An Open Letter To R.C. Sproul by John M. Platanitis
>In “Getting The GOSPEL Right’, R.C. Sproul does a superb job of showing why and how attempts in the late 90’s between a few notable Protestant scholars, among whom was Anglican J.I. Packer, and some Roman Catholic Clergy to try and achieve “unity” on a joint-statement of faith, for all of its lofty intents, failed! Appealing to both history, the Reformation, and the unwavering position of Rome through the centuries, Sproul correctly reasons “IF ‘Sola Fide’ is essential to the gospel (meaning that without the SOLA, we don’t actually have THE gospel, regardless of how many other parts of agreement and similar language we use), then to reject Sola Fide (which is the short form for the Reformation teaching that we are justified through Faith ALONE, By Grace ALONE, in Christ ALONE, to the t glory of God ALONE), is to reject the gospel.” (My paraphrase of the summation of his argument).
Sproul correctly argues that having many points of agreement with Rome, does not in fact equal true unity with Rome, concerning the gospel. Because while Rome does not reject the truth that grace, Christ, and faith are all necessary, Rome does deny the “Sola” of each! So while Rome affirms grace, Christ and faith are necessary for salvation/justification, they are not sufficient! Hence, “Sola Fide” is denied by Rome, and thus, whatever else we do have mutual agreement about – the dual-nature of Christ being Divine and human, together in one person the unique Son of a God, the only begotten of the Father, the Trinity, the Virgin-Birth, the historical facts of the life, death, resurrection of Christ; for all of this, we nevertheless do not agree on “THE GOSPEL”. In the intended scope of his context, I believe Sproul did a superlative job! For what it was written to clarify, it excels! I highly recommend it as a valuable resource in that regard and for that specific purpose.
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