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Why Reflect on Roman Catholocism?

Antithesis doesn't usually devote a large segment of any issue to one particular topic. We generally attempt to address diverse areas of life in each issue. So why focus on Roman Catholicism?

One reason is the somewhat bizarre trend (at least to Protestants) of numerous evangelicals converting to Roman Catholicism. The trend is by no means new, though it does appear to have accelerated in the latter half of the 1980's. The reasons given for these conversions are worthy of reflection in and of themselves, since they serve to challenge and remind evangelicals about their most treasured theological priorities.

A second reason for focusing on Roman Catholicism is the dearth of recent interaction between orthodox Protestants and Roman Catholics. Though we have not attempted to provide definitive work in any of the essays in this issue, we do hope to be one starting point to encourage further discussion.

We are very cognizant of and grateful for the fact that in our current era evangelicals and Roman Catholics often gladly end up on the same side of numerous social issues. Though we hope this cooperation continues to grow, we ought not ignore the great theological chasm that remains fixed between us. The chasm cannot be ignored, for the theological commitments go right to the hearts of our faiths. As the articles in this issue hopefully demonstrate, evangelicals and Roman Catholics continue to worship at diametrically opposed altars. Evangelicals and Roman Catholics are committed to antithetical authorities, practice antithetical rites, and, in fact, bow before antithetical Christs. For each others' sake, neither side ought to remain silent.

Though many Catholic friends have directly and indirectly aided us in this issue, I would especially like to thank Karl Keating and his colleagues at Catholic Answers. I have yet to find a more amiable, gracious, and humorous group of gentlemen with whom I share so many strong disagreements.

Finally, though a large portion of this issue focuses on Roman Catholicism, the two opening essays, respectively by Ronald Nash and Doug Bandow, are not part of that discussion. Life goes on, and we found these two essays particularly timely and relevant to our situation. Regular readers will also notice that we have temporarily taken leave of several recurring features, namely, extended editorials (we have only one), Tony Curto's continuing series on Scottish Presbyterianism, and our collection of "Novelty, Nonsense, and Non-Sequiturs." We will return to each of these in our next issue.


7-16-96 tew
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