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Dr. Robert C. Koons (former Lutheran) - Journey Home - Monday 3/31 - Conversion Story
Right Reason ^ | May 17, 2007 | Dr. Robert C. Koons

Posted on 03/31/2008 11:26:20 AM PDT by NYer

I was baptized through the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod, and I have been an active member of the church body ever since. As a Lutheran, I’ve never thought of myself as “Protestant”, nor have I ever embraced the kind of extreme sola-scripturism that has been much in evidence in responses to Frank’s announcement. I always recognized that the Scriptures are themselves the foundation of, and very much a part of, a divine Tradition. Although I believed that only the Scriptures were infallible, I nonetheless assigned great weight to the ‘rule of faith’ established by the continuous tradition of teaching by the Church, and as reflected in the writings of the Fathers and the decrees of Councils. Insofar as I accepted a form of ‘sola scriptura’, it took the form of insisting that all doctrines must have their source in the Scriptures as interpreted by the Church, or in the universal practices and teaching of the early church. This is the only sort of “sola scriptura” principle that can hold up to logical scrutiny, since the Scriptures themselves provide no definition of the canon and no clear statement of any sola-scriptura principle (both of these can be found only in the Fathers and Councils). Extreme sola-scripturism is, given these facts, self-refuting.

How, then, could I have remained Lutheran? I did so because I believed that the late medieval church (in the form of both the Scotists and the nominalists like Ockham and Biel) had distorted the doctrine of salvation or “justification”, embracing a kind of “Pelagian” error: that is, the notion that human beings can save themselves through the exercise of unaided human reason and will. I still believe this to be so (as do many, if not most, contemporary Roman Catholic theologians). I also believed that the Church erred in its brusque condemnation of Luther’s early protests (again, a view I still hold), and that the Council of Trent solidified a kind of apostasy from the true faith (this is where my current view departs from my former one). I believed that the teachings of the church popularly known as “Lutheran” or “Evangelical”, as codified in the sixteenth century Book of Concord, constituted the defining characteristic of the one Catholic Church in its fullness, in continuity on all essentials with the teachings of the Church from the first century until at least the twelfth. The logic of my position was a simple one: the modern Roman Church clearly embraced an erroneous doctrine of justification, which nullified its otherwise strong historical claim to continuity with the apostles (especially on the matter of ecclesiology, the theory of the Church), depriving modern Christians of any good reason to embrace late-medieval and modern developments in Roman Catholic doctrine (including the immaculate conception and papal infallibility).

Those of you who know more about theology and the history of theology than I did then can easily see how untenable a position I held (although I think this untenable position is one still held by many, if not most, thoughtful Lutherans and Reformed Christians). My confidence in this position was shaken by three blows: (1) new scholarship (primarily by Protestants) on Paul’s epistles, which raised profound doubts about the correctness of Martin Luther’s and Phillip Melanchthon’s excessively individualistic and existentialist reading of Paul’s teaching on justification by faith, (2) the fruits of Lutheran/Roman Catholic dialogue on justification, expressed most fully in the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1997, that greatly clarified for me the subtlety of the doctrinal differences between the two bodies, and (3) a more thorough exposure to the writings of the early Church fathers, especially those considered most “evangelical”: Chrysostom, Ambrose, and (above all) Augustine of Hippo. I began to realize that many Lutheran and Protestant polemicists have been guilty of two fallacies: a straw-man version of contemporary Roman Catholic teaching, and a cherry-picking of quotations from the Fathers, ignoring the undeniable contradiction between the teachings of those Fathers, taken as a whole, and the one-sided version of the faith-alone doctrine on justification embraced by the second generation of the Reformation (especially Martin Chemnitz). The Joint Declaration and the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church aided me in giving a closer and more charitable reading to the anathemas of the Council of Trent (which I still believe to be have been written in an unprofitably provocative way).

This is a very brief summary of the considerations that led to my theological transformation. I have available a set of private notes that began as a purely intellectual exercise: an attempt to exorcise my doubts about Lutheranism by putting them to paper and exposing them to critique (both on my part and on that of others). As it turned out, the more I wrote, the more reasons I found for changing my outlook. The notes can be downloaded HERE.

