The “whole gospel” poses tough questions for participants at Lausanne II in Manila.
Fifteen years ago, Billy Graham called Christians together in Lausanne, Switzerland, to hammer out a mandate for world evangelization. The Lausanne Covenant was born, along with what has been called the Lausanne movement, held together by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE). Last month, 3,586 participants from 186 countries met in Manila for Lausanne II, an effort to rekindle the flame and gear up for the final years of this century and beyond.
In one sense, the Manila fete was something of a global camp meeting. Inspiration abounded:
• A torch, ignited over a year ago and carried through 50 countries, arrived on opening night at the Philippines International Convention Center to a standing ovation.
• A Chinese pastor recounted how he sang “I Come to the Garden Alone” while cleaning cesspools in a Chinese prison for 18 years.
• More than 60 Soviet believers, who were delayed in Moscow for two days, received a rousing welcome when they were introduced.
But difficult issues faced participants as well. If the first Lausanne pulled evangelicals together for the cause of world evangelization, the second one struggled with the very nature of such a coalition (see “Racing the Calendar,” page 40). Three issues surfaced repeatedly: How will charismatics and noncharismatics work together? To what extent will social ministry characterize evangelical missions? And how will the predominantly middle-aged Western leadership of Lausanne respond to the growing prominence of a young Third World church?
To say the Lausanne movement is more open to charismatics than it was in 1974 is to understate the obvious. At a major plenary ...1
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