A “rich seam of mission” flows through the new declaration from the Lausanne Movement, an evangelical Christian movement that promotes active worldwide evangelism.

The second part of the Cape Town Commitment was unveiled recently; the first was made public during the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in October 2010.

The declaration, which reflects the voices of 4,200 Christian leaders from 198 nations, states that two themes were repeatedly heard during the congress: the need for “radical obedient discipleship” and for “radical cross-centered reconciliation.”

“Each generation needs to restate the biblical gospel for its own time,” said Lindsay Brown, international director of the Lausanne Movement.

“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.”

Rev. Doug Birdsall, executive chair of the Lausanne Movement, added the declaration gives “a sweep of the concerns of the church in every nation.”

Rev. Jonathan Edwards, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said the commitment shows the ways in which the two main themes “can be developed in our pluralistic, globalized world.”

“I believe that it will have a healthy and encouraging influence on evangelical Christians all around the world,” he added.

Rev. David Kerrigan, BMS World Mission general director, said, “At first glance the document is a strong affirmation of core evangelical principles which, while holding to a robust Trinitarian missiology, is more generous than we sometimes see in evangelicalism.

“There is a clear refusal ‘to promote lies and caricatures about other faiths’ and a commitment to ‘denounce and resist the racist prejudice, hatred and fear incited in popular media and political rhetoric’.”

Krish Kandiah, Evangelical Alliance’s executive director – churches in mission, was at the congress. He encouraged the church to use the commitment as “a missional” checklist.

“I invite churches to read the Cape Town Commitments and prayerfully ask God to speak to us about the missing elements of our church’s mission.”

This article appeared originally in The Baptist Times of Great Britain.

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