Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on May 12, 2016 and has been slightly revised.
Evangelicals, Catholics, and Unity
By Michael S. Horton
White Horse Inn Publishers, 2012, 60 pages
The “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” (ECT) declaration issued in 1994 was an ecumenical effort by several evangelicals, led by Charles Colson, J.I. Packer, and Richard Land, and several Roman Catholics, which sought to minimize doctrinal differences and spur unity between the two groups as co-belligerents in the defense of social “morality.” The declaration inferred that Roman Catholicism was a Christian entity that “basically” preached the same Gospel as evangelical Christianity.
Many evangelicals expressed righteous indignation at the attempt to unite with Rome. The Catholic church has changed none of its doctrines since the Reformation and still teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. “Evangelicals, Catholics, and Unity” by Reformed theologian, Michael S. Horton, was first published in 1999 in response to ECT. Horton argues that the two main issues that fueled the Reformation, 1) Sola Scriptura , the authority of Scripture alone versus the Catholic church’s combination of Scripture, sacred tradition, and its magisterium, and 2) salvation by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone versus salvation by sacramental grace plus works, remain as irreconcilable differences. There is no salvation through obedience to the Law as Catholicism teaches. Horton cites additional differences very briefly.
This is a very short book (60 pages) that you’ll finish in one sitting, but it serves as a valuable introduction to the differences between the Gospel of grace and the false gospel of Roman Catholicism. Order from Amazon here.
Interested readers may wish to follow up with a more thorough response to ECT and evangelical compromise with one of the books below. All are available from Amazon.com:
- “The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God” (1995) by James G. McCarthy
- “Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” (1995) by Rob Zins
- “The Roman Catholic Controversy” (1996) by James R. White
- “Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification” (1999) by R. C. Sproul.
- “Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism” (2012), by R. C. Sproul.
- “Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will To Discern” (1994) by John MacArthur
See my Books tab here for a list of over 360 books that compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word.
Postscript: Michael Horton would later cause a stir with his fawning endorsement of “former-evangelical,” Roman Catholic apologist, Scott Hahn’s book, “Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI” (2009). Would the apostle Paul have endorsed such a book? The answer is clearly no. Evangelical theologians, pastors, and para-church leaders do some amazingly bizarre and stupid things in regards to Roman Catholicism and its false gospel.