Before I became Catholic in the early 90′s, I was a practicing Evangelical Christian. Now, for those Catholics who are unfamiliar with exactly what an “Evangelical” is (and what they believe), it basically means that I was a Christian who believed in the inerrancy of the Bible, that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ, that I must make a personal decision to accept that salvation, and that I was called to evangelize other people with the Good News about Jesus Christ.
But after I became Catholic, I still believed all of those things (although admittedly my view on what each of these meant shifted a bit). So was I still an Evangelical Christian? I considered myself one (and still do). But many Catholics – and many Evangelicals – are uncomfortable with the idea that one can be Evangelical and Catholic.
One Catholic, however, who embraces the dual designation is Francis Beckwith, the former President of the Evangelical Theological Society, who recently returned to the Catholic Faith of his youth (and which you can read about in Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic). Dr. Beckwith recently had a debate with Dr. Timothy George on the question “Can you be Catholic and Evangelical?” It was held at Wheaton College, the premier Evangelical college in the United States (and one I considered going to for a while). Video of the debate can be found on Wheaton’s website here.
If you are interested in ecumenism or just want to understand better the relationship between the two most dominant religions in our country, you should really watch the debate.