Evangelicals and Catholics Together

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Evangelicals and Catholics Together is a 1994 ecumenical document signed by leading Evangelical and Roman Catholic scholars in the United States. The co-signers of the document were Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, representing each side of the discussions.[1] It was part of a larger ecumenical rapprochement in the United States that had begun in the 1970s with Catholic-Evangelical collaboration during the Gerald R. Ford Administration and in later para-church organizations such as Moral Majority founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell at the urging of Francis Schaeffer and his son Frank Schaeffer during the Jimmy Carter administration.[2]

The statement is written as a testimony that spells out the need for Protestants and Catholics to deliver a common witness to the modern world at the eve of the third millennium.[3] It draws heavily from the theology of the New Testament and the Trinitarian doctrine of the Nicean creed. It does not mention any specific points of theology, and instead seeks to encourage what is known as spiritual ecumenism and day-to-day ecumenism. The document was signed at a time when Protestants and Catholics were still fighting each other in Northern Ireland, long after the ecumenical movement had begun.[4]

Evangelical signatories[5][edit]

Roman Catholic signatories[edit]

Endorsed By[edit]

Evangelical Protestants[edit]

Roman Catholics[edit]

The agreement was reached a few years before the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (between Lutherans and Catholics), which in substance says many of the same things as ECT in that it emphasizes Sola gratia over Sola fide.[8]

Criticism[edit]

Many evangelicals, while appreciating the goal of social agreement in the ECT document, are still opposed to the theological wording of the document. Theologians such as doctors John Ankerberg, D. James Kennedy, John F. MacArthur, and R. C. Sproul, have published concern about it "going too far" in claiming theological agreement. They emphasize that sola fide is a fundamental distinctive of evangelical theology, which fundamentally divides evangelicals and Catholics theologically, as Rome condemned sola fide at the Council of Trent and has never lifted that condemnation ("anathema").[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mission", First Things, May 1994 .
  2. ^ Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered The Party. "Creating A Monster". pp.24-27, ISBN 978-1-56858-398-3
  3. ^ Commentary, Founders .
  4. ^ White, James, A Review of and Response to "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium, Alpha & Omega Ministries .
  5. ^ Catholic-Evangelical cooperation, Religious tolerance .
  6. ^ http://watch.pair.com/toc-wef.html The Transformation of the Church
  7. ^ Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered The Party. "Marching Through The Institutions. p.40, ISBN 978-1-56858-398-3
  8. ^ "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A New Initiative", Christianity today, Dec 8, 1997 .
  9. ^ Ankerberg; Kennedy; MacArthur; Sproul (1995). "Irreconcilable Differences: Catholics, Evangelicals, and the New Quest for Unity". Retrieved Sep 3, 2011.