Kreeft Talks “Catholics and Protestants: another look at the Reformation”
Disagreements between the Catholics and Protestants is about more than doctrine and religion. This is what Dr. Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, spoke on in his lecture entitled, “Catholics and Protestants: another look at the Reformation”. He said, “a unified church would be both fully catholic and fully reformed” While he identifies as a Catholic, Kreeft provided his unbiased opinion on unity within the Church.
The “guaranteed recipe for success” Kreeft says is that Catholics and Protestants are both wrong. He says, “Protestantism and Cathollocism do not essentially define my identity…Christ does.” He said, “the most important kind of unity: not the unity of thought but unity of being in Christ. He covered three main areas in his lecture:
- Major Obstacles to Unity
- The Way to Unity
- The Nature of Unity — what a unified Church would look like
Kreeft stressed “reunion without compromise”. He said that the deepest obstacle to the unified church was sin and Catholic’s and Protestant’s doctrinal disagreements concerning objective vs. subjective religion or faith vs. works are a result of sin. Kreeft said, “We will have church unity only when we have God unity. We will be one with each other only when we are one with God. We will be in one mind with each other if we are one in mind with God. And we will be one in mind with God only when we are in one heart with God.”
Kreeft told four short jokes that were “not funny but instructive” concerning the way to unity. He summarized that the point of the first two jokes is that the center is Christ and the point of the last two is that the Catholic church does not have a corner on that center. Kreeft asked, “Can unity be achieved?” then answered his own question, “Yes, if and only if there is a road or a way. The dream alone is not enough.”
Kreeft winds down his speech talking about, “the evangelical catholic church. One holy Catholic, apostolic body of our common Lord Jesus Christ.” He talks about a unified church that would be both fully catholic and fully reformed simultaneously. It would be both fully authoritative and fully free. It could be his background in the study of Zen Buddhism showing but according Kreeft true unity can only be achieved through willing compromise and acceptance of beliefs contrary to your own.
He elaborated, “It is a way rather than a method. A truth rather than a teaching. And a life rather than a technique. It is of course the person who said ‘I am the way and the truth and the life and he went on to say no man comes to the father but by me. Unity is there with the father. And the only way there is through Christ the unifying center.”