31 May 1977 · 02 Jun 1977
Pasadena, California, USA
The Lausanne Theology and Education group (LTEG) was set up by the Executive of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization during its meeting in Berlin in September 1976. Its task was to promote theological reflection on issues related to world evangelization and, in particular, to explore the implications of the Lausanne Covenant. Charged with this responsibility, LTEG chose as the first topic for discussion the controversial “homogeneous unit principle,” which has been developed by Fuller Seminary’s School of World Mission.
The School of World Mission has had a very wide influence in recent years. Large numbers of mission theorists, mission executives, missionaries, pastors, and lay leaders have been challenged and stimulated by its philosophy of church growth. At the same time, some aspects of this philosophy have not escaped criticism. So during the 1970s, a number of books and articles have appeared, expounding and defending different points of view. The most important of them are listed in the bibliography.
This interchange, however, somewhat resembled the lobbing of hand grenades across no-man’s-land from the trenches on either side. Not until June 1977 did representatives of both viewpoints meet face to face in a spirit of Christian brotherhood. The colloquium was set up as a common exploration rather than as a confrontation, and as a result we grew in mutual understanding and respect. This first Lausanne Occasional Paper contains the agreed statement which we were able to issue on 2 June 1977.