Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hugh Hewitt, "Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian"


In the past, I shared some very specific concerns about Hugh "You Evangelicals Buy My Books Telling You How to Think and Live, Hear?" Hewitt.

Now Hewitt has clued us in to the fountainhead of those concerns, by telling Roman Catholic homosexual Andrew "Did I Mention I was a Roman Catholic Homosexual?" Sullivan that he, Hugh Hewitt, loudly-self-proclaimed evangelical author and speaker, was an "Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian."

Which makes just as much sense as being a Roman Catholic homosexual.

It came in this interchange:
AS: You’re not a Catholic, are you?

HH: When we come back, we’ll continue with that. Yes, I actually am, and I will return to that when we come back to the Hugh Hewitt Show. I’m an Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian, Andrew.
Okey doke.

That Hewitt can say this -- his grand testimony to this lost man and his lost hearers -- underscores all the concerns I relayed in the previous post. That Hewitt can say this tells me that he has no clue about the sharp-edged issues of the Gospel, that his move from Rome wasn't much of a move, that he's no one to help me think through the spiritual and Biblical issues of the day, that he's no evangelical spokesman.

Think it through, don't just emote it through. In saying this, Hewitt is saying that he is --
  • A monergist synergist
  • A Pelagian Calvinist
  • A sola scriptura tradition-worshiper
  • A 66-book Apocryphalist
  • A monotheist idolater
I could go on and on, and perhaps smarter commenters will. But it makes as much sense as saying you're an Islamic Hindu, a Mormon Jehovah's Witness, an atheistic pantheist.

That Hewitt doesn't get that fact validates every reservation I had about his right to speak as a leader on spiritual issues. He still hasn't worked through THE issue: what must I do to be saved?

Hewitt's confession turns my yellow lights to red lights.

Parenthetically, I wonder what Hewitt will be doing next Tuesday, on October 31. Nothing? Trick-or-treating? What does he make of the Reformation? A mistake? An exaggeration? Or perhaps a correction of some minor issues that are all basically fine now? And all the Christians before and since, dead at the hands of Rome, for confessing evangelical faith? Bygones, to be let bygones?

And now I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Hewitt plans to tell us all 10 Things Every Conservative Should Know about [Mormon] Mitt Romney. Will it turn out that Hewitt is actually an evangelical Mormon Roman Catholic Christian? I don't think so -- but logically and rationally, why not?

Now, let me be clear. Am I saying Hewitt isn't a Christian? Mercy, no; only God can make that judgment. I don't judge hearts. I can barely figure out my own, and that only vaguely and unreliably. And any saved man is saved by, in, and because of Jesus Christ -- and in spite of his own sins and inconsistencies.

But while I can't judge hearts, I can and must judge words, which flow from the heart (Matthew 12:34). Also, I'm not supposed to listen to just anyone who comes along and tells me what to think (1 John 4:1). And for his part, Hewitt should know that those who put themselves in a position to tell others how to be Christian, and witness, and serve, invite a harsh judgment on themselves (James 3:1).

Add to all that the fact that Paul's most severe language is reserved for those who get the Gospel wrong (Galatians 1:6-9). The least you have to say is that Hewitt evidently doesn't display that he shares the apostle's concern.

I'll listen to Hewitt with respect as he talks about law, and about politics. He knows these things. I'll listen to his political interviews (not his adoring Roman Catholic priest interviews, thanks). He is hands-down the best interviewer I've ever heard.

But I wish he'd shut up about spiritual matters. He doesn't seem to know what he's talking about and, what's worse, he doesn't know that he doesn't know.


Michael Herrmann said...

It's always been a mystery as to just which spiritual "bucket" to place Hugh in. As we can see the bucket metaphore is incorrect. Hugh sits in a big tub of religious goo.

Your comment about Hugh not getting very far away from Rome is apt.

Michael Herrmann said...

One more thing...I agree with you that Hugh is great when it comes to things of the law. He's solid and won't abide bovine dropings from his guests.

Anonymous said...

