Throwback Thursday: Standing up for the Gospel when others push for false “unity” and compromise

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.

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Evangelicals, Catholics, and Unity
By Michael S. Horton
White Horse Inn Publishers, 2012, 60 pages

4 Stars

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.

25 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Standing up for the Gospel when others push for false “unity” and compromise

    1. Thank you, Beth! Yes, The Gospel According To Rome is an excellent resource. Books that take a faithful stand against Rome’s false gospel are becoming fewer and farther between.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Important points and such a bounty of resources! Thank you Tom for your commitment to exposing error and false gospel.
    Underneath it all, i think ecumenicalists just don’t love the Lord enough. If we love Him more and more, the slander of false gospels will offend us as it does Him.
    Have a good weekend brother! 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lisa Beth! The growth of non-discerning ecumenism with Rome is frustrating, but God’s Word foretells of the accommodation and compromise. The warnings of the watchmen on the walls are “distasteful” to today’s evangelicals, rather than the breaching of the gates by the false gospelers.

      Thank you and have a good weekend as well! Our company shut down for the July 4th holiday. I was under the impression all week that I had to return to work tomorrow, Friday, but suddenly remembered last night that Saturday is the return day. Ahhh, one more extra day of couch duty.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The Roman Communion has declared that God is one and the same as Allah (Lumen Gentium Paragraph 16, CCC 841).

    It’s very clear that Allah is not God but some demonic force.

    Revelation 19:16
    On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of Lords.

    Sahih al-Bukhari
    Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 224
    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The most awful name in Allah’s sight on the Day of Resurrection, will be (that of) a man calling himself Malik Al-Amlak (the king of kings).

    The Roman Communion is very visibly apostate and any “Evangelical” that is pushing to extend the hand of fellowship to them is either deceived, deluded or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Instead, the Roman Communion should be called to repentance.

    Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord , and they did not do so.
    Judges 2:17 ESV

    The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel:  are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
    1 Corinthians 10:16-21 ESV

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, SB. Yes, there are MANY red flags clearly indicating Rome’s absolute apostasy, including its recognition of Islam as a valid religion, yet evangelicals continue to line up to embrace it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not surprised Michael Horton would endorse a book dealing with covenant regardless of who wrote it. Perhaps that is harsh on my part. Thanks for this throwback. Evangelical compromise is occurring all over the place and is only going to get worse. Hope you will give yourself a reprieve sometime and read an edifying book for your soul. Wright has Knowing God the Father and Knowing the Holy Spirit in the OT 😁😁🙏🙏🤣🤣 love and blessings to you and Corinne!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: Hahn, Horton and Covenant Theology

      Thanks for the good point regarding covenant theology! have read some Reformed writers who make “covenant” their constant theme. Scott Hahn was a Presbyterian minister who “converted” to Roman Catholicism. I read his book, “Rome Sweet Home,” and it seemed like the word “covenant” was on every single page. Of course, Hahn’s main argument was that works-righteousness was a part of the Old Testament covenants and continued as a part of the new covenant in Christ. It’s really shameful that Horton lent his support to a repudiator of the Gospel of grace and his public recommendation to a book that extols the theology of pope Benedict XVI.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Hahn’s main argument was that works-righteousness was a part of the Old Testament covenants and continued as a part of the new covenant in Christ” what a sin and a shame to twist the OT in such a manner! It’s always been God’s grace through faith from the Passover and exodus to today. What a sad, heretical and truly damning gospel the RCC promotes and evangelicals don’t really think about what that entails.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m perplexed at ecumenical evangelicals when Rome is quite forthright about its teaching that works are an essential part of salvation, along with MANY other heresies.

        Horton later backpedaled on his endorsement of Hahn’s book, saying he didn’t intend to endorse pope Bendedict XVI’s theology, but only Hahn’s analysis. That’s crazy. Hahn, an ultra-conservative Catholic, absolutely adores the doctrinally-slavish (to traditional Catholic teaching) Benedict.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Good review! I spent the last 15 minutes trying to find where I found a quote from Horton who believes Catholic baptism is legitimate and one don’t need to be rebaptized…sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and thanks for searching for the reference. Given Horton’s enthusiastic endorsement of ex-evangelical Hahn’s homage to pope Benedict, I absolutely believe Horton accepts Catholic baptism.

      Horton’s softening on RC-ism reminds me of John Armstrong and his book that I reviewed last week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what it’s like to remember some great bit of info and search in vain for the source. Argh!

        Hope you have a good Friday. I’m enjoying my last day off. Just odds and ends.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember ECT. So very disturbing. It’s hard to believe the bizarre happenings of our day. Thank you Tom for all your labor on this very important topic that so few are willing to address!

    Liked by 1 person

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