Bear in mind that I am no professional theologian, and I claim no special authority for my conclusions. I welcome feedback to these notes, but I would ask that my readers take a look first at John Henry Newman’s book, An Essay on the Development of Doctrine (1845). Newman’s book is essential background reading for my notes, because he provides the decisive rebuttal to the argument that the supremacy of the Pope and other contemporary, distinctively Roman Catholic doctrines constitute objectionable “innovations”. Newman convincingly argues that the recognition of genuine development in Christian doctrine is inescapable, as anyone who knows the history of the doctrines of the Trinity and the two natures of Christ must recognize.

One more thing about my notes: they were written with an audience of one (myself) in mind.  In writing them, I gave no thought to being diplomatic or irenic. My only point was to try to sort out which of the two traditions was more likely to be the fullest expression of the Gospel. They are deliberately one-sided: there is much that I could have said about the virtues of the Lutheran tradition and the need for the reformation of the 16th century Church not included here.

Please bear in mind also the distinction between the reality of justification and our theological theories about that reality. As a Roman Catholic, I will trust no less in Jesus as my Savior, nor more in my own works, than I have as a Lutheran. I’m certainly fallible and thus capable of trading in a better theory of justification for a worse one, but I urge my Protestant brethren to remember, before making any judgments about the state of my soul, that sinners are justified by trusting in Jesus and not by believing a theory of justification.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: koons; lutheran

1 posted on 03/31/2008 11:26:21 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Dr. Robert Koons, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, has followed Francis Beckwith into the Catholic Church.

Dr. Koons was also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, and had been considering this move for quite some time himself. Incidentally, he didn't talk to Beckwith about his own conversion plans, even though they were part of the same society.

A former Lutheran, Dr. Koons, as a gift to the world, has made public a substantial essay called A Lutheran's Case for Roman Catholicism. It's must reading...check it out!

Welcome home, Dr. Koons!

Keep 'em comin', Lord!

2 posted on 03/31/2008 11:27:36 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

I am a former Lutheran (Missouri Synod) myself. When I came into the Catholic Church I felt as if I had come home from a long trip. I would strongly urge all Lutherans to do some reading and study on the Catholic Church before they flatly refuse to understand it.


3 posted on 03/31/2008 11:31:06 AM PDT by ladtx ( "Never miss a good chance to shut up." - - Will Rogers)
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Dr. Robert Koons, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, has followed Francis Beckwith into the Catholic Church.

Dr. Koons was also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, and had been considering this move for quite some time himself. Incidentally, he didn't talk to Beckwith about his own conversion plans, even though they were part of the same society.

A former Lutheran, Dr. Koons, as a gift to the world, has made public a substantial essay called A Lutheran's Case for Roman Catholicism. It's must reading...check it out!

Welcome home, Dr. Koons!

Keep 'em comin', Lord!

4 posted on 03/31/2008 11:32:19 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: All


5 posted on 03/31/2008 11:33:57 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: ladtx
When I came into the Catholic Church I felt as if I had come home from a long trip.

Welcome Home!

6 posted on 03/31/2008 11:34:56 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

Thanks for the welcome. I converted to Catholicism over 25 years ago after being born, baptized and confirmed a Lutheran and am from an old German Lutheran family. I even have my grandfathers confirmation certificate in the original German. But, as time goes on and I read and study more, the more I’m convinced in the rightness of my decision.


7 posted on 03/31/2008 11:45:37 AM PDT by ladtx ( "Never miss a good chance to shut up." - - Will Rogers)
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“When I came into the Catholic Church I felt as if I had come home from a long trip.”

Yes!!! My mother left the Catholic church and had NOTHING good to say about it. I was basically raised in an atheist home. At age 18 I became “born again” (nondenominational Christian). I was never, ever comfortable in the evangelical churches I attended—but I knew I did not belong with nonbelievers.

In 1996 I married the best man in the whole wide world—a “cradle Catholic”. I was FINALLY was baptized, confirmed & received my first communion during Easter Vigil 2005. In August 2005 hubby and were remarried in the Catholic Church.

I am overjoyed to be Roman Catholic. When I go to mass, I know that from the day I was born, this is where God always wanted me to be.


