Ecumenism and Evangelicalism
Where Are We?
The Rev. Dr Emilio Castro was general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from
1985 to 1992, after serving as director of the WCC’s Commission on World Mission and Evangelism
from 1973 to 1983. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1927, Castro served, among his other church
and ecumenical activities in Latin America, as coordinator of the Commission for Evangelical Unity in
Latin America (UNELAM) from 1965 to 1972, and as president of the Evangelical Methodist
church in Uruguay from 1970 to 1972. He died in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2013. This article was
written for Faith and Faithfulness: Essays on Contemporary Ecumenical Themes: A
Tribute to Philip A. Potter, edited by Pauline Webb (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1984).
While the ecumenical movement, and particularly the World Council of Churches, must
always be an inclusive forum where the richness of the total life of the Christian church is
manifest, this article argues that evangelicals cannot give up the quest for church unity
because that would mean ignoring a central aspect of the prayer of Jesus Christ. Looking at
areas of convergence between the evangelical and the ecumenical movement, four areas are
identiﬁed for further cooperation and dialogue: the authority of the Bible; mobilizing all
churches for the evangelization of the whole world; the perspective of the poor; and the
challenge of justice and peace.
World Council of Churches, ecumenical movement, evangelical movement, Lausanne
Committee, Commission on World Mission and Evangelism
Let me begin with a personal tribute. This book is being published in honour of a man
who has been passionately involved in the debates about mission during the last two
decades. Philip Potter stands in the best Methodist tradition – both ecumenical and
evangelical. He has experienced conversion; his whole life is rooted in the study of the
(2018) World Council of Churches. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.