In a recent post on his blog, The Politics of the Cross, Craig Carter writes about the present “protestant identity crisis.” In his post he poses a few key questions for evangelicals in light of the contemporary ecumenical situation. He notes three key elements of the “ecumenical landscape” as he sees it. First, he notes that Catholicism was saved from becoming “just another denomination” by the papacy of Pope John Paul II. Second, he states the obvious truth that liberal protestant denominations are degenerating rapidly and more likely to be absorbed into the new age and neo-pagan religious milieu than into a united Christianity. Thirdly, he notes that this puts evangelicals in a unique place. They used to look to the leaders of the mainline denominations, but with that disintegrating they are looking more and more to the tradition as a whole (the Father’s, the Creed, etc.). The most pressing question he poses for evangelicals is this:
“At some point, Evangelicals are going to have to decide if they are Protestants on-the-way-to-becoming-liberal or if they are catholics protesting the suppression of the Gospel in the church. If they choose the second option, then what are they to say in response to the pontificate of John Paul the Great, who was one of the great evangelical preachers of the twentieth century?”
The point on which Carter concludes which is, I think absolutely true is his prediction that, aside from the reunion of the Eastern and Roman communions, the most important ecumenical discourses will be had between evangelicals and Roman Catholics.