The Reformanda Initiative

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For those of us who have studied Christian Church History, the Roman Catholic Church obviously plays a major role. As in any situation, it is always important to discern facts from fiction or hearsay and understanding Roman Catholicism is no exception. For those of you who are not aware, there is currently an initiative underway that presents an opportunity to learn and observe dialogue from experts from both sides. The need for, the vision and the strategy being used within this initiative are as follows:

The Need

Evangelicalism currently has an incoherent relationship with Roman Catholicism. Many evangelicals are uncertain about what Roman Catholics actually believe. Do they believe in the same Gospel, or something entirely different?

This question is important for leaders of evangelical churches and organizations and
 for hundreds of millions of evangelical believers around the world.

We are convinced, in line with the historic Protestant view, that Roman Catholicism is a severely flawed system in need of a radical biblical reformation in its basic theology and practice. Currently there is no global evangelical effort to study these topics, promote new research and share insights.

The Vision

The Reformanda Initiative seeks to:

Research and Articulate

  • the history of Roman Catholic theology and practice
  • contemporary sociological analysis of Roman Catholic theology and practice
  • an evangelical evaluation of Roman Catholic theology and practice

Educate and Equip

  • emerging evangelical academics who are seeking to study Roman Catholicism
  • evangelical leaders and laity to better understand Roman Catholicism, including the similarities and differences between evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism
  • evangelical leaders and laity in how to understand, love and communicate the Gospel to their Roman Catholic family and friends

Communicate

  • the biblical Gospel of salvation through faith in Christ alone
  • an evangelical perspective concerning Roman Catholic theology and practice
  • the research sponsored or done by Reformanda Initiative

The Strategy

The Reformanda Initiative supports various strategies to identify, unite, equip and resource evangelical leaders to study Roman Catholic theology and practice, to educate the evangelical church and to communicate the Gospel by means of, for example:

  • Hosting an annual Global Meeting of key Reformanda Initiative leaders
  • Sponsoring the annual Rome Scholars Network conference to train and equip evangelical scholars and leaders to articulate an evangelical perspective about Roman Catholicism and the biblical Gospel
  • Compiling a Reformanda International Electronic Journal
  • Creating Reformanda Educational Training Programs to
    • educate evangelical leaders and laity about Roman Catholicism
    • facilitate church planting in Roman Catholic regions
    • communicate the Gospel lovingly and persuasively to Roman Catholics
  • Drafting and releasing “Is the Reformation Over? – A Statement of Evangelical Convictions” affirming the principles of the Reformation
  • Producing a documentary “Is the Reformation Over?” and video resources to explain the significant differences between Catholics and Evangelicals

The link to the home page of The Reformanda Initiative is directly below:

http://reformandainitiative.org/

Considering that Roman Catholics comprise 50 percent of all Christians worldwide and 16 percent of the world’s total population, this is obviously an important topic to become conversant with.

I have personally followed Leonardo De Chirico’s website http://vaticanfiles.org/   for a couple of years. Leonardo De Chirico is the pastor of Breccia di Roma, a church that he helped plant in Rome in 2009, and Vice Chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Previously, Leonardo planted and pastored an evangelical church in Ferrara, Italy, from 1997 to 2009. He earned degrees in History (University of Bologna), Theology (ETCW, Bridgend, Wales) and Bioethics (University of Padova). His PhD is from King’s College (London); it was published as Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. In 2015, he published A Christian Pocket Guide to Papacy and A Christian Pocket Guide to Mary: Mother of God? through Christian Focus. He is a lecturer of Historical Theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Padova, Italy. Additionally, Leonardo is the Director of the Reformanda Initiative, which aims to equip evangelical leaders to better understand and engage with Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Rome Scholars Network (RSN).

This is an excellent opportunity to learn, if you are so inclined.

 

10 comments

      • As I have indicated, I have followed Leonardo De Chirico, who is the director of this initiative for over two years. If you would be so kind as to review his work, I’m pretty sure you would not be labeling it as ecumenical. But don’t take my word for it, actually check it out. Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I have heard of him as well Bruce. I’m sure he’s seeking to inform evangelicals about Roman Catholics so that we can better evangelise them, rather than to be ecumenical. I’ll check it out. We need to get out of evangelical ghettos and take the great commission to the world, including Roman Catholics!

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    • His work is very good, he is extremely well informed about Roman Catholicism and pulls no punches, but … his dialogue is without vermin and he takes the time to actually listen, and then compare with Reformation theology, a trait that not all of us actively employ. I remember sitting in a Baptist Bible study once where we were discussing predestination and I happened to mention that other great theologians had differing perspectives on this topic. One of the participating members cut me off short by inferring that the text was relatively clear and what was my problem. I looked to the leader to educate the voicing member but he didn’t. When we shut down our minds to understanding other perspectives that we don’t have to necessarily agree with, we display our own ignorance and lack of comprehension to all the warped perspectives that we’ve been forgiven for. It’s sad.

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  2. I dig this. Thanks for sharing. I have spent a lot of time studying the differences between Catholic and Protestant theology… and differences in denominational doctrines. I am fascinated with understanding how people approach God.

    Liked by 1 person

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