The Vatican announced it will hold a historic meeting with Muslim leaders this spring in response to an unprecedented letter signed by over a hundred Muslim clerics, scholars, and intellectuals calling for understanding based on their common ground of belief in one God.
Pope Benedict XVI proposed the meeting which will begin with three Muslim representatives coming to Rome in February or March in preparation for the meeting, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vaticans Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, told the Vatican newspaper LOsservatore Romano last weekend.
Tauran did not give a date for the larger meeting other than saying it will take place in the spring. more >>
The year 2007 was a year in which Christians had to up their guard amid increasingly frequent and vehement challenges. Whether it was defending against atheism, Mormonism, negative stereotypes, or liberal agendas, believers across the nation found themselves needing more to stand up for what they believe. The following is a list of the top 10 trends and events of 2007 that marked the year:
1. Rise of Militant Atheism, Apologetics
Atheism has nearly always been with us in one form or another, but the atheists we’ve been hearing the most from lately – chiefly Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris – are a new breed, as prominent conservative Chuck Colson noted earlier this year. Unlike the old-school humanists, the new atheists – or anti-theists, as some of them prefer to be called – don’t want to just deny the existence of God, they want to wipe religion off the map. more >>
Pope Benedict XVI, in response to the letter sent by Muslim scholars, said he is willing to meet with Muslim representatives, announced the Vatican this week.
In the reply letter, the pope expressed deep appreciation for this gesture, for the positive spirit which inspired the text [of the letter] and for the call for a common commitment to promoting peace in the world, according to The Associated Press.
In October, 138 Muslim clerics, scholars and intellectuals from all the major sects signed a letter calling for peace between Muslims and Christians. The letter, entitled A Common World Between Us and You, urged followers of the two faiths to find common ground and not simply just for polite ecumenical dialogue between certain religious leaders. more >>
Christian leaders across denominational lines responded to the unprecedented open letter signed last month by 138 representative Muslim leaders with their own letter, calling on the two Abrahamic faiths to love God and neighbors together.
Over 100 theologians, ministry leaders, and prominent pastors have thus far signed the response letter issued by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.
Signers include Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church; John Stott, rector emeritus of All Souls Church in London; and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. more >>
The Rev. Dr. John Stott concluded his final public engagement this past week, asking evangelical Christians in England, "What is God's purpose for his people?
Giving his last major address before retiring from public ministry, the man whom many regard as one of the most celebrated evangelists of the modern era told the crowd at this years annual convention in Keswick, England: I want to share with you where my mind has come to rest as I approach the end of my pilgrimage on earth.
God wants His people to become like Christ, Stott said, as he was greeted with a standing ovation. Christ-likeness is the will of God for the people of God. more >>
The year 2007 is a “happy new era for world evangelization,” 400 Christian delegates were told in the closing message at the Lausanne Bi-Annual International Leadership Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, which concluded on Friday.
Lausanne members have been in the Hungarian capital since Monday to pray, plan and work together for Lausanne III, a major world mission congress to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010.
In his farewell address, the Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall, Executive Chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, reminded conference delegates of the great need for the Gospel in light of such problems as an increasingly secularized youth in Europe and the fresh conflict in Gaza. more >>