A Review Article -- By: Jonathan Armstrong

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 06:2 (Spring 1997)
Article: A Review Article
Author: Jonathan Armstrong

A Review Article

John H. Armstrong

Ecumenical Jihad: Ecumenism and the Culture War, Peter Kreeft. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996., 172 pages, paper, $11.95.

Sometimes a book appears which captures considerable interest among only a few evangelical leaders but has, at the same time, implications which far exceed the book’s actual sales. Such is the case with this book, Ecumenical Jihad, by the distinguished philosopher, speaker, and Boston College professor, Dr. Peter Kreeft.

Because this book has been cited and analyzed by several evangelical leaders, and because the distinguished evangelical scholar and teacher, Dr. James I. Packer, wrote a brief endorsement for the volume, the editorial staff of this publication considered it appropriate to interact with this book in a significant way, seeking to demonstrate both its strengths and its weaknesses.

In the present discussion of ecumenicity between Protestant evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics there are two dangers that face the evangelical Christian. One is to veer to the right, using the older, and often incorrect, rhetoric of nineteenth-century anti-Catholicism. The other is to veer leftward, embracing the new political correctness that immerses differences into a sea of subjectivity. Even more likely could be the growth of mistrust and even misrepresentation of views held by public spokespersons for the faith. It is into these sometimes confusing discussions that we enter in publishing two excellent reviews of Kreeft’s controversial work.

It should be understood that Reformation & Revival Ministries has never agreed with the now famous accord,

Evangelicals and Catholics Together. For those who would like to see my own thoughts you may consult my book, A View of Rome (Moody, 1995). We believe that if the Protestant signers really wanted to state a common co-belligerency position they could have accomplished this quite easily without stating that there was a new theological agreement on doctrinal matters where it simply does not exist, except in some informal discussions. There is clearly not agreement between consistent Protestants and consistent Roman Catholics who adhere to the doctrinal confessions of their respective communions. The great solas of the Reformation should not have been omitted in ECT and the document written as if to imply that we now agree on several important disagreements of the Reformation.

At the same time we are committed as a ministry to fairness and to open discussion of important ideas. With this policy we felt it fair to publish Jim Packer’s review of thi...

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