Almost five years ago, during an international gathering of evangelical leaders held in Bogotá (Colombia), a small group of men met to take a look at the theological situation in Latin America. They were impressed by the absence of an authentic Christian voice speaking to the issues raised by life in this part of the world and saw that, after four centuries of Roman Catholicism and one century of Protestantism, theology had not even begun paying to Latin America its debt of showing the relevance of the Word of God to practical life. They say that, as a result of this theological deficit, in countries where Christianity is regarded as the official religion, Christ remains silent in the face of the most acute human needs and problems, and the Church, for all its fantastic growth, is unable to cope with the ideologies of the day and open to every wind of doctrine.

That meeting proved to be the beginning of what may turn out to be the most significant theological development in Latin America for many years, namely, the formation of what now is known as the Latin American Theological Fraternity. To be sure, the last five years have also seen the rise of the (mostly Roman Catholic) “theology of liberation,” and this has become a live option not only among Roman Catholics but also among Protestants. Moreover, the general picture of the Church in Latin American countries continues to be largely that of “a church without theological reflection” (“Current Religious Thought,” Feb. 1, 1974). Even so, there are signs that under the name of the Fraternity an evangelical alternative is taking shape and beginning to make an impact on the Church.

The Fraternity has defined itself as “a fellowship of evangelical thinkers serving Christ and ...

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