Statement By Protestant Signers To ECT
January 19, 1995

We Protestants who signed ECT, took this action to advance Christian fellowship, cooperation, and mutual trust among true Christians in the North American cultural crisis and in the worldwide task of evangelism. The same concern leads us now to elucidate our ECT commitment by stating:

  1. Our para-church cooperation with evangelically committed Roman Catholics for the pursuit of agreed objectives does not imply acceptance of Roman Catholic doctrinal distinctive or endorsement of the Roman Catholic church system.
  2. We understand the statement that we are justified by grace through faith because of Christ, in terms of the substitutionary atonement and imputed righteousness of Christ, leading to full assurance of eternal salvation; we seek to testify in all circumstances and contexts to this, the historic Protestant understanding of salvation by faith alone (sola fide).
  3. While we view all who profess to be Christian—Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox—with charity and hope, our confidence that anyone is truly a brother or sister in Christ depends not only on the content of his or her confession but on our perceiving signs of regeneration in his or her life.
  4. Though we reject proselytizing as ECT defines it (that is sheep stealing for denominational aggrandizement), we hold that evangelism and church planting are always legitimate, whatever forms of church life are present already.
  5. We think that the further theological discussions that ECT promised should begin as soon as possible.
We make these applicatory clarifications of our commitment as supporters of ECT in order to prevent divisive misunderstandings of our beliefs and purposes.

Signed by:

William R. Bright

Charles W. Colson

Kent R. Hill

James I. Packer