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Leonardo De Chirico

Leonardo De Chirico is the pastor of Breccia di Roma, a church that he helped plant in Rome in 2009, and Vice Chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Previously, Leonardo planted and pastored an evangelical church in Ferrara, Italy from 1997 to 2009. He earned degrees in history (University of Bologna), theology (ETCW, Bridgend, Wales) and bioethics (University of Padova). His PhD is from King's College (London); it was published as Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. In 2015, he published A Christian Pocket Guide to Papacy through Christian Focus. He is a lecturer of historical theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Padova, Italy. Additionally, Leonardo is the director of the Reformanda Initiative, which aims to equip evangelical leaders to better understand and engage with Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Rome Scholars and Leaders Network.



Different Gospels: Evangelicals and Roman Catholics

It is often pointed out that Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics have a lot in common. On the one hand, there is an apparent “common orthodoxy” based on the ancient Trinitarian and Christological creeds, which use the same basic words of the gospel: God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, sin, faith, salvation, church, and so on. On the other hand, nobody can deny the profound differences that separate Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics in their accounts of the doctrines of Christ, the Church, and salvation (i.e. the core of the gospel), as well as Mary, the intercession of the saints, purgatory, papal infallibility, and the manifold practices that stem out of them. In many respects Roman Catholicism is really alien to the evangelical faith. The question is: How can we have the “same” gospel if the two faiths have core commitments that do not match? This session will explore how and why the Roman Catholic gospel is different from the biblical gospel.


Between Thomas and Thomism(s): Exploring the Significance of Thomas Aquinas for Evangelical Thought

While the influence of Thomas Aquinas on Western theology is beyond dispute, his legacy is contested. In current evangelical studies, there is a kind of love story with Thomas, especially as far as his theological metaphysics is concerned. What should we make of this entire discussion? Are Thomas and Thomism(s) the same? What does evangelical thought need to be aware of regarding the strengths and dangers of Thomas Aquinas? How can Rome’s chief doctor be a reference point for evangelical theology? Surveying current literature and debates, this session will try to assess the different and nuanced appropriations of Thomas and Thomism(s), seeking to come to terms with what is at stake for evangelical thought.


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