Latin American theology is going through a great period of change. Much of this is due to the emergence of young Latin church leaders and theologians. Once, not very long ago, the Latin American had to adjust to the North American missionary because the missionaries ran the churches, taught in the Bible schools and seminaries, directed the evangelistic campaigns, and controlled the money that came from the north. This day has largely passed. Now the missionary must adjust to the thinking of his Latin brothers.

Despite the new forces that are at work here, the Latin evangelicals aren’t throwing out the old missionary doctrinal standards. But they are thinking and expressing themselves in ways that are at times unfamiliar and even shocking to some missionaries. Decades-old church structures are being revised. Doubts are being raised about imported methods: for example, can student work in Latin America be expected to follow the same pattern as student work in the United States? Evangelicals are wholeheartedly committed to distributing the Scriptures, but what if almost half the population cannot read? The Roman Catholic Church, once a conservative monolith, is changing drastically in Latin America, and evangelicals have to reassess their attitudes toward it. And the charismatic movement is affecting virtually all denominations.

In this changing situation, new theological expressions are emerging. One of these that has received great attention outside Latin America is the so-called theology of liberation. Some of us who work in theological circles in Latin America have been disturbed by North American accounts of Latin American theology that seem to be hurried or superficial treatments of a complex subject. There is a communications ...

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