David Mills has a great piece about so-called “mere Christianity” over at the First Things blog. He tweaks C. S. Lewis’ metaphor of the house with many rooms, and I think it’s insightful. Mills is a committed Roman Catholic, and he doesn’t mind honest disagreement among friends. In short, he argues that there’s a real and substantial difference between Protestants and Catholicsâ€”a difference that can’t be papered over by an appeal to “mere Christianity.”
Lewis was a protestant and saw things as a prot. including prot. categories This is not surprising.
Mills is a Catholic and sees things as a Catholic, including Catholic categories. This is not surprising.
He does point out that progress has been made, at least most in each group are not killing each other like during the Reformation and are admitting that the others can in some limited form often be considered a follower of Jesus.
In some sense it comes down to, “How much can another be mistaken (from where I sit) and still be a follower of Jesus?”
C.S. Lewis made his analogy during the early 1940s, to a radio audience, during wartime. His analogy served his purpose well at the time and still does today.
Mr. Mills’ article is unfortunately beligerent and quite unforgiving of others. I’ll pray for him.
Denny Burk: Thank you for the kind words. I thought I was indicating my great affection and respect for my Protestant brothers, more realistically enacted in common action than an appeal to an defective image for the Church, and it’s nice to see one who saw that.