Avery Cardinal Dulles

It might seem paradoxical, to say the least, to describe the Catholic Church as “evangelical” — a term that is commonly taken to be practically synonymous with “Protestant” or with a particular kind of Protestant.

In Germany the word evangelisch rather than protestantisch is the preferred designation for Protestant churches. In the English-speaking world, evangelicalism stems from the great revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It indicates an intense personal faith in Jesus Christ as savior and an assured sense of being saved by that faith. The term suggests an individualistic and biblically centered piety, such as that found in churches stemming from, or deeply affected by, the great revivals — notably Methodist, Baptist, and Pentecostal. (Most mainline Protestant churches have evangelical wings.) A common characteristic of evangelical churches is their strong missionary spirit…

The above is part of my reading notes and selections of an essay written by the late Avery Cardinal Dulles about the new evangelization and the seven trends it is contesting against since Vatican II.

You can find it here:


Hope you enjoy it


Thanks for posting. I’m a big fan of the late Avery Dulles based on his writings, such as “Models of the Church” and many others. I met him once at a retreat in NY – a shy but friendly and thoughtful man and a great theologian.

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