The second Latin American Congress on Evangelism (CLADE II), which took place in Lima, Perú, October 30 to November 9, 1979, may prove to be the most significant Christian event of the seventies—at least for the Protestant movement in this part of the world. Organized by the Latin American Theological Fraternity, it brought together 266 church leaders from 22 countries and about 40 denominations to consider the meaning of evangelization in Latin America. The “CLADE II Letter,” issued at the end of the congress to Christians in Latin America, illustrates well the theological emphases of this important conference.
First, CLADE II was far more than a mere reaffirmation of basic evangelical convictions, however: it was an effort to understand the meaning of such convictions within a particular historical context. At the beginning of the congress, Prof. Emilio Antonio Núñez, ex-president of the Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala, went back to four basic tenets of the Protestant Reformation (grace alone, Christ alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone) and showed their relevance to the Latin American situation. The concern for the contextualization of the gospel reflected in that first address became one of the dominant notes throughout the congress. The letter explicitly refers to the specific situation in which the gospel is to be proclaimed:
“We have heard the Word of God who speaks to us and who also hears the cry of those who suffer. We have lifted our eyes to our continent and contemplated the drama and tragedy which our people live in this hour of spiritual unrest, religious confusion, moral corruption, and social and political convulsion. We have heard the cry of ...1
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