Dr. David Snoke, a physicist from the University of Pittsburgh, is asking the question, To what degree can we [Reformed Christians] cooperate with members of the Catholic church and other churches?
After ruling out what he calls “the doctrine of ‘holy separation’”, he goes on to explore a “three-fold” view of “not only ‘churches’ and ‘false religions’, but a third category which I would call ‘churches with radically different views of authority, and consequently radically different concepts of God’s salvation’”. Into this third group he places Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Liberals, Charismatics, and some cults.
Some may disagree with my short summaries, but I think all would agree they have radically different views from the Reformed and Protestant “Scripture alone” and “by grace alone through faith alone”. But I would say that we can find foolish Christians, who are nevertheless real Christians, in each of these.
He is clear to say “I would not view it as wise to cooperate with any of these groups in an evangelistic or discipleship ministry”, and “I would not want to have any official cooperation with, say, the Catholic church or PCUSA, even in a cultural project”.
Then he posits:
But I can support the idea of a board of trustees of a non-profit which includes individuals who, in my view, have made unwise decisions to join such churches, but who themselves are scholars, mature at the personal level, confess Christ as Lord, and show the fruits of repentance toward God. I would want the freedom and level of friendship to be able to continue to try to persuade them of the failings of their churches.
But I think in some contexts that a cultural endeavor which presents the “historical, Western world view” could have great value even without a consensus on such important concepts as authority in the church and the concept of salvation.
He says, “One place where this comes up, obviously, is my own involvement with the ID (intelligent design) movement, which includes many Catholics such as Michael Behe... I am working through the issues, and would welcome feedback on pitfalls that may be faced.”