A Dangerous Book or a Faulty Review? A Rejoinder to Robert Wilkin’s Essay on A House United? -- By: William D. Watkins

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 08:2 (Autumn 1995)
Article: A Dangerous Book or a Faulty Review? A Rejoinder to Robert Wilkin’s Essay on A House United?
Author: William D. Watkins


A Dangerous Book or a Faulty Review?
A Rejoinder to Robert Wilkin’s Essay on A House United?

William D. Watkins

Vice President, Publishing
Liberty, Life and Family
Virginia Beach, VA

Abraham Lincoln once said, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”1 As I read Robert Wilkin’s review2 of Keith Fournier’s book A House United? Evangelicals and Catholics Together—A Winning Alliance for the 21st Century,3 a book I had a hand in producing, I had no doubt that Wilkin’s intentions were good. He clearly believed that this book (from here on referred to as AHU) presented an unbiblical view of the Gospel, clothed it in Christian-looking garb, and tried to present it as biblical to its readers. This, he believed, made the message of AHU “dangerous,” especially to “untaught believers” and others not “well-grounded in the Scriptures” (29). Despite, however, Wilkin’s heart to help, I believe his head missed the mark, thereby leaving his readers with little help in assessing the message of AHU and its value for the Body of Christ.

Before I move to my rejoinder of his review essay, I would like to thank him for giving me the opportunity in this journal to respond to his comments. Dialogue, particularly among God’s people, is imperative if we ever hope to learn what we hold in common and what we differ

on and why.4 Too often we resort to diatribes based more on suspicion, misinformation, and fear than careful research, sound reasoning, and a recognition of the value and dignity of all human beings as creatures made as God’s image-bearers. As the executive director of the Grace Evangelical Society, Dr. Robert Wilkin, at least with me, has chosen to permit dialogue—Christian to Christian. For that I am grateful.

Now to my response.

I. Contributions

To his credit, Wilkin strives to commend AHU in whatever ways he believes he can. He praises the book’s title and packaging, the propriety of including in an appendix the text of the 1992 accord “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,” the book’s irenic spirit, and Fournier’s demeanor, social activism, unswerving commitment to “conservative morality,” and “drive to make a difference with his life” (12). He concludes, and accurately, that Keith Fournier comes across in the book as a person who would give Wilkin’...

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