Printer Friendly

The World Council of Churches and Pentecostals.

The ecumenical movement can be described as a polycentric network of churches, ecumenical organizations, and associations while the World Council of Churches (WCC), as a fellowship of churches, particularly of Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, and Pentecostal traditions, is seen by many stakeholders as having responsibility for the coherence of the one ecumenical movement. The WCC brings the various churches with their different traditions and contexts, as well as the different streams of the ecumenical movement with their various goals and priorities (unity, mission and evangelism, justice and peace, education, interreligious dialogue) into relationship with each other on a common journey. This is an essential aspect of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace as an initiative of the WCC since its 10th Assembly in Busan in 2013. This task requires the WCC to engage in and shape relationships that go beyond its own member churches.

One of the greatest challenges facing the WCC is the shift in focus of Christianity to the South and the East, a phenomenon to which emerging Pentecostal and charismatic churches and communities, often showing little interest in the unity of the church, are contributing. The WCC's member churches today comprise just under a quarter of the world's Christian population. The Roman Catholic Church worldwide accounts for about half, while the members of Pentecostal, charismatic, and African Independent churches probably account for just over a quarter of all Christians. (1)

The context of globalization is also influencing the church landscape worldwide. Peter L. Berger and others have argued that Pentecostal and charismatic movements are both expressions of and important agents for cultural globalization. (2) This trend is accentuated by the global media and the intensive use of radio, television, and the internet with different social media as means of communication.

The process of change is not linear but is as dynamic, complex, and interactive as all important processes of cultural change have been in the past. In a parallel fashion to globalization, the process seems to be promoting the Americanization of global Christianity, as songs and forms of worship of Pentecostal and charismatic churches usually follow US models, but there are also clear signs of increasing dissatisfaction with US dominance, especially among evangelicals and Pentecostals in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. (3) Pentecostals of the third and fourth generations in particular see the need for their churches to be rooted in the social and cultural reality of their own context.

Alongside global cultural trends in the context of globalization, Pentecostal and charismatic piety and spirituality are increasingly affecting the older churches as well. While some see this negatively, many see it as an expression of adaptation to new challenges necessary for the survival of these churches. At any rate, churches that follow this strategy show fewer losses or even growth. (4) In addition to the further development of the Global Christian Forum (GCF), the WCC needs to deepen its relationship with Pentecostals through the Joint Consultative Group between the WCC and Pentecostals, and to involve Pentecostals more in its programmatic work through the Commission for Faith and Order and the Commission for World Mission and Evangelism. The collaboration on a major project such as the centenary of the 1910 World Mission Conference in Edinburgh has borne fruit. It has proved worthwhile to invite Pentecostals to participate in important planning processes such as the WCC's assembly preparations or, as a few years ago, in the committee for Ecumenism in the 21st Century, as well as participating in the preparation of documents such as the one dratted jointly by the WCC, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) on Christian witness in a multireligious world. (5)

Shifts in the polycentric network affect almost all other parts of the network. As far as Pentecostal churches are concerned, this is particularly the case when it comes to interactions with the evangelical churches and communities in the WEA and the Orthodox churches. The WEA is interested in keeping Pentecostals as members and ensuring that its position is not weakened as WCC and Pentecostal relationships improve. For the Orthodox, the question of membership of further Pentecostal member churches in the WCC is problematic in that the 25 percent clause of Orthodox participation could come under pressure, while the tension between spiritual and theological diversity increases considerably and becomes even more strained. These and other interactions need always to be seen and shaped together.

Relationships can only grow where the different groups involved or the various individuals who influence them also want this and have confidence in each other. In recent decades, there has been progress in dialogue and cooperation with classical Pentecostals belonging to Pentecostal trinitarian churches, but rarely with neo-Pentecostal communities, and certainly not with representatives of the "prosperity gospel." This needs to be taken into account when we discuss Pentecostal churches and Pentecostals in the following section. We will not discuss the processes of internal differentiation among Pentecostals. (6) In the context of the GCF, however, one issue that must be addressed is that the forum has so far been unable to transcend significantly the group of classical Pentecostal churches. If this does not change, it will have achieved its task only to a limited extent.

