Roman Catholic Ecumenism: Let the Evangelicals Speak

St Peter's Basilica As Vatican Bank Commits to Fight Money Laundering

Leonardo De Chirico has posted this piece on The Gospel Coalition, reflecting on the recent joint statement of Italian evangelicals living in the shadow of the Vatican. These evangelicals reaffirmed their commitment to the teachings of Scripture over against any extra-biblical dogmas. They hold to the agency and mediation of Christ alone for salvation, they reject the authority of any traditions that developed after the close of the NT canon (like Marian dogmas), and they reject any political/imperial conceptions of the institutional church (remember, Pontifex Maximus used to be a title for Caesar!). On all these points, say the evangelicals, the Roman church must be urged to change its ways. We can respect each other’s differences, but as long as Catholics claim to follow Christ, we cannot simply agree to disagree. Now I said in my post “What Is a Culturalist Presbyterian?” that we should draw the broad limits of orthodoxy at Nicea-Chalcedon rather than Westminster. I therefore rejoice that we can find much common ground with Catholics, and I would still call them Christians. But the differences between us are nevertheless very important. As one friend of mine put it, the Roman Catholic Church is like the northern kingdom of Israel in the days of the divided monarchy (1 Kings 12). They (or at least some of them) may be our brothers and sisters in the Lord, but we must still call them to repent of their idolatry.

About Kyle Dillon

A teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), assistant pastor of theological instruction at Riveroaks Reformed Presbyterian Church, and theology/languages teacher at Westminster Academy in Memphis, Tennessee.

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