Throwback Thursday: R.C. Sproul thought he could hold ecumenist compromisers’ feet to the fire, but they trumped him instead

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 10, 2016 and has been substantially revised.

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Have you ever been involved in a debate/argument where you presented what you thought was an irrefutable point, only to have your opponent turn the tables and cleverly use that point against you? That happened to R.C. Sproul in…

Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie That Binds Evangelicals Together
By R.C. Sproul
Baker Books, 1999, 208 pp.

5 Stars for the contents of this book

1 Star for R.C. Sproul’s naive attempt to hold his compromising, ecumenist friends’ feet to the fire.

Theology? Most people don’t want to discuss theology, right? But it’s extremely important to know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ IS and what it ISN’T.

As the Word of God says…

  • We are all sinners.
  • The wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God.
  • But God the Father so loved us He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this world to live a sinless life and pay for our sins by dying on the cross.
  • Jesus defeated sin and death by rising from the grave.
  • Jesus offers the free gift of salvation and eternal life.

https://carm.org/what-gospel

But HOW exactly does one appropriate the free gift of salvation? Some claim by baptism. Others say that Jesus only opened the doors of Heaven and that people must do their part by obeying the Ten Commandments and being “good” in order to merit salvation. But what does the Bible, God’s Word, say?

Back in 1994, Chuck Colson and his ecumenical Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) initiative boldly declared that both evangelicals and Catholics believed in the same Gospel. Many evangelicals were rightly shocked by ECT’s claim. Evangelicals believe, as the Bible teaches, in salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, while Catholics unabashedly believe in salvation by sacramental grace and merit. The two views are diametrically opposed and are absolutely irreconcilable.

In 1995, evangelical theologian, R.C. Sproul, responded to ECT with the book, “Faith Alone,” which accurately contrasted the opposing salvation theologies of evangelicalism and Rome. See my review of that book here.

Colson and ECT’s next chess move was to publish their “The Gift of Salvation” declaration in 1998, which reiterated that both evangelicals and Catholics believe in salvation “by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.”

Sproul then countered by writing this book, “Getting the Gospel Right,” in 1999, which critiqued the studied ambiguity of “The Gift of Salvation” and clarified even further evangelicalism’s view on justification and salvation in comparison to Rome’s false view.

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R.C. Sproul, 1939-2017

“Getting the Gospel Right” was published in conjunction with the release of  “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration,” a declaration from Sproul and other evangelical Protestant leaders that defined the Gospel from an evangelical perspective. The STRANGE thing is that Sproul enlisted a couple of the most prominent ECT ecumenists, Timothy George and J.I. Packer, to help draft the declaration (!!!!) and more than a few ECTers subsequently signed it (i.e., Gerald Bray, Bill Bright, Harold Brown, Chuck Colson, Richard Land, Max Lucado, Richard Mouw, and Pat Robertson). Sproul had unwittingly allowed the ECT ecumenists to trump his efforts at delineating the genuine Gospel. Their rebuttal/counter-move could be described as, “Oh yeah, R.C., we believe all that, and WE STILL embrace Roman Catholicism as Christian.”

Sproul obviously had good intentions, but he didn’t think it through. He allowed himself to be “outmaneuvered” by the ecumenical Gospel-compromisers.

This theological “chess match” might seem like a lot of gobbledygook to some Christians, so let’s break it all down to its bare essentials:

Evangelicals believe justification and salvation come before sanctification (being more obedient, more Christ-like). You can’t know God or please Him until you acknowledge and repent of your sinfulness and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone. Once you accept Christ and are born-again as God’s child, then you can grow in obedience to the Lord. But “good” works won’t save you.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12

Catholics believe the opposite. They believe sanctification comes before justification and salvation. By receiving the sacraments and obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules, Catholics believe they can become intrinsically righteous and justified and can hopefully merit salvation.


Below: A simple summary of the difference between Gospel Christianity and Catholicism:

A. The evangelical position: Justification and salvation in Christ by faith alone, then sanctification.

B. The Catholic position: Sanctification via sacraments and meritorious good works, hopefully leading to justification and salvation.

