Not long ago Peter Leithart asked whether Protestantism had a future. Douglas Wilson didn’t like his answer. The exchange provides some valuable insight as to the nature and boundaries of the church. As Baptists, we would say some different things and say other things differently, but this is the kind of conversation we can learn from.
By “catholic” I do mean, first of all, universal. The future of Protestantism is to be, and to acknowledge itself to be, part of a global catholic communion of communions. Protestant churches will be one with all the rest of the churches, and contribute their gifts to the good of the whole. A catholic future for Protestantism means a future of unity with other families of churches.
And here’s Wilson:
At the beginning of Mere Christianity, Lewis describes the Christian faith as a large mansion with many rooms. He describes the rooms as various communions, and he includes Rome, which is distressing to some ardent Protestants. Why do they get a room? But it is equally distressing to any Roman Catholic who knows his onions. Why aren’t they considered the whole house?