This is hardly my most eloquent letter, but it was honest and I think that adds eloquence. To wrap up the series of posts responding to Mr. Challies’ “Why I Am Not Roman Catholic” I wanted to share the letter I wrote him. Thank you for those who followed the series.
Dear Mr. Challies,
Praise the Lord for your love for Him and your desire to bring Him glory, honor, and praise. I am no judge of your heart, but I believe there is evidence through your work that your heart and affections are for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And I know it is because His love has come to possess you. As He did for me, my co-author Adam, for Augustine, and so many of His saints through the ages, He has called, broken through our blindness and deafness. Your passion for Him is indicative of this too.
I also want to commend the work your do on your website. As is apparent by the content in this envelope, we have disagreements, but those should only be addressed by first saying, “Thank you for pursuing the furthering of the Gospel!” Your conviction to spread the Gospel is so fundamental to the mission Christ has shared with us. Thank you for embracing it.
It is our mutual love for the Gospel that has compelled Adam and me to write this response. Do not let the Father of Lies convince you that there is an enemy where there is none. He did this to our forefather Adam when Adam hid from God. There may be differences in your understanding and expression of the Gospel with the Catholic Church, and yes, real and substantial differences. But, She is not an enemy of the Gospel. I believe in the power of the Gospel and encountered it, aka Him, in the Catholic Church. I heard the call to discipleship as a Catholic returning to the Church.
I hope that our writings can help you see us as at least estranged siblings, instead of opponents of the Gospel. Yes, there are theological and doctrinal differences, but Reformed theology is not the Gospel. The Gospel is a proclamation of victory. Through His incarnation, life, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Spirit, Christ has won! The revolution of disobedience and sin has been overcome by our champion, the New Adam, the New Moses, and the New David.
In our writings, we do not intend to bring conflict against your person or character, only your arguments and statements. Anywhere we have been guilty of attacking you, I ask that you forgive us. We are men defending something and someone dear to us, but we are not immune to the way in which our words can cut differently than intended.
We pray for you and your ministry. Please pray for us.