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The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Open Book ^ | May 6, 2007 | Amy Wellborn

Posted on 05/06/2007 11:58:17 AM PDT by NYer

Dr. Francis Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church. (He was raised Catholic and received the sacraments of initiation as a child and young person). 

Most of the post centers on the tussle over ETS matters and leadership, (he has resigned from the presidency) but:

There is a conversation in ETS that must take place, a conversation about the relationship between Evangelicalism and what is called the “Great Tradition,” a tradition from which all Christians can trace their spiritual and ecclesiastical paternity.  It is a conversation that I welcome, and it is one in which I hope to be a participant. But my presence as ETS president, I have concluded, diminishes the chances of this conversation occurring.  It would merely exacerbate the disunity among Christians that needs to be remedied. 

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.

(Comments are open over there, btw. Worth a visit to add your support, if you like!)


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Worship
KEYWORDS: beckwith; catholic; ets; evangelical
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1 posted on 05/06/2007 11:58:21 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
However, in January, at the suggestion of a dear friend, I began reading the Early Church Fathers ...

For the benefit of any and all visitors to this thread, here is a link to the ...

EARLY CHURCH FATHERS .

2 posted on 05/06/2007 12:01:37 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer; sfm; G S Patton; Gumdrop; trustandhope; MarkBsnr; pblax8; oakcon; newbie 10-21-00; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic Ping List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

3 posted on 05/06/2007 12:03:18 PM PDT by narses ("Freedom is about authority." - Rudolph Giuliani)
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To: NYer
Wow! Thanks for that link!

(P.S. How are you feeling these days? All recuperated?)

4 posted on 05/06/2007 12:07:25 PM PDT by redhead (Victory FIRST, Then peace...)
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To: NYer
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.

Sounds like a typical, ecumenical/evangelical squishy answer to me. I wonder how he explains away the anathemas, declared against these same Reformed "biblically and historically defensible" positions, by the Council of Trent?

5 posted on 05/06/2007 12:16:00 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Oh, I don’t know, he probably views bringing them up as changing of the subject. I know I do.


7 posted on 05/06/2007 12:24:06 PM PDT by Mad Dawg ( St. Michael: By the power of God, fight with us!)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: rrc

I’m the only “usual suspect” who’s posted to the thread so far. Please ping me next time, instead of referring to me in the third person.


9 posted on 05/06/2007 12:32:28 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: rrc
i believe those anathemas have been removed.....

Can you provide a reliable/authoritative link or reference to such?

10 posted on 05/06/2007 12:33:53 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy
I wonder how he explains away the anathemas, declared against these same Reformed "biblically and historically defensible" positions, by the Council of Trent?

You could ask him.

12 posted on 05/06/2007 12:45:30 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("And he had turned the Prime Minister's teacup into a gerbil.")
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To: Alex Murphy; HarleyD; Forest Keeper; AlbionGirl; blue-duncan; Gamecock; Frumanchu; ...
typical, ecumenical/evangelical squishy answer

Amen! Says Beckwith...

"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..."

LOL. So both are right?!?

Nope. The RC view of justification is antithetical to Scripture and to the correct Reformed understanding as outlined in Scripture and here in Hebrews --

"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." -- Hebrews 10:12-14

If Beckwith gets the heart of Christianity wrong, he can't get much else right. He obviously prefers the yoke of Rome to the liberty of Christ.

SOLA FIDE: THE REFORMED DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION

"...where Rome had taught a piecemeal salvation, to be gained by stages through working a sacramental treadmill, the Reformers now proclaimed a unitary salvation, to be received in its entirety here and now by self-abandoning faith in God's promise, and in the God and the Christ of that promise, as set forth in the pages of the Bible.

Thus the rediscovery of the gospel brought a rediscovery of evangelism, the task of summoning non-believers to faith. Rome had said, God's grace is great, for through Christ's cross and his Church salvation is possible for all who will work and suffer for it; so come to church, and toil! But the Reformers said, God's grace is greater, for through Christ's cross and his Spirit salvation, full and free, with its unlimited guarantee of eternal joy, is given once and forever to all who believe; so come to Christ, and trust and take!..."


13 posted on 05/06/2007 1:08:18 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Alex Murphy
I wonder how he explains away the anathemas, declared against these same Reformed "biblically and historically defensible" positions, by the Council of Trent?

I suspect the same way the Mormons explain away the everlasting commandment to commit polygamy. It's there, but they pretend it isn't.

