A new document in the historic line of the Lausanne Covenant is to be issued from The Third Lausanne Congress, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, in October. It will reflect discussions of some 4,000 evangelical leaders from 200 nations, perhaps the widest gathering of evangelical Christians ever held.
The statement, entitled the Cape Town Commitment, will be rooted in the centrality of the uniqueness of Christ, and on the authority of the Scriptures. It will recognize the range of contexts of the evangelical Church around the world, and its new realities. While we see decline of the Church in the Global North, and the spread of secularism and relativism, these are days of phenomenal growth in the Global South.
Lindsay Brown, International Director of The Lausanne Movement, said the statement would provide evangelicals with a clear definition of the nature and call of the Church. 'There is a lack of clarity when we talk about evangelism and the gospel, particularly in the Western Church. We need to have agreement on the message we are proclaiming. We hope Cape Town 2010 results in a fresh call to the Church worldwide to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teaching in all of the world – not only geographically, but in the sphere of ideas.'
The Cape Town Commitment will stand in the line of the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and the Manila Manifesto (1989). John Stott was chief architect of both earlier documents, and Chris Wright, Director of Langham Partnership International (John Stott Ministries) is chief architect of The Cape Town Commitment. Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of The Lausanne Movement, said 'This is a critical moment for the global Church, with pressures from outside and dissension within. We trust the Cape Town Commitment will be a clarion call for unity around the primary truths of the gospel.'
The Lausanne Covenant is available under the title 'For the Lord we Love' (Didasko Files series). The Cape Town Commitment will be published after the Congress in print and online.
To contribute to the Congress discussions now, join the multilingual Lausanne Global Conversation at www.lausanne.org/conversation
For further information, contact Julia Cameron, Director of External Relations [email protected]