Eric Svendsen's Confusion

I had my first correspondence with Eric Svendsen about 2 years ago. I won't go into details, but he seemed to be ill informed in several areas.

Eric recently posted a piece on David Howard, one of the members of the ETS executive committee, writing a piece in the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, in which he states the following:

"Responses to Mr. Beckwith's conversion run the gamut. A small number of evangelicals have reacted as if he committed an act of betrayal. Among many more, including us on the executive committee, the response has been one of cordial disagreement on some critical matters, accompanied by an acknowledgment that we nevertheless have much in common as fellow Christians."

Eric writes: This kind of statement speaks volumes about the state of the so-called evangelical leadership. Howard and the rest of the executive committee are now scrambling for answers to questions such as how the anemic and poorly worded ETS "Doctrinal Basis" can exclude a Roman Catholic, and what the real differences are between Evangelical Protestantism Roman Catholicism. They seem to be genuinely lost, as this statement from Howard well illustrates. Howard doesn't give us any evidence that he is even aware that nearly 500 years ago there was something called "the Reformation," and that the primary issues of that Reformation were the question of authority and the nature of the gospel.

I have news for Eric and all the others who thrive on division and fortifying the walls that Satan has built. The "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude has got to go. The reformation is over. The results were a disaster and the division continues to weaken and separate the church.

Eric continues: The Roman gospel, as defined by Trent, officially anathematized the gospel of Jesus Christ. Francis Beckwith has traded the sufficiency of Christ and the "once for all"-ness of His propitiatory sacrifice on the cross for an endless series of sacramental obligations and religious works he is now required to keep to "merit" his ongoing justification before God. Has Beckwith "committed an act of betrayal"? Of course he has. The fact that this simple affirmation is now being called into question among "evangelical leaders"--something which would have been a given in evangelicalism fifty short years ago--shows just how far "evangelicalism" has strayed away from its roots.

That's truly sad. First there is no "Roman Gospel" Eric has no idea what the Catholic Church really believes or teaches. Either that or he refuses to admit it because it's bad for his brand of theology.

I applaud Frank Beckwith for his willingness to pursue what he thought was right, despite being unpopular. I also appreciate everyone at ETS who is willing to prayerfully consider Roman Catholics as fellow Christians even though we may not fully agree on every issue. I'm willing to listen to anyone who wants to move beyond cheering for our team and work toward Christan unity.

Eric ends his post be saying "I don't even know what "evangelical" means anymore." If that means the line that separates one Christian from another is undefined then I'm glad. I'm Sorry you are so confused Eric. Truth has a habit of getting in the way and sometimes it's painful.