Monday, May 07, 2007
ETS President Returns to Roman Catholic Church
I know that the blogosphere has been buzzing with the news that Francis Beckwith returned to the Roman Catholic Church. I don't want to post my thoughts for several reasons: 1) I am a seminary student while Beckwith was just president of the Evangelical Theological Society, 2) Beckwith has not yet given enough details for me to understand why he has left for Rome, and 3) other evangelicals have provided insightful, respectful, and balanced responses.

As a result, I decided to post some links for those interested:

1) Francis J. Beckwith, "My Return to the [Roman] Catholic Church." You'll obviously want to start with Beckwith's own explanation.
2) Carl Trueman, "Thoughts on the Return to Rome of Professor Beckwith." Some good thoughts, including a brief examination of Beckwith's appeal to the early church fathers and their writings.
3) R. Scott Clark, "ETS President Converts to Rome." A helpful look at Beckwith in light of the growing bankruptcy of evangelicalism. While I'm not as opposed to modern evangelicalism as Clark (and Hart) seem to be, I completely agree with us coming to see the bad fruit of not having a confessional foundation.
4) Jason Engwer, "Francis Beckwith's Reversion To Roman Catholicism." Engwer makes several important points.
5) James White, Any Recent Post on His Blog. While White is getting a lot of heat for publicly "outing" Beckwith's decision, his concerns and responses are necessary and needed.

I want to close by reposting a letter to Beckwith by Douglas Groothuis:

Dear Frank:

This is a sad day for all true sons and daughters of the Protestant Reformation, for all who lived and died for its truths.

Having abandoned the distinctives of the Reformation (which are deeply rooted in Holy Scripture), you are embracing serious theological error. I wish I could say otherwise, but conscience-bound, I cannot.

By joining Rome, you are putting an institution above God; you are putting men (and I mean males) ahead of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ (See Galatians 1:6-11).

However, you are doing the right thing to resign from your position at ETS.

I have appreciated much of your writing over the years, but I lament what you have now done.

Doug Groothuis

UPDATE: The Evangelical Theological Society's Executive Committee has responded.


posted at 10:30 AM  
Comments (6)

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless him! Our prayers are that more may turn to Christ in the Church He founded, and see the smallness of the systems founded on the theological speculations of men. Wonderful, wonderful news.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Turretinfan said...

The first anonymous commenter here does not seem to "get it." The problem is that the Church of Rome is an apostate church built on deception, and deceiving millions of people with her claim to be "the Church."

May God have mercy on Prof. Beckwith and turn him from the error of his ways, before the judgment day.


At 11:58 PM, Blogger Paul said...

I doubt that anyone else will care, but I think it interesting that Dr. Beckwith is pictured in front of Army & Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California (my old prep school)...

At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose I shall off my comments for what it is worth.

First full disclosure. I am former Southern Baptist that is now Catholic. Take that information for what it is worth in evaluating my comments

(1)One key here is that he reconciling with his Church. He is not a Protestant or Evangelical that cradle and now is off to Rome. One might ask did he fully leave it behind or was he slowly grappling with things over the years.

(2)I don't have much knowledge of the ETS. I have read Dr Whites comments on what that declaration was suppose to do. I do think it should send alarm bells through the Evanglical World that people theought that statement could not be signed or agreeded to by a Catholic.
Over at Pontification there is a Post called
"Does the Evangelical Theological Society Need an Infallible Magisterium?"

One commenter said: "It also shows the necessity to know what it is those you want to keep out actually believe, as distinct from what you think they believe. Obviously, the founders (or at least one of them) thought that Roman Catholics do not hold the Bible as authoritative, or that they ‘add’ books to the Bible , or that the Pope ‘trumps’ the Bible or some such thing. So they confidently said “The Bible is the Bible!” and thought that would be enough to keep the Catholics out.
Except that it wouldn’t. They should have said “Catholics out!” or the likes; as it stands, I see nothing in that to clash with Catholic doctrine. “The Bible alone is the written word of God.” Yes, and you think my problem with that is?"
That should be a clue that the Academy of the Evangelical world does not even have a clear idea what Catholics believe. I see that on mnay of these blog entries as the Catholic view of Justification. Many are getting all wrong.

(3) I wonder if he had become Eastern Orthodox if the same venom would be out there. Eastern Orthodoxy and conversion there to is becoming much more of a problem for the Evangelical World. Yet I have to believe it would not be such a big deal. People seems to enjoy pulling out this ole arrows out that seem to come from the age of the know nothing party.

(4)The Evangelical World still has not addressed the Chruch Fathers and again misunderstands how converts and Catholics view them

(5) Lastly, about this conversation the Doctor says there must be. He is right. I see these questions being asked in the Emerging Church movement as well as others. I will leave you with my comment on Pontifications
" I notice a topic that is talked about on here a lot but barely mentioned at all on these various blogs. That is the current saga in the Episcopal Church. A year ago I saw some bloggers say well I can’t become Catholic but maybe Lutheran or Presbytarian. Yet I see that rarely happens when push comes to shove. You have those that are fighting it out in the EUSA , leaving to form a new Communion, becoming Catholic or Orthodox or perhaps a Lutheran sometimes. Does it concerned them that many committed Christians in the ECUSA that are committed Chrisitians don’t seem to be thinking they are a option? That should be more of a concern than the good Doctor coming home. I am not saying there are exceptions and no doubt some have become Evangelical as some in ETS envisions that word. But I am not seeing a lot of it"

Yours in Christ

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roman Catholicism is a gigantic system of . . .
image-worship, and
In one word, it is a huge organized idolatry.
(J. C. Ryle "Idolatry to be Destroyed")

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Ancientfaith said...

Contrary to Ryle's straw man caricature of Catholic beliefs quoted above by Anonymous, Catholics in no way "worship" Mary, the other Saints, images, or relics. Worship is reserved for God alone. Just a clarification.


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