The two theologies are opposed. They cannot both be right.


The Catholic position is basically the same philosophy shared by natural man and all of the world’s religions, which teach that people must become increasingly “good” in order to possibly merit Heaven, Nirvana, Paradise, etc. R.C. Sproul understood the clear difference between the genuine Gospel and Rome’s false gospel, but he took the wrong tack, an accommodating one, in dealing with the ecumenical, Judas compromisers.

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone. Religion won’t save you. Trying to be “good” won’t save you.

“I have not come to call the (self) righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:32

Throwback Thursday: What Every Catholic Should Ask

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 22, 2016 and has been revised.

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What Every Catholic Should Ask
By James G. McCarthy
Harvest House Publishers, 1999, 32 pages

5 Stars

This excellent, short booklet introduces Roman Catholics to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone and answers some basic questions that come up when comparing God’s Word to Catholic tradition.

Chapter headings:

  • A Close Friendship with God
  • Can Anyone Know? (that they have eternal life)
  • How Does God See Me?
  • What Went Wrong?
  • Is There a Way Back to God?
  • God’s Will or Mine?
  • Why Did Jesus Come?
  • Why Did Jesus Die?
  • What is God Offering?
  • What Must I Do?
  • What Happened to the Good News?
  • God’s Word or Man’s Word?
  • How Shall I Worship Christ?
  • Who Is the Real Mary?
  • Where Do I Go From Here?

This nicely designed booklet would be a blessing to Catholic friends and family. Used copies are available at Amazon.com. Order here.

Evangelical minister and ex-Catholic, James G. McCarthy, has written several additional books dealing with Roman Catholicism and all are available from Amazon:

  • The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God (1995). This 408-page book presents a detailed comparison of God’s Word and Catholic tradition. Highly recommended.
  • Roman Catholicism: What You Need to Know (Quick Reference Guide pamphlet) (1995)
  • Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical (2003). McCarthy dialogues with a Catholic priest
  • Talking with Catholic Friends and Family (2005)

For Harvest House Publishers’ current offerings on Roman Catholicism, see here.

For my list of over 360 books that compare God’s Word with Roman Catholicism, see here.

Throwback Thursday: Turn! Turn! Turn! Roger McGuinn and Jesus

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 24, 2016 and has been revised.

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As a young teen, I became a huge fan of the rock group, Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young). I was such a dedicated admirer that I even began exploring the back-catalogs of the members’ previous bands, including David Crosby’s stint with the Byrds. I eventually became a bigger fan of the Byrds than CS&N.

The Byrds came together in 1964 with Jim McGuinn on lead guitar and vocals, Gene Clark on vocals, David Crosby on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Hillman on bass, and Michael Clarke on drums. They were all folk musicians who had seen the writing on the wall with the rising tide of Beatlemania and attempted to make the switch to rock ‘n’ roll. Their resulting sound, with the instantly-identifiable, jingle-jangle of McGuinn’s Rickenbacker twelve-string electric guitar and Crosby’s high vocal harmonies, was a unique blend of folk and rock; a synthesis of Bob Dylan and John Lennon.

The Byrds’ first two albums were wildly successful and influential, but the band’s popularity gradually waned as rock music began drifting toward a “heavier” sound. Over the years, band members came and went and by 1968, McGuinn (pronounced mik-gwin) remained as the only founding member. But McGuinn and his hired hands continued to release albums and tour as the Byrds until 1973 when he disbanded the group to begin his solo career.

At the peak of the Byrd’s popularity, McGuinn, a former Roman Catholic, began dabbling in Subud, a form of Eastern religiosity, and subsequently changed his first name from Jim to Roger in 1967 as part of his initiation. The Byrds’ recorded repertoire included a large number of songs with a spiritual theme, which no doubt reflected McGuinn’s restless spiritual search: Turn! Turn! Turn!, 5D, I Am A Pilgrim, The Christian Life, Oil in My Lamp, Jesus Is Just Alright, Glory Glory, and Farther Along.

