Vienna. "Eschatology - Christian point of view, common perspective?" - that was the caption over an interesting study meeting involving representatives from various Christian denominations in Vienna.
The New Apostolic Church Austria had invited representatives from the Old Catholic Church, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, the Reformed Church, the Evangelical-Methodist Church, and the Roman Catholic Church — all from Austria — to this study meeting. Representing the hosting New Apostolic Church were church president Rudolf Kainz, chairman of the Ecumenical Project Group, Apostle Volker Kühnle, as well as the international media representative, District Evangelist Peter Johanning, and the church's public relations spokesman from Austria, Deacon Walter Hessler.
Through theological meetings of this nature the New Apostolic Church Austria seeks to make and cultivate contacts with the other Christian churches in Austria. This exercise is intended to help the participants become better acquainted and is meant to encourage mutual understanding in a Christian manner. A deeper understanding of the doctrinal positions of each church is to be gained through exchange and discussion of theological doctrinal content.
The theme "Eschatology - Christian point of view, common perspective?" proved to be very productive. The representatives of the individual churches described the positions and opinions of their respective denominations in a statement of principles. In the ensuing discussions they analysed their general similarities and differences with regard to biblical interpretations and church tradition.
At the end of the study meeting all the participants agreed it had transpired within a constructive environment of mutual respect and tolerance.
The New Apostolic Church Austria will continue to extend such invitations for future study meetings. The participants welcome this as a great step toward mutual understanding and trust between Christian churches.
4 June 2004