Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 152:606 (Apr 1995)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

A House United? Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A Winning Alliance for the 21st Century. By Keith A. Fournier with William D. Watkins. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1994. 365 pp. $18.00.

To stand together and fight for what is morally correct in a society that seems to be falling apart is commendable. God’s standards for righteousness unite Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, Orthodox, and even some “not-so-orthodox” conservatives in a battle against the rising tide of promiscuity and violence. The “unity” is centered in a common cause. Fournier is to be admired for his call to a warlike stance against evil. However, his assumption that evangelicals and Roman Catholics should thereby achieve a deeper unity is misguided.

A House United? is a disturbing gloss over deeply divergent belief systems. God’s house is already united. Everyone who has put his or her trust in Christ for salvation is a member of the one true church. Headquarters, however, are not in Rome or Wheaton or Colorado Springs. The Head of this body is Christ Himself. Those who have not come to Christ in saving faith are outside the house, regardless of their good intentions or religious affiliation.

Fournier contends that in the “process of salvation” through “infant baptism and deeds of faith” a person may attain a right standing before God. Fournier rejects “depravity,” seeing mankind as merely “marred” by sin. Every person may therefore attain holiness as God “cooperates” with human will. Christ’s righteousness is infused, not imparted. Believers are not declared righteous through saving faith in Christ; they are given a “seed of righteousness” that may “develop” into saving faith.

Salvation is threefold, according to Fournier. “First, a Catholic can say ‘I have been saved.’“ “Secondly, Catholics need to say that ‘I am being saved.’“ “Thirdly, Catholics say that ‘I hope to be saved.’“ Salvation in the past tense, he says, is only the beginning for those who have “accepted Jesus Christ and been baptized,” and salvation in the future tense is uncertain. “We must persevere in our faith in God…and obedience to his will, until the end of our lives.”

These teachings, however, are not biblical. The gospel is only good news when it directs a person to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is only one Door to this house.

The admiration Fournier holds for Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and others does nothing to erase the deep concern these same men would have for any seemingly fine person who is not truly born again. Their concern is not born out...

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