Drugs were a staple of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and McGuinn was a regular imbiber. By 1977, heavy drug use had brought McGuinn to the lowest point in his life. Elvis Presley’s drug-induced death in August of that year was a wake up call. McGuinn thought to himself, “That could have easily been me.” The Holy Spirit was working in McGuinn’s life and after talking with some Christian friends, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Being a huge Byrds fan at the time (and currently still), I thought McGuinn’s acceptance of Christ and becoming one of those “born-agains” was some very strange and disappointing stuff. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit was using McGuinn’s conversion, along with many other people and things, to also prod me along. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior six years later in 1983.

McGuinn’s witness continued to affect my life. Five years ago (2015), I was reading an online article in which Roger described how he and his wife had a daily devotion time together, during which they read a Psalm, a Proverb, and a chapter from the Old and New Testaments and prayed. My wife and I had never had a daily devotion time together. I suggested it to my wife and she gladly agreed and it’s been a huge blessing in our lives ever since!

At the age of 78, Roger continues to tour and delight audiences. Nobody plays the twelve-string quite like him.

Throwback Thursday: “Dear Catholic Friend” and “Sermon from a Catholic Bible”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a short post that was originally published back on January 15, 2016 and has been revised.

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In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how my wife and I had joined an independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) church in 1983 shortly after we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. There was some excellent Bible teaching at that church, but there was also waaaaaay too much jingoistic patriotism and harping on U.S. politics. Many IFB pastors were imitating Jerry Falwell back in those days. There was also a lot of rigid judgmentalism when it came to certain pet sins. Our pastor railed against homosexuals so frequently that it became unbearable. We left the church in 1991 and I ended up walking away from the Lord for 23 years.

When I returned to the Lord in 2014 (Thank you, God!), I noticed the American Christian landscape had changed dramatically in my absence. Fundamentalism was definitely on the decline, but I wasn’t concerned because I definitely wasn’t interested in attending an IFB church ever again. But even conservative evangelicalism struggles against the rising tide of doctrine-lite, “seeker” and “purpose-driven” churches. And, of course, the “emergent” churches generally throw doctrine right out the window.

So, while the IFB churches had MANY faults, at least they were pretty good when it came to orthodox Biblical doctrine. Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) was a very influential figure in the IFB movement as the editor of “Sword of the Lord” bi-weekly newspaper, which had 300,000 subscribers at its peak in the 1970s. I was a subscriber to the Sword for a couple of years when I was a member of the IFB church and I always thought the reprints of Rice’s sermons were the best part of the paper.

The Sword of the Lord Ministries is still publishing and offers a couple of booklets written by Dr. Rice for Roman Catholics; “Dear Catholic Friend” and “Sermon from a Catholic Bible.” In both booklets, Dr. Rice charitably compares Roman Catholicism to God’s Word and challenges the reader to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. He has such a winsome way of reaching out to Roman Catholics with the genuine Gospel. These low-cost booklets are ideal as gifts for Catholic friends and family. Order from the Sword of the Lord here.

Throwback Thursday: Galileo and the “infallible” popes

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 18, 2016 and has been revised.

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In 1870, prompted by pope Pius IX, who was besieged by the advancing Italian nationalist forces, the First Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic church declared as binding dogma that the pope is infallible when he “defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” This doctrine of papal infallibility had many opponents within the Catholic church at the time and is problematic when attempting to reconcile an infallible papacy with its history. Popes have excommunicated previous popes. There were the bloody Crusades, the Inquisition, forced “conversions,” and the persecution of Jews and Protestants, all carried out with the approval and, oftentimes, at the instigation of the allegedly infallible popes. Modern popes have been kept busy apologizing for their predecessors. But perhaps one of the most clear-cut arguments against papal infallibility was the church’s condemnation of Galileo and his revolutionary theory of heliocentrism.

