Jesus Christ liberates and unites.” This theme will be brought to Nairobi, Kenya, when the World Council of Churches gathers there in November for its fifth General Assembly. The theme will be studied in six sections: (1) Confessing Christ Today, (2) Unity of the Church, (3) Search for Community (i.e., among persons of different religions, cultures, and so on), (4) Education for Liberation and Community, (5) Structures of Injustice and the Fight for Liberation, (6) Human Development (problems of technology and the quality of life).
This will be the first General Assembly with no section on mission and evangelization. There will be, however, a new section on dialogue with other religions—instead?
One might think that proclaiming the Gospel would now come under Section I, “Confessing Christ Today.” The collection of preparatory materials for this section describes the burning problems and different situations of confessing Christ today, but the situation of straight witness is not among them.
This packet of materials may show the main theological motives now steering the WCC. The basic principle is the idea that God is to be found at work in the world, in the “context” of the Church today. He is to be found, for example in other religions and in the political movements of our time, inasmuch as they aim at the “humanization” of man. The task of the Church is to discover and support Him in these “signs of the time.” The Church can recognize the voice of God in what men most long for.
This idea, popular in the WCC during the last decade, is supplemented by the more recent concept of “experience.” In dialogue with other religions, “experience” will ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more