Prominent Calvinist theologian R.C. Sproul refused to sign the Manhattan Declaration on the grounds, he now explains , that it assumes that the Catholic Church preaches the gospel.

Indeed, he explains, it was born of the same impulse that produced the various statements of Evangelicals and Catholics Together .

The first point that needs to be made is that the Manhattan Declaration had nothing to do with Evangelicals and Catholics Together: If nothing else, the declaration was produced and guided to completion entirely outside First Things ’ offices, while such projects as Evangelicals and Catholics Together remain at the center of the work the magazine exists to do.

And the second point that needs to made is that R.C. Sproul’s kind of refusal of any interaction with Catholics—his pharisaical keeping of his skirts oh-so clean—is proof of why Evangelicals and Catholics Together exists: Even when we disagree, it’s vital to make clear to one another why we disagree. But that is something R.C. Sproul, in his lonely purity, will never bother to find out.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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