14 posted on 05/06/2007 1:15:42 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe; Alex Murphy
Probably, although the anathemas of Trent were never rescinded.

Seems like Rome changes so many things they could do a quick erase of these anathemas if they really wanted to.

But they don't want to. They like them on the books and still "in effect" for their own peculiar reasons.

I guess we'll just have to face being cursed by Rome for a while longer. 8~)

15 posted on 05/06/2007 1:25:36 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Alex Murphy
I guess we'll just have to face being cursed by Rome for a while longer. 8~)

Oh the Humanity.

BTW if you are cursed with the prouncement of an "Anathema" can that be rescinded? Is Beckwith still under the Anathema?

Has Beckwith repented of his Grace alone Reformation theology? Or is he trying to eccumenicize and harmonize his Five Solas Reformed Protestant Theology with Roman tradition based works salvation theology?

I suspect it won't be long before Beckwith is branded a heretic by Rome.

16 posted on 05/06/2007 1:39:37 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe
Here's my fav:

CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed, but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace; let him be anathema.

That would make me......

AN ANATHEMA!

17 posted on 05/06/2007 1:50:12 PM PDT by Gamecock (The Gospel Provides What The Law Demands)
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To: P-Marlowe; Gamecock; Alex Murphy
Or is he trying to eccumenicize and harmonize his Five Solas Reformed Protestant Theology with Roman tradition based works salvation theology?

It wouldn't be the first time. 8~)

But "what communion hath light with darkness?"

18 posted on 05/06/2007 1:59:15 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
It wouldn't be the first time.
19 posted on 05/06/2007 2:02:59 PM PDT by Gamecock (FR Member Gamecock: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Gamecock; Alex Murphy; P-Marlowe
That would make me......AN ANATHEMA!

"But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me." -- John 15:21

20 posted on 05/06/2007 2:03:43 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: NYer; redhead

Thanks for the link, NYer. As another has asked, how are you?


21 posted on 05/06/2007 2:03:53 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Gamecock

Hmm, how did that happen?

Should have read:

New Perspectives on Paul rings the bell as a current attempt at such...


22 posted on 05/06/2007 2:06:38 PM PDT by Gamecock (FR Member Gamecock: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Alex Murphy; Gamecock

Dear Dr. Beckwith:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
(Galatians 1:6-8 KJV)

Paul


23 posted on 05/06/2007 2:07:54 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: rrc
oh, can someone explain this odd behavior i note on many of these threads from the usual protestant suspects, to whit:

catholics have the

scripture, the church, and the historical witness of the early church fathers.

these same early church fathers had the scriptures, the church, and in some cases, access to the apostles themselves, etc....

but, according to the protestants, the testimony of these ecf’s, the church and the scriptures, are somehow not valid because protestants have:

the scriptures alone.....and their own view of them (which can differ greatly on important salvation subjects).....

and that is it...

am i the only missing something here?

Yes, you are missing something. Common sense!
24 posted on 05/06/2007 2:10:44 PM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: rrc
am i the only missing something here?

You sure are...You are missing eternal security...

catholics have the scripture, the church, and the historical witness of the early church fathers.

We all have the scriptures...

You have a religion...With ceremonies, rituals and some beliefs that don't line up with the written word of God...

Your historical witnesses are only as good as the integrity of those charged with accurately preserving those historical records...

Me, I'll walk by faith and not by sight...Besides, I have living in me the One who started the early church...

Likely you don't believe that...Could be you don't even understand that...

25 posted on 05/06/2007 2:19:58 PM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: Alex Murphy

I think this is the gentleman’s kind way of saying he no longer believes in Sola Scriptura.

Catholics do believe in those doctrines of Protestants that are found in Scripture and declared in the creeds.

Obviously the reformers used the Bible to support their doctrines that differed from Catholic teaching. However Catholics also use the Bible to support their doctrines. But Catholics also believe in the authority of Apostolic tradition.

This tradition does not refute or reject scripture. It takes into account the oral teachings of the Apostles that have been handed down through the Church. These teachings along with careful study of Scripture have been used to declare certain teachings of the Church as binding on the faithful.

The Church can never say that Christ did not rise from the dead or deny the Trinity. She may declare that the Virgin Mary was bodily assumed into heaven or that the Pope is infallible when speaking as leader of the Church in matters of faith and morals.

