Some were not interested in losing their power and corrupt privileges. Others preferred to continue their religious life with a “straw God”.
Rereading Schaeffer some thirty years later seems eerily prophetic.
In the last months, the two historic religious institutions have made clear ecumenical statements in favour of more unity.
The EAUK has published “A statement for the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation”. It analyses the theological impact of the reformers and the relationship between evangelical Christians and Roman Catholicism.
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.
If the Lutheran and Catholic traditions seek “full unity,” they must arrive at the same understanding of salvation and authority. An opinion article sent by Andrew Messmer, one of our readers.
The European Evangelical Alliance publishes a press release: “When a Pope understands Luther better than many Protestants do”.
Pope Francis and Lutheran leaders celebrated an ecumenical service in the Cathedral of Lund (Sweden). They signed a joint statement “to move towards the communion to which God continually calls us.”
Why are so many evangelical Christians worried about the growing unity between Protestants and Roman Catholics? We ask Leonardo De Chirico, one of the theologians behind the “Is the Reformation Over?” document.
“The issues that gave birth to the Reformation five hundred years ago are still very much alive in the twenty-first century for the whole church”, says a document published ahead of the 500th anniversary. More than 50 evangelical leaders have signed it.
How can we work towards a new Reformation?
In an audience with members of Christian World Communions, the biggest ecumenical international organisation, the Pope talked about “the ecumenism of prayer, work, and blood.”
Several events to share “common faith” and “heal wounds” of the past are organised in Germany. Most evangelical Christians dissociate themselves from this ecumenical approach.
An interview with the author of ‘The Scarlet Woman’, Keith Malcomson
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.
The event featured over 40 speakers from evangelical, Catholic and other backgrounds. It shut down five hours earlier, due to the high heat index.
Organisers of ‘Together for Europe 2016’ in Munich believe “500 years of division is enough, unity is possible”. Pope Francis and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I supported the meeting.
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.”
“In no way are we trying to minimize the large doctrinal differences of times past”, organiser Nick Hall tells Evangelical Focus. 1 million Christians from diverse Christian backgrounds are expected to participate.
“The relationship between Orthodoxy and those Churches which are in the process of accepting liberal moral values and doctrinal relativism is deteriorating”, says Francisco José Pino.
Aim is “to express the gifts of the Reformation and ask forgiveness for division perpetuated by the two traditions.” “It doesn’t make any sense”, says President of the Theology Comission of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, Jose Hutter.
Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).
“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.
Efraim Tendero (World Evangelical Alliance) and Jaume Llenas (Spanish Evangelical Alliance) agree in their disapproval of ecumenism and emphasise mission: “If we stop sharing the gospel, we stop being evangelical Christians”. A second report from the 2016 Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly.
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.