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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forthcoming Book

Last March, I posted a list of prominent conversions to Catholicism in the year 2007. One was Francis Beckwith, who had been President of the Evangelical Theological Society. He had to resign.

Anyway, Dr. Beckwith has a book about his conversion to be released in November. You can read about it on his webpage. He also has links to various news articles which covered his conversion.

From an interview in Christianity Today:

The issue of justification was key for me. The Catholic Church frames the Christian life as one in which you must exercise virtue—not because virtue saves you, but because that's the way God's grace gets manifested. As an evangelical, even when I talked about sanctification and wanted to practice it, it seemed as if I didn't have a good enough incentive to do so. Now there's a kind of theological framework, and it doesn't say my salvation depends on me, but it says my virtue counts for something. It's important to allow the grace of God to be exercised through your actions. The evangelical emphasis on the moral life forms my Catholic practice with an added incentive. That was liberating to me.
Dr. Beckwith is not a bitter ex-Evangelical. In an interview in Catholic World Report he says:

I do not believe I ceased to be an Evangelical when I returned to the Church. What I ceased to be was a Protestant. For I believe, as Pope Benedict has preached, that the Church itself needs to nurture within it an evangelical spirit. There are, as we know, too many Catholics whose faith needs to be renewed and emboldened.

There is much that I learned as a Protestant Evangelical that has left an indelible mark on me and formed the person I am today. For that reason, it accompanies me back to the Church.
I'm sure there will be another round of articles when the book is released, and I look forward to reading it.

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7 comments:

Ellen said...

I just started a book called "Is the Reformation Over" that looks at the relations between evangelicals and Roman Catholics over the last 20 or so years. I haven't gotten very far (and I'm not planning on converting any time soon) so I'm not sure where it's going. But it is evident that things have changed and it's more important than ever to know what you believe and why.

Kelly said...

I think that as the mainline denominations have all accepted women's ordination and abortion, that evangelicals are finding common ground with Catholics, and that makes it a little more likely for them to examine theological issues again.

As I've said before, I don't mind genuine theological disagreement, but it is nice that a lot of misconceptions are now being cleared up. I think the Joint Declaration was a turning point for many people, in seeing that we can have common ground in more than just cultural issues.

Ellen said...

I think that as the mainline denominations have all accepted women's ordination and abortion

I would respectfully disagree about abortion (except as we accept that we live in a lost and fallen world and sin has existed, does exist and will exist until the day of His return). The more liberal denominations may, but most do not.

And there are still denominations out there that do not ordain women or have them as elders.

Kelly said...

Well, I'm sure my perception is a little off, as an outsider, and I don't mind admitting that.

But I believe most denominations include abortion coverage in their insurance for clergy, mostly because abortion is usually lumped with the option for birth control. A friend of mine took the time to research the issue a few years back, but I don't know if I can dig up the reference now or not.

It is also hard to generalize about women's ordination. If there are various synods of Lutheranism, do you say that "Lutherans" do or don't ordain women if some synods do and some don't.

Which I should probably take as a lesson to avoid generalizing. :)

Ellen said...

Any affordable insurance is a "lump" insurance. I "need" to have a policy that includes birth control pills. Although I cannot have more children physically, I need the "hormone support" once in a while and the BC pills are more gentle than other drugs. My policy covers medically necessary abortions, but not voluntary.

Kelly said...

I did find this webpage that lists official positions of various denominations:
http://www.pregnantpause.org/people/
wherchur.htm

This Presbyterian group is concerned about their church donations funding clergy abortions:
http://www.ppl.org/relief.html

Ellen said...

PCUSA...just voted to lift the ban on homosexual clergy. ;-)