The closer relations between American evangelicals and Roman Catholics that have developed in the last few years appear to be entering a new stage that involve joint evangelism and ministry projects, according to America magazine (July 15-22).
Evangelical-Catholic relations have been strengthened through coalitions on social issues (such as abortion) and joint statements on doctrine and practice (agreements on teachings on salvation). Thomas Rausch writes that a recent conference at evangelical Wheaton College on evangelicals and Catholics revealed that these believers are increasingly working together, and not just on social or culture war-type issues.
For instance, the evangelical campus ministry InterVarsity Fellowship is working together with the Catholic campus ministry in San Diego. A new effort called Emmaus Ministries — which was founded by a Catholic Wheaton graduate — brings together evangelicals and Catholics in outreach to men involved in prostitution. The fact that Wheaton (along with InterVarisity Press) sponsored the conference may be significant in itself.
The premiere evangelical college has long precluded welcoming Catholics as faculty or staff, but Rausch reports that Wheaton may be “moving in a more open direction.”
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