Thursday, October 29, 2009

CT: Not All Evangelicals and Catholics Together

I found this piece sad. About half an InterVarsity college fellowship left because the national InterVarsity organization was talking too friendly-like to Roman Catholics. Say what you like about whatever baggage you think the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition has, but at least it doesn't have these issues.

One of the strangest things is that N. T. Wright is somehow invoked as pushing people catholic. The man has Reformed, evangelical Anglican written all over him. And they say this because he speaks positively about works in salvation, worships in a liturgical church, and has an emphasis on social justice. The first and last are thoroughly biblical. The second is not unbiblical and has much to commend it if one participates in liturgy with intentionality.

Thankfully this article seems so very far away from my life...

7 comments:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I read recently where conservative Anglicans were "re-uniting" with Catholics. But, this article went on to say that there are still "issues" that will have to be worked out. Though the Anglican priests can be married, will this bring tension to the Roman Catholic priests whoe are required to remain celebate?

Nowadays, I find the whole discussion on 'who is "in" and who is "out" one that irritates me. Not so much because of personal conviction one way or another, but because it becomes a game of semantics that split hairs over questions that have nothing to do with the 'real world'.

One says that we are justified or saved by belief in the 'right' "form" of belief, without understanding the historical development of the Church. And the other says we are saved by "faithfulness", which produces works, which I find is submitting oneself to a hierarchy that determines what is "right" in God's eyes. I find this untenuable. And this is why I question the reason behind Christian faith itself.

One has to believe that God was unreasonable and unjust in sacrificing a life to save another life, while the other believes that one's sacrifice of thier life to the Church is pleasing to God.How is the "mind of God" known? Both leave one under some sort of subservience to text or tradition.

Marc said...

Since I've started "following" Wright people have said, and I have seen, that I've become more "catholic". It's understandable because Anglicans seem to be halfway between the RCC and Evangelicals.

I definitely see in the Bible that works play a role in what evangelicals call "justification" and that Wright has rightly bifurcated this term into present justification (by faith) and future justification (by works).

All in all I think unity is what the church needs and evangelicals need to start seeing that "right beliefs" are not all-important in Jesus' eyes especially as this divides the church.

mapoulos said...

That's highly unfortunate. Justification by faith alone was an interpolation by Luther as far as I can tell. Insisting on placing the alone there seems odd unless one considers James an epistle of straw.

Keith Drury said...

Our Reformed friends often accuse us Wesleyans of being essentially Catholic. How right are they? And which is worse--being Catholic or being Reformed?

Ken Schenck said...

Yes, we are deemed Pelagian for believing we must cooperate with God's grace or else lose our assurance. We are thus deemed sub-evangelical. But our intelligent friends then often have pity on us for not being a very smart tradition and, thus, it is generally more forgivable to be ignorant than to take such positions with full knowledge, as those cursed Catholics :-)

Andy said...

I can understand why any discussion on soteriology is dear to people's hearts. The position one takes determines how they view others' destinies, and usually these views fall into the dogma category i.e. essentials. We have to be charitable with those who share different views from us, and with those who consider this so essential an issue that they must break fellowship. I honestly feel that we have too much wit in our discussions over against the tender love that will win people over.

Ken Schenck said...

This is a difficult issue for me, Andy. I must love separatists, yes. And I must understand that they are standing up for what they believe is right, for what they believe God wants them to do. If their heart is pure, I must respect them for this. But I also believe I know what is right and what God wants His people to do. So I will advocate for it.