Magazine article The Christian Century

Presbyterians Respond to Controversial Speech

Magazine article The Christian Century

Presbyterians Respond to Controversial Speech

Article excerpt

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has issued a highest-level response to controversial comments made by a Chicago minister that Christianity may not be the only path to salvation.

At a July Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference, Dirk Ficca, executive director of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, stirred controversy by suggesting that Christianity may not be the only true religion and that "God's ability to work in our lives is not determined by becoming a Christian."

Several factions within the church have asked church leaders to speak out against Ficca's remarks, but the church has been largely hesitant to openly reprimand him.

In an October 25 letter to the entire church, the executive committee of the General Assembly Council--a 93-member elected body that oversees the PCUSA between annual meetings--reiterated Ficca's right to his opinions but reaffirmed the historic teaching that faith in Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation.

The letter quoted from Ephesians, saying there is "one calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. …

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