Chapter 11: Roman Catholicism
Clayton Morrison, "Roman Catholicism and Protestantism,"
Christian Century, 8 May 1946, p. 585. (return
the best popular critique of Catholicism from and Evangelical
point of view is James G. McCarthy, The Gospel According
to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God
(Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 1995). McCarthy's book is
balanced in its language and focuses mainly on doctrinal
disagreements between Catholicism and the Scripture. McCarthy's
use of the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church
makes his work one of the most up-to-date. Norman L. Geisler
and Ralph E. MacKenzie, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals:
Agreements and Disagreements (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995)
is also a very good summary of the differences between Catholicism
and Protestantism, but the authors are eager to find grounds
of agreement and cooperation between Catholics and Evangelicals.
An older work, but still useful, particularly on the historical
background of Catholicism, is David Schaff, Our Fathers
Faith and Ours: A Comparison Between Protestantism and Romanism.
2nd ed. (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1928).
Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on
"Romanism" by "Bible Christians"
(San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 84. (return
p. 275. (return
M. Panosian, "Roman Catholicism: A Philosophy,"
Focus on Missions, Spring 1992, p. . (return
McGrath, Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity
(Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1995), p. 176.
Principles on Ecumenism," in The Documents of Vatican
II, ed. Walter M. Abbott (New York: Guild Press, 1966),
pp. 343-66. (return
good, brief overview of the history, teaching, and significance
of Vatican II is H. M. Carson, "Vatican II," in
The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church,
ed. J. D. Douglas (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), pp. 1012-14.
of the Catholic Church (Washington, D.C.: United States
Catholic Conference, 1994). References to this catechism
in the text are to paragraph numbers, not page numbers.
p. 172. (return
sympathetic introduction to Promise Keepers is Ken Abraham,
Who Are the Promise Keepers? Understanding the Christian
Men's Movement (New York: Doubleday, 1997). A balanced
critique of the movement from a Reformed perspective is
found in David Hagopian and Douglas Wilson, Beyond Promises:
A Biblical Challenge to Promise Keepers (Moscow, Idaho:
Canon Press, 1996). Separatist objections to the movement
are well summarized in Douglas R. McLachlan, "Promise
Keepers: What's Really at Stake?" Central Testimony,
Summer 1995, pp. 1-2, 5. (return
Aquilina, "Making New Catholic Men?" Our Sunday
Visitor, 20 July 1997, pp. 10-11. (return
text of ECT was published in Neuhaus's periodical: "Evangelicals
and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third
Millennium," First Things, May 1994, pp. 15-22;
all references to ECT are from this version. The controversy
over ECT is summarized in Geisler and MacKenzie, pp. 491-502.
and Catholics Together," p. 21. (return
pp. 17-18. (return
p. 16. (return
important differences between the Catholic and Protestant
views of justification, and the ramifications of those differences,
are thoroughly discussed in R. C. Sproul, Faith Alone:
The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification (Grand Rapids:
Baker, 1995). Stung by criticisms such as Sproul's, many
of the Roman Catholics and Evangelicals involved in ECT
met in New York on October 7, 1997, to issue a second document,
"The Gift of Salvation," published in Christianity
Today, 8 December 1997, pp. 35-38. The statement makes
declarations such as the following: "We agree that
justification is not earned by any good works or merits
of our own"; "In justification, God, on the basis
of Christ's righteousness alone, declares us to be no longer
his rebellious enemies but his forgiven friends"; "The
New Testament makes it clear that the gift of justification
is received through faith alone." Finally it concludes,
"We understand that what we here affirm is in agreement
with what the Reformation traditions have meant by justification
by faith alone" (p. 36). However, the document says
that one of the questions still to be discussed is "the
historic uses of the language of justification as it relates
to imputed or transformative righteousness" (p. 38).
In other words, it admits that there is yet a gap between
the biblical Protestant idea that in justification God declares
the sinner righteous on the basis of Christ's righteousness
and the Catholic teaching that in justification (which includes
sanctification) a person becomes more righteous himself.
Also, the document, like the original ECT, views Evangelical
Christianity and Catholicism as equally valid expressions
of Christianity. Furthermore, even if a group of Catholics
such as those involved in ECT should be able to accede to
a biblical definition of justification, their agreement
would not change the official Catholic teaching as expressed
in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Catechism
of the Catholic Church, and other official Catholic
Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (1923;
reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), p. 52. (return
p. . (return
pp. 175-92. (return
p. 178. He discusses the idea of Catholic-Evangelical relations
on pp. 175-80. (return
p. . (return
The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation. By
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