The ecumenical tables in the U.S. are too small. None is large enough to encompass the full diversity of Christian life in this country. The National Council of Churches includes 36 Protestant and Orthodox bodies, but the member churches account for only one-third of U.S. Christians. Glaringly missing from its ranks is the nation’s largest Christian church, the Roman Catholic.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Evangelicals formed in opposition to the NCC, includes Pentecostal, Wesleyan, Reformed and parachurch groups, but it constitutes a smaller slice of American Christianity than the NCC. Glaringly absent from the NAE is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.