The Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue: Issues Revolving around Evangelization. An Evangelical View from Latin America -- By: M. Daniel Carroll R

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 21:2 (Fall 2000)
Article: The Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue: Issues Revolving around Evangelization. An Evangelical View from Latin America
Author: M. Daniel Carroll R


The Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue:
Issues Revolving around Evangelization.
An Evangelical View from Latin America

M. Daniel Carroll R.

[M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas) is Professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary. Before assuming that post in July, 1996, he was Professor of Old Testament at an evangelical seminary in Guatemala City, Guatemala, from 1982 to 1996. This article is a revision of a paper presented at a consultation jointly sponsored by the World Evangelical Fellowship’s Theological Commission and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The meeting was held at the George Williams Campus of Aurora University, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, November 7–13, 1999.]

I. Introduction

The last two decades have witnessed a growing interest in establishing an ongoing and serious interchange between the Roman Catholic Church and evangelicals on issues related to the broader Christian witness to the world. Testimony to this concern are, for example, the meetings of the Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue on Mission/ERCDOM held between 1977 and 1984;1 the March 1994 statement and ensuing discussion of “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium”;2 the dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and certain Pentecostal groups;3 and the two consultations celebrated thus far by the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) Task Force on Ecumenical Issues (Venice in 1993 and Jerusalem in 1997).4 Each of these efforts has highlighted the many theological convictions shared by both traditions, as well as the points of divergence.

Conspicuously absent has been any significant positive response (or even acknowledgment) from Latin American evangelicals to this

exchange.5 The history and socio-cultural and religious makeup of Latin America is quite distinct from that of the countries of the North Atlantic, and an appreciation of the difference may help explain this silence. The goal of this paper is briefly to survey several Latin American realities that will determine in large measure whether any sort of joint activity of Catholics and evangelicals—in particular in regards to evangelization—on that continent is feasible at this point in history and, if so, what that effort might look like.

II. The Socio-Historical Context

The special setting which is Latin America can be appreciated through a contras...

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