Assistant Director of Global Theological Education, USA):



“I found the inaugural RSN to be a great personal benefit as I am walking away with more clarity not only on the essential issues and barriers standing between Protestant and Roman Catholic unity, but also the framework of Roman Catholic thought which, I believe, leaves such unity impossible apart from radical reformation within the Roman Church. The ability to leave my own context and study Roman Catholicism in the shadow of the Vatican was invaluable as we American evangelicals too often forget the political and hierarchical reality standing behind the theology and practice we examine from afar. This particular week, in this particular setting, helped my research become even more real and personal to me. I am grateful for the opportunity afforded to me by the RSN”.



Will Graham (Preacher and Bible School Teacher, Spain):



“This week has been nothing short of brilliant. The classes were of the highest quality and my fellow classmates oozed over with the love of Christ. When I read De Chirico’s doctoral thesis on Catholicism last Christmas and Gregg Allison’s ‘Roman Catholic Theology & Practice: An Evangelical Assessment’ I knew I had to get over here. It’s been refreshing to hear leading Evangelical scholars speaking out against Ecumenism in the midst of so much theological waffle and compromise on both sides of the theological fence. We need to recover the Gospel message and the five solas of the Reformation. The glory of God is at stake”.


 


POLL
Reformation 2017
Pope Francis will attend joint celebration of Reformation in Lund (Sweden) organised by the Lutheran World Federation. Is commemorating Luther’s 95 theses with the Roman Catholic Church a good idea?
No, Catholicism still teaches doctrines that Luther denounced.
64%
I don't know what to think, it’s a complex issue.
10%
Yes, we should walk towards the unity of all Christians and promote ecumenism.
26%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 393
SEE MORE POLLS
 
 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Rome Scholars Network: Evangelical-Catholic Relations
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology

Christian leaders from all over Latin America are concerned about the progress of gender ideology agendas in the region. Many are joining together in public demonstrations and training events.

 
How do fake news spread? How do fake news spread?

Tony Watkins, Coordinator of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network.

 
Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain

Church planting, the amount of books authored by Spanish evangelicals and the growth of the Christian student movement in the last decades, are some of the marks underlined by Lindsay Brown.

 
What do Christian communication and science communication have in common? What do Christian communication and science communication have in common?

“As Christians, we also try to communicate a detailed and often slightly technical message”, says Kay Carter, Director of Communications of Tyndale House (UK).

 
Church planting in Strasbourg Church planting in Strasbourg

A video on how evangelicals are planting churches in Strasbourg (France).

 
Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture

Lindsay Brown: “The biblical pattern is not one of speed, but of steady sowing and gradual reaping in due course”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.