In the early 1600s, people believed the planets, sun, and stars revolved around the Earth based upon the ancient Ptolemaic geocentric model. A literal interpretation of the Bible (see Joshua 10:12-14) also seemed to support geocentrism. In 1616, Galileo’s theory of heliocentrism – that the Earth revolved around the Sun – was declared heretical by pope Paul V and the Inquisition because it seemingly contradicted Scripture. Galileo continued to challenge geocentrism, so in 1633, yet another pope, Urban VIII, and the Inquisition once again condemned him. The scientist was consequently placed under house arrest until his death in 1642.

Four-hundred years later, it’s universally accepted that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The two popes were dead wrong when they condemned Galileo. Today’s Catholic sophists try to exonerate the two “infallible” popes by claiming the condemnations of Galileo were not done “ex cathedra,” as official papal declarations, but the controversy certainly did involve an important issue involving faith. We can see from our vantage point that the church’s claimed ability to infallibly interpret Scripture was totally discredited by the two popes involved.

At least one contemporary Catholic apologist, Robert Sungenis, correctly and honestly recognizes that the question of papal infallibility is central to the Galileo affair. Sungenis concedes that if Galileo was right, then the popes proved themselves fallible by condemning him. So over the last several years, Sungenis has gone about trying to prove that geocentrism is true and that heliocentrism is false. You read that correctly! In 2007, Sungenis began writing a procession of books and materials defending geocentrism. See here. Someone needs to inform NASA, the U.S. military, satellite providers, etc., that all of their celestial mechanical calculations based on the heliocentric model are incorrect!

Most dismiss Sungenis as a screwball, but I give him credit for at least having the courage of his erroneous convictions and refusing to engage in dishonest sophistry when it comes to the Galileo affair, like other Catholic apologists do. Sungenis was once one of the most prominent American Catholic apologists, and at one time even hosted two series on the EWTN Catholic cable channel, but his defense of geocentrism and his controversial viewpoints on Jews and the nation of Israel have since relegated him to the fringe.

The early church quickly became institutionalized after Christianity was adopted as the state religion by the Roman Empire. Simple faith in Jesus Christ devolved into legalism and ritual. Those who put their faith in a man or an institution will be forever disappointed. Put your faith in Jesus Christ and accept Him as your Savior by faith alone.

Throwback Thursday: Talking with Catholic friends and family about Jesus Christ and the genuine Gospel

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 27, 2016 and has been revised.

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Talking with Catholic Friends and Family
By James G. McCarthy
Harvest House Publishers, 2005, 224 pp.

5 Stars

In “The Gospel According to Rome” (1995), ex-Catholic and evangelical Christian minister, James G. McCarthy, presented a thorough, 400-page comparison of Roman Catholic theology with Scripture. Although I appreciate that book immensely, it might be too much information for those who desire only a summary view of how Catholicism disagrees with Biblical Christianity.

In “Talking with Catholic Friends and Family,” McCarthy gets down to where the tire meets the road, examining how Catholics approach their church’s teachings and providing several examples of how to witness to them. For the vast majority of Catholics, their religion is just part of their familial and ethnic baggage. They generally have little knowledge of Catholic theology or the Bible and participate in the church’s sacramental rituals only out of habit and obligation, if at all.

McCarthy gives many examples of Catholics who did trust in Christ and left Catholic legalism. This book provides practical information for Christians who desire to share the Good News! of the free gift of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone with Catholic family members and friends.

Although this excellent book is regrettably out of print, used copies of “Talking with Catholic Friends and Family” are available at Amazon starting at $5.96. See here.

Throwback Thursday: The “church” of the 21st-century

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a short post that was originally published back on January 28, 2016 and has been revised.

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My wife and I have a nice 20-minute drive to church on Sunday mornings, mostly on a straight stretch of road. Invariably, we pass many people jogging on the side of the road, all dressed in their sporty attire. The route takes us past a couple of large gyms and their parking lots are always full. It’s great to try to stay in shape, but it looks like the gym has become the new “church” in our increasingly secularized society. People don’t know the Lord so they have to fill the emptiness in their soul with something. Not having the Lord as the center of their lives, they put all of their faith and hope in themselves.