This difference in views is why Catholics sometimes refer to the Church as having the fullness of Truth. We do not believe that Protestants do not have any truth. Actually they a lot of truth and many live that Truth in ways Catholics would do well to emulate. So the statement by Beckwith is not a contradiction.


28 posted on 05/06/2007 2:33:04 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: lastchance
We do not believe that Protestants do not have any truth.

***********

Catholics and Protestants share much, it is true.

29 posted on 05/06/2007 2:39:35 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: P-Marlowe
LOL.

P.S. - "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" -- 1 Timothy 2:5

30 posted on 05/06/2007 2:52:16 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Alex Murphy

You wrote:

“I wonder how he explains away the anathemas, declared against these same Reformed “biblically and historically defensible” positions, by the Council of Trent?”

1) Such as?

2) Why would he have to “explain away” anything from Trent?


31 posted on 05/06/2007 2:54:01 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Gamecock

Yeah, I’ve been trying to get a grasp on all that. I haven’t quite got it yet and all the players still seem a little hazy.


32 posted on 05/06/2007 2:54:25 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: NYer

So, does this mean that this Beckwith fellow is now an evolutionist who believes the Bible is full of errors?


33 posted on 05/06/2007 3:01:47 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Koh 'amar HaShem: 'Arur hagever 'asher yivtach ba'adam vesam basar zero`o; umin-HaShem yasur libbo!)
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To: rrc
tremendous link....

oh, can someone explain this odd behavior i note on many of these threads from the usual protestant suspects, to whit:

catholics have the

scripture, the church, and the historical witness of the early church fathers.

these same early church fathers had the scriptures, the church, and in some cases, access to the apostles themselves, etc....

but, according to the protestants, the testimony of these ecf’s, the church and the scriptures, are somehow not valid because protestants have:

the scriptures alone.....and their own view of them (which can differ greatly on important salvation subjects).....

and that is it...

am i the only missing something here?

The Catholic Church also has the idea that the church fathers can be overruled by modern science and textual criticism. Fundamentalist Protestants do indeed disagree on any number of things, but they all insist the Bible is wholly inerrant (though they can't agree on what it says). Most Catholics (very much including the over-educated hyper-intellectual clergy and theologians) insist that "we now know" that the Bible is full of mistakes.

Does that help?

34 posted on 05/06/2007 3:08:20 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Koh 'amar HaShem: 'Arur hagever 'asher yivtach ba'adam vesam basar zero`o; umin-HaShem yasur libbo!)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
So, does this mean that this Beckwith fellow is now an evolutionist who believes the Bible is full of errors?

I'm sure that it's not that it's full of errors, but that parts are easily misunderstood by common folk. Common folk then become needful of smart folk who study it in depth to splain it all to them.

35 posted on 05/06/2007 3:41:47 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Zionist Conspirator
Most Catholics (very much including the over-educated hyper-intellectual clergy and theologians) insist that "we now know" that the Bible is full of mistakes.

Hmmm, I'm thinking of the whole friend and cliff saying. It doesn't matter what "most" Catholics insist.

"The inspired books teach the truth. 'Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.'" - Catechism of the Catholic Church

36 posted on 05/06/2007 3:53:34 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: NYer
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.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Every genuine Christian has historical and theological continuity with the Apostles and early Christians by way of the teachings of the Apostles recorded in the NT Scriptures, as well as the OT Scriptures since the very first Christians were Jews.

37 posted on 05/06/2007 3:58:35 PM PDT by ad_rem007
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
I guess we'll just have to face being cursed by Rome for a while longer. 8~)

Dear Sister, It seems you don,t understand how the Catholic Church applied "anathema" at the Council of Trent

John Henry Cardinal Newman explains this well

"The vivid Greek term anathema, meaning "accursed," is directed by the Council of Trent and other Catholic ecumenical councils primarily towards doctrines, rather than persons, based on the ancient practice in the Church of condemning heretical teachings -- a procedure itself derived biblically from passages such as Galatians 1:8-9 and 1 Corinthians 16:22 (the latter has anathema both in Greek and in many English versions). There is nothing improper whatsoever in defining correct doctrine and rejecting contrary notions. St. Paul does this constantly. The Catholic Church, however, makes no presumption as to the eternal destiny of any individual whatsoever (not even Martin Luther, whom many Protestants might suspect was on our "damned" list). Most emphatically: neither anathema nor excommunication means "proclaimed damned (by the Church)," as many Protestants mistakenly suppose. The more literal meanings are "out of the Church" (in the sense of divergence from its doctrines) or "out of communion" (with the sacraments and the Christian fellowship of believers). Excommunication is perfectly in accord with Pauline practices and teachings as expounded in, e.g., 1 Corinthians 5:3-5, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 1 Timothy 1:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:14-19, 4:14-15, as well as our Lord's express injunction in Matthew 18:15-18. "

I wish you a Blessed Evening!

