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Sunday, May 06, 2007

ETS President Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns to Rome

This news has obviously caused a great stir amongst Evangelical Protestants. There is much more of this to come I imagine with the present state of division and creeds of Protestantism. Take a read of it yourself. I welcome comments. 'My Return to Rome'.
The past four months have moved quickly for me and my wife. As you probably know, my work in philosophy, ethics, and theology has always been Catholic friendly, but I would have never predicted that I would return to the Church, for there seemed to me too many theological and ecclesiastical issues that appeared insurmountable. However, in January, at the suggestion of a dear friend, I began reading the Early Church Fathers as well as some of the more sophisticated works on justification by Catholic authors. I became convinced that the Early Church is more Catholic than Protestant and that the Catholic view of justification, correctly understood, is biblically and historically defensible. Even though I also believe that the Reformed view is biblically and historically defensible, I think the Catholic view has more explanatory power to account for both all the biblical texts on justification as well as the church’s historical understanding of salvation prior to the Reformation all the way back to the ancient church of the first few centuries. Moreover, much of what I have taken for granted as a Protestant—e.g., the catholic creeds, the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, the Christian understanding of man, and the canon of Scripture—is the result of a Church that made judgments about these matters and on which non-Catholics, including Evangelicals, have declared and grounded their Christian orthodoxy in a world hostile to it. Given these considerations, I thought it wise for me to err on the side of the Church with historical and theological continuity with the first generations of Christians that followed Christ’s Apostles.

3 Comments:

Blogger matt said...

Wow, Jeff. The Beckwith thing is amazing. I agree: lots more to come.

Jeff, my wife and I will be in Durham in May and we would love to see you if possible.

Matt Boulter

10:25 pm  
Blogger Brad B said...

Thanks for posting this, Jeff. As I explore somewhat of a similar road, I was glad to read this, and read through some of the comments. One comment read:

As an ex Roman Catholic, and as one who strives to reason with my unsaved Roman Catholic family held captive to its bogus claims, I feel nothing but shame toward people like yourself.

You may well be a respected theologian and smart guy, a great philosopher and all that, but to me, you are a traitor and a stumbling block for the truth of the gospel.

I am grieved in my spirit regarding this decision.

Humanly speaking you make my witness to Roman Catholics and especially my family, so much more difficult by your actions.

You should resign immediately and if not, be removed before November with a strong statement reaffirming the tragedy of your actions.


I remember back 8-9 years ago when I would have responded nearly verbatim to someone's reversion story. Lord, have mercy on me! Now I'm finding myself hungering for deep prayer and study over the same thing Dr. Beckwith faced. Praise God for the dynamics of this journey He has us all on, and for grace to recognize our previous attitudes, and the Christlike humility to repent of such.

Miss you, man.

Brad

12:20 am  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Thanks Brad! Praying for you on your journey and your "growing" family! We need to give you all a ring soon. We will be moving house in two weeks time.

8:05 am  

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