Peter Kreeft

Ecumenical Agreement

For a terrific audio lecture on this topic, see Ecumenism

The following questions do not divide Protestants and Catholics—and they are the most important questions of all...

  1. Is God a transcendent, supernatural, personal, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, providential, loving, just Creator? Or is God an immanent cosmic force evolving in nature and man?
  2. Do miracles really happen? Or has science refuted them? A transcendent God can perform miracles; a merely immanent, naturalistic God cannot. The three great miracles essential to orthodox Christianity are the Incarnation, the Resurrection and the new birth.
  3. Is there a heaven? Or is heaven just all the good on earth?
  4. Does God really love me? Or is that just a helpful sentiment?
  5. Does God forgive my sins through Christ? Or is sin an outdated concept? In other words, is Christ a mere human example or a Savior from sin?
  6. Is Christ divine, eternal, from the beginning? Or is he only divine “as all men are divine”?
  7. Did he physically rise from the dead? Or is the Resurrection only a myth, a beautiful symbol?
  8. Must we be born again from above to be saved, to have God as our Father? Or is everyone saved automatically? Does everyone have God as Father simply by being born as a human being, or by being reasonably nice during life?
  9. Is Scripture God’s word to us?  Or is it human words about God?  Does it have divine or human authority behind it?  And can an ordinary Christian understand its true meaning without reading German theologians?
  10. Most important of all, can I really meet God in Christ? If I ask him to be my Lord, the Lord of my life, will he really do it? Or is this just a “religious experience”? This question is really one with the question: Did Christ really rise from the dead? That is, is he alive now? Can I say: “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart!”?

Affirmative answers to these questions constitute the most important kind of unity already: not unity of thought but unity of being, the new being, being “in Christ”.

You can see it surely at
charismatic prayer meetings

The evangelical resurgence, the charismatic movement, and the born-again phenomenon are all indications that God is working in our time at precisely this center, this place of unity. No human can create new being, and therefore no human can create unity, for unity follows being. But although with man it is impossible, with God all things are possible. God can and does create new being in us, and therefore God can create new unity among us—and he’s doing it right now! We are witnessing with our own eyes in this generation the definitive solution to the problem of division in the Church. God is solving the problem in exactly the same way he solves all our problems. He has one answer to all our needs, and the answer is a Person.

It’s working. You can see it, surely, at charismatic prayer meetings: without compromise, indifference, or watering down their faith, Protestants and Catholics are experiencing the kind of Christian unity New Testament Christians experienced: unity in Christ. And the world is noticing: “See how they love one another!”