C. René Padilla

C. René Padilla (1932–2021) was a theologian, pastor, publisher, and longtime staff member with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. He was best known for his theological framework known as “integral mission,” which argued that social action and evangelism were essential and indivisible components—in Padilla’s words, “two wings of a plane.”

“Dr. René Padilla was criticized at Lausanne for saying that the gospel some European and North American missionaries have exported was a ‘culture-Christianity,’ a Christian message, that is, distorted by the materialistic, consumer culture of the West. It was hurtful to us to hear him say this, but of course he was quite right.” — John Stott, "Scripture: The Light and Heat for Evangelism," CT, February 6, 1981.

Featured Articles

A Church Without Theology
A Church Without Theology
The only theology we in Latin America are acquainted with is that which we have inherited from a reflection foreign to our own situation.
The Theology of Liberation
The Theology of Liberation
The errors of the theology of liberation must not prevent us from recognizing the challenges that this theology represents for us.
Christianity American-Style
Christianity American-Style
C. René Padilla's report from Lausanne.
  • Leaders and Friends Remember C. René Padilla
    Leaders and Friends Remember C. René Padilla
    Theologians and pastors from Latin America and around the world mourn the theologian who helped integrate social action and evangelism.
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  • Whatever Came of the “People’s Church”?
    Whatever Came of the “People’s Church”?
    An interview with C. René Padilla
  • Liberation Theology Is Remarkably Protestant
    Liberation Theology Is Remarkably Protestant
  • Being God’s Church in Latin America
    Being God’s Church in Latin America
    CLADE II affirms basic evangelical convictions—but in the context of violence, exploitation, and corruption.
  • The Puebla Document: Unity of the Smorgasbord
    The Puebla Document: Unity of the Smorgasbord
    Clearly traditional Roman Catholicism coexists with the more biblical emphasis since Vatican II.
  • Celam III: A Gospel of Freedom and Justice
    Celam III: A Gospel of Freedom and Justice
    The Puebla document is critical of both unfettered capitalism and Marxism.
  • Strides toward Unity in Latin America
    Strides toward Unity in Latin America
    Most of the Protestant denominations have resisted the ecumenical movement.
  • Peru: Evangelicals under Attack
    Peru: Evangelicals under Attack
    Accusations have brought into bold relief the need for evangelicals to face problems related to the mission of the Church.