The Beginnings: 1952-1983

Fast-growing Pentecostalism soon encountered rejection and even opposition from older Christian churches, and in some cases faced state-supported persecution. In this context and against the background of their eschatological perspective, many Pentecostals saw the search for the unity of churches as a project of Satan. (7) Ecumenical pioneer John R. Mott, whom they should have seen as a close relation given his conversion experience through the Methodist sanctification movement, was thus rejected as "Satan's Super Man." This negative attitude was reinforced by the fact that the Pentecostal movement soon took up the positions of the evangelical movement and was strongly influenced by its social and church-political orientation. In 1943, in the US, the first Pentecostal churches with members of mainly European descent joined the National Association of Evangelicals.

Three Pentecostals--David J. Du Plessis, Donald Gee, and J. Roswell Flower--soon arrived at their limits when they began not only to organize the first World Pentecostal Conference in Zurich in 1947, but also to make contact with the WCC. (9) They were convinced that baptism in the Holy Spirit could also make an important contribution to the search for unity in Christ--spiritual unity, not visible unity. David du Plessis was initially chosen to prepare the three-yearly world conferences, but it was soon made clear to him that this was not a question of a permanent secretariat at world level, as has existed since 2004 in the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF) with its chairman, Prince Guneratnam.

Du Plessis took part in the 1952 conference of the International Missionary Council (IMC) in Willingen. Not only did he receive the nickname "Mr Pentecost," but he was also invited by WCC general secretary Willem A. Visser't Hooft to attend the 1954 assembly in Evanston as a member of the WCC staff. R. Flower also found his way to Evanston. They were the only Pentecostals to attend the assembly and later gave a positive report of their experiences. In 1960, Du Plessis and Gee were invited to two sessions of the Faith and Order Commission in St Andrews, Scotland.

However, the situation became more acute for Du Plessis and his friends when the IMC decided at its 1958 meeting in Ghana to integrate with the WCC at the New Delhi assembly in 1961. The Assemblies of God then left the IMC. (10) They and others feared that the integration of the WCC and the IMC would strengthen the role of the churches as institutions at the expense of the missionary charism. At the same time, in the Cold War context, the WCC was seen in the US as being anti-Western. This started the process that led to the founding of the Lausanne Movement in 1972, in direct confrontation with the WCC.

If the two World Pentecostal conferences in London in 1952 and in Stockholm in 1955 showed interest in dialogue with other churches, there was a negative reaction at the World Pentecostal Conference in Jerusalem in 1961. Nevertheless, in 1961 the first Pentecostal churches were accepted as WCC member churches: the two Chilean churches, Iglesia Pentecostal de Chile and the Mission Iglesia Pentecostal. In 1969, this was followed by the Igreja Evangelica Pentecostal "O Brasil para Cristo" (Manoel de Mello). All three had detached themselves theologically and politically from the dominance of the US and were anchored in their local contexts. (11) In 1972, the International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association was accepted into membership. Today, the WCC has seven Pentecostal churches as member churches, excluding African Independent churches with Pentecostal influence. (12)

The attendance by Du Plessis at the 1961 New Delhi assembly and his positive report about it had negative consequences for his relationship with his church. He was dismissed as a pastor of his church and rehabilitated only in 1980. In the meantime he had been invited in 1964 by Cardinal Bea to be an observer at the Second Vatican Council. He was instrumental in getting the Roman Catholic Church to start a dialogue with the Pentecostal churches in 1972, which the PCPCU continues today. (13) Du Plessis remained the Pentecostal co-moderator until 1987.

