Here’s the question I propose to you regarding Noll and Nystrom’s book, Is the Reformation Over?: How significant are ecumenical dialogues for (1) the RC Church as a whole and (2) for lay level understandings of the RC faith? Here’s another way of putting it: If the local Dean at St Mary of the Lake Seminary and I got a group of Catholic theologians and evangelical theologians together to discuss our views of the sacraments and learned to say things a little more delicately in light of one another’s genuine contributions, how much impact would that have at Willow Creek Community Church or Santa Maria del Popolo Church? Put directly, what influence do ecumenical dialogues have on denominational statements of faith and lay level comprehensions of the faith?
Here are some agreements with some groups. It is not possible to give any more than an outline; it is a lengthy detailed chapter.
1. Place of the Church in salvation.
2. Apostolic succession: some groups made progess here.
3. Priesthood of all believers: RCs affirmed this doctrine (87-89).
4. Salvation: Baptists emphasize a one-time event; RCs a process. Justification.
5. Sacraments: there was understanding and progress.
6. Memories: Reformed and RC agreed to come to terms with what happened at the Reformation.
3. Structure of the Church.
4. Acceptable practices: Anglican RC dialogue broke down over divorce, birth control, and the ordination of women.
1. Evangelism: major issues and discussions here.
2. Justification: Lutheran/RC issued the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999.