Evangelicals and Catholics Together
Twenty-eight years ago, First Things editor Richard John Neuhaus and Colson Center founder Chuck Colson gathered a group of Protestant and Roman Catholic scholars to form Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). Their founding statement, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,” was adopted on March 29, 1994, and can be read here. ECT sought, in the words of regular ECT participant Timothy George, to “practice an ecumenism of conviction not an ecumenism of accommodation” in recognition that “the only unity worth having was unity in the truth.” The initial ECT statement immediately generated national and even international media attention. Analysis of the statement persists even to this day, as Christians across traditions continue to grapple with the centrality of truth, desire for unity, and demands of faith.
Since that day in 1994, First Things and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview have convened Evangelical and Catholic scholars to produce ten more statements, as well as a book-length retrospective titled Evangelicals and Catholics Together at Twenty: Vital Statements on Contested Topics (2015). Most recently, ECT published “The Christian Way” (2017) and “The Gift of Children” (2019). In addition, ECT members have released briefer statements on critical cultural issues, including “Statement on the New York State Abortion Law of 2019” and “A Statement on Public Officials and Public Office” (2020).
In 2021, First Things and the Colson Center reconvened Evangelicals and Catholics Together to deliberate about the responsibility of Christian citizenship in the twenty-first century. After a series of discussions, the group began to draft a public statement: “Fear God, Honor the Emperor.” The final statement will be published this year. First Things and the Colson Center brought together the 2022 Evangelicals and Catholics Together working group for its initial meeting in June in Colorado Springs.
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