I read the whole post and printed it out and jotted down the following comments.
To some Catholics, once they hear that a person is an evangelical, they have the same posture.
True. However, the official and authoritative Catholic position is stated in CCC # 836-838 and 846-848
Yet, the three major branches of Christendom all embrace the truths that Jesus Christ is fully God, that he died for our sins, that he was raised from the dead, and that we are saved by God’s grace alone through faith. There’s so much right with other groups that it’s impossible to claim that they’re all wrong!
Agreed! And I think that is what the Church is saying in the Catechism.
But I also believe that it is flawed and that we can learn from Catholics and Orthodox.
A refreshing statement…
And just as it is possible
for someone to be saved and be an evangelical, I think it’s possible for someone to be saved and be a Catholic or eastern Orthodox.“Possible”. This is important because it is a rash generalization to assert that all of any group is saved.
A) The issue becomes one of willingness to accept another’s profession of faith. Since none of us can know the heart of another, how can one validly reject the profession of faith of someone who says they assent to the profession statements that you have outlined?
B) The issue becomes one of individual specific points of belief that define “being saved”.
In other words, it becomes that individual’s response to to the question, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Individuals accept or reject based upon their respective criteria. :shrug:
This, of course, raises a significant issue: If the theological distinctions between Catholics, Orthodox, and evangelicals don’t define the boundaries of heaven and hell, then what do they do?
Define the boundaries of perceived truth.
What is the value of such distinctions?
Much. In that they offer us a premise of possible truth that can and should be honestly researched and examined in an ongoing effort to ascertain the fullness of truth.
What purpose do they serve?
Many. Among them, to give us a valid reference point (hopefully- providing one is unflinchingly honest.) for (at least) beginning a dialog.
*]Definitions of terms used in such dialog.
*]A path to greater knowledge as one actually examines sources and determines their veracity or lack thereof.
*]Ultimately they (should) lead one to deeper and more sure faith.
I hope these are helpful.