Wednesday 2 February 2011

David Neff on The Cape Town Commitment

Christianity Today carries a piece by David Neff on the second part of Lausanne’s Cape Town Commitment, which complements his earlier piece on the first part of the document.

Unlike statements of belief which invite us to check off our agreement with each article, the first part of the Commitment is organised around the theme of love: ‘we love because God first loved us’, ‘we love the living God’, ‘we love God the Father’, etc. As Neff points out, the language of love ‘forces me to take an inventory of my passions and commitments’. He also notes that this statement, compared to Lausanne’s 1974 statement, is ‘missional, narrative, and more conscious of the early church’s theology’.

The second part of the document', he says, ‘applies the love theme to the practice of ministry and mission’. The issues in this part are organised around the themes of the conference, the ‘global issues that a global church needs to wrestle with’.

In particular, Neff highlights corruption in church leadership, men and women ministering in partnership, the good news of grace in ‘cultures of honour’, and prayer.

In short:

‘Everything in the document relates somehow to two themes the drafters heard from the delegates: love and obedient discipleship.’

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