Europe is going through major changes. Our aim is to look at the key issues in our continent from a biblical perspective.
The word “evangelization” is used across the spectrum of the Christian world. The question is: What is the meaning of it? How is it defined? What does it refer to?
Pope Francis focuses on the primacy of conscience rather than the prescriptive nature of law.
The traditional theological structure was geared to give Yes or No answers. The post-Vatican II structure is more inclined to suggest Both-And types of answer on all kinds of issues.
What the Pope has in mind is an altogether different kind of reformation, i.e. a reformation that will make his church more catholic and more Roman, doubtfully more evangelical.
Protestants find it difficult to come to terms with this Marian dogma. This is due to not finding even a hint of evidence for this belief in the Bible.
With Pope Francis the Roman Catholic Church is simply becoming more “catholic”, i.e. embracing and absorbing all, without losing its being “Roman”.
In assessing the ecumenical scene, the risk of looking at Lund without being aware of what happens in Rome is real.
“The aim of the JDDJ is to find commonalities, not differences. But with that comes a lopsided methodology that obscures those differences”, says theologian Michael Reeves.
Where is the Roman church headed After Vatican II? An interview with Leonardo de Chirico.
The territorial dimension of the hierarchical church, centered on the authority of the bishop, has found it difficult to come to terms with the charismatic energy of the movements, more inclined to follow their own lay leaders than the local bishops.
The issue at stake is whether or not Luther is to be rescued from himself in order to be heard by the church and the world.
What does it mean to be Catholic? The question is simple but the answer is fraught with complexities.
Any accommodation to the idea that we are ultimately capable of saving ourselves, any accommodation to the fact that salvation is not God’s gift from beginning to end is a slippery slope towards a false gospel.
“Catholicism continues to add places to the table and extend the menu”. The talk Leonardo de Chirico gave at the 2016 AEI annual assembly in Rome.
The way in which Catholicism perceives time - the sense of definitiveness as well as that of a progression - is a solid indicator of its basic theological framework.
It is one thing is to work together on areas of common concern in society, e.g. the promotion of Judeo-Christian values in society; it is an altogether different issue to engage in common mission and evangelism.
In terms of the Protestant evaluation of Roman Catholicism, Barth’s theology of the Word has weakened the evangelical ability to assess Rome having the Bible as supreme standard.
According to the Pope, mercy achieves justice by avoiding tribunals, sentences, and prices to be paid.
Building Christian unity on baptism brings several challenges. In my corner of the world (Italy), a vast majority of people have been baptized and yet very few show any sign of appreciation of basic gospel truths.
There is the risk of elevating “unity” to the absolute principle, a little “god” claiming pre-eminence. It takes courage to make unity dependent on the Biblical truths and not elevating it to the place of “first imperative”.
The Pope seems to think that the “letter” is a straitjacket to the mission of the Church and needs to be replaced by the “spirit” of it.
The discussion on the Anti-Christ must be revived and worked out with biblical soberness and historical awareness.
Evangelicals have to do their homework in order to go beyond the surface of mere phonetics in order to grasp the profoundly different theological vision underpinning Francis’ language.
Does Matthew 16 Support the Doctrine of the Papacy?
In Francis’ vocabulary there was no better term to discredit this merciless form of Christianity than referring to it as “Puritanism”.