Evangelicals and Catholics Together

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Evangelicals and Catholics Together is a 1994 ecumenical document signed by leading Evangelical and 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 and in later para-church organizations such as Moral Majority founded by Jerry Falwell at the urging of Francis Schaeffer and his son Frank Schaeffer.[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 Nicene creed. It seeks to encourage what is known as spiritual ecumenism and day-to-day ecumenism.

Evangelical signatories[edit]

Catholic signatories[edit]

Endorsed by[edit]

Evangelical Protestants[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.[4]


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 John Ankerberg, D. James Kennedy, John F. MacArthur, and R. C. Sproul, have published concern about it being "a step in exactly the wrong direction" and "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).[5] Further they argue that it 'attacks the very foundation of absolute truth' by concessions to relativism and post-modernism, belying its profession of joint commitment to the Gospel, thus rendering that Gospel moot. They claim, 'It falls lock-step into line with our culture’s minimalist approach to truth issues'.[5]


  1. ^ "Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium", First Things, May 1994.
  2. ^ Blumenthal 2009, pp. 24–27.
  3. ^ Commentary, Founders.
  4. ^ "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A New Initiative", Christianity today, Dec 8, 1997.
  5. ^ a b Ankerberg; Kennedy; MacArthur; Sproul (1995). "Irreconcilable Differences: Catholics, Evangelicals, and the New Quest for Unity". Archived from the original on 2016-06-12. Retrieved Sep 3, 2011.