First off, he says:
No, I am not offended. In the first place, I am not offended because this is not an issue in which emotion should play a key role. This is a theological question, and our response should be theological, not emotional.Now there's someone we could do "ecumenism" with! He addds,
No one familiar with the statements of the Roman Catholic Magisterium should be surprised by this development.Rev Mohler, could you come and speak to some Catholics I know? The Pastor is refreshingly straightforward in his assessment of the document:
I appreciate the document's clarity on this issue. It all comes down to this -- the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and the Pope as the universal monarch of the church is the defining issue. Roman Catholics and Evangelicals should together recognize the importance of that claim. We should together realize and admit that this is an issue worthy of division. The Roman Catholic Church is willing to go so far as to assert that any church that denies the papacy is no true church. Evangelicals should be equally candid in asserting that any church defined by the claims of the papacy is no true church. This is not a theological game for children, it is the honest recognition of the importance of the question.Whilst disagreeing with our theology, he recognises the logical consequences of it:
I also appreciate the spiritual concern reflected in this document. The artificial and deadly dangerous game of ecumenical confusion has obscured issues of grave concern for our souls. I truly believe that Pope Benedict and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are concerned for our evangelical souls and our evangelical congregations. Pope Benedict is not playing a game. He is not asserting a claim to primacy on the playground. He, along with the Magisterium of his church, believes that Protestant churches are gravely defective and that our souls are in danger. His sacramental theology plays a large role in this concern, for he believes and teaches that a church without submission to the papacy has no guaranteed efficacy for its sacraments.And he understands what is at stake:
The Roman Catholic Church believes we are in spiritual danger for obstinately and disobediently excluding ourselves from submission to its universal claims and its papacy. Evangelicals should be concerned that Catholics are in spiritual danger for their submission to these very claims. We both understand what is at stake.Now this is a man I could respect and debate with. My next door neighbour (a "Strict and Particular" Baptist) is of similar views. I once greeted him when walking past his house with the suggestion "I don't think either of us is very keen on ecumenism." He warmed to me straight away and we got to talking a little on pro-life issues. That reminds me - I must invite him round for tea.
H/T to Pro Ecclesia who in turn credits Vox Nova