8 posted on 03/31/2008 11:59:14 AM PDT by RooRoobird20 (Thankkfully Converted Catholic)
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To: NYer
Interesting that he would use “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,’ a doctrine rejected by Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
9 posted on 03/31/2008 12:06:51 PM PDT by In veno, veritas (Please identify my Ad Hominem attacks. I should be debating ideas.)
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To: RooRoobird20

RooRoo and Ladtx— Thanks for sharing your joy—it becomes our joy, the joy of the Church. I say that not out of a sense of we’re right-they’re wrong, but out of a deep and fulfilling sense of communion with you. Conversion is a constant process for all of us including ‘cradle’ Catholics. Anyway, thanks again.


10 posted on 03/31/2008 12:09:19 PM PDT by cthemfly25
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To: ladtx
When I came into the Catholic Church I felt as if I had come home from a long trip.

The feeling is the same when a lapsed Catholic returns. I was in the wilderness for over 30 years before returning to the Catholic Church. I'll never leave again!

11 posted on 03/31/2008 12:09:40 PM PDT by 50mm (President, Irish Anti-defamation League)
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To: NYer

Thanks for posting this inspirational narrative, NYer!


12 posted on 03/31/2008 12:10:39 PM PDT by 50mm (President, Irish Anti-defamation League)
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To: In veno, veritas
Interesting that he would use “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,’ a doctrine rejected by Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

He admits it is a flawed document and lacks clarity. It has probably caused more aguments than it has resolved.

13 posted on 03/31/2008 12:24:37 PM PDT by ladtx ( "Never miss a good chance to shut up." - - Will Rogers)
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To: In veno, veritas
Interesting that he would use “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,’ a doctrine rejected by Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

But...but...but...people keep telling me that the Lutherans (all of them) approved the Joint Declaration!

14 posted on 03/31/2008 12:26:08 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" -- Galatians 4:16)
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To: NYer

“established by the continuous tradition of teaching by the Church, and as reflected in the writings of the Fathers and the decrees of Councils”

Do you also feel these are infallible? They were written by men centuries after the Scriptures.


15 posted on 03/31/2008 12:27:21 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative

The term “papal infallibility” can apply only to the Pope.


16 posted on 03/31/2008 12:36:41 PM PDT by ladtx ( "Never miss a good chance to shut up." - - Will Rogers)
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To: Resolute Conservative
I always recognized that the Scriptures are themselves the foundation of, and very much a part of, a divine Tradition. Although I believed that only the Scriptures were infallible, I nonetheless assigned great weight to the ‘rule of faith’ established by the continuous tradition of teaching by the Church, and as reflected in the writings of the Fathers and the decrees of Councils. Insofar as I accepted a form of ‘sola scriptura’, it took the form of insisting that all doctrines must have their source in the Scriptures as interpreted by the Church, or in the universal practices and teaching of the early church. This is the only sort of “sola scriptura” principle that can hold up to logical scrutiny, since the Scriptures themselves provide no definition of the canon and no clear statement of any sola-scriptura principle (both of these can be found only in the Fathers and Councils). Extreme sola-scripturism is, given these facts, self-refuting.

Read the entire statement, in context.

Note that in this quote, the author is describing his beliefs as a Lutheran.

Further, please not especially the parts I have underlined for emphasis. They just so ... so ...Catholic.

17 posted on 03/31/2008 12:43:21 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer; Alex Murphy

“I believed that the late medieval church (in the form of both the Scotists and the nominalists like Ockham and Biel) had distorted the doctrine of salvation or “justification”, embracing a kind of “Pelagian” error: that is, the notion that human beings can save themselves through the exercise of unaided human reason and will. I still believe this to be so (as do many, if not most, contemporary Roman Catholic theologians). I also believed that the Church erred in its brusque condemnation of Luther’s early protests (again, a view I still hold”

Funny, I never heard that admission here.


18 posted on 03/31/2008 12:51:09 PM PDT by Augustinian monk (Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin - Romans 4:8)
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To: annalex

Ping!


19 posted on 03/31/2008 3:45:38 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: 353FMG; AlaskaErik; Always Right; Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; ...
50 Days of Easter 2008 Celebration ping, dedicated to converts to the Catholic faith. If you want to be on the list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

Happy Easter. Christ is risen!

Alex.


Previously posted conversion stories:

Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation

20 posted on 03/31/2008 4:59:29 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer

Thanks, NYer for this thread.

Great story!


21 posted on 03/31/2008 5:08:14 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: RooRoobird20

Welcome home, RooRoo!!