40 posted on 05/06/2007 4:19:27 PM PDT by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg; Alex Murphy; Gamecock; trisham; redhead; narses
From what I understand, Dr. Beckwith is a well respected member of the Evangelical Church. On the previous thread, I posted his credentials. For the benefit of those who may have missed it, here they are.


Francis J. Beckwith is Associate Professor of Church-State Studies (tenured) at Baylor University  In June 2007 he will join Baylor's philosophy department where he will become Associate Professor of Philosophy. A Fellow and Faculty Affiliate in Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR), he served as Associate Director of Baylor's Institute of Church-State Studies from July 2003 until January 2007.  

Born in 1960 in New York City, Professor Beckwith grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, the eldest of the four children of Harold ("Pat") and Elizabeth Beckwith. He graduated in 1974 from St. Viator's Elementary School and in 1978 from Bishop Gorman High School, where he was a three-sport letterman and a member of the 1978 Nevada State AAA Basketball Championship Team.

A 2002-03 Research Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, Professor Beckwith currently serves as a member of Princeton's James Madison Society. He has held full-time faculty appointments at Trinity International University (1997-2002), Whittier College (1996-97), and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1989-96).

A graduate of Fordham University (Ph.D. and M.A. in philosophy), he also holds the Master of Juridical Studies (M.J.S.) degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where he won a CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Reproductive Control Seminar. His books include (w/ W. L. Craig, J. P. Moreland) To Every One An Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview (InterVarsity Press, 2004); Law, Darwinism, & Public Education: The Establishment Clause and the Challenge of Intelligent Design (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003); (w/ C. Mosser & P. Owen) The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement (HarperCollins/Zondervan, 2002), finalist for the 2003 Gold Medallion Award in theology and doctrine; Do the Right Thing: Readings in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy, 2/e (Wadsworth, 2002); (w/ G. P. Koukl) Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Baker, 1998); (w/ L. P. Pojman) The Abortion Controversy 25 Years After Roe v. Wade: A Reader, 2/e (Wadsworth, 1998); (w/ T. Jones) Affirmative Action: Social Justice or Reverse Discrimination? (Prometheus, 1997); and Politically Correct Death: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Baker, 1993), winner of the 1994 Cornerstone Magazine ethics book of the year award.

His forthcoming books include Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Is Statecraft Soulcraft?: Politics and Christianity (InterVarsity 2007)

His articles have been published in a number of academic journals including Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy; San Diego Law Review; International Philosophical Quarterly; Nevada Law Journal; Public Affairs Quarterly; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy; Journal of Law & Religion; American Journal of Jurisprudence; Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly; Chapman Law Review; Journal of Medicine & Philosophy; Social Theory & Practice; Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Christian Bioethics; Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics; Journal of Church & State; Human Life Review; Journal of Social Philosophy; Journal of Libertarian Studies; Journal of Medical Ethics; Logos; The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology; and Philosophia Christi.

Professor Beckwith has also contributed to a number of reference works including Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (Blackwell, forthcoming2008);Encyclopedia of the First Amendment (Congressional Quarterly Press, forthcoming 2007); Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (Routledge, forthcoming 2006); Encyclopedia of American Civil Rights & Liberties (Garland, forthcoming 2006); Baker Dictionary of Cults (Baker, forthcoming 2006); Religion: Past and Present, 4/e (English translation of Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart) (Brill Academic Publishers, forthcoming 2006); Dictionary of Contemporary Religion in the Western World (InterVarsity, 2002); Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics (Oryx, 1999); and Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics, 2/e (Thomas Nelson, 1992).

