The Starting Point of Calvin's Theology

The Starting Point of Calvin's Theology

The Starting Point of Calvin's Theology

The Starting Point of Calvin's Theology

Excerpt

Since the initiation of bilateral dialogues, in the wake of Vatican Council II, between the Catholic Church and other churches or families of churches, Catholic theologians have met with the heirs of Calvin's theology gathered in the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Beginning in 1970, these dialogues have brought together Catholics chosen by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and Protestants selected by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Similar conversations have taken place on a smaller scale in several countries, notably in the United States, where conversations started in 1965, and in France. More recently the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity has sponsored meetings between Catholic theologians and unofficial representatives of evangelical traditions that maintain a more conservative interpretation of Calvinist principles.

While I have not been part of these dialogues, I have followed the work being done in this important section of the ecumenical landscape. And I cannot avoid being puzzled by the absence of memorable results that would be on a par with the achievements of ARCIC-I and -II and of the dialogue of the Catholic Church with the Lutheran World Federation or with the World Methodist Council. The modern conversations between Catholicism and Calvinism have had the least impact on the ecumenical situation as a whole. A first series of meetings (1970-1977) issued a report of a rather general na-

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