Over 250 Protestant Leaders Sign 'Reforming Catholic Confession' on Essentials of Christian Faith


Not sure if this is the correct forum for this…

Over 250 prominent scholars, pastors, and church leaders from around the world released on Tuesday a theological statement affirming the essentials of the Reformation. And its Protestant authors contend that in this 500th anniversary year, the document is a “catholic” statement in its best sense.




Let me know when they sign the document re-joining the Church.


Why, did they sign a document that said they were leaving the church?

I know very little about the reformation TBH.


There are over 5,000 bishops in direct Apostolic Succession with the original Apostles around the world. There are over 400,000 ordained priests, plus scholars and other Church leaders from around the world, in just the ONE, Roman Catholic Church. This doesn’t count the Orthodox Churches, which are also Apostolic.

Let me know when they get about 250 million “prominent” signers… :wink:
Or even 25 million…
Or even 5 million…
or even 1/2 million…

Then their document may have more than passing momentary interest.


The document puts a huge emphasis on Scripture. Everything else is evaluated in terms of consistency with that template.
But nowhere is there any explanation for:

  • How do we know the Bible is inspired?

  • In the early Church, there were different options - that only the Hebrew Scriptures is inspired; or - that for Christians only this innovation, gospels/epistles etc - is inspired; or, the third option, that there should be an OT, still inspired for Christians, and also a New Testament, also inspired. Obviously the third option was chosen, but by whom? How do we know they chose the right option?

  • Who chose the books for the New Testament? By what authority? If they had authority to choose the canon, why would we think they had no other continuing authority in the Church? Especially when they chose successors.


Did anyone actually read this? I read it along with the explanation (there is a link for it at the bottom of the page). For me, it came across as a good example of why sola scriptura was probably never Christ’s intention.


Hear, hear! (thumping on table in acquiescence)


I will wonder what happens to those that dont sign. Will they be considered “Christians” by those that do? If so does it really matter who signs?



As a Lifelong Catholic I am TRULY impressed that protestants could form such a collision, given the large number of differing faiths [I’m NOT being sarcastic here].

However, regardless of that unity showing; it does not, and cannot alter one WORD of Divine Truth[s’].

I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life are all singular tense; as is Matthew 16:18-19: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build MY CHURCH [2,000 years old & singular]** , and the powers of death shall not prevail against it I will [HAVE] give[en] YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

This is clear, precise direct and exclusive.

Perhaps someone on this New Forum [not being sarcastic here] can show US where the bible grants a desire, or authorization for other competing Faiths, besides the One Taught by Jesus and His Roman Catholic Church. I have made this request many times with no response. I really would like to know in light of the above, just where that “authority” comes from

God Bless you,


I will later. At first blush, it looks good. A lot of posters are saying the glass if half empty. Cheer up, guys. It’s half full. Praise God!

For a moment, I was confused by their calling it a confession. Now I gather that it is not Confession as in the sacrament of Reconciliation, but more like confession as in a statement or creed.


I posted this a few weeks ago on this.
This could be useful for dialogue between Catholics and Protestants. The drafting committee has members from the Southern Baptist, Presbyterian Church of America, GAFCON Anglican and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod denominations.
Something of interest to Catholics:

10.Critical voices describe sola scriptura as the “sin” of the Reformation, and the priesthood of all believers as Christianity’s dangerous idea. That individual interpreters can read the supreme authority of faith and life for themselves unleashed interpretive anarchy on the world, it is claimed. The historical record is irrefutable: Protestants disagreed amongst themselves and begat not one but many church families and traditions. We acknowledge that Protestants have not always handled doctrinal and interpretive differences in a spirit of charity and humility, but in making common confession, as we here do, we challenge the idea that every difference or denominational distinction necessarily leads to division.

18.We primarily see ourselves not as Protestants defining themselves against others but rather as mere Protestant Christians who affirm the common spiritual tradition to which creedal Christianity bears eloquent witness. Some of us have been further “denominated” into particular Protestant family traditions and others not. Yet we all value the Reformation solas, not simply because they distinguish us from Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Christians, but rather because they are salient reminders to the whole church that God alone saves in Christ alone through faith alone.