Among the books in which his articles appear as chapters are Darwin's Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement, ed. W. A. Dembski (InterVarsity Press, 2006); Bob Dylan & Philosophy, ed. Carl Porter and Peter Vernezze (Open Court, 2006); What's Wrong?: Applied Ethicists and Their Critics, ed. D. Boonin and G. Oddie (Oxford University Press, 2005); Guide to New Religious Movements 2/e, ed. R. Enroth (InterVarsity Press. 2005); The Rationality of Theism, ed. P. Copan and P. Moser (Routledge, 2003); Bioengagement: Making a Christian Difference Through Bioethics Today, ed. N. Cameron, S. E. Daniels, and B. J. White (Eerdmans, 2000); In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case For God's Action in History, ed. R. D. Geivett and G. Habermas (InterVarsity, 1997); Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, 3/e, ed. L. Pojman (Wadsworth, 1996); The Silent Subject: Reflections on the Unborn in American Culture, ed. Brad Stetson (Praeger, 1996); Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Political Issues, 9/e, ed. G. McKenna and S. Feingold (McGraw-Hill, 1995); and Faith in Theory and Practice: Essays on Justifying Religious Belief, ed. E. Radcliffe and C. J. White (Open Court, 1993).

Both colleagues and students have recognized him for teaching excellence. On April 25, 2006 he was awarded a certificate by Baylor's undergraduate journal (The Pulse) for his "outstanding contributions to undergraduate scholarship." In November 2004 he was recognized as a distinguished faculty member by Baylor University`s Mortar Board. The students of Trinity Graduate School (California campus) selected him Professor of the Year for the 1997-98 school year. During his seven years at UNLV he received a 1995 merit award (given by the Multicultural Student Affairs Office of UNLV), a professor of recognition award by the UNLV alumni association (1992), and was a finalist for university-wide and/or college-wide teaching awards in 1996, 1993, 1992, and 1991.

He has presented academic papers, chaired sessions, and offered commentaries at the conferences of a number of professional societies including the American Philosophical Association, the American Political Science Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the American Bar Association (Science & Technology Section), the Christian Legal Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, the American Academy of Religion, the Southwestern Political Science Association, the University Faculty for Life, and the Conference on Faith and History. He has served on the executive committees of both the Society of Christian Philosophers (1999-2002) and the Evangelical Philosophical Society (1998-2003) as well as on the national board of the University Faculty for Life (1999-present).

On November 17, 2006 Professor Beckwith became the President of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), a position that has a one-year term.  He is the 57th president of ETS, an academic society that has over 4,100 members. In July 2005 he began a three-year term as a member of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Philosophy and Law.

He and his wife, Frankie, live in Woodway, Texas. 


In his explanation for a return to the Catholic Church, he cites the Early Church Fathers. For one so totally immersed in the Evangelical Church, this 'return' was not something even he anticipated. His summation, however, is worth repeating.

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.

Simply translated, the Catholic Church is the only organization with a continuous line of succession dating back to its founder, Jesus Christ. There is no human organization or government that can rival this.

Every year, countless christians, searching for the "Truth", discover the Early Church Fathers. Not long ago, another Evangelical, Alex Jones, a minister, wanted to provide his flock with a service resembling the ones celebrated by the early christians. In researching this, he eventually turned to the Early Church Fathers. Parishioners began to comment that his 'service' resembled a Catholic Mass. After much soul searching, Alex Jones, his wife, children and a portion of his congregation were received into the Catholic Church. Like so many other Protestant ministers who come into the Catholic Church, he forfeited not only his ministry but his family's only source of income. And so it is with Dr. Beckwith. These are not decisions one makes on a whim.

If you have not yet noted it, the flow of Protestants into the Catholic Church is comprised of ministers, theologians, an Anglican Bishop and countless others who recognize the Church founded by Jesus Christ - the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I would challenge you to produce similar examples of Catholics into your Churches.

41 posted on 05/06/2007 4:26:33 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: rrc
I went to a young girl's blog that tells of the day Dr. Beckwith was received back into the Church. Dr. Beckwith replies very nicely and then James White chimes in and then a guy takes JW to task a little angrily but I loved this reply and it also fits a lot of the anti-Catholics on FR.

Mr. White,

"I won't speak for Kacy, but only for myself. And I am only writing this because you asked.

I think this statement attests to the idea that some might get that you imply that Dr. Beckwith traded in truth for a lie:

"I would imagine we will, in time, be provided a fairly full apologia of his decision. At that time it would be highly appropriate to once again provide a biblical response."

Of course, as it is your duty to defend the Reformed Baptist faith, you naturally believe that yours is the biblical response and (I would imagine) Dr. Beckwith is mistaken (at best). Right? Fair enough.

