Evangelical Catholics

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I have read a disturbing book, “Evangelical Catholics,” by Keith A. Fournier—disturbing because it presents a tragically mistaken thesis that will lead many astray. Fournier seems to be a born again Christian who claims to be both fully evangelical and fully Catholic. The book is a plea for Protestants to join Catholics in a joint evangelization effort. While admitting that “genuine and important theological issues (p 168) which “must be discussed and worked through” (p 191) divide Protestants and Catholics, he pleads for “unity” without dealing with such issues. In fact, his book confronts none of the serious issues that divide us.

{pub}To read this entire article, please register and it will be opened up to you{/pub} {reg}Without offering any proof, he calls the belief by Protestants that Catholics have a false gospel “arrogant triumphalism.” He trivializes as “a straw man” (p 167) the vital issues of the Reformation—issues so important that Catholics burned hundreds of thousands of Christians at the stake for refusing to violate their consciences. Dismissing it all as a “divorce” due to “misunderstandings” in the family, Fournier fails to deal realistically with the facts of history and insults both the martyrs and their executioners.

Fournier’s book calls Protestants to “return home” to Rome. The first chapter ends thus: “I invite you on a journey that will lead us home” (p 23). What he means is quite clear. Chapter 3, the story of his return to the Roman Catholic Church, is titled “There’s No Place Like Home.” He declares that for anyone “to belong to Christ is to belong to his church” (p 44). He does not mean some Protestant church or the body of Christ composed of all believers, but “the [Catholic] church of my childhood.”

Fournier tells of being the target of what he calls “virulent, false and angry anti-Catholic tracts” (p 168) and of vowing, as a result, to fight the battle for unity “at every juncture with truth.” Yet he gives us no “truth” about what Catholicism teaches. He denies the charge that Catholics worship Mary and claims that she is only “honored.” Then, leaving a false impression, he changes the subject without mentioning that she is “honored” as follows:

Mary is co-redemptrix of the human race…because with Christ she ransomed mankind from the power of Satan. Jesus redeemed us with the blood of His body, Mary with the agonies of her heart….The church and the saints greet her thus: “You, O Mary, together with Jesus Christ, redeemed us.”… God has ordained that no grace will be granted to us except through Mary. ….No one will be saved or obtain mercy except through you, O Heavenly Lady….No one will enter heaven without passing through Mary as one would pass through a door….O Mary, our salvation is in your hands. [etc., etc.].

This is not the gospel; it is blasphemy!

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By Dave Hunt

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