D. Ecumenism and Related Theologies

1.    Development of ecumenism

a.    Main points [towards a unity of religion] b.    Levels of ecumenism: c.    World Council of Churches (WCC) [unity above doctrine] d.    World Evangelical Fellowship [unity in spreading the gospel] e.    International Congress on World Evangelism at Lusanne (1974) led by Billy Graham and John Stott: f.    International Council of Christian Churches [doctrinal purity above unity] g.    Evaluation: organizational unity (such as Lusanne Congress) helps world evangelization efforts; should seek a balance between spiritual unity and doctrinal unity; positive trend towards a common position from the first two camps

2.    Roman Catholic Church

a.    proclamation of the doctrine of immaculate (sinless) conception of Mary in 1854: b.    Vatican I (1869-1870) [papal infallibility] c.    Vatican II (1962-1965) [retreat from excesses] d.    Kung [Catholic rebel] e.    Evaluation: recent tendency to retreat from past excesses; regard Protestants as "separated brethren" rather than wicked heretics; still hold many doctrines unacceptable to Protestants (papal infallibility, doctrines related to Mary); the process of merging with the Anglican church being studied

3.    Black theology

a.    Main points [suffering and freedom] b.    Martin Luther King [dream of justice] c.    Evaluation: Like liberation theology and feminist theology, the insistence on one major issue overshadows the whole message of the gospel. In addition, biblical principles are sometimes bent to fit human thoughts. The advocation of violence is non biblical.
4.    Liberation theology
a.    Main points [Christians of the revolution] b.    Gutierrez [salvation is liberation] c.    Evaluation: lack of emphasis in the forgiveness aspect; biased definition of sin and salvation; the real gospel message of spiritual salvation and the individual's reconciliation with God buried beneath the call for social justice; occasional call for violence and revolution not biblical
5.    Theology of hope
a.    Main points [hope of the future in God's promise] b.    Moltmann [mission to transform the world] c.    Evaluation: some values in the concentration on eschatology and hope; lacking in aspects of personal witness and spiritual growth; influences the over-emphasis of social action of the WCC (in Uppsala)
6.    Feminist theology
a.    Main points [fighting the inequality of the sexes] b.    Ruether [promoting full humanity of women] c.    Evaluation: a worthy and noble cause; biblical meaning sometimes overstretched by arguing for a different interpretation of salvation; unnecessary revision of the language and content of faith on the basis of feminist experience

7.    Contextualization

a.    Main points [put Christianity into the context of the indigenous culture] b.    Chow Yi-Fu [Christianity explained in the concepts of Chinese philosophy] c.    Tse Fu-Ya [concept of God in Chinese culture] d.    Chang Lit-Sang [Christianity supersedes Chinese culture] e.    Hsu Hsiung-Sze [comparison of Christianity and Chinese culture] f.    Koyama [God in a tranquil culture of southeast Asia] g.    Mbiti [no imported Christianity] h.    Evaluation: valuable emphasis, especially for those cultures that are threatened; need to preserve orthodox Christian faith; but possible for indigenous forms of practising faith