In Praise of the Reforming Catholic Confession

by CBR Staff

The staff of the Center for Baptist Renewal wants to drop a quick note here in praise and support of the newly-released Reforming Catholic Confession (RCC).

This broadly Protestant confession aims "to commemorate the Reformation" by remembering "the Reformers’ original vision for Catholic unity under canonical authority." In an interview, co-author Kevin Vanhoozer said, "We haven’t always been unified, but this statement showing that we can agree on matters of theological substance is one step of witness towards the world saying that we can proclaim together our witness to the truth." Amen! Given our mission of theological retrieval and our posture towards catholicity, we happily welcome this confession both in content and intent.

The importance of modern "statements" and "confessions" can be exaggerated. We do not seek here to compare the RCC to Nicaea or Chalcedon, nor do we believe that the RCC should supplant time-tested ecclesial confessions. However, we believe with Vanhoozer that this confession is an important signal to the world -- if not to ourselves -- that theological substance is important, and that God's people are not as divided as some may assert.

We also affirm with Vanhoozer the practicality of this confession for every Christian:

Christians have to do more than pay lip service to the truth. It’s important to be able to formulate the truth intelligently. That’s how we share this truth and speak the truth in love. But in addition to paying lip service to the truth, disciples need to pay life service to the truth. We have to conform to the truth, and theology is in large part not only about stating the truth, but it’s about helping disciples conform to the truth. So doctrine gives practical direction to the disciple.

We encourage you to read the RCC for yourself, share it with your colleagues or congregation, and consider making a public affirmation by signing it.

Editor's Note: This post does not speak for any individual fellow of the CBR or their respective churches or institutions.