I’m currently reading “The Courage to Be Protestant” by David F. Wells and came across this very relevant passage last night:

“Health clubs have increased as churches have declined in the West. It is not just a case of people being more health-conscious. It is the recognition that signs of aging betray us as becoming useless in a modernized world. That has to be avoided at all costs. And, perhaps more deeply, it is a case of people searching for a kind of secularized eternal life.” – page 164.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8

Addendum: Both Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness gym chains filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020 due to adverse business conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Throwback Thursday: Why would any evangelical admire G.K. Chesterton?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 30, 2016 and has been revised.

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“I suppose it will take centuries to unwind the coil of confusion and stupidity, which began when the Reformers quite irrationally separated the Bible from the Church.” – G.K. Chesterton

In Marketing 101, one of the basic principles they teach you is the “Theory of Social Proof.” This theory posits that people will adopt the beliefs or actions of a group they like or trust. This is otherwise referred to as the “me too” effect. Even if the beliefs or actions of the admired group are not the optimal or the objectively rational choice, people desire to identify with what they perceive to be the “in” or “with-it” crowd.

In evangelical circles we see this kind of thing all the time. C.S. Lewis is widely and regularly quoted by evangelical pastors, even though he held many beliefs that were at odds with Gospel Christianity. See my critique of Lewis’ outrageously popular but disturbingly problematic “Mere Christianity” here.

Another name that increasingly pops up in evangelical circles these days is G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), who converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1922. Chesterton was a Catholic writer and apologist and, as such, was obligated to believe and defend the following:

  • Salvation by sacramental grace and merit
  • Baptismal regeneration
  • Sacramental conference of grace, ex opere operato (sacraments being efficacious in and of themselves)
  • The mediation of priests, Mary, and the saints
  • The changing of bread and wine into the literal body, soul, and divinity of Christ
  • The sacrifice of the mass as an atonement for sin
  • Purgatory
  • Papal authority and infallibility
  • Church tradition equal to or superseding Scripture
  • Confession of sins to a priest

So why is Chesterton, whose beliefs and apologetics were UNABASHEDLY OPPOSED to Gospel Christianity, admired by some evangelicals? What’s that all about? Perhaps I might know at least part of the answer. Several months ago, I heard a young evangelical pastor, just out of seminary, bemoan the fact that evangelicalism had very few high-brow intellectuals of the caliber of Chesterton. What? You mean there are no William F. Buckleys preaching the Gospel down in the Bible Belt? What’s to become of us? To put it bluntly, some of the VERY misguided interest in Chesterton is intellectual snob appeal.

Praise the Lord for the evangelical saints who uphold God’s Word and salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, and aren’t seduced by the intellectual snob appeal associated with Chesterton and Lewis (and Thomas Aquinas).

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” – 1 Corinthians 3:19

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13

Postscript: The efforts by some Catholics to have Chesterton canonized a saint have been stymied by his documented anti-Semitism, including his clamoring for a law that would have forced Jews living in Britain to wear identifiable clothing.

Throwback Thursday: Is she a bride or a fornicator? Depends on which priest you ask.

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on December 3, 2015 and has been revised.

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The other day, I was listening to the 6/12/15 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show (Station of the Cross, WLOF, 101.7FM, Buffalo, NY) with Catholic priest, “father” Jacek Mazur, answering questions from listeners.

About half-way through the show, a distraught Catholic woman called in who was very upset because her Catholic daughter had just gotten married at a non-denominational church. “Father” Mazur reassured her that everything was okay because the Roman church recognized her daughter’s marriage as valid even though it wasn’t a blessed union. He recommended the mother suggest to her daughter that she should eventually get her marriage “convalidated” by the church. The mother was greatly relieved by Mazur’s response and thanked the priest profusely.

Towards the end of the show, another priest, “father” Frank (no last name provided) from Corning N.Y., called in greatly concerned about Mazur’s response to the mother. “Father” Frank insisted that, according to church canon law, a Catholic MUST be married at a ceremony officiated at by a Catholic priest for the marriage to be valid UNLESS the person receives special permission ( aka “dispensation”) from their bishop (Canon 1124). If a dispensation is not granted, the Catholic is prohibited from marrying in a non-Catholic ceremony. If the person proceeds in defiance of church guidelines then the church does not recognize the marriage as valid and the individual will be living in an ongoing state of fornication, a grave “mortal” sin. “Father” Frank stated that he hoped the mother was still listening so that she would be aware of the correct understanding of the church’s position regarding the invalidity of her daughter’s marriage.

