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Catholics and Protestants: What Is the Difference?

Conservative Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants seem to hold much in common, but they also seem very divided. At what points do they agree — and at what points do they disagree?

It is true that conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have a lot in common. In fact, evangelical Protestants have much more in common with conservative Catholics than they do with liberal Protestants.

So just what are these points of agreement? Let me mention a few. To begin with, both sides accept the Old and New Testaments as the infallible, inerrant Word of God. Contrary to what a lot of Protestants think, Catholicism holds an incredibly high view of Scripture. Next, both Protestants and Catholics accept the full theistic attributes of God (God is considered all-powerful, all-knowing, just, holy, etc.). In addition, both churches affirm that God is triune, that He is one God who exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s also important to point out that both Catholics and Protestants affirm Christ’s deity and humanity, His virgin birth, atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension, second coming, and his judgment of mankind — not to mention the pro-life movement.

CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS- What are the Disagreements?
Now with so much in common, what in the world could possibly divide the Protestants and Catholics? Let me make a few points. First, Catholics and Protestants disagree over what the ultimate authority is for the believer.  Catholics not only affirm the Scriptures, but also apostolic traditions as authoritative which results in a major point of contention.

CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS- Grace Alone through Christ Alone?
Another major area of difference is focused on the question of salvation (specifically on justification). Protestants believe that salvation is by grace alone in Christ alone — and through faith alone. Catholics, on the other hand, believe that salvation is by grace alone in Christ — but (and this is a big but) it is appropriated through faith and works. This is also a major difference.

Much more could be said…but for now these are some of the points on which Protestants and Catholics agree and disagree. On Catholics and Protestants, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.

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