The Problem with “Evangelical Catholicism”
There has been circulating in Lutheran circles for some time the term: “evangelical catholicism.” People who are fond of this notion describe themselves as “evangelical catholics.” I have, for years, been asking “evangelical catholics” to define it. Doing so is like trying to nail jello to a wall, or herd cats. It just can’t be done. It has been my observation that many of those who describe themselves as “evangelical catholics” enjoying discussing the minutiae of liturgical ceremonies, rites, rubrics, vestments, and so forth, but they are less comfortable discussing precise doctrinal practice and confession.
I’ve never been sure precisely how to articulate the inherent inability of the “evangelical catholic” movement to be genuinely and truly Lutheran, until today, when I read this comment made by Peter Speckhard on a discussion site. It is precisely, spot-on.
I think the problem for the future of Evangelical Catholicism is its allergy to authority of any kind. It hates inerrancy, infallibility, inflexibility, etc. as though somehow that reaction is one of freedom. The problem is that it leads inevitably to a sort of mushy meaninglessness held together entirely by external ceremonies.