Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Letter of Encouragement to Pope Francis from a Lutheran Physicist

May 1, 2017

Your Holiness, Pope Francis,

I watched your TED talk recently and with the help of the English sub-titles I found it very inspiring. I like your vision of Christianity blossoming in the world today. Several years ago, when you spoke to the youth of Brazil on World Youth Day, you suggested that they should play on Christ’s Team. With the help of a literary agent, I self-published a book in 2009 called Christ’s Team: A 21st Century View of Christianity that was about Christianity, science, and teamwork. It is a relatively simple book that summarizes the fundamentals of Christianity, but creates a vision of a wonderful new world evolving with the aid of Christian teamwork and science. Chapters about how to improve teamwork in families and church parishes are included.

I am a Lutheran and a retired physics professor at Augustana College. During my life, I have had many contacts with Roman Catholicism. My wife and I visited the Vatican when we were in Rome in 1992 and enjoyed the magnificent Christian art work that you have there. Earlier we had attended a Catholic Cursillo weekend and were so impressed that we helped establish Via de Cristo, the Lutheran version of Cursillo, in our area. We even went to the Spanish island of Mallorca to spend an afternoon with Eduardo Bonnin, one of the founders of the Cursillo movement. The Roman Catholic Cursillo movement has been bringing Christians of many denominations together for a long time.

From my observations, I believe that you may be the only person who, with the power of the Holy Spirit, might be able to unify Christians around the world to form a Team comparable to the Body of Christ that the Apostle Paul described in 1 Corinthians 12. I think you already hear God calling you to that adventure. As for my part, I believe that science is a gift God gave us so that we can be co-creators of civilization on earth. That, however, will also require Christians to be united in their effort to provide better lives for all people. So, I will continue to write about Christian teamwork on my website, www.christsteam.com.

Best wishes for success with all your wonderful work for Christ. God loves you and so do we.

A Team Member in Christ

Robert C. Frank
Professor Emeritus, Augustana College
Author of Christ’s Team

Receipt of the letter was acknowledged with a beautiful picture of a smiling Pope Francis