From 1965 to 1971, Walter J. Hollenweger from Switzerland worked as the WCC's first programme secretary for evangelism, and promoted closer relations with Pentecostal churches. At the WCC assembly in Uppsala in 1968, Christian Krust from Germany spoke as a representative of the Pentecostal movement, saying there was a need for more opportunities for encounter. Du Plessis also participated in the Uppsala assembly and the ones that followed in Nairobi in 1975 and in Vancouver in 1983.

Relations with the evangelical movement reached their low point at the Nairobi assembly in 1975. (14) In response, however, the assembly decided to engage in dialogue with the World Evangelical Fellowship and with the Lausanne Movement, entrusting the task to the sub-unit on Renewal and Congregational Life. It organized consultations in 1978, 1980 (see below), and 1983. In 1983 in Vancouver, the majority of evangelical participants present wrote an open letter, signed also by Du Plessis, (15) which without seeking to conceal critical observations, urged dialogue and cooperation in the WCC following the deep crisis of the 1960s and 1970s.

A sign of this situation was the adoption of the statement on Mission and Evangelism: An Ecumenical Statement in 1982, which sought to build bridges between ecumenists and evangelicals in the missionary movement. In general, increasing attention was given in the world mission conferences and their themes to proposals from Pentecostal churches on salvation issues, and healing and pneumatology.

It was a very positive sign for Pentecostalism when the WCC general secretary, Philip Potter, wrote to all WCC member churches in August 1979, asking them to help him understand the charismatic movements and indicate the issues that had arisen in need to be discussed in this context. (16) Some 70 churches responded to this letter, and the answers showed just how differently Pentecostal and charismatic churches were seen by WCC member churches. The key difference depended on how close or far apart they were from each other. Potter saw the need to offer an evaluation of the ecumenical significance of the charismatic renewal movement. As a result, a consultation was held in Bossey in 1980 on the importance of charismatic renewal for the churches. Potter saw this as only a first step in intensifying contacts with Latin American Pentecostal churches, North American Pentecostal churches with Afro-American backgrounds, Asian Pentecostal churches, and African Independent churches.

New Initiatives: 1983-1998

In the spirit of the 1982 mission statement, both the Commission for World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) and the Commission on Faith and Order sought dialogue and exchange with evangelical and Pentecostal theologians. This influenced the preparatory work for the 1989 mission conference in San Antonio and the 1991 assembly in Canberra. While the Cold War and the East--West confrontation had partially blocked the relationships between those involved in the ecumenical movement and those responsible for evangelical and Pentecostal churches, the geopolitical context had changed.

Walter Hollenweger has dedicated a chapter of his book on charismatic Pentecostal Christianity to the dialogues between Pentecostal churches and ecumenical organizations such as the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) (the Latin American Evangelical Pentecostal Commission was created in 1990), the National Council of Churches of the Linked States, the Conference of European Churches, members of the British Council of Churches, and others. In Europe, discussions with Pentecostal churches of African origin took place in various countries. (17)

At the Canberra assembly in 1991, there were 16 Pentecostals present as delegates from Pentecostal member churches or as accredited visitors, such as Cecil M. Robeck, who was involved in the dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. There is a separate section devoted to relations with Pentecostal and charismatic movements in the report of Section III of the assembly with several recommendations. (18) The report recognized that Pentecostal and charismatic movements had also influenced WCC member churches and that there are charismatic movements in individual churches. A reference was made to misunderstandings that burden relationships. At the same time, the report noted that Pentecostals had begun to become interested in questions of the unity of the churches, and highlighted the positive developments in Latin. America in cooperation with the CLAI. Among other things, the recommendations urged the following:

* The rediscovery of the New Testament teaching about the gift of the Holy Spirit and greater emphasis to pneumatology;

* That the WCC recognize congregations of Pentecostal churches "as part of the historical development of the Christian church and its rich diversity";

* That the WCC help foster relationships with Pentecostal churches and undertake a study project to understand the diversity in the Pentecostal movement;