22 posted on 03/31/2008 5:10:00 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
Some more links for information for those who may not have read them.

Dr. Robert C. Koons (former Lutheran) - Journey Home - Monday 3/31 - Conversion Story
The Story of a Convert from Islam – Baptized by the Pope at St. Peter's [Magdi Cristiano Allam]
How Do We Know It’s the True Church? - Twelve Things to Look For [Fr. Dwight Longenecker]
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation [Robert Sungenis]

New faith pulls Hot Springs family together (Baptists join Catholic Church at Easter Vigil) [Danny Morrison and family
SciFi Writer, John C. Wright, Enters Catholic Church at Easter Vigil (conversion story)[John C. Wright]
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura [Dwight Longenecker’family]
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM [Fr. Brian Harrison]
Pope baptizes prominent Italian Muslim [Magdi Allam]

My Journey of Faith [Marco Fallon]
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church [Robert Koons]
Thousands in U.S. to Join (Catholic) Church - Many Feel They Have Found a Home
TURN ABOUT (Carl Olson, former Evangelical and Monday's guest on EWTN's Journey Home)
Former Southern Baptist Pastor Now a Traveling Crusader for the Catholic Church [Michael Cumbie]

All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)[John David Young]
Allen Hunt, Methodist Minister ...Journeys Home (Catholic, Re: Real Presence)
The Challenges and Graces of Conversion [Chris Findley]
An Open Letter...from Bishop John Lipscomb [Another TEC Bishop Goes Papist]
Unlocking the Convert's Heart [Marcus Grodi]

His Open Arms Welcomed Me [ Paul Thigpen}
Why I'm Catholic (Sola Scriptura leads atheist to Catholic Church)
From Calvinist to Catholic (another powerful conversion story) Rodney Beason
Good-bye To All That (Another Episcopalian gets ready to swim the Tiber)
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church

Bishop Steenson’s Statement to the House [of Bishops: Episcopal (TEC) to Catholic]
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson Will Become a Roman Catholic
Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
Pavarotti returns to the Catholic faith before dying

Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister finds himself surprised by Truth!)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope(Al Kresta)
The Hail Mary of a Protestant (A true story)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar(Al Kresta)

Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts (Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Rusty Tisdale (former Pentecostal)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness(Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Matt Enloe (former Baptist) [prepare to be amazed!]
THE ORTHODOX REVIVAL IN RUSSIA

Conversion Story - David Finkelstein (former Jew)
Conversion Story - John Weidner (former Evangelical)
12 Reasons I Joined the Catholic Church
Conversion Story - Tom Hunt
The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism: The Converts

John Calvin Made Me Catholic
Journey Home - May 21 - Neil Babcox (former Presbyterian) - A minister encounters Mary
Going Catholic - Six journeys to Rome
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
A Convert's Pilgrimage [Christopher Cuddy]

From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church) [Drake McCalister]
Lutheran professor of philosophy prepares to enter Catholic Church
Patty Bonds (former Baptist and sister of Dr. James White) to appear on The Journey Home - May 7
Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
Why Converts Choose Catholicism

From Calvinist to Catholic
The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
laetare (commentary on ordination of married Anglican convert to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) Father Bill Lowe
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)

Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge
Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
He Was an Evangelical Christian Until He Read Aquinas [Rob Evans]

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
FORMER PENTECOSTAL RELATES MIRACLE THAT OCCURRED WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
Interview with Roy Schoeman - A Jewish Convert

23 posted on 03/31/2008 5:17:55 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: annalex
I'd like to share the following with you ...
"Catholicism has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes. While nearly one-in-three Americans (31%) were raised in the Catholic faith, today fewer than one-in-four (24%) describe themselves as Catholic.

These losses would have been even more pronounced were it not for the offsetting impact of immigration."


http://pewresearch.org/pubs/743/united-states-religion

24 posted on 03/31/2008 8:18:07 PM PDT by Quester
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To: Quester

Reagrdless, once baptized Catholic, a person is always Catholic.

That is, unless she or he wants to go through tons of paperwork and sit in front of a religious panel.


25 posted on 03/31/2008 10:37:32 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
That is, unless she or he wants to go through tons of paperwork and sit in front of a religious panel.

