Indice > Dialoghi Interconfessionali > PE-RC > Evangelization, Proselytism... (part II)


  INTRODUCTION - selezionare
II. The Biblical And Systematic Foundation Of Evangelization
  V. PROSELYTISM - selez.
  APPENDIX 1 - selez.
  APPENDIX 2 - selez.


  1. Catholics and Pentecostals both point to the biblical foundation of evangelization of all people. From the very beginning it was promised to Abraham that through him all generations would be blessed (cf. Gen 17:1-8). God's covenant with Abraham has a global significance (cf. Gen 22:18). The prophets show that Israel's election also has importance for all peoples in that they expected the gathering of all peoples at Mount Sion at the coming of the Messiah (cf. Is 23; 49:6-8; Joel 3:1-5). Jesus' ministry in his earthly life was focused on Israel, not excluding others in special cases (cf. Mt 15:21-28), but he came for the salvation of the whole world (cf. Jn 3:15-17; Mt 26:28). Paul emphasizes the universal and cosmic dimensions of Jesus' death and resurrection (cf. 2 Cor 5:19; Rom 8:21). Then, receiving the Spirit from the Father, Jesus pours out that same Spirit as the agent through whom the work of redemption is being carried out throughout the whole world until the end of time (cf. Acts 2:33). Therefore, the biblical mandate for mission is grounded in the redemptive purpose of God.

  2. The content of the message of salvation is Jesus Christ himself, the way to reconciliation with the Father; he is the Good News (cf. Gal 1:16), which he entrusted to his disciples (cf. Mt 28:19f). The Holy Spirit, poured out on all people (cf. Acts 2:17; Joel 3:1), is to be understood as giving the inner dynamism of the process of evangelization and salvation. The transmission of the Christian faith consists in proclaiming Jesus Christ in order to lead others to faith in him. From the beginning, the first disciples burned with the desire to proclaim Christ: "we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). And they invite people of every era to enter into the joy of their communion with Christ and the Father which is the basis of fellowship among Christians (cf. 1 John 1:1-4).

  3. Catholics and Pentecostals agree that the proclamation of Jesus Christ is necessary for the liberation of humanity from sin and the attainment of salvation, because all are subject to "the fall," all are "lost." This condition results in alienation from God and also in alienation from others. Deliverance from oppression and domination of "the principalities and powers," including exorcism in certain cases, is an important part of Gospel proclamation.

  4. In the process of salvation, God always takes the initiative through grace which frees human hearts to respond (Acts 2:37). He acts through the Word and through the exercise of "signs and wonders" according to his sovereign will (cf. 1 Cor 2:4; Rom 15:18f). The only role humans have in reconciliation with God is to respond positively and constantly in the power of the Holy Spirit to God's initiatives through Jesus Christ, who is the only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5) and the Head of the Church (Col 1:18).

  5. The ordinary context in which salvation is worked out is the Church, the community of believers. Koinonia is to be lived out for the mutual enrichment of the members of the body (1 Cor 12:26), which in turn makes it possible for the Church to become a servant, gift, and sign to the world. Acknowledging this and acting accordingly would counteract individualism and total independence of individual communities on the one hand and the tendency toward sterile formalism in personal and institutional life on the other.5

  6. The life of koinonia is empowered by the Holy Spirit; in recent times many have experienced that power through "the baptism in the Holy Spirit".6 This presence of the Spirit has been shown in a fresh activity of biblical charisms, or gifts, (cf. 1 Cor 12:8-11) reminding all Christians to be open to charisms as the Spirit gives to everyone individually, whether these gifts are more or less noticeable. Some of the charisms are given more for personal edification (cf. 1 Cor 14:4a), while some provide service to others, and some especially are given to confirm evangelization (cf. Mk 16:15-20). All of them are intended to help build up the koinonia.


  1. Papers were delivered on this topic by Rev. William Menzies, President and Professor of Theology at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio City, Philippines (The Biblical Basis for Mission and Evangelism: An Evangelical, Pentecostal Perspective) and Rev. Karl Muller, svd, St. Augustin, Germany (The Biblical and Systematic Foundation of Evangelization).

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  2. For a more complete discussion of koinonia please refer to Perspectives on koinonia: The Report from the Third Quinquennium of the Dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and some Classical Pentecostal Churches and Leaders, 1985-1989.

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  3. Discussion on this issue took place in the first phase of the Dialogue.

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