"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Papal Visit via Church Signs

Kansas City Catholic has it here.


Eric Telfer said...


It seems to me that 'Evangelical' is a term that is being applied to a certain type of believer in Christ who is or thinks he is more devoted to Christ, more enthusiastic about Christ, more successful at living the life in Christ, more passionate about Christ, etc. What the 'Evangelical Manifesto' gets wrong is thinking or implying that one has to be Protestant to be 'Evangelical' in this sense. The paper attempts to define 'Evangelical' in terms of the narrowness of Protestantism, whereas I would say that there are 'Evangelicals' (if we insist on that term) in the Catholic Church and Orthodox affiliations as well. This type of personalism or enthusiasm or devotion is certainly not unique to Protestantism. To get more traction for the things that are unique to Protestantism, i.e., the negative principles, some Protestants would have us think they have the market on a certain sort of success in following Christ or a certain sort of commitment to Christ or a certain sort of enthusiasm or appreciation or devotion to or regarding Christ. They want us to think that they are the born again Christians, that they are the true Christians. that they are the real Christians. They are the Christians who are getting it right..... And then we find out that they think they have the formula for success, i.e., sinner's prayer/salvation prayer, praise worship, etc. They have the best method. They have the best results. Others have non-results or not so great results......And then we are told that the success is rooted not just in the enthusiasm or the commitment or the love of Christ, but in some sort of factor x that is difficult for anyone to agree upon, and also in the negative principles of the Protestant Reformation. But there have been a great many Catholics, i.e., Francis De Salles, who have demonstrated a rich personal, dynamic life in Christ and strongly encouraged others to such a life. This is not unique to Protestantism or Protestant principles, and I am surprised that Evangelicals would limit themselves in this way. The 'Evangelical Manifesto' is really a *Protestant* Evangelical Manifesto for it only speaks of those Evangelicals who are specifically Protestant, i.e., Evangelical Christian = Non-Catholic Evangelical Christian or Protestant Evangelical Christian. I would encourage the Evangelical Manifesto authors to be less narrow and to realize that the positive principles of Evangelicalism are already present in the Catholic Church, whereas the negative principles of the Protestant Reformation do not produce the positive principles, and are not important for the positive principles or the positive Christian life that the Evangelical hopes to stir in others.


Bryan Cross said...

Hello Eric,

(I think you intended your comment for the other post.) Frank Beckwith agrees with you about being Catholic *and* Evangelical, as you can see here.

In the peace of Christ,

- Bryan