Where are you getting this from? Canon law says that one leaves the Church by an act of formal defection, which would include professing another religion, or making a public statement that one is no longer a Catholic.

Getting one's name dropped from the parish or diocesan roles can be accomplished by writing a letter.

26 posted on 04/01/2008 4:08:58 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Quester
I'd like to share the following with you ...

"The way to perdition is broad, and many there are who find it. The way to life is narrow, and few are there who find it. Seek ye the narrow way."

27 posted on 04/01/2008 4:09:59 AM PDT by Campion
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To: NYer

I am very much in favor of everyone’s salvation, but if we have to make a “trade” straight up, and we give up Richard Wozniak (mentioned on another FR thread) and get Dr. Koons, then I think brain for brain we get the better end of this deal. Which won’t stop me from praying for Mr. Wozniak and his family.


28 posted on 04/01/2008 4:11:17 AM PDT by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: Salvation; Quester; Alex Murphy
Reagrdless, once baptized Catholic, a person is always Catholic. That is, unless she or he wants to go through tons of paperwork and sit in front of a religious panel.

So then anyone on Free Republic who was baptized Catholic is permitted to participate in your Caucus threads????

29 posted on 04/01/2008 11:17:33 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: Quester

This doesn’t worry me. The Catholic Church is 2000 years old and is a very demanding faith. It is a miracle that it thrives as it does while buffeted by modernity. When someone converts to the Catholic Church it is invariably for profound spiritual reasons like in the conversions stories I post. When people leave they just follow the path of least resistance.


30 posted on 04/01/2008 11:57:27 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Salvation

Catholic baptism (there is no other kind) is an indelible mark on the soul, but Catholic practice has to be maintained in order to keep full communion with the Church.


31 posted on 04/01/2008 11:59:54 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
When someone converts to the Catholic Church it is invariably for profound spiritual reasons like in the conversions stories I post. When people leave they just follow the path of least resistance.

Well ... of course such would be your stated opinion.

But ... I believe that even you know better than this.

32 posted on 04/01/2008 1:29:18 PM PDT by Quester
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To: Quester

Just read a random conversion story TO Catholicism and then a random conversion story AWAY FROM Catholicism, and compare the intellectual levels.


33 posted on 04/01/2008 1:36:07 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Just read a random conversion story TO Catholicism and then a random conversion story AWAY FROM Catholicism, and compare the intellectual levels.

I've read some of both recently and do not see the distinction you claim.

I don't know that I would make so much of any man's intellectualism, as you say ... for God says ...
1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:


29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

34 posted on 04/01/2008 1:49:53 PM PDT by Quester
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To: Quester

A typical Catholic convert is educated in the Protestnat faith he is leaving behind, starts greatly prejuduced against Catholicism, and ends up criticising the fundamental Protestant doctrines effectively.

A typical Protestant convert admits of scant knowledge of Catholicism and uncritically repeats Protestant slogans and Protestnat caricature of the Catholic Church.

A good deal of the latter kind, by the way, sample Protestantism and come back.

Prove me wrong.


35 posted on 04/01/2008 2:01:50 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Quester

I think the facts you cite are accurate. However, one has to ask where are those Catholics going. I would conjecture that a substantial portion of them, have left the Catholic Church do to its steadfast teachings on Life Issues (abortion, euthansia) and issues relating to Sexual morality, and male only priesthood. Those that left for reasons above were probably educated in Catholic Schools, which have done a great job of moving many of the ole Catholic ethnics into the upper middle classes (Itlalians, Irish, Polish, Barvarian-Germans, etc) and I would dare say have abandoned faith all together. An additional group of those that left for the reasons that I cited above, have drifted into liberal-Protestant groups, which make few dogmatic moral statements on those moral questions. Please note I am distinguishing Liberal-Protestant Groups, such as ECLA-Lutherans, Episcopalians, and PCUSA Presbyterians, etc vs. more Traditional Confessional Protestants.

Now, another group of Catholics who have left the faith, are ones who are “poorly catechized” and wind up in Protestant Churches that appeal to emotion or health and welfare (Pentecostals, Prosperity-Gospel Protestants), and in some cases more Traditional orthodox Protestant Bodies. Even in the cases that wind up in more Traditional orthodox Protestant Confessions, a large portion of ex-Catholics tend to have been involved in marriage and divorce issues, and thus go to Protestant Confessions where that, in most cases, is not an issue.

