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Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue 2018

This press release from the 2018 meeting of the Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue was shared with by Mel Robeck. He commented: “I believe that it was a very fruitful week.”


Third meeting of the International Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue, 7 – 12 October 2018, Santiago, Chile

Representatives of various classical Pentecostal churches and the Lutheran World Federation member churches began a five-year dialogue in 2016, preceded by preparatory meetings from 2004 – 2010 at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France.  The third meeting took place October 7-12, 2018 at Casa de Retiro San Francisco Javier in Santiago de Chile. Through annual meetings, the partners seek to understand each other better, at both international and local levels, in order to appreciate each other’s theological and spiritual traditions and to find ways for common witness.

On Sunday, October 7, the dialogue members visited together first a service at the Lutheran Church El Redentor (Lutheran Church in Chile) in the Providencia district. They were generously invited for lunch afterwards. In the evening the Lutherans and Pentecostal delegates visited as small groups various Pentecostal churches belonging to the Methodist-Pentecostal Church and the Pentecostal Church of Chile and participated in worship including the sharing of the Word.

The theme of this phase of the dialogue focuses on various aspects of Christian ministry in light of Luke 4:18-19. Each day began and ended with devotions led by the various members of the dialogue. The topic of this third meeting was “Proclaiming the Good News to the poor” and it focused on the situation of the materially poor and how the respective churches relate to them.  Rev. Dr. Richard Waldrop presented a paper on “Pentecostals and the Poor” in which he described the fundamental role of the poor in the history and current development of Pentecostalism. Rev. Dr. Walter Altmann presented a paper “Good News to the Poor” from a Lutheran perspective. He focused on Martin Luther’s understanding of the poor including a Christological focus and pointing to the centrality of the cross. Both presenters also addressed challenges with regard to what is commonly referred to as “prosperity gospel,” a teaching that has arisen in many Neo-Pentecostal circles.

Santa Lucía Hill in the centre of Santiago, Chile.
Image: Dario Alpern, Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday October 10, Bishop Alexis Salgado (Lutheran Church in Chile) visited the dialogue group and it had an occasion to share impressions and ask question about the life of the Lutheran Church in Chile and their relationship with Pentecostals. In the afternoon about 25 Pentecostal and Lutheran pastors from the region met with the dialogue participants to learn about the reasons why the Lutheran World Federation and classical Pentecostals share in their passion for dialogue. The following discussions enabled the dialogue group to gain insights into the life of the two Lutheran Churches (Lutheran Church in Chile and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile) and various Pentecostal churches in Chile. Mr. Javier Castro Arcos, Director of the National Office for Religious Affairs, and Rev. Daniel Anabalon, chaplain to the Presidential Palace La Moneda, gave words of greeting.

The members of the dialogue visited the Memorial and Museum of Human Rights in Santiago. The unlawful incarcerations, the widely used torture and the many killings during the Chilean Military dictatorship of the 1973s and 89s reminded them that poverty is also a reality for those who are robbed of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Members of the Pentecostal team are: Dr. Jean-Daniel Plüss, co-chair (Swiss Pentecostal Mission, Switzerland), Rev. Dr. Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen (Pentecostal theological consultant, Finland/USA), Rev. Dr. Cecil M Robeck, Jr. (Assemblies of God, USA), Rev. Dr. Richard Waldrop (Church of God, USA/Guatemala), Rev. Gani Wiyono (Assemblies of God, Indonesia), Rev. Tham Wan Yee (Assemblies of God, Malaysia) and Dr. Olga Zaprometova (Church of God, Russia). Members of the  Lutheran team are: Rev. Dr. Walter Altmann, co-chair, (Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil), Rev. Dr. Tamás Gáncs (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary), Rev. Dr. Cheryl Peterson (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), Rev. Johannes Zeiler (Church of Sweden), Rev. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson (Consultant on behalf of the Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg, France/Japan) and Rev. Anne Burghardt (Secretary for Ecumencial Relations, Switzerland/Estonia). Rev. Dr. Wilfred J. Samuel (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malaysia) was unable to attend. As observers were present, Dr. Oscar Corvalán (Pentecostal Church of Chile), Mr Patrick Bornhardt Daube (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chile); Dr. Luis Orellana (Methodist Pentecostal Church, Chile) and Dr. Juan Sepúlveda (Pentecostal Church Mission, Chile).

The next annual meeting is scheduled to be held in 2019 in Africa.  The theme will be “to proclaim freedom, recovery and release” (Luke 4:18) and will focus on healing and deliverance in its many aspects.  In 2020 the dialogue will meet in North America to prepare a common document based upon the work they have completed.

Santiago de Chile, October 12, 2018


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Category: Fall 2018, Ministry

About the Author: Raul L. Mock is one of the founders and directors of the Pneuma Foundation and editor of The Pneuma Review. Raul has been part of an Evangelical publishing ministry since 1996, working with Information Services and Supply Chain Management for more than two decades. He and his wife, Erin, have a daughter and twin boys and live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. LinkedIn

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