By Brannon S. Howse
Another surprising and apparent supporter of Roman Catholicism is Paige Patterson, president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. In spring of 2015, Patterson put out a tweet in response to being asked who is his favorite contemporary theologian. His response? “Hard question to answer, I love the works of Peter Kreeft.” Peter Kreeft is a former Calvinist who converted to Roman Catholicism and wrote a book called Ecumenical Jihad. In his book, Kreeft is a major proponent of Roman Catholicism.
It’s puzzling that a Southern Baptist seminary president would be so enamored of this man’s work. Kreeft’s ecumenism fits right in with one-worldism, as evidenced by this observation in Ecumenical Jihad:
[quote] Apparently he [a Muslim] thought that Christians worshipped a different God, these misunderstandings had better be cleared up or great battlefield confusion between friend and foe will result. . . . Why is Islam expanding so spectacularly, because God keeps his promises and blesses those who obey his laws and fear him and punishes those who do not? [end quote]
God does not bless the false religion of Islam. Muslims do not believe in the Jesus of the Bible. Rather, they believe Jesus was a forerunner of the prophet Mohammed. Yet Kreeft seems to have room, even for this:
[quote] Bow the whole heart and head and knee to God without the slightest doubt or compromise of your particular faith, Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish; practice, Islam, total and absolute submission and surrender to God’s will. [end quote]
He also asserts that “Islam is growing faster than Christianity in America because Muslims want to be saints more than Christians do.” He claims, “in heaven we will all be one because we will all know God, the God who established the Catholic Church, in that sense in heaven we will all be Catholics.” And “the very same God we worship in Christ is the God the Jews and the Muslims worship.”
That’s radical! Even Muslims don’t believe Allah is the God of the Bible. They may say they do in order to co-opt many “Christians,” but they do not believe Jesus was God incarnate, because Allah would never lower himself to take on the form of a man and die for someone else. Yet even Rick Warren signed the Yale Document that says Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
But Peter Kreeft’s ecumenicalism should astound “good Roman Catholics” as well when he contends that “perhaps in heaven the most ardent worshippers of the Eucharist, Christ, will be the outsiders like pious Muslims.” This should shock evangelical, too. Besides the absurd assertion that “pious Muslims” will be in heaven, he suggests that we will worship the Eucharistic Christ in heaven. Yet his thinking begins in the here and now. Kreeft claims that “the power that will reunite the church and the world is the Eucharistic adoration.” And he adds that “surprisingly the distinctively Catholic devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary may prove to be the key to victory in ecumenicalism and in the culture war.”
Perhaps Kreeft gained these bizarre insights through the out-of-body experiences he claims to have had: “You’ve all heard about OBEs, out of body experiences, in which a person’s soul leaves his body and sometimes seems to experience some foretaste of heaven. Well it happened to me.” He uses nearly 30 pages of his book to recount in detail an OBE he supposedly had as a result of a surfing accident. Apparently, it was an extremely ecumenical event. He met Confucius, Buddha, Mohammad, and Moses—all of whom are allegedly in heaven right now. As told by Kreeft:
[quote] Suddenly I saw a man walking toward me down the beach, he had a serene smile on his face, he looked just like the pictures of Confucius that I’d seen in books except for the surfboard that he was carrying. If this was Confucius our meeting was providential since I had planned to begin this chapter by suggesting that Christians should learn from Confucius something about the central importance of social justice, the importance of the social gospel, the fact that building a just society here on earth is not some secular addition to the gospel but an essential aspect of the gospel itself. [end quote]
Not only is he promoting social justice, but he’s also recommending that we should study Confucius. Incredibly, one of the endorsers of the book is the late Chuck Colson, who called Kreeft “one of the premier apologists in America today, witty, incisive, and powerful. On the front lines in today’s culture war, Kreeft is one of our most valiant, intellectual warriors.” Colson himself encouraged ecumenical efforts in many ways. Before he passed away, he supported The Manhattan Declaration that refers to Roman Catholics as Christians.
I’ll conclude this chapter on how ecumenicalism is spreading by offering this quick list of more folks who are mainstreaming the movement:
One of Sweden’s mega-pastors converted to Roman Catholicism.
The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee, reported the enthusiasm of a Fuller Theological Seminary professor for the pope’s message to Kenneth Copeland: “Cecil M. Robeck, who represents Pentecostals in high level discussions with other churches, Catholics and Anglicans, said the response from his friends and colleagues has been remarkable. . . . It’s going everywhere; I’ve probably sent it on to 50 people or more.”
Gordon T. Smith, president of Ambrose College in Canada, a Nazarene and Christian Missionary Alliance school, welcomed a Catholic priest to the school for an ecumenical event in March 2014.
The only proper response we can have to such things is the direction given in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17: “Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness. What fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness? What fellowship does God have with that of Baal or Satan?”
With Paul, my answers are none and none!
Copyright 2015 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.