However, I would hypothesize that the Protestants who have come into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, tend to be some of the best minds in Protestantism, whereas, that it is not the case of Catholics going to Protestant circles. I am not trying to make this an elitist argument, but I think the evidence supports what I am saying. starting back in 1985 with Protestants such as Thomas Howard, there has been a steady group of leading Protestant academics and theologians, such as Fr. Neuhaus, Scott Hahn, Peter Kreeft, Francis Beckwith (a revert), Fr. Dwight Longeneker, Fr. Rutler, Robert Koons, David Currie, Marcus Grodi, Prof. Kenneth Howell, J. Budziszewski, Fr. Burns Keely, Fr. Steve Anderson, etc. that have “crossed the Tiber”

While Protestantism continues to divide into more and more groups (Emergent Church vs. Non-emergent, health and welfare gospel vs non health and welfare, debates among particular confessions (Anglicans, Lutherans, Baptism, Reformed, Presbyterian), IMO, the Catholic Church still is in position to combat the twin pillars of secular relativism and Islamic rardicalism, with it deep theological tradition.

Anyway, just my thoughts,


36 posted on 04/01/2008 3:31:03 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: annalex
A typical Catholic convert is educated in the Protestnat faith he is leaving behind, starts greatly prejuduced against Catholicism, and ends up criticising the fundamental Protestant doctrines effectively.

A typical Protestant convert admits of scant knowledge of Catholicism and uncritically repeats Protestant slogans and Protestnat caricature of the Catholic Church.

A good deal of the latter kind, by the way, sample Protestantism and come back.


Quite obviously, most of them don't come back (a ccording to the most recent stats)

Prove me wrong.

On the contrary ... prove yourself correct.

After all ... it's your assertion.

37 posted on 04/01/2008 8:14:00 PM PDT by Quester
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To: Quester

I posted several threads referenced here where an educated man, formerly Protestant, gives his reasons for conversion. Present something on your side and let us see who comes form knowledge and who is bluffing.


38 posted on 04/01/2008 8:27:47 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
I posted several threads referenced here where an educated man, formerly Protestant, gives his reasons for conversion. Present something on your side and let us see who comes form knowledge and who is bluffing.

Pssst ... your elitism is showing ... (as it has been for awhile).

If I were to come up with a list of (12) fishermen ... like those that Jesus chose, ... they would be no less distinguished (in God's eyes) than those on your list, and from the perspective of the heart, ... perhaps more.

39 posted on 04/02/2008 4:09:50 AM PDT by Quester
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To: annalex; Quester
When someone converts to the Catholic Church it is invariably for profound spiritual reasons like in the conversions stories I post. When people leave they just follow the path of least resistance.

The number of certain types of conversion stories is not indicative of what types of people are converting, but instead is an indicator of what types of conversion stories a denomination prefers.

There is a conversion story market and the product produced varies according to what the audience wants to hear. While the type of conversion stories you have posted play well to Catholics, they are often frowned upon by Evangelicals. Evangelicals prefer conversion stories that deal with the lost coming to Christ and not someone reasoning which church is the better.

You might want to look into the backgrounds of the people that these stories are about (Catholic and Protestant). You will find that most of them are either authors or freelance writers, they often work for the church or a ministry and they are usually available for speaking engagements. In other words - they are in the business.

40 posted on 04/02/2008 6:00:42 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Quester
a list of (12) fishermen ... they would be no less distinguished (in God's eyes) than those on your list

This is not the issue. Of the 12 Holy Apostles, five left scripture, not counting the apostle by adoption St. Paul, who left enough for the remaining 7. Naturally, just like the Holy Apostles, all converts to the Catholic Church, regardless of education and eloquence, are highly distinguished in God's eyes for coming to Christ. But, just like the Holy Apostles, we are blessed by so many converts who are not only put themselves on the path to holiness, but also can articulate for the benefit of others why everyone should do so.

Be "ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you".

Present something on your side and let us see who comes from knowledge and who is bluffing

41 posted on 04/02/2008 9:06:46 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Between the Lines; Quester
Evangelicals prefer conversion stories that deal with the lost coming to Christ and not someone reasoning which church is the better.

This is not a distinguishing characteristic. Whoever converts to whatever