“There is nothing unbiblical in the Catholic faith”

In my dealings with Evangelicals and Pentecostals, I have found they can be largely grouped into two categories: those whose fundamental self-definition is what they believe, and those who define themselves according to what they do *not* believe. And the second category often has to do with contrasting their faith with Catholicism — or, more accurately, what they *think* is Catholicism.

Personally, I like to stir the pot a little when I am in dialogue with Evangelicals or Pentecostals. My line that usually sparks the greatest discussion is, “There is nothing unbiblical in the Catholic faith.” But it is more than a line: I state it with great conviction, because I believe it to be TRUE.

The whole Protestant enterprise, of course, is predicated on the opposite belief: that there *are* unbiblical elements in the Catholic faith. Often my interlocutors will then attempt to point out elements of Catholic faith that are obviously unbiblical. What is at stake, however, is not the Bible itself, but its interpretation. Once we establish that the Catholic interpretation is at least plausible, our discussion then shifts to whole new ground.

I love talking with Evangelicals and Pentecostals, because most of them (1) really do love the Lord, and (2) really do care about truth. Mark Shea once pointed this out, and it means I often find myself closer in a communion of spirit with them, even if there is less communion of doctrine.