Evangelicals and Catholics…Together…Apart…Together…
Since the Georgetown controversy has highlighted the relationship between Catholics and Evangelicals, I thought I would post a link to this article about Commonweal contributor Peter Feuerherd’s new book Holy Land USA: A Catholic Ride through America’s Evangelical Landscape. Feuerhard’s interest in the subject came from his own experiences working as an editor at the American Bible Society, as well as the decision of his own daughter to enter an evangelical church.
Per our discussion a couple of week back about the movement of some high-profile Protestant theologians into the Catholic Church, this is a good reminder that there is movement in the other direction as well. Denominational mobility is a fact of life in the United States, although it can often be a source of pain to family members.
I will say, though, that there is an edge to these discussions among many Catholics I encounter these days, at least in my own slice of suburban California. I know parents who have allowed their kids to attend a bible study at a friend’s church, only to have the kid end up hearing a lot of anti-Catholic nonsense. I’ve also heard a number of summer camp stories where a Catholic adolescent ends up tongue-tied facing a well trained evangelical kid who seems to have all the answers about the Bible.
There’s no question that a lot of our problems here have to do with our own failure as a Church to adequately catechize our kids. But it’s hard not to conclude that there are some churches out there who think poorly catechized Catholics are a high priority for their evangelization efforts.
None of this is to deny that relations between Catholics and Evangelicals are probably better than they have ever been before. But there are certainly a few points of friction that shouldn’t be glossed over.