The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Ravi Zacharias spoke at the General Assembly of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Hundreds joined a march in Rome to pray for the country.
This year’s General Assembly of the Italian Evangelical Alliance (held in Rome on 30 June and 1 July) wanted to be part of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and an opportunity for gospel witness in the capital city.
It had therefore three main foci: the annual general meeting, two lectures on the legacy of the Reformation by Dr. Ravi Zacharias and a march in the streets of Rome praying for the nation and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in a corporate and public way.
CICCONE: “SCRIPTURE ALONE AND FAITH ALONE”
In the business meeting, Giacomo Ciccone was re-elected president of the Italian EA for the next four years.
“Remembering the Protestant Reformation this year is an encouragement for us to continue to be a prophetic voice in the global evangelical world to maintain our commitment to the gospel of Jesus based on Scripture Alone and grounded on Faith Alone, even in the midst of a softening attitude of many evangelicals towards the Roman Catholic Church”, Ciccone stated.
RAVI ZACHARIAS: BIBLE AT CENTRE OF CHURCH LIFE
Before and after the General Assembly, Ravi Zacharias gave two powerful messages on the legacy of the Reformation. i.e. the central place give to Scripture and salvation by faith alone being the heart of the biblical gospel.
Making reference to biblical stories, illustrating them with trends of modern thought and showing important applications for our present-day context, Zacharias argued that the Reformation was a time when the Word of God was unearthed from the weight of human traditions and ecclesiastical claims.
“Without the Word of God, any human standard can become absolute, with enormous negative effects”, said Zacharias said. “The Reformation placed the Bible where it must be: at the centre of the life of the church”.
As for the heart of the gospel, Zacharias argued that Christianity claims that faith in Christ is a gift that produces a response of faithfulness. We don’t deserve God’s grace and as we receive it we are moved to respond in a transformed life. This is the core of the gospel that was re-emphasized at the Reformation.
PUBLIC MARCH IN PRAYER
After the end of the second talk, the whole assembly left the theatre and moved in the streets of Rome for a march of prayer and public witness. Walking 1.5 km together, several hundreds of people stopped in different places to pray for a time of reformation and revival in Italy and to hear different leaders giving open air gospel messages.
“There is no better way to celebrate the Reformation than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in a nation that was prevented from being impacted by it”, the AEI said after the event.
You can read a full report about the General Assembly of the Italian Evangelical Alliance click here (in Italian).