Protestant-Catholic Divide Waning

The conclusions of a recent study by the Pew Research Center (PRC) reveal that Protestants and Catholics now view their theological differences as relatively minor. The study by the PRC revealed that a majority of Protestants surveyed now believe, as do Roman Catholics, that salvation is attained through faith and good works. “In most of the Western European countries surveyed, Protestants who believe that salvation depends on both faith and works outnumber those who say salvation comes through faith alone” (PRC, “After 500 Years, Reformation-Era Divisions Have Lost Much of Their Potency,” 8-31-17). In addition, the research concluded that only 46 percent of U.S. Protestants affirm the belief that Scripture alone provides all the guidance a Christian should need (sola Scriptura). Both sola fide and sola Scriptura were bedrock truths of the Protestant Reformation. Yet the research revealed that “just 30 percent of all U.S. Protestants affirm both sola fide and sola Scriptura.” While the conclusions might seem surprising to some, it has become apparent for decades that Protestants—including many evangelical Christians—have sought unity with the Roman Catholic Church and view Roman Catholicism as a viable Christian religion. Bible-believing Christians today, however, must continue to realize that both sola fide and sola Scriptura are non-negotiable truths that must not be compromised.