Some years ago theologian Carl Henry, no less, was picketed at a meeting by fellow believers who disliked what he had said on a public-policy question. I wondered then how it would feel to be thus treated: now I know.

The college where I teach has just been picketed for an afternoon for something I wrote in CT. Two beefy protesters stood at the door buttonholing students and passers-by. The big words on their placards were “Packer,” “hijacker,” and “ecumenism.” I was not close enough to read the rest. But certainly I was being trashed.

Both the protesters had previously phoned me, so I knew what the trouble was. I wrote in CT of some Roman Catholics being spiritually alive, without saying (1) official Roman teaching about Mary and the Mass is idolatrous, so that (2) apparent spiritual life among its adherents has to be hypocritical and unreal. The Protestant mafia was damning me for these omissions.

To set the record straight: I have in the past written that the doctrines of the Mass (transubstantiation and sacrifice) and the practice of Mariolatry, with the Mariological ideas that support it, are not acceptable. These non-scriptural teachings involve a real if unintended obscuring of the true glory of Christ the Savior. On (1) above, therefore, trashers and trashed were substantially agreed, though they express themselves differently. But I have also written that the God of grace does not refuse to bless biblical truths about Christ to sinners who, in what Roman theology calls invincible ignorance, flank them with mistakes. So, as I offend Roman Catholics by thinking them invincibly ignorant (which is, of course, what they think of me), I now offend some Protestants by thinking of Roman Catholics who love the Lord Jesus as ...

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