Definition: Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium is an ecumenical document written by a team of fifteen well-known, theologically conservative Catholics and evangelicals. ECT is also an ecumenical movement that encourages the unification of Catholics and evangelicals in theology, faith, and practice. The first document (there were four) affirmed common beliefs, goals, and pursuits. ECT was greeted with both public acceptance and storms of protest. In particular, it was criticized for ignoring the core differences concerning justification (the document omitted “alone” from the classic evangelical understanding), and emphatically stating that evangelicals should not proselytize Catholics. The impetus for the book and the movement arose from a friendship between John Richard Neuhaus (a Catholic priest and former Lutheran minister) and Charles Colson (founder of “Prison Fellowship”). Both were active in encouraging Christians to contend more earnestly in the public square.
Discussion: ECT, the documents and the movement, is a pragmatic attempt to influence culture while giving lip service to a watered down Christianity. ECT uses wordsmithing to craft deceptive statements that can be agreed to by both Catholics and evangelicals. It uses “convergence ecumenism” to minimize differences and extol areas of agreement. ECT has caused great confusion and division among evangelicals, and has promoted Catholicism as a valid expression of Christian truth.
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