Pop Quiz!

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Yes, it’s time for a pop-quiz! Please close your books and see if you can answer the following question:

What do the ten people below have in common?

  • Mother Teresa
  • G. K. Chesterton
  • Peter Kreeft
  • Malcolm Muggeridge
  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Thomas a Kempis
  • Blaise Pascal
  • Teresa of Avila
  • Henri Nouwen
  • Thomas Merton

1) If you guessed they were all Roman Catholics you would be correct. And because they were all Roman Catholics (Kreeft is still living) they were all obliged to believe salvation is achieved by sacramental grace (baptism, the eucharist, penance, etc.) and by obeying the Ten Commandments and their church’s rules. But God’s Word proclaims the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Salvation is either by sacraments and merit as these ten believed and defended or it’s by grace through faith, it cannot be both.

2) The other thing these ten folks have in common is some evangelicals refer to them as exemplary Christians and as people evangelicals should emulate.

So I would sincerely like to know how evangelicals, who supposedly believe in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, could praise and lift up as examples people who believed a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit? Does not compute.

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

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6 thoughts on “Pop Quiz!

    1. Thanks, Maria! Yes, you make a good point. Fundamentalism was almost anti-intellectualistic in many regards. The “new evangelicals” (Graham, Henry, et al) saw that as a short-coming of fundamentalism and tried to push scholarship. The young pastor of the Southern Baptist church we used to attend was completely enamored with Catholic intellectualism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes! With Catholic writers like G.K. Chesteron there is this attraction to a gifted mind and the religious view held by him. J. Gresham Machen, the man who began the move of fundamentalism against liberalism, was both Biblical in his doctrine and also used his intellect to glorify the Lord. Fundamentalism was taken over by those who saw all use of the intellect as “liberalism”, and it suffered as a result. But I would rather have a fundy preacher who truly preaches Christ, the Cross, repentance, and faith alone, than a great intellect; however they can and need to go together.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: ” I would rather have a fundy preacher who truly preaches Christ, the Cross, repentance, and faith alone, than a great intellect; however they can and need to go together.”

        I completely agree with you, Maria! Yes, many in evangelicalism embraced liberal textual criticism and turned their backs on sound doctrine. That was the story of mainline Protestantism. The “wisdom” of the world has very great appeal to the flesh. Several influential evangelicals (Geisler, Sproul Sr.) are attracted to Aquinas, which I don’t understand at all. Many evangelicals also love Chesterton’s writing. I’ve never read his books and don’t plan to – his gospel was not the genuine Gospel. In the same vein I wouldn’t chase after books by Mormons or JWs to get spiritual advice.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jim. I left Catholicism because it does not teach the Gospel and yet many of my brothers and sisters in Christ hold up these famous and loyal Catholics as fellow believers. It’s a very strange thing for me to witness but I understand spiritual forces are at work.

      Liked by 2 people

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