With the conversion of Dr. Francis Beckwith, ETS President, from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism, and his statement: "Because I can in good conscience, as a Catholic, affirm the ETS doctrinal statement, I do not intend to resign as a member of ETS," a debate has ensued over whether the ETS statement necessarily excludes Roman Catholics. The statement reads:
The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.
Well, Dr. Beckwith did in fact withdraw from the society. But the question still remains:
Could a Roman Catholic sign the ETS doctrinal statement with integrity?
I have previously argued that he could not, because the Roman Catholic understanding of the word "Bible" is different than the Protestant understanding. One word cannot mean different things at the same time and in the same sense without breaking the law of non-contradiction and, thus, rendering itself completely meaningless. In the statement, the word "Bible" must either mean to include a 39-book (Protestant) or 47-book (Roman Catholic) Old Testament. It cannot mean both. And since the framers of the statement were Protestant, it must mean to include a 39-book OT.
One leading ETS member Dr. Andreas Kostenberger, professor of New Testament and director of Ph.D. studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently posted an interchange between himself and Dr. Gregg Allison, professor of Systematic Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and expert on Roman Catholicism. Kostenberger asks Allison whether a Roman Catholic could sign the statement with integrity. Allison's response is ultimately, "I would seriously doubt that informed Roman Catholics would sign the ETS doctrinal basis." His reasons are interesting and include the fact that the Romish Bible is different from the Protestant Bible. You can read his response to Kostenberger's question here.