* That the WCC encourage a dialogue between Latin American, African, and Asian Pentecostals, many of whom are open to the ecumenical movement, and North American and European Pentecostals, many of whom are suspicious of ecumenism;

* That Pentecostals be invited to share in programmes, especially the Faith and Order Commission;

* That worship at assemblies should include members of Pentecostal churches. (19)

Also in Canberra, evangelical delegates and observers wrote a message in which they underlined that there had been more opportunities for involvement compared to previous assemblies, but they complained that they were still under-represented and that gifts they could have shared in worship and prayer had not been requested. In recognition of their own responsibility for this situation, they recommended being represented in each of the WCC commissions and forming a joint working group that could promote their participation in the work of the WCC. They also encouraged the WCC to have closer contacts with the World Evangelical Fellowship (later the World Evangelical Alliance). (20)

Particularly noteworthy in this open letter was the statement that in their theological work they wished to work together with the WCC on the concerns of justice, peace, and the integrity of creation; the contextualization of the gospel; and the confrontation with the plurality of religions. Further, they wished to overcome the false dichotomies between the personal and the social dimensions of the gospel, the apostolic faith and the experience of the suffering of the oppressed, the private and public dimensions of Christian responsibility, justification by faith and the struggle for peace with justice, with a focus on Christ and the action made possible in the Holy Spirit in the face of the crises of the modern world.

Not all of these recommendations were immediately accepted, but they were gradually taken up in the years that followed. Cecil M. Robeck was appointed as a member of the Faith and Order Commission in 1991 and continues to represent Pentecostals there. Pentecostals have been represented since 1993 at the annual conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions (Cecil M. Robeck of the Assemblies of God and Harold Hunter of the Pentecostal Holiness Church). An international dialogue between the Pentecostal churches and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (now the World Communion of Reformed Churches) began in 1995.

CWME sought the participation of Pentecostals in the 1996 world mission conference in Salvador de Bahia, and has included Pentecostal missiologists in the work of the commission. In addition to mission and evangelism, CWME has worked on issues of health and healing which are relevant to Pentecostals. There is much to suggest that the good cooperation across denominational boundaries in CWME has been instrumental in improving relationships and deepening knowledge of each other. The topic and numbers of attendees of the 2005 Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Athens speak in favour of this. Almost a quarter of participants were Roman Catholic, evangelical or Pentecostal-charismatic.

The system-theoretical insight that a system can only perceive in the outside world that which is structurally represented in the system itself was confirmed by the establishment of the Office of Church and Ecumenical Relations (OCER) in 1992. The office was responsible for relations with churches that were not yet members of the WCC, and it was charged with strengthening relationships with evangelical and charismatic churches and movements. (21) The developments that followed were decisively influenced by the fact that OCER under Huibert van Beek (from the Netherlands) proactively sought to pick up impulses for intensified cooperation with evangelical, Pentecostal, and charismatic churches and communities. Van Beek was supported by Konrad Raiser, WCC general secretary from 1993 to 2003. Raiser saw the need for a close working relationship with Pentecostal representatives such as through a joint working group, especially in the context of a broader context and an open-ended platform like the Global Christian Forum (GCF), which he had himself brought into the discussion. (22)

OCER started a process of joint conferences in Latin America (1994) and North America, and it accompanied other initiatives, such as the consultation between Pentecostals of African origin and charismatic churches in the United Kingdom (1995). These experiences found their way into the discussions on the document on the Common Understanding and Vision of the WCC In preparation for the 1998 Harare assembly, OCER together with Faith and Order and Unit IV (Solidarity and Sharing) held a consultation in November 1997 with Pentecostals from all continents. Representatives of WCC member churches asked how Pentecostals could engage in a relationship of mutual accountability within the WCC. Once again, the proposal was made to form a joint working group.

