Sorry, but that seems to be the way to identify it. I noted last night the 2009 National Conference on Apologetics, and how the one thing clearly not open for discussion would be…the Gospel. Why? Because Rome’s gospel, evidently, is to be viewed as “acceptable” by those heading up the conference, since they are inviting Roman Catholics to speak and debate (not be debated). I asked last night how this works, since it of necessity dismisses the Gospel as being central to the apologetic task (let alone definitional of how you go about doing apologetics!). Well, Frank Beckwith, who is surely definitional of one who promotes the “Mere Christianity” model, just noted on his blog:
What a wonderful example of Christians working together to offer a reason for the hope that lies within us! I am talking about the upcoming apologetics conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, the 2009 National Conference on Christian Apologetics. Participants include many of my friends, including Protestants Gregory P. Koukl, William Lane Craig, Gary R. Habermas, and Hank Hanegraaff as well as Catholics Benjamin Wiker, Peter Kreeft, and Dinesh D’Souza.
Well, add Benjamin Wiker to the list of Roman Catholics speaking at the Conference. Think with me for a moment: “Christians working together to offer a reason for the hope that lies within us” must mean that a constituent part of the hope that is within us is not the Gospel, since we do not share a common Gospel. Or do we? I would have to ask those who will be speaking at the conference, including some I respect as sound apologists, do you share the same hope as Peter Kreeft? Dinesh D’Souza? Or am I the last odd-ball left who thinks Christianity without the Gospel is an empty religious system?
UPDATE: I am aware that some of the “good guys” at this conference may have committed to speaking without knowing that the leadership would go ecumenical on them and completely change the character of the conference from what it has been in the past. I see Chuck Colson’s fingerprints on this, to be sure. For those in that position I truly hope that they will openly state their opposition to Rome’s gospel, Rome’s denial of Scriptural sufficiency, etc., and do what they can to alleviate the confusion that will surely be the result of the actions of the leadership who has put this thing together.