Sunday, October 8, 2006
Clarification: Note the "Not"
The post below was not written by someone on the brink of "converting" to the Roman Catholic Church. It was written by a reformed catholic evangelical who, despite strong disagreements with Roman Catholicism, is far from being anti-Catholic. I believe that the same Holy Spirit who leads me also leads my Catholic brethren, and with Christ, my prayer to the Father is that we all may be one.
That said, I don't think the reunited church of the future will be Roman Catholic per se. With Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten, I do think it will have a pope and a college of bishops in apostolic succession, but I think these "papal and episcopal structures will only be acceptable to Protestants...when they have been divested of every authoritarian feature, both in theory and in practice" (Mother Church, page 32). Likewise, I doubt they'll be based out of Rome, at least not all (or even most) of them. I think the bishops who rise to primacy will continue to serve in their native sees, whether Nairobi, Seoul, Pittsburgh, Buenos Aires, or Rome. I also believe the reunited church of the future will have embraced the firstfruits of the Protestant Reformation.
So while I'm far from being anti-Catholic, I'm also far from being Catholic. I blogged the post below so that I'd have it in my archives for future reference, not to generate discussion, concern, or excitement. I'm grateful to my Protestant friends for writing and encouraging me to keep the faith, and I'm grateful to my Catholic friends for writing and encouraging me to embrace the fullness of the faith, but you can all chill now. Sorry if my post below was unclear and alarming, but like I told one friend, I fully expect that I'll always be reformed and reforming, just like I'll always be white.
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