Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I knew it

Sometime ago, I had a feeling that it would just be a matter of time when we hear a famous Evangelical turn to Rome. I had this notion because apologists of RCC persuasion have been very active publishing conversion experiences. Now it has happened, like a big fish swimming the river (Tiber) to Dr. Francis Beckwith, former Evangelical Theological Society President. This is no ordinary layman, returning to the RCC, this is a leader in a highly visible Protestant scholarly society and has lots of publicity with embarassment for Evangelicals. So many things have been written in reply to Dr. Beckwith's move. I am not here to offer a profound analysis( I am hardly profound). I have no doubt he is sincere and must have come to a crisis of faith that only this move can reconcile the turmoil (so he thinks).

A few things are worth noting. Should not the local church to which Dr. Beckwith belongs exercise discipline? That is I am sure, that Protestant local church to which he attended, if it be Evangelical, surely believe that he is embracing some false teachings, thus should publicly call him to repentance and publicly state that he is under discipline.

Now I wonder, had each Evangelical convert to RCC got disciplined in such a way, I wonder what could result if the Scott Hahns, the Gerry Matatics etc. got such public chasening from their former local churches, I wonder what might have happened? It is not too late to do such a thing, I suppose.

But then, wait - does not Vatican II makes conversion to the RCC superflous?

On an amusing note, from what I heard (and this is just hearsay), had this happened 200 years ago, it would not be strange to hear a suggestion from some quarters that the person converting to RCC from Protestantism must have been a Jesuit mole whose main design was to convert Protestants back to Rome. Don't laugh loud, I know this is playing up to the music of conspiracy theory. But apparently that suggestion was not considered entirely pointless, a couple of hundred years ago.

4 comments:

Steve said...

Consider This:

Evanglicalism, especially American "Evanglicalism" is a mile wide and inch deep (or a kilometer wide and a centimeter deep for everyone else) it that there is not alot of substance in churches today. We have cotton candy theology in that it tastes good and it's fun, but there is nutrional value for the soul and one cannot live on it.

The movement from "Evanglicalism" to either the Eastern Church or to Rome is as much a rejection of the theological minimalism as it is an acceptance of Rome. Since most "evanglicals" are ahistoric, acreedel, aconfessional, aliterical, etc., that many thing that looks like it has substance and history is appealing. What I don't understand is how many move to Rome and not consider the Reformation?

What do you think?

L P Cruz said...

Steve,

Unfortunately American Evangelicalism has its tenticles in under developed countries like in Asia and South America, so they will inherit the shallowness indemic in evangelia.

Evangelicals today I think have no clue about who the real evangelicals happened to be - for the real Evangelicals are the Lutherans - historically speaking it was they who adopted that term first rather than the label Lutheran.

Many of these Evangelicals do not consider Lutheran theology for they think they know it by impression. I am a member of a reformed list and the guys there have never heard of the Book of Concord, yet they admire the courage of Luther. So because of their ahistorical attitude they jump straight to Rome with eyes closed.

Venerable Aussie said...

I've said it before, by the grace of God there's something happening. I thought you might be interested in this:

http://rightreason.ektopos.com/archives/2007/05/my_imminent_rec.html

I haven't read this (A Lutheran's Case for Roman Catholicism) yet:

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/philosophy/faculty/koons/case_for_catholicism.pdf

but will print it out for those train commutes over the next few weeks!

Plenty of people of course have and are leaving the Catholic Church every year. The vast vast majority have no idea what they are leaving. Give them a basic quiz on their former faith and they'd fail miserably. But this phenomena of conversion to the Catholic Church is strikingly different: these are people who knew their previous faith perhaps a little too well, and compared it over huge amounts of time to what the Catholic Church actually teaches (not a shadow of it).

L P Cruz said...

Dear Venerable,

Firstly on Prof Koon's conversion, this is being discussed here
http://www.reformedcatholicism.com/?p=1154

Here is my reply to his case.
1. Let's assume for the moment that the Church Fathers did not believe in Sola Fide (I doubt it see my post on Clement of Rome). But say they don't.

2. Did the Church Father's believe in the principle of sola fide. Yes they did!

3. Therefore whatever they say also about doctrine is subject to that prinicple of authority - Scripture.

In the link I posted above, do look on the comments of a RC by the name of Arturo Vasquez, I think his thoughts are refreshing for an RC as he is.