“Another thing needful” misses wide the mark. My issue with CT is three-fold. (a) I don't think there is any need whatsoever to engage Romanism (i.e. the official Roman Catholic teaching) further (at least not in any fresh way), or has something changed within their system of doctrine that I haven't heard about? (If she has changed, then she's not infallible. If she contradicts herself, then she's not infallible.) There is already a preponderance of fine polemics out there against Romanism - the true teaching of Roman Catholicism (as opposed to movements within
Rome.) When I speak of Rome I mean the communion that defines herself in her official statements. To miss that is to miss my complaint. We even find it in the Fathers as David T. King has nicely cataloged for the church. What about the plethora of Reformed dogmatics? Is CT complaining that Calvin, the Hodges, Hoeksema, Berkhof et al., weren't respectful enough? To borrow from Rhett toward Scarlet when she said he was no gentleman, I say a minor point at such a time. That CT says that Boettner is pre-V-2 would seem to suggest that Romanism has changed, which undermines her battle cry of Semper Eadem. At the very least, if Vatican ii contradicted the exhaustive dogmas of Vatican i and Trent, then Rome is no longer Rome and the discussion is over; they're false prophets. (This doesn't, of course, mean that we need not declare the gospel to those in the Roman communion or that we ought not to come along side Romanists and explain to them in love the teachings of their communion for what they are, sometimes heretical. Notwithstanding, there is simply no need to find new innovative ways to repudiate official-Rome because she is, well, always the same.) (b) Who does CT wish to engage? Certainly not the magisterium because they don't engage. CT could be confusing Rome with e-pologists who don't speak for Rome. Kung doesn't even speak for Rome; just ask Ratzinger! (c) CT thinks that Protestants are "converting to Rome" all the time, which simply is not true - not even close. Maybe CT has fallen into the spun web of the Called to Communion crowd that write across the sky each time they make a confused sinner possibly twice the child of hell as themselves. (Protestants do still censure those who embrace thoughtfully and without remainder Roman dogma don't they? Accordingly, are there really a lot of Christians converting to Rome, or just apostates who have been purged from Christian roles?) The converts to Rome are few and far between and what CT might not be able to see (through what I suspect is a lense of doom-and-gloom eschatology) is that it is the Protestant pulpits, sessions and pews that are filled with ex-Romanists. It is the church that is growing. But more to the point, although Rome could, at least by her own statistical standards, be beating population growth by a nose - when one considers her laws regarding contraception, which all Romanists being obedient to the pope of course obey (ha!) or else they wouldn't be numbered among true "Catholics", one would think that Rome would be growing at an even higher rate than reported. If they were to be honest though and purge their roles from delinquent members, they'd have much less than that which they show as true "members", and they wouldn't be growing but even shrinking. (I'm still a member- just a separated one in their eyes.) Even if Romanism grows though, so what? Islam is growing too. When one is added to the roles of apostate or infidel communions all that is occurring is the relabeling of an unbeliever. There are only 2 kingdoms, light and darkness, are there not? It is the church that is growing in percentage, not the kingdom of darkness. In the final analyses, Rome has not changed. Rome does not engage. And Rome is not growing by converting Protestants.
Finally, and maybe I should have said this first, I do not take CT's observations as some have - that he is complaining about what he perceives to be a need or about how bad things are, but rather, as he said, I simply see him voicing a perceived need so that someone out there might be stirred to take up the challenge. I'm fine with that sort of thing in principle and can even applaud the intention. That one's plate is full would not seem to preclude him from letting legitimate needs be known. No, my concerns run in another direction altogether. That CT is not able to recognize the already timeless polemics against the same old Roman heresies demonstrates to me that he doesn't quite understand the debate, but I'm hopeful that one day he will.