A recent television campaign has garnered a great deal of attention and has every appearance of having a significant impact on many people. I refer to the Catholics Come Home ads many of you have no doubt seen. They seem almost ubiquitous of late. This movement, or ministry, was founded by Roman Catholic Tom Petersen. Tom returned to the Catholic Church twelve years ago following a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ at a men's retreat. Sensing God's call, Tom used his 25 years of experience in the advertising world and applied it faithfully to the task of promoting spiritual renewal among Catholics. This "apostolate" (which is what evangelicals call a parachurch ministry much like ACT 3) is dedicated to reversing the tide of lapsed Catholics, a tide that has grown into a tsunami of late. The ads use the warmest intonation and rely on technologically savvy forms of media, urging Catholics who have fallen away from their church to "come home."
My very good friend Rev. Chris Castaldo, the Pastor of Outreach at College Church in Wheaton, is the author of the very helpful book, Holy Ground: Walking with Jesus as a Former Catholic (Zondervan). I love Chris and this book. I think he addresses most of the real doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants in a tone and manner that we desperately need if we are to pursue what I have called missional-ecumenism. Chris is well-equipped to respond to Petersen's ad campaign and does so this week at "Speaking Out," which is Christianity Today's guest opinion column.
Whether you are a Catholic or an evangelical Protestant, like me, check it out. I think you will all find some incredibly helpful comments in this gentle and clear opinion piece.