Needless to say, priest Mazur had egg on his face and sheepishly conceded that “father” Frank’s position was the correct one.

The Catholic church has a whopping 1752 canon laws regulating the dos and don’ts of its works-righteousness religion and it employs a slew of canon lawyers to try to keep it all straight. As the above exchange demonstrated, Catholic priests can’t possibly recall all the intricate details of their religious legal system, not to mention all of the liberal priests who intentionally turn a blind eye to the voluminous and exacting requirements. Yet Catholics are taught they must perfectly obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church laws if they are to have any hope of meriting heaven (they must be in a spotless “state of grace” at the moment of their death).

How unlike the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ! The thief on the cross and the 3000 people in Acts 2:41 repented of their sin and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone! There was no need for a stable of ecclesiastical lawyers to instruct them on the fine-print details of what THEY needed to do to merit their salvation.

I’m a sinner without a single plea of my own except that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone. His imputed perfect righteousness is the ONLY thing that makes me acceptable before a Holy God. Trying to obey a religious legal laundry list never saved anyone.

“God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:3-4

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” – Isaiah 61:10

Throwback Thursday: Rob Zins and a Christian Witness to Roman Catholics

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on December 16, 2015 and has been revised.

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Evangelical minister, Rob Zins (above photo, right), has been reaching out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for many years through his ministry, CWRC – A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics. See the organization’s website here.

Zins has written a couple of excellent books on Roman Catholicism that I’ll review very briefly below:

Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
White Horse Publications, 1995, 277 pp.

5 Stars

Zins answers the sophistry of Catholic apologist, Karl Keating, and his book, “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” (1988), by comparing the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone with Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit, requiring obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules to attain Heaven. I also enjoyed Zins’ stinging critique of Chuck Colson’s dangerously misguided “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” ecumenical project.

On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome
White Horse Publications, 1998, 285 pp.

5 Stars

Zins does a masterful job of examining the regrettable courtship with Rome pursued by some evangelicals. The Catholic church continues to affirm all of its unscriptural, Tridentine doctrines, but some accommodating, compromising evangelicals increasingly turn to Catholics as co-belligerents and fellow “Christians” in the fight against the erosion of social morality, betraying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This book is largely a critique of “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences” (1995) by Roman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie, two evangelical theologians who conclude the Catholic church is a Christian entity despite its many anti-Biblical doctrines. Zins effectively argues that, because Rome teaches salvation by (sacramental) “grace” through “faith” (in its sacramental system) PLUS works, along with many other heresies, it cannot possibly be considered a Christian church. Amazingly, Geisler and MacKenzie readily concede that Catholicism teaches works-righteousness justification in opposition to the Gospel, but STILL conclude Romanism is Christian! Absolutely incredible! Evangelical compromisers cite “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences” as one of their favorite resources regarding evangelical-Catholic ecumenism. The damage done to Christian witness by Geisler, MacKenzie, and other Gospel-compromising, Judas theologians, pastors, and para-church leaders cannot be overstated. Christian leaders who refuse to join in the betrayal of the Gospel are finding themselves increasingly marginalized within “mainstream” evangelicalism. See last week’s “Throwback Thursday” post about Geisler’s and MacKenzie’s book here.

Used copies of both of Zins’ books are available at Amazon.com. See my Books tab here for over 360 books that compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word.

There are also MANY excellent videos available on You Tube featuring Rob Zins speaking about Roman Catholicism or debating Catholic apologists.

Please pray for Rob Zins and A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics and pray that young evangelicals will respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading and take up the call to reach Roman Catholics for Jesus Christ.

Additional resources regarding Roman Catholicism can be found on my Links tab here.