As long as you have a clever phrase, you don't really have to worry about making sense or being doctrinally sound, though.

Anonymous said...

"He still hasn't worked through THE issue: what must I do to be saved?"

Is that really the most important issue? My understanding is that it is more important to have faith that Christ died for ours sins and from that to conform our lives to his will. Even without the promise of salvation wouldn't it still be right to obey God who is just? So much the better, of course, that he has promised to prepare a room for us.

Matthew said...

The Roman Catholic Church unequivocally condemned Pelagianism at the Second Council of Orange and the Council of Trent.

Thomism, one significant theological stream in Roman Catholiic history, is just as monergistic as Calvinism, though the synergism of Luis Molina has not been condemned. The RCC has judged that the issue is too complicated to rule on dogmatically (c.f. all the endless debates between Calvinists and Arminians), and so it allows either position as long as it avoids certain clear heresies like Pelagianism and Manichaeinism (sp?).

No Catholic that I know worships tradition. Tradition only makes explicit what is already clear in Scripture.

Idolatry has always been condemned. Idolatry is made up of two Greek words, one being latria or adoration, which belongs to God alone. Catholics simply give due honor to the saints as we do to our parents, political leaders, etc.

For me, Hewitt's statements are nonsense but the degree to which you have claimed they are contradictions are incorrect. Presbyterianism and Roman Catholicism are both Christian, both hold to basic orthodox beliefs developed in the first 4-8 centuries of the Church, etc.

Solameanie said...


If you say that your works play a role in your salvation, isn't that getting pretty close to Pelagianism?

Every time I hear the phrase, "meriting the merits of Christ," it makes my skin crawl.

in the public square said...

Dear Daniel,

Would you please contact me at

I am involved in a late night radio program that airs in Sacramento (where you live--I presume)and I TOO HAVE BEEN APPALLED BY THE NONSENSE UTTERED BY HEWETT. I don't want to give my name. We air on Salem, like Hugh, and I'm deeply concerned that at this point there are actually NO PROTESTANTS on the Protestant controlled SALEM RADIO NETWORK. Ingraham. Nope. Prager (I love him-but again nope. Medved. Nope. Hewett. catholic-presbyterian??? Nope. Dennis Miller. Funny. But what? Gallagher. I have no idea. William Bennett. Jesuit trained. Smart and I like him but Nope. So what is Salem anyway?

I expressed these concerns with my wife and my smartest friends, who have not heard Hewett's occasional freudian slips (if that is what they are--perhaps the spirit needs to confess? I think he is not being forthright and pretending to be something he is not.)This falling away, which includes a host of important persons like Sam Brownback and a number of other prominent Protestants causes me profound concern-- Especially as you point out--how little anyone is making of the apparent confusion and/or duplicity of these sudden and convenient transformations. (The tragedy is that evangelicals are losing cultural clout and so many public figures are jumping ships to the RCC where there APPEARS to be some safety and intellectual gravitas).

Please write me with your contact info . I would love to talk more fully about this with you by phone and PERHAPS do something on the air regarding it (but I fear it would be very dangerous).

An Interested Party

Occasional Blog Reader said...


If you say that your works play a role in your salvation, isn't that getting pretty close to Pelagianism?

Every time I hear the phrase, "meriting the merits of Christ," it makes my skin crawl.

I submit that you don't really understand what Calvinism, Pelagianism or Arminianism is based on this statement.

Solameanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Solameanie said...

Pelagianism, among other things, takes the position that man can fulfill God's commands apart from God's grace, does it not? Is that not salvation through human works?

Perhaps "semi-Pelagianism" might be a better word, but I think that what I said stands.

Solameanie said...

I am reposting my comment prior to the above to try and fix the infamous "Blogger bite."

Justreadthepost: I submit that you don't really understand what Calvinism, Pelagianism or Arminianism is based on this statement.

Okay. Educate me. Explain how I don't understand Calvinism, Pelagianism or Arminianism. Even better yet, tell me how human works contribute to what Christ did on the cross.