The keenly-anticipated Cape Town Commitment, standing in the historic line of The Lausanne Covenant and The Manila Manifesto, is released today. Its Call to Action reflects the voices of Christian leaders from 198 nations, gathered at The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. ‘Cape Town 2010’, held in collaboration with the World Evangelical Alliance, extended its reach to tens of thousands participating in remote sites or online.
Rev Dr Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of The Lausanne Movement, said: ‘In advance of the Congress we gathered a group of senior theologians, drawn from each continent, to compile a clear and engaging declaration of belief. With this as our basis, we wrestled with some of the toughest issues imaginable – within the Church, in global mission strategy, and in the public arena. The Cape Town Commitment’s Call to Action, coming out of those discussions in South Africa, is our roadmap for the next ten years.’
‘Each generation needs to restate the biblical gospel for its own time’, said Lindsay Brown, Lausanne Movement International Director. ‘We have sought to bring clarity to the essentials of the gospel, and to express them in a fresh way in our generation. I am thrilled with the rich seam of mission which runs through the whole Commitment. We offer it to the Church in a humble spirit, trusting it will be of enduring worth.’
Dr Chris Wright, International Director of Langham Partnership, chaired the statement working group, which included members of the WEA Theological Commission. ‘The Cape Town Commitment is not the memorial of a moment,’ he said. ‘It is the conviction of a Movement and the voice of a multitude. It distils a vast quantity of input from the global Church. We profoundly hope and pray that we are hearing not just the voice of Cape Town 2010, but the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ who walked among us there.’
Doug Birdsall added: ‘We want this to get out widely. It gives a sweep of the concerns of the Church in every nation, prophetically calling us to prayer and action. We urge leaders and influencers at all levels to study it, and discuss it. We hope mission agencies and their supporters, local churches, Christians in the workplace, and student fellowships will each want to embrace it, and find their part in it.’
To read The Cape Town Commitment, go to www.lausanne.org/ctcommitment. It will be published on 17 March in The Didasko Files series. An expanded version of the Commitment, with a study guide, is planned.
For a published copy of The Cape Town Commitment, go to www.lausanne.org/books