e g r e g o r e s

"Graciously bestow upon all men felicity, the summit of which is the knowledge of the Gods." [Julian, Oration to the Mother of the Gods]

What they mean by "dialogue", Part Three

The Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches (representing “mainline” Protestants), and the World Evangelical Alliance (representing the Sarah Palin/Pat Robertson crowd) recently got together to draw up “Recommendations For Conduct” for Christian missionaries.

The “recommendations” begin with a preamble that outlines the “Basis for Christian witness”. The fourth point of these bases states:

“4. Christian witness in a pluralistic world includes engaging in dialogue with people of different religions and cultures (cf. Acts 17:22-28).”

In the passage of the Book of Acs cited above, Paul “engages in dialogue” with the Pagans of Athens by telling them, “you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” And then, in verse 30, Paul further clarifies what his idea of “engaging in dialogue” is: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

For more on the Christian conception of “dialogue” see these other posts from this blog:

And for more on Christian missionary activities in general, check out these:

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