This proposal was then taken up and supported by the WCC executive committee in 1998, with the possible tasks of consolidating existing relations and further developing them, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Europe; initiating studies and dialogue on issues of common interest, including controversial issues such as proselytism; and developing new forms of participation that do not require the model of membership in the WCC.

A consultation with representatives from WCC member churches, the conference of Christian World Communions, Regional Ecumenical Organizations, and National Councils of Churches, as well as international ecumenical bodies and WCC member churches, took place in Bossey in August 1998 to formulate "proposals for a forum of Christian churches and ecumenical organizations." This helped prepare the decisions of the Harare assembly in 1998.

New Forms of Dialogue and Cooperation

The Harare assembly in 1998 responded to the momentum of the OCER Report and the WCC executive committee. (23) The assembly's Policy Reference Committee I responded to the questions from the Pentecostals of the global South by clearly distinguishing between evangelical and Pentecostal churches and communities in its report. Given the initiatives of the OCER, the dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, progress in cooperation in Latin America, and the membership of the Korean Assemblies of God (Yoido Full Gospel Church) in the National Council of Churches of Korea, the committee recommended the formation of a joint working group with the following specific tasks: promoting relations, in particular cooperation at the local level; stimulating studies and dialogue on matters of common interest or controversial nature; developing new forms of cooperation beyond the model of membership of the WCC; and developing new forms of cooperation with national and regional church councils. The committee underlined that the WCC had already accepted Pentecostal churches as members of the fellowship, and that this should be stressed in relation to all WCC member churches that had difficulties in recognizing a new form of Christianity, as represented by Pentecostal churches and communities.

The "Proposals for a Forum of Christian Churches and Ecumenical Organizations" of the Bossey Consultation were also endorsed with a recommendation to conduct a careful process of consultation with member churches and ecumenical partners. The implementation of these decisions has been described in the WCC reports presented to the 9th Assembly in 2006 in Porto Alegre (24) and to the 10th Assembly in 2013 in Bussan. (25)

The Global Christian Forum

It took several years of patient work and a series of consultations at the regional and occasionally national level until the tasks and working style of the GCF were sufficiently clarified to begin preparing for the first global meeting, held in 2007 in Limuru, Kenya. The GCF was to have no specific rules for membership, apart from the trinitarian basis of the WCC, so as not to violate the theological framework of the one ecumenical movement and to keep the threshold for participation as low as possible. In the process it was very difficult to find the active support of Pentecostal organizations, such as the PWF. It was seen as an important step forward when Prince Guneratnam was ready to sign the common message at the end of the assembly in Limuru on behalf of the PWF.

In contrast to the initial reflections, which had a stronger institutional focus, the GCF focused primarily on the fellowship of Christians, due in part to the strong involvement of the group of general secretaries of the Christian World Communions on whom van Beek relied. At the second global assembly in Manado in 2011, there was stronger participation by national councils of churches; however, the GCF leadership in which the CWCs were represented did not see this as a forward-looking model. Van Beek's successor as secretary of the GCF, the Mennonite Larry Miller, came from the group of CWC general secretaries. He developed with the four partners with whom he sought to work the model of the four pillars supporting the GCF: the PCPCU, PWF, WEA, and WCC.

A meeting of the four pillars ahead of the third global assembly in Bogota, Colombia, in 2018 dealt with the issue of to what extent the GCF should make its own statements or develop its own programmes. It was agreed that making statements and developing programmes would presuppose an institutional and authoritative character of the GCF, which would be in contradiction to its task of broadening the circle of participants and building trusting relationships.

The Joint Consultative Group of the WCC and Pentecostals

In its first mandate, from 2000 to 2005, the joint consultative group clarified its objectives, possible themes, and working methods. In its recommendations for the WCC's 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, it self-confidently recommended its own working methods (confidence in faith and common prayer and strengthening relationships through education and theological conversations) as a model for ecumenical dialogues at the national and regional level with the participation of church councils and the WCC. It proposed to promote cooperation in diaconal work and at the level of academic institutions and journals. It was a coincidence that in 2005 the Lutheran World Federation also began a dialogue process with the Pentecostal churches.

