Evangelicals and Catholics Together

John MacArthur | May 19, 2010

A recent document entitled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,” signed by a number of prominent evangelicals, has neglected the wide doctrinal breach that separates evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. It declares the unity of the two participating groups, emphasizes their common faith, allows for doctrinal differences, but states that the two nevertheless have a common mission. A fatal flaw in the document is its assumption that a common mission is possible in spite of the doctrinal differences. The alleged common mission is in effect a contradiction of the truths treasured among evangelicals. Reasons given by evangelical signers of the agreement are hollow and unconvincing. The statement in effect reverses what the Protestant Reformation advocated regarding sola Scriptura and sola fide. The position of the Reformers regarding justification, which was quite biblical, was pronounced as anathema by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent in 1547. Other essential biblical doctrines have been denied by Roman Catholic pronouncements, even recent ones. Unity with Roman Catholicism is not a worthy goal if it means sacrificing the truth.

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John MacArthur President Professor of Pastoral Ministry B.A., Los Angeles Pacific College M.Div., Talbot Theological Seminary Litt.D., Grace Graduate School D.D., Talbot Theological Seminary John MacArthur is pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, author, conference speaker, president of The Master's College and Seminary, and featured teacher with Grace to You. From 1964 to 1966 Dr. MacArthur served as an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, California and from 1966 to 1969 as a faculty representative for Talbot Theological Seminary, where he graduated with honors. In 1969, John came to Grace Community Church. The emphasis of his pulpit ministry is the careful study and verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible, with special attention devoted to the historical and grammatical background behind each passage. Under John's leadership, Grace Community Church's two morning worship services fill the 3,000-seat auditorium to capacity. Several thousand members also participate each week in dozens of fellowship groups and training programs, led by members of the pastoral staff and lay leaders. These groups are dedicated to equipping members for ministry on local, national, and international levels. In 1985, John became president of The Master's College (formerly Los Angeles Baptist College), an accredited, four-year, liberal arts Christian college in Santa Clarita, California. In 1986, John founded The Master's Seminary, a graduate school dedicated to training men for full-time pastoral roles and missionary work. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, John regularly teaches Expository Preaching at the seminary and frequently speaks in chapel. John is also president and featured teacher with Grace to You. Founded in 1969, Grace to You is the nonprofit organization responsible for developing, producing, and distributing John's books, audiocassettes, and the Grace to You, Portraits of Grace, and Grace to You Weekend radio programs. Grace to You airs more than 1,500 times daily throughout the English speaking world reaching all major population centers in the United States, as well as Australia, Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Africa, It also airs more than 450 times daily in Spanish reaching 23 countries, including Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia. In its three-decade history, Grace to You has also distributed more than 12 million audiocassette tapes and more than one hundred study guide titles. Since completing his first best-selling book The Gospel According to Jesus, in 1988, John has written over 150 books and, through Grace to You and retail bookstores, distributed millions of copies worldwide.Many of John's books are available on CD-ROM and over 80 titles have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and several other major languages. John and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children: Matt, Marcy, Mark, and Melinda.They also enjoy the enthusiastic company of their thirteen grandchildren--Johnny, Ty, Jessy, KD, Olivia, Susannah, Gracie, Kylee, Andrew, Brooke, Elizabeth, Calvin, and Audrey.

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