A stirring article, “America’s Need: A New Protestant Awakening,” written by a “former Jesuit trainee,” appeared a few months ago in CHRISTIANITY TODAY (Vol. II, No. 2, Oct. 28, 1957). In a graphic manner it called attention to the widening influence and encroaching power of Romanism. The article was not prompted by personal hatred against Roman Catholic church members; nevertheless, it strikingly depicted Rome’s strategy in combatting Protestantism.
Quite evidently Romanism is convinced that Protestantism has no right to exist. It holds that the latter has caused a lamentable split in the church which by all means must be healed. This does not mean that every Roman Catholic is a personal enemy of every Protestant. It means, however, that every Protestant is considered “outside the church” and that according to the principle, extra ecclesiam nulla est salus, there is no salvation outside the church, and that the saving church is none other than the Roman Catholic. It is true that a few years ago Pope Pius XII decided, contrary to a Jesuit extremist, that the grace of God should not be limited as though it could not exert itself savingly outside the church. But the careful phrasing of the papal statement left little doubt that Pius XII was basically in agreement with the judgment of the Jesuit priest. Extraordinarily, divine grace may assert itself, he implied, outside the church; ordinarily it does not. But that, too, means that Protestantism has no right to exist, and that Romanism is opposed to conservative, as well as liberal, Protestantism, rejecting both as resolutely as it repudiated the evangelical theology of Luther and Calvin.
In evaluating the question whether Protestantism has a right to exist, it might be well ...1
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