The report suggested that Pentecostals promote inner-Pentecostal dialogue, such as between North and South, and at the local and national level, and seek discussion with the Pentecostal churches that were members of the WCC, as well as other WCC member churches. The WCC was encouraged to hold consultations with Pentecostals and to involve Pentecostals in major WCC thematic work, to promote relationships at the local and national levels, and to invite more Pentecostals to participate in commissions and programmes.

The WCC then invited the Oxford-based Korean academic Won Suk Ma to participate in the committee on Ecumenism in the 21st Century and the preparatory committee for the 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea. He was also one of the driving forces in preparing for the centenary of the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, which strengthened cooperation between the WCC and evangelical and Pentecostal participants.

During its second mandate, from 2007 to 2012, the group deepened its reflection on methodology, personal growth in faith, mutual learning, and mutual encouragement. The joint meetings also provided an opportunity to share information and assessments of the situation. The group decided to focus its work on the four characteristics of the church in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (one, holy, apostolic, catholic church) and how they are understood and interpreted in the various situations. This allowed potentially fruitful topics for dialogue to be identified and a deeper understanding of what was held in common and where the differences were. This process was helpful in allowing the members of the group to place themselves in the wider ecumenical dialogue, which also includes the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. The recent proposal made by the director of Faith and Order to use the 1700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea as an occasion for ecumenical dialogue, and perhaps even for a World Conference on Faith and Order, could incorporate the findings of the consultative group in the preparatory process.

The group's recommendations from its second mandate follow those of the first mandate but are often more detailed. The Churches' Commission for International Affairs (CCIA), the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, and the ECHOS Youth Commission of the WCC were singled out as areas of common interest. It is also worth mentioning that since 2016, the moderator of the CCIA has been the South African Pentecostal Frank Chikane. Like Du Plessis, he is a pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church.

The continuity within the group has also begun to have positive results in that its recommendations have found an echo in the WPF on an international level, and have stimulated further dialogues at the local and national level. The involvement of academic networks is also being intensified, such as through the work of Jean-Daniel Pluss from Switzerland. In its third mandate, the group explored mission theology and held one of its meetings in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2018 in connection with the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism. It is still too early for a comprehensive report of this phase, which will be published in 2020 before the WCC's 11th Assembly in 2021 in Karslruhe, Germany. However, a recent edition of the International Review of Mission is a thematic issue on Pentecostal mission theology, which includes members of the consultative group among the authors. (26)

Membership of Pentecostal Churches in the WCC

That issue of the International Review of Mission also includes an essay by the Orthodox theologian and former WCC staff member Daniel Buda on Pentecostal membership in the WCC. (27) For the reasons mentioned above this is a critical issue, especially for WCC Orthodox member churches. They have also found Pentecostal mission in their countries particularly painful and condemned it as proselytism.

For his part, Buda carefully summarizes the history of WCC--Pentecostal relations, listing all the various consultations and encounters. Of particular importance, however, is his presentation of the discussion in the Permanent Committee for Consensus and Cooperation (PCCC), which emerged from the 2002 recommendations of the Special Commission on the Participation of the Orthodox Churches in the WCC. The committee discussed this issue at its meetings in 2012 and 2013. It was concerned about the "pastoral implications," which probably refers to the spirituality of the Pentecostal churches, something alien to many Orthodox churches.

Buda emphasizes that it is not a question of issuing a blanket invitation or not to Pentecostal churches. There are already Pentecostal churches in the WCC, and this is the starting point. The PCCC was therefore open in principle to applications from Pentecostal churches tor membership in the WCC, but it underlined the need for constitutional criteria for membership to be strictly applied. The PCCC thus expected only a few applications in the coming years. It will be therefore all the more necessary to strengthen existing forms of cooperation and forums for dialogue and to expand them wherever possible.