20.We set forth our confession as those who stand on the shoulders of our Reformation forbears and their Catholic and Orthodox ancestors (i.e., patristic and medieval theologians), and ultimately on the only enduring foundation of the faith: the written Word of God that attests the good news of the living Word of God made flesh, who dwelt among us (John 1:14), died for us, and lives in us.


Action speaks louder than words.


250 Protestant leaders compromised (some) of their beliefs to sign a Reforming Catholic Confession. I guess it’s fairly easy to compromise your beliefs when you’re not certain they are true.


As English speakers, “sola scriptura” is frequently misunderstood, Vanhoozer told CP, noting that the phrase is frequently interpreted as “Scripture alone” as though it is somehow "apart from the Church, apart from tradition, and apart from the Holy Spirit." But “sola scriptura” does not mean that whatsoever when taken in its rightful, theological context, he said.

Riiiiight…I wonder if they have any nice bridges in Brooklyn for sale?:rofl:


Where do you see that they compromised their beliefs? Wouldn’t it be more likely (and charitable) to say they simply wrote a confession on what they all agreed on rather than they somehow “compromised” something?


I did read this and found what seemed to me to be a desperate document to show there is is some unity among Protestant’s regarding the Sola’s and the Gospel message. That said there was mention of two Sacraments the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Seemed to be missing the page regarding who is right on those issues: real presence or symbolic, immersion, sprinkling, dunking etc.

It was a sad document that shows there IS no unity among the Protestant Churches but a few scraps from the reformation.

Made me rejoice I was Catholic when it was done.

Seriously the church is becoming MORE divided as time goes by so this document while, nicely intended does not answer the grave divisions except some notation of a few things such as human infallibility.

How sad to believe this Sola Scriptura. If that worked there would be ONE Protestant Church unified.


Excerpt from the article:

“The beliefs are followed by 25 “why we say what we say” explanations that capture key cornerstones and dimensions of the Christian faith. No single group of participants got every single thing they wanted expressed in the document, which underwent multiple drafts and lengthy revisions, but they nevertheless arrived at a mutually agreed upon declaration.”

I think when we are talking about faith/truth to leave some things out for the sake of agreement is compromise.

Also, the article mentioned the “essentials” that Protestantism agrees with. Can you give me this essential list? And does all of Protestantism agree with this essential list? Thanks


This doesn’t say they left out truth. It says, " No single group of participants got every single thing they wanted expressed in the document." What they included was what they “mutually agreed upon.” If they could not agree on it, it was left out.

It depends. If you are crafting a Christian statement of faith and leave out the fact that Jesus is divine to make some people happy that would be compromise. Or if you are a Calvinist and you sign on to an Arminian statement of faith just to make people happy, that would be compromising your beliefs.

However, if you draft a statement including Congregationalists and Presbyterians and Episcopalians and decide that you are not going to specifically address church polity because the 3 traditions would not agree on everything that is not compromise. That is acknowledging that this is an area where we disagree and so this common statement will not address that specific point.

Obviously, if one of these contributors believed something was so essential to the gospel that to not include it would be a denial of Christian truth–then integrity demands they not sign such a confession. Yet, unless you can point out some inconsistency in what a person believes and what is stated in the confession, we should assume that the people who wrote this and agreed to it were convinced that this portrayed an accurate presentation of Christian belief–however general or specific it may be.

I think the confession presents a pretty accurate statement of Protestant essentials.


The reference to “mere” protestant recalls C. S. Lewis’ emphasis on “Mere Christianity”. Lewis tried to present what was basic to all Christian denominations, for the purpose of evangelism. He did not say this “mere” version of Christianity was sufficient for any particular Christian. The analogy is that of bringing people into the common building, where there are many different apartments. First, bring them into the building, then let them find which apartment they will live in, long term (Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, etc).

Lewis was, and still is, the most prestigious apologist and 20th century scholar for evangelicals. You wonder why they would, at this time, choose to use Lewis’ famous term (modified) to define themselves in a way, different from Lewis. The rising threat in the US and Europe is secularism, not especially Catholicism.

Why this, now? Who is this expected to benefit?

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