I could not believe what I was hearing as I was driving home tonight. In his “BreakPoint Commentary,” Chuck Colson addressed a commentary entitled “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant” in reference to Father Richard John Neuhaus, who recently passed away. What caught my attention was not that he referred to Neuhaus “my dear friend,” but that Colson referred to a Roman Catholic priest, “brother in Christ.”
Granted, he was one of the prominent proponents to “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” (ECT) back in 1991, but I somehow thought that after all these years (with numerous discussions with Boice, Sproul, MacArthur, and many others) that he would change his position (at least, I was hoping). But tonight, was I wrong! I could not believe he was spewing his pro-ECT rhetoric on what is considered an “evangelical” radio station. I wondered if the radio station heard what he just said. I wondered if they think it’s no big deal. I wondered if the listeners discerned what he just said. But again, based on the current state of evangelical churches, I probably shouldn’t hope. Is there a coming revival for ETC? Why wouldn’t it be when so many professing evangelicals are in sleep?
In his recent interview with Biola Connections (my alma mater’s journal) Bob Saucy answered the following concerning the differences between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals:
They’re the same as they were at the Reformation. There are three significant ones. First is the question of final authority. Protestants hold to sola scriptura [Scripture as their final authority]. For Catholics, the final authority is Scripture as interpreted by the church, that is, the magisterium (the pope and bishops). That’s where Catholicism gets its teachings that can’t be found in Scripture, like veneration of Mary, indulgences and purgatory. Second, Catholics view the church as an extension of Christ’s incarnation. For them, the church is divine as Christ was divine. One result of this is the Catholic proclamation: “Come to the church for salvation, for faith in the church and faith in Christ are one act of faith.” That leads to the third difference: salvation. The Catholic catechism makes it very clear that you are born again and justified through baptism. That means faith plus a certain rite — which is administered by the church — is necessary for salvation. So, the church essentially grants salvation. Although this salvation is “by faith,” additional grace enables us “to work” to attain eternal life. And that’s the problem with saying we speak the same gospel. One of them is clear: Christ did it; we can’t add anything to that. The other one is: Christ did it, but to actually avail yourself of what Christ did you have to do this and this.
You can read the rest of the article here including Saucy’s comment on the current pope and etc.
Recently the news about Francis Beckwith has been buzzing around many blogs about his return to Rome. Even in this site I’ve had one of the highest hits and several exchanges of comments. Obviously, Romish and Romish sympathetics did not like my implication of Beckwith’s action as apostasy. That is completely understandable (coming from them).
But what is continually confusing and bothersome is the pro-Rome views amongst professing evangelicals including notable evangelical scholars. One such example is David Howard’s article “Rome-ward Bound” in Wall Street Journal (Howard is noted Old Testament scholar). Regardless his noted scholarship I am disappointed with his article nonetheless. I think he gives mixed messages. But he is not alone in having sentimental or sympathetic view toward Beckwith. What is more troubling to me is how can professing evangelicals shy away from calling apostasy as apostasy. I mean what else do you call leaving the biblical gospel for something else as not apostasy? I thought apostasy means just that. But apparently, professing evangelicals are afraid to call it what it is. That is why I am so glad that there are men like Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs who calls it what it is.
In light of heated discussions on whether evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism can be united, check out this video:
Picture is worth thousand words.
Carl Trueman of Reformation 21 weighs in on Beckwith’s move to Roman Catholic Church. Click here.
It is officially true that Francis Beckwith has converted to Roman Catholicism. You can read his official statement. But also pay close attention to Dr. Doug Groothuis’ comments and his official response to Beckwith’s move.
You heard right. Francis Beckwith, the current president of Evangelical Theological Society, has converted to Catholicism!
At least that’s what James White said in his blog. You can read the news “Head of the Evangelical Theological Society Swims the Tiber” by James White. Apparently this is a breaking news, and I’m interested to find out more on this. If any of you can verify whether this is true, please drop me a note.