Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Evangelical Sociology Professor at Notre Dame Converts to Catholicism

Dr. Christian Smith the William R. Kenan, Jr  Professor of Sociology and Director, Center for the Study of Religion & Society and Director, Center for Social Research at University of Notre Dame has crossed the Tiber recently and wrote a book detailing the how's and why's.  Once again, an evangelical in the academic world who knows his faith very well decides to come home to Rome.  This is a gentleman who cannot be accused of never understanding his Protestant faith compared to the many Catholics who have left the Church with no clue as to what Catholicism is about (like me and many of the folks I knew in evangelical circles).

When a Catholic leaves the Church for evangelicalism, they usually didn't accept the teachings of the Church (regarding no contraception, no divorce etc) and did not believe or know that Jesus is truly present at every mass, ie they were not devout. It seems that when an evangelical leaves for Catholicism,  it was after a period of intense study, prayer and reflection. Some of the most recent converts held positions at Baylor and Wheaton and the Evangelical Theological Society so these conversions cannot be easily dismissed as evangelicals who are simply "abandoning the gospel for the false pretenses of Rome." (Dr. James White on Dr. Francis Beckwith's conversion 2007)  More often than not, the Catholic convert from evangelicalism finds a richness in his spiritual life that was not there before which often manifests itself in a new desire as well as an empowerment to follow Christ and avoid the pitfalls of sin and temptation.  I have seen this personally in my own life and have heard other converts describe a similar experience.

On a more humorous note: 
See my 2007 post written in response to the many evangelical professors and theologians converting to the Catholic faith.  The good news for Dr. Smith, converting to Catholicism at a Catholic University won't affect his ability to obtain tenure! 


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