But I will say this, even when I agreed with most everything you wrote years ago: the general "air" of your writing comes across as arrogant and demeaning. It is not so much what you write, as the manner in which you write it (the spirit of the author). I think this has to do with the fact that you make your living arguing and are always ready to be defensive immediately after attacking.

I think the charity and humility required in a pastoral role is absent from your writing style, which turns a lot of people off to what you have to say. Compare your writing style to that of Fr. Stephen Freeman. Both of you are active in apologetics, yet there is a clear distinction in the presentation. The one, many people enjoy reading (even though they may greatly disagree), the other causes much strife and anger. There is a reason for that. I think a big difference between yourself and someone life Fr. Freeman is a general lack of humility in your writings.

I realize that what I wrote was very blunt and possibly even abrasive, and for that I apologize. It is just that I cannot think of another way to get you to see what others so obviously see and have a hard time describing; most have a hard time finding that "one" quotation or paragraph that you wrote that "did it." That again, has more to do with the perceived attitude of the author than with anything directly written. For example, try using more kinder adjectives, add in some compliments, be quick to see the good, always assume the best, be open and humble about your own failings, etc. In other words, try using kinder and "softer" speech when addressing a person (or about a person).

I am not saying this because I in any way am innocent of this myself. I think I am writing this to you because this is also something I struggle with and so I understand it.

Please also pray for me, a sinner."

Pray for them.

42 posted on 05/06/2007 4:37:46 PM PDT by tiki
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To: Zionist Conspirator
So, does this mean that this Beckwith fellow is now an evolutionist who believes the Bible is full of errors?

No. How did you arrive at that conclusion?

43 posted on 05/06/2007 4:46:56 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: lastchance; Alex Murphy
I think this is the gentleman’s kind way of saying he no longer believes in Sola Scriptura.

Precisely. As he notes ...

There is a conversation in ETS that must take place, a conversation about the relationship between Evangelicalism and what is called the “Great Tradition,” a tradition from which all Christians can trace their spiritual and ecclesiastical paternity.

Emphasis mine.

44 posted on 05/06/2007 4:50:30 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: tiki

Wow. Thanks for that. Very nice to read.


45 posted on 05/06/2007 4:56:54 PM PDT by Mad Dawg ( St. Michael: By the power of God, fight with us!)
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To: ad_rem007
Every genuine Christian has historical and theological continuity with the Apostles and early Christians

While that may be true, they lack the fullness of the Truth. That guardianship was entrusted to St. Peter and his successors; essentially, to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, which has not erred in doctrine over the past 2000 years. No other organization or government has lasted that long, testimony to its Divine origin.

46 posted on 05/06/2007 4:57:00 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: tiki

Wow. Thanks for that. Very nice to read.


47 posted on 05/06/2007 4:57:16 PM PDT by Mad Dawg ( St. Michael: By the power of God, fight with us!)
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To: tiki

Thank you for posting this!


48 posted on 05/06/2007 5:02:09 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: GoLightly
I'm sure that it's not that it's full of errors, but that parts are easily misunderstood by common folk. Common folk then become needful of smart folk who study it in depth to splain it all to them.

Which is the Catholic Church's excuse for promoting evolution and higher criticism.

For the record, I do not believe in "sola scriptura," but neither do I listen to "smart folks" who say the Bible is full of myths.

49 posted on 05/06/2007 5:13:31 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Koh 'amar HaShem: 'Arur hagever 'asher yivtach ba'adam vesam basar zero`o; umin-HaShem yasur libbo!)
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To: Pyro7480
"The inspired books teach the truth. 'Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.'" - Catechism of the Catholic Church

So? The vast majority of Catholics merely invoke the clause "that truth which G-d, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures" and then say obviously when the Bible says the world was created in six days it doesn't actually mean that the world was created in six days; or that when the Bible says that Adam lived 930 years it doesn't really mean that he actually lived for 930 years; or that the story of Noah's Ark was not "confided to Sacred Scripture" to give us any factual information about Noah or the Ark. Oh no, these are inspired allegories and fables and it is only the non-factual "theological truth" behind them that is infallible. Furthermore, G-d used pagan mythologies to teach this truth.

Do you deny that this is the attitude of most Catholics and practically all the clergy?

50 posted on 05/06/2007 5:19:59 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Koh 'amar HaShem: 'Arur hagever 'asher yivtach ba'adam vesam basar zero`o; umin-HaShem yasur libbo!)
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