Monday, May 07, 2007

Updated: Frank Beckwith: Catholic Evangelical?

I found out recently that the current Evangelical Theological Society president Frank Beckwith has converted to Catholicism. It first hit the blogosphere and then Dr. Beckwith wrote about his road back to Rome, followed today with a short note on Right Reason announcing his resignation as member and president of ETS. I greatly respect Peter Kreeft and Richard John Neuhaus and have read their conversion stories (Kreeft from Calvinist Protestantism and Neuhaus was a Lutheran pastor) and I'll be interested to hear Beckwith's story in more detail. As Doug Groothius wrote in the comments on RR I believe that Frank has embraced serious theological error and this will be a story that circulates in the arena of Christian scholarship for some time.

(HT: STR radio)

Update: The Evangelical Theological Society has released a statement regarding Frank's resignation.

Update 2: In an interview Frank Beckwith gave to Christianity Today he echoes two of the reasons that I left the charismatic Protestantism of my youth: liturgy and a sense of history.
"Looking at tradition would also help evangelicals learn about Christian liturgical traditions, like Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism, that many evangelicals reject because they say liturgy is unbiblical. When did these practices come to be? It turns out many of them came to be very early on in church history when people were close historically to the apostles themselves. There must be something to these practices that the early Christians thought was perfectly consistent with what they had received from the apostles."
Update 3: The man who was Vice President when Dr. Beckwith stepped down and became President of ETS, Bruce Ware, was a guest on Al Mohler's radio show. Podcast here.

1 comment:

Adam Walter said...

Conversion to Catholicism is a very confusing thing to me. But as you said, they have a number of great thinkers and artists, so this makes one respect the choice.

Of course, what impresses me is the number of influential 20th century fiction authors who were Catholic, in a very anti-Catholic century: Chesterton, Andre Dubus, Shusaku Endo, Flannery O'Connor, Tolkien, etc.