President of the Evangelical Theological Society Crosses the Tiber
Francis Beckwith, PhD. of Baylor University came home to the Catholic Church this past weekend. He was raised as a Catholic but became an evangelical sometime in his youth. As Professor of Church- State Studies and Philosophy he has authored numerous academic articles and books published by Cambridge University Press, InterVarsity, etc. He is also President of the Evangelical Theological Society, a one year position, though I suspect his tenure at this position may end a bit sooner. He is also a respected Christian ethicist on the lecture circuit and has a new book to be released shortly on abortion.
Whenever the news of a "high-profile" convert/revert hits the blogosphere, the detractions begin. I am amazed that a gentleman with his resume and leadership can be written off so quickly.
- ETS President An Apostate? (From Pastors Perspective) That's a whole lotta love
- "I hope he has adequately considered the fact that when he is kneeling down in the mass during the event of transubstantiation, he is to worship and adore the bread/host as if it were Christ himself standing before him." Wait stop the presses! Maybe he didn't realize that Catholics actually believe they are worshiping Christ in the Eucharist. I mean he only has a PhD from a Catholic University, yah know? Honey, Quick, get Frank on the line, I got some bad news for him.....
- "I have this theory that a large plurality of evangelicals who become Roman Catholics think they’re becoming Lutherans. I mean, a lot of them think they’re getting a historic liturgy, ancient practice, and an evangelical understanding of grace with a sacramental package providing assurance. But what they’re really getting is crappy Marty Haugen rites, medieval novelty, and dogmatic doubt. I mean, you almost never see evangelicals swimming the Tiber because they’re really excited about being able to get indulgences, sacrificing Masses to get their grandmas out of purgatory, or doubting whether they’re in the state of grace."(Boar's Head Tavern) You mean I joined the wrong church....again?
- "In any case, as sad as it always is to read of someone abandoning the gospel for the false pretenses of Rome, it really does not surprise me when it happens. Why? Because we live in a day when the faithful are being tested as they were in Elijah's day. If you do not passionately love the truth, God is under no obligation to continue to allow you to possess it." (Dr. James White) You mean he never really was saved, don't you?
Now a tad more conciliatory:
- "I am very appreciative of professing evangelicals such as Peter Kreeft who are also professing Roman Catholics. Maybe Beckwith is another Kreeft. Kreeft is a Roman Catholic, yet when I listen to him speak about the important issues of the role of Scripture, the doctrine of Christ, and the grace of God, I have to force myself to find nuances in his beliefs that distinguish it from mine. " (Parchment and Pen) Don't strain yourself bro!
Finally a response that is like a drink of cold water in a dry and thirsty land:
- "I trust that if these rumors are true about Dr. Beckwith going to Rome that he will make his reasons plain in due time. And, even if he doesn’t it really doesn’t matter. I respect him as a brother and especially as a doctor in the Church. I don’t see any reason to say anything but I’m glad to see the sanctifying grace given him in Baptism is continuing to work as he grows like the rest of us into that image of Christ the Bible calls us to work toward. So he’s gone to Rome. So what? Movement in our eyes ought to be seen graciously as sanctification and the Spirit at work.
Let’s put away the conspiracy theories and the condemnations.
Pray for your brother and Rejoice that God is with him and working in him!
May the Lord be praised! "(Kevin Johnson of Reformed Catholicism)
- "James White implies that Dr. Beckwith lost a love for truth and thus, decided to "return to Rome." I think it was precisely Dr. Beckwith's love for truth that brought him home. As many of us converts and reverts can attest, it is our love for truth, for Christ, and for His Church that lead us to make this difficult journey."(Meandering Home)
Keep Dr. Beckwith in prayer as he faces more persecution and rejection now than any other time in his Christian life, and most sadly, from his own brethren. It grieves the heart of God.
Welcome Home Dr. Beckwith