At the conclusion of this summer’s Lausanne II in Manila (CT, Aug. 18, 1989, p. 39), Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE) chairman Leighton Ford asked participants to affirm a document known as the Manila Manifesto. The response was nearly unanimous, but as Ford acknowledged before the vote, affirmation did not commit participants to every detail of the document. “This is not a policy statement of the Lausanne movement,” Ford told the 3,586 participants at the close of the ten-day conference. “It is an expression, in general terms, of our consensus and commitment, and we are commending it to ourselves, churches, and Christian organizations for further study and response.”

At the first Lausanne gathering in 1974, participants signed the Lausanne Covenant, a document that for many has become something of a creedal statement. It was drafted by British pastor and author John Stott, who also wrote the Manila Manifesto (see “Humble Scribe,” p. 43). In Manila, there was no official signing of the manifesto because, according to Ford, the Lausanne Covenant is still the “foundational document” of the Lausanne movement. “The Manila Manifesto does not supersede the covenant,” Ford told CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

Responding To Culture

The Manila Manifesto consists of 21 statements, or affirmations, followed by several pages of explanation. An initial draft was brought to Manila by Stott and revised by a committee of scholars.

The revised draft was distributed to participants, who were then invited to submit suggestions for further revision. With several hundred formal comments to guide him, Stott and his committee worked through the night to complete the final draft in time to submit it to the conference.

The opening statement affirms ...

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