Question: What do you think of the book, Ecumenical Jihad, and the endorsements on the back? |

TBC Staff

Question: What do you think of the book, Ecumenical Jihad, and the endorsements on the back? My pastor was at a Sola Scriptura conference in DuPage, IL last fall when [John] MacArthur [critically] presented that to the group. When he read one of the endorsements and then named Chuck Colson as the endorser, there was a loud moan from the audience. [J. I. Packer also endorsed it.]

Response: Instead of a “loud moan,” there could just as well have been a loud “of course!” Colson has made his support of Catholicism’s false gospel abundantly clear for some years. In 1990 he wrote the foreword to Evangelical Catholics by Keith Fournier, head of Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice. (We offer my debate with Keith.) Colson’s 1992 book, The Body, though it contained much that was good, presented false information favorable to Roman Catholicism and called for ecumenical union with Rome. In an 11/14/94 Christianity Today article titled “Why Catholics are Our Allies,” Colson wrote, “Let that be a model for our efforts to transform society: to concentrate our forces. And let’s be certain that we are firing our polemical rifles against the enemies, not against those fighting in the trenches alongside us in the defense of the Truth.”

It would be shocking news to Calvin, Luther and the other Reformers (and especially to the millions Rome tortured and slaughtered) to learn that those whom they had been so certain were the enemies of the gospel were actually their allies “in defense of the Truth”! Colson has redefined Truth as traditional morality rather than the gospel and God’s Word, which is truth (Jn:17:17). As one author has said, “Chuck Colson is more concerned with fighting a ‘cultural war’ in America than he is with the salvation of millions of Roman Catholics....” (Mendenhall, unpublished manuscript on file).

Ecumenical Jihad is by Peter Kreeft, Boston College philosophy professor, InterVarsity author, convert to Catholicism and now one of its chief apologists. In it he admits, “Most of my Catholic students at Boston College [a Catholic school] have never heard...the gospel. When I ask them what they would say to God if...God asked them why He should take them into Heaven, nine out of ten do not even mention Jesus Christ. Most of them say they have been good, or kind, or sincere, or did their best” (p 36). (Then how can Bright, Colson, Packer, Robertson, et al. who signed “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” declare in that document that all active Catholics are our “brothers and sisters in Christ”?!) Without the gospel no one can be saved, but that doesn’t bother Kreeft overly much because salvation is through the sacraments of the Church. So Roman Catholics can supposedly make it to heaven without believing the gospel.

For Kreeft the gospel is not the issue. His concern is not for the salvation of souls but for morally reforming society. Like Colson, Robertson, Packer, Reed, Bauer, et al., Kreeft advocates a coalition of all religions to fight society’s moral ills. This is what he means by “ecumenical jihad.” He writes, “This new alliance may prove to be more unifying than anything else in the history of religions. Perhaps all the world’s religions will eventually be united in this cause; but so far, in the West, we can see this army being made up of five religious groups ...who have not bought into the sexual revolution and its offspring, abortion: orthodox Catholics, Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants, Muslims, religious Jews, and eastern Orthodox....” (p 49).

Kreeft imagines that prayer to Allah, the moon god, and other pagan deities is just as effective in this moral battle as prayer to the one true God. He refers with approval (p 37) to the fact that at the Pope’s invitation, “Representatives of all the major religions of the world met and prayed together for a peace at Assisi...such a thing had never happened before in the history of the world.” (His emphasis). At Assisi there were snake worshipers, spiritists, animists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, native witch doctors praying to their various false gods, and Kreeft thinks this was great because they were united for “peace”! Behold today’s “Christian coalitions” and weep!

Kreeft rejoices that “Islam, our ancient foe, is beginning to become our friend.” Tell that to the Christians being kidnapped, tortured, murdered in Sudan and elsewhere by Muslims! There is still vicious suppression of Christianity in Muslim countries. He goes on to say that this “new alliance emerged most notably at Cairo....” That is where Muslims and Catholics joined forces against abortion. We see again the ecumenical power of united social action that overlooks the vital differences.

If the above were not amazing enough, hear this (p 38): “Why is Islam expanding so spectacularly...? [T]o any Christian familiar with the Bible, the answer is obvious: because God keeps His promises and blesses those who obey His laws and fear Him...[the secret is] the amounts of [Muslim] prayer.” Muslims obey God’s laws and fear Him?! No, they obey their false god, Allah, in opposition to the true God of the Bible. Yet Kreeft says God honors prayer to Allah, the pagan deity of Muhammed’s Quraish tribe who demanded human sacrifices and of whom the Koran says he is not a father and has no son (though Allah had three daughters)! And in answer to such prayers “the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Cor:11:31) blesses Muslims and helps Islam, the chief enemy of Christianity, to spread its lies that Jesus is not God, that He didn’t die in our place but that someone died in His place, that He was taken to heaven without dying, that Islam is the one true religion, etc.? Can Kreeft have been so deceived by the declaration of Catholicism’s highest authority, Vatican II, that Allah is the God of the Bible?

We have mentioned Kreeft in The Berean Call before. In a cover article in the February 1992 Bookstore Journal, the “Official Publication of the Christian Booksellers Association” (which urged member stores to cultivate Catholic customers as “brothers and sisters in Christ”), Kreeft declared, “Catholics [don’t pray to saints, they] only ask saints to pray for them—just as we ask the living to pray for us” (p 30). That’s false and Kreeft knows it. In “The Holy Father’s Prayer for the Marian Year,” John Paul II asks Mary to do what only God can do: to comfort, guide, strengthen and protect “the whole of humanity....” His prayer ends, “Sustain us, O Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation.”

What blasphemy to ask Mary to obtain what God offers freely by His grace through Christ!

There are hundreds of other prayers to Mary, such as, “In thy hands I place my eternal salvation and to thee do I entrust my soul....For, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them...nor even from Jesus, my Judge himself, because by one prayer from thee he will be appeased....But one thing I fear; that in the hour of temptation, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me, then, the pardon of my sins....” Again, what blasphemy!

In an earlier book, Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics (Ignatius Press, 1988), Kreeft claims that the Reformation was a semantic misunderstanding and that Protestants and Catholics are really in agreement, though he knows that isn’t true. Referring to the unity between Protestants and Catholics that he believes is God’s will and is coming, he says it will involve (p 297) Protestants accepting the “authority of the [Roman Catholic] Church, the inerrancy of [not the Bible but] her creeds, sacramentalism, apostolic succession, prayers to saints, purgatory, transubstantiation, and even a definite papal primacy....” Thus he admits at the end of the book what he hides from his readers throughout most of it, that his intention is to win Protestants back to Catholicism!

His Essays in Christian Apologetics is really an apologetic against biblical Christianity and for Roman Catholicism. Ecumenical Jihad is simply more of the same under the enticing camouflage of joining hands for a moral renewal of society.