Pope Francis: Good News For Us All
March 14, 2013
An email from an English friend this morning brought good news about the newly elected pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis. My friend knows him personally. Pope Francis has been his spiritual advisor since 2007. My friend is not Roman Catholic. He is a Spirit filled evangelical bishop who labors in the Anglican world.
Included in my friend’s email were the personal comments of Archbishop Greg Venables, the Anglican archbishop of Argentina. A leading reformer in the global Anglican movement, Archbishop Venables wrote that the new Pope, an Argentine, is his close friend. He describes him as a humble servant of God, Spirit-filled, deeply dedicated to the Scriptures, and a friend to all God’s people.
German theologian friend Thomas Schirrmacher, the head of the Theological Commission for the World Evangelical Alliance, issued a statement today in which he stated, “At the Catholic synod meetings last year I got to know [the now Pope] as a modest, humble, and friendly man who uses public transportation and goes without a palace or chauffeur.” Schirrmacher went on to state that, in a break with common Roman Catholic practice, Francis does not describe Evangelicals as sectarian.
The majority of the world’s Christians now live below the equator. The Roman Church was wise, I believe, to elevate a brother from the Global South to lead them. What is good for them should be good for us all. There is hope, I think, that Pope Francis will assist in the working unity that the whole Church needs as she advances the cause of Christ in the 21st Century.
After all, the Roman Church and the Lutherans now agree on Justification by Faith, the doctrine that long divided them. (You can read the Accord on the Vatican web site.) The Charismatic Renewal (of the 1970s) predicted the growing unity of the Church, and produced leaders who are now working with their brethren across denominational lines. The Reformation continues. The Renewal continues. Let us pray for the new Bishop of Rome. He is our brother. †
Illegal Immigration Position Paper
April 02, 2012
St. Johns Abbey Position Paper:
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN THE USA
Illegal immigration is currently an issue of pressing concern in the United States of America. Matters of national security, economic wellbeing, civil governance, morality, and more attach themselves to this important issue. As Christians and as citizens, the members of St. Johns Abbey thought it important to think through this issue on a biblical basis, and spent many weeks researching and discussing the matter.
Click for the full paper
Good News from Ethiopia
December 12, 2011
Good news from Ethiopia
“Fifty years ago the Makana Jesu church in western Ethiopia had around fifty thousand members and an uncertain future. Today its people number more than four million. God gives growth, and the Holy Spirit moves in centuries.”
From Kenneth E. Bailey, PAUL THROUGH MEDITERRANEAN EYES (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2011), p. 126.