The Lady doth Protestant too much


I have recently encountered two interesting articles, and was wondering if there may be some convergence between Catholicism and certain strains of Evangelicalism going on… What do you think? (No need to read the articles, just opinions)

Evangelicals and the Mother of God by Timothy George, First Things
This formidable theologian discusses why it is time for evangelicals to recover a fully biblical appreciation for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Can we, without forsaking any of the evangelical essentials, including the great solas of the Reformation, echo Elizabeth’s acclamation, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” . . . ?

The Shape of Faith by Nathan Bierma, Christianity Today
The sign of the cross is a reminder of whose we are.

. . . this previously ignorant Protestant, for one, has decided to introduce the sign of the cross into his daily prayer, as a link with the early church, a sign of God’s claim on me, and a reminder of the mystery of the Trinity.


Yes, I am also getting the feeling that there is some element of convergence taking place. I doubt, however, that it will extend to the point where evangelicals say “wait a minute, why aren’t I Catholic?” if you know what I mean.


All in God’s time…

Which of course can’t be too soon!:smiley: Seriously, I don’t think we are ready to face the struggle that will accompany the convergence.


Why do you think that we have this convergence? Is it perhaps because conservative Protestants and orthodox Catholics have found themselves side by side and in opposition to liberal Catholics, Protestants and secularists?

Would this convergence be a result of us learning more about each other from each other? What should Catholics learn from Evangelicals?

I doubt, however, that it will extend to the point where evangelicals say “wait a minute, why aren’t I Catholic?”

Haha, so do I. Nevertheless, with greater understanding, there’s greater unity, even though doctrinal differences may always remain.


Well, no, rr1213, this Catholic poster doesn’t know what you mean.

Am I to assume that those sacramentals which for a few centuries have been ridiculed as ‘superstitious’ are benignly enfolded within the evangelical tent as evidence of piety?

The proof is in the pudding. And this pudding may end up being a chocolate-vanilla-strawberry-swirl of some ‘churches’ claiming to in apostolic succession to one of the Apostles, have need to appoint, elect, or flip a coin, to determine a ‘head’ bishop to settle heretical leanings, and call itself the American Apostolic Catholic Church.

Of course, to justify its existence and feel good about its own insecure moorings, it will have to attack the Catholic Church as being apostate (the Mormons and their ilk) or in need of reform (hhmmmm, I think you know this one).

After all, what good is there is claiming everything pre-Luther as “OK by ME” Protestant Tradition when the Catholic Church has been doing these customs for centuries and believing these dogmas for millennia?

Either dress accordingly and come to the party, or stay at home in one’s pjs and watch past episodes of “The Thorn Birds.”

So, what do YOU mean??

Pax Christi

Or are there Protestant churches already there???


I wish I could give you points for witty thread titles! :smiley:


Whoa California! Why so defensive? This is what I mean…there seems to be some interest among evangelicals in things that are Catholic. Why? God only knows. This may be, as one poster suggested, that conservative Protestants (who tend to be evangelical) are finding common ground with conservative Catholics on many of the social and moral issues. It’s hard on one hand to respect Catholics thinking “man, the Catholics are really solid pro-lifers” and, then, just denigrate the Church on other issues. Not impossible of course, just hard. I think also that some evangelicals are rethinking the traditional Protestant thinking about Mary (not to accept the IC, but to recognize in a greater way her unique role) and, also, to recognize that some of the traditions of the Church (small “t”) have great value from a devotional standpoint. So, if all of this is true (which it may not be, but there are indications that it might), where would this lead us? To some element of convergence, of moving closer to what Catholics believe and practice, yet not likely to union with Rome. My two cents.


To some element of convergence, of moving closer to what Catholics believe and practice, yet not likely to union with Rome.

I don’t see Evangelicals abandoning the Five Solas any time soon either. Perhaps it is a recognition that some of the divergence between our two traditions was unnecessary.

Catholics could probably learn from Evangelicals’ enthusiasm and unwavering commitment to their faith. Many of us have probably gone more “mainline” in that respect, though the faith of the Church remains intact.


I believe that, as American Catholicism moves more and more towards a simpler, orthodox Catholicism, evangelicals will be drawn in. The last 30 years have seen a distinct conservative trend in Catholicism worldwide, and this has had a big effect in the U.S., which got strange after Vatican II. When I converted 20 years ago, my evangelical/fundamentlist friends thought I was insane because I was going over to a “liberal” version of Christianity. I think that the view that the Catholic Church is “liberal” is what keeps evangelicals from making the jump. Once it becomes obvious that the Catholic Church in America is back to basics, I really believe that we’re going to see masses of evangelicals move over. This may already be in progress.


I read the article by Tim George in First Things. It was nice to see him defending Catholic doctrine about Mary by showing examples in Luke and Revelations. However I found his last comments particularly condescending. He says for example**," If Catholics need to be called away from the excesses of Marian devotion to a stricter fidelity to the biblical witness…,** Tim Georges’ solution is to write his own sanitized prayer as an alternative to the Hail Mary that he deems more acceptable than the Catholic version derived from scripture:
Can there be a proper place for Mary in the prayer and devotional life of evangelicals? The early Protestant Reformers Evangelicals can join with all Christians in a prayer like this: “And now we give you thanks, Heavenly Father, because in choosing the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son, you exalted the little ones and the lowly. Your angel greeted her as highly favored; and with all generations we call her blessed and with her we rejoice and we magnify your holy name.” Evangelicals do not pray to Mary, but we can learn to pray like Mary and with Mary-with Mary and all the saints."
I suppose his discovery of Mary is a sign of positive things to come. Maybe he’ll read John 6 and discover the real presence. Of course he’ll explain it to us in a better way than the Church Fathers did. His lack of humility in discovering what Catholics have always thought is I think typical of many evangelicals that have been drawn back to traditional Christian Catholic teachings. Rather than acknowledge that they have been in the dark and teaching error they will still tend to debase the Mother Church that preserved those teachings.


Wow, praying with Mary and the Saints? That is a huge step. Most evangelicals do not believe their is any sort of union with the saints. A great start, hopefully.

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