Martin Robra is a pastor of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and works as a World Council of Churches (WCC) staff' member in the areas of ecumenical formation, relationships with the Roman Catholic Church and WCC member churches, and the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

(1) On the difficulties of the statistical basis and figures for Pentecostal, charismatic, and evangelical churches and communities see Pew Research Center, Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and distribution of the World's Christian Population (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, 2011), l7ff. As far as the Pacific is concerned, Manfred Ernst has criticized the numbers of David Barret and the World Christian Database; see Manfred Ernst, ed., The Re-shaping of Christianity in the Pacific Islands (Suva: Pacific Theological College, 2007). This includes the observation that the share of growth of charismatic and neo-Pentecostal communities in the Pacific has been to a large extent at the expense of traditional and classical Pentecostal churches (698).

(2) See Ernst, The Re-shaping of Christianity, 695; see also David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World their Parish (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002); Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Twenty-First Century Religion (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2001); Karla Poewe, Charismatic Christianity as a Global Culture (Columbia: University or South Carolina, 1994).

(3) This became very clear during the first Global Christian Forum in 2005 in Limuru; see also Cecil M. Robeck, "A Pentecostal Looks at the World Council of Churches," Ecumenical Review 47:1 (January 1995), 60-69.

(4) Ernst, The Re-shaping of Christianity, 702.

(5) World Council of Churches, Pontifical Council tor Interreligious Dialogue, World Evangelical Alliance Christian Witness in a Multi-Religions World: Recommendations for Conduct, June 2011, https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/docurnents/wcc-programmes/interreligious-dialogue-and-cooperation/christian-identity-in-pluralistic-societies/christian-witness-in-a-multi-religious-world.

(6) For an overview see "Pentecostal churches," https://www.oikoumene.org/en/church-families/pentecostal-churches?set_language=en; See also Cecil M. Robeck, "Pentecostalism," in The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, ed. Adrian Hastings et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 530-32.

(7) See Walter J. Hollenweger, Charismatisch-pfingstliches Christentum: Herkunft--Situation--Okumenische Chancen Charismatic [Pentecostal Christianity: origin--situation--ecumenical opportunities] (Gottingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1997), especially 369ff; Hollenweger assumes that the Pentecostal movement began as an ecumenical revival movement and distinguishes four phases in the development of Pentecostal churches (391): (1) the ecumenical revival movement; (2) the cvangelicalization of independent local churches; (3) the development into a denomination with national and international organizations; (4) entering into dialogues.

(8) Cecil M. Robeck, "Cooperation and the Promotion of Unity: A Pentecostal Perspective," manuscript, 15.

(9) Robeck, "A Pentecostal Looks at the World Council of Churches," and Walter Hollenweger, "Two Extraordinary Pentecostal Ecumenists: The Letters of Donald Gee and David Du Plessis," Ecumenical Review 52:3 (July 2000), 391-402.

(10) The reflections of Lesslie Newbigin are instructive. See Lesslie Newbgin, "Integration: Some Personal Reflections 1981," International Review of Mission 70:280 (October 1981), 247-55; See also the criticism of Harvey T. Hoekstra in his book Evangelism in Eclipse: World Mission and the World Council of Churches (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1979).

(11) See Marta Palma, "A Pentecostal Church in the Ecumenical Movement," Ecumenical Review 37:2 (April 1985), 223-29; De Mello left the WCC with his church in 1983 at the end of Philip Potter's term as general secretary.

(12) Evangelical Pentecostal Mission of Angola; the. Association of the Church of God; the Christian Biblical Church; the Free Pentecostal Missions Church of Chile; the Pentecostal Mission Church; the International Evangelical Church; and the Pentecostal Church of Chile--on the Pentecostals in the WCC, see Daniel Buda, "The World Council of Churches' Relationships with Pentecostalism: A Brief Historical Survey and Some Recent Perspectives on Membership Matters," International Review of Mission 107:1 (406) (June 2018), 86ff; see also Hollenweger, Charismatisch-pfingstliches Christentum, 419ff, on the Pentecostal member churches and the difficulties of demarcation; Hollenweger lists 12 member churches with a Pentecostal profile.

(13) Peter Hocken, "Pentecostal--Roman Catholic Dialogue," in Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement, 2nd ed., ed. Nicholas Lossky et al. (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2002), 899; Waller J. Hollenweger, "Roman Catholics and Pentecostals in Dialogue," Ecumenical Review 51:2 (April 1999), 147-59.

(14) See Hendrikus Berkhof, "Berlin versus Geneva: Our Relationship with the Evangelicals," Ecumenical Review 28:1 (January 1976), 80; The article comments on the Berlin Ecumenical Manifesto of Walter Kunneth and Peter Beyerhaus, Reich Gottes oder Weltgemeinschaft? Die Berliner Okumene-Erklarung zur utopischen Vision des Weltkirchenrates [Kingdom of God or World Community? The Berlin Ecumenical Declaration on the Utopian Vision of the World Council of Churches] (Bad Liebenzell: Liebenzeller Mission, 1975), 307f; David J. Bosch, "'Ecumenicals' and 'Evangelicals': A Growing Relationship," Ecumenical Review 40:3-4 (July-October 1988) 458-72, offers an excellent overview of developments since 1961, distinguishing a period of confrontation (1966-73) from an era of convergence (1974 to the present).

(15) David Gill, ed., Gathered for Life: Official Report, VI Assembly World Council of Churches, Vanconver, Canada, 24 July-10August, 1983 (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1983), 17. For the complete text of the open letter see Mid-Stream 23:1 (1984), 127-31.

(16) Hollenweger, Charismatisch-pfingstliches Christentum, 413; on what follows, 413ff.

(17) Ibid., 406ff.

(18) Michael Kinnamon, ed., Signs of the Spirit: Official Report Seventh Assembly (Geneva: WCC Publications and Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Mich., 1991), 107-108.

(19) Ibid., 108.

(20) "Evangelical Perspectives from Canberra," in Kinnamon, Signs of the Spirit, 282-86.

(21) See Document 7.5.1 produced for the Programme Reference Committee for the WCC's Harare assembly, 1998.

(22) See Konrad Raiser, To Be the Church: Challenges and Hopes for a New Millennium (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1997), 103ff.

(23) Diane Kessler, ed., Together on the Way: Official Report of the Eighth Assembly of the WCC (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1999), 167-68.

(24) See "Global Christian Forum: Summary of the Report to the Ninth Assembly," and "Joint Consultative Group WCC-Pentecostals 2000-2005: Excerpts from the Report to the Ninth Assembly," in Programme Book. Ninth Assembly Porto Alegre, February 2006 (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2005), 164-68 and 169-73; https://www.oikoumene.org/en/folder/documents-pdf/programmebook-e.pdf.

(25) See the "Report of the Joint Consultative Group between Pentecostals and the World Council of Churches," in Resource Book, World Council of Churches 10th Assembly, Busan. 2013 (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2013), 151-63; http://wcc2013.info/en/resources/documents/ResourceBook_en.pdf.

(26) See International Review of Mission 107:2 (June 2018), published under the title "Pentecostal Mission Theology."

(27) Daniel Buda, "The World Council of Churches' Relationships with Pentecostalism," 81-97.

DOI: 10.1111/erev.12414
COPYRIGHT 2019 World Council of Churches
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Robra, Martin
Publication:The Ecumenical Review
Geographic Code:100NA
Date:Jan 1, 2019
Words:5814
Previous Article:Diakonia Trinitatis Dei as/and Transformational Development: A South African Perspective.
Next Article:Koinonia as Ecumenical Opening for Baptists.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters