“Howls of negativity” is how J. I. Packer described the reaction of some evangelicals to the launch of Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) in 1994: critics saw it as “a subversive Roman Catholic power play.” In fact, ECT was founded by Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus as a way for Christians from across the Reformation divide to proclaim the gospel together. Since the first ECT statement on Christian unity and mission, eight statements have followed. Some have addressed points of faith such as justification and scripture. Others have spoken to urgent matters of public concern, such as 2006’s pro-life declaration and 2012’s “In Defense of Religious Freedom.”
Last year saw the publication of “The Two Shall Become One: Reclaiming Marriage,” ECT’s eloquent account of the biblical truth of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman (excerpted in Plough’s Spring 2015 issue). All nine statements, with introductions and notes, are now available in a valuable volume, Evangelicals and Catholics Together at Twenty: Vital Statements on Contested Topics (ed. Timothy George and Thomas G. Guarino, Brazos, 2015). Here is essential reading for anyone concerned about how a divided church can give witness to Jesus together.