Why evangelicals should take a second look at Pope Benedict XVI

Last week I was asked to write some pieces for evangelical news sources here in Canada.  Here’s one of them, an essay at Maranatha News:

As Pope Benedict XVI steps down from the papacy, evangelicals have good reason to examine the legacy of the man who has been dubbed “the Pope of Christian Unity.”

Not only has Benedict focused on the unity in Christ, he has expounded the  faith handed down by the Apostles from generation to generation in ways that would cheer the heart of Christians everywhere.

As an evangelical, I shared the same reservations many have about the Catholic Church. I was put off by what seemed to me to be an over focus on Mary and the Pope instead of on Jesus Christ. I had always heard Catholics don’t read their Bibles. And, as a Bible-believing Christian, I also wrongly believed the Catholic Church was too invested in a kind of one-size-fits-all ecumenism that watered down the Gospel and replaced it with social justice.

Though I tried to read some encyclicals of Pope John Paul II back in the 1990s, I found them difficult to understand. I admired him as a moral leader, but it wasn’t until I began reading the work of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the Pope Benedict’s name) when he was  the head of the Vatican congregation that ensures the faithfulness of Catholic teaching that I began to see the Catholic Church in a new light, as attractive.

Ratzinger’s writings were crystal clear, accessible and as spiritually thirst-quenching as a drink of living water in a desert. A prodigious intellect with a profound Christian faith, he could clarify and simplify with great grace.

More at the link.  I also comment on the possibility of a Canadian pope.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why evangelicals should take a second look at Pope Benedict XVI

  1. Brian Taber says:

    Thank you Deborah for this excellent article.

  2. EPMS says:

    Rowan Williams is a scholar and a man of prayer. Being a successful Abp of Canterbury clearly demanded other qualities, and it is not surprising that the C of E looked for a CEO to take his place. The Catholic church is also struggling with Benedict’s administrative failures: the scandal-plagued Vatican Bank, the unreformed curia, the persistent inability to get a transparent process in place to deal with sexual abuse. The optics of “bureaucratic fumbling” and administrative ineptitude do grave harm to the Church and its ability to evangelise. News reports on whether Benedict will continue to wear red shoes sum up what many people consider to be the relevance of the papacy as an institution. Of course you wish to look backwards at the man whose initiative brought you into the Church. But I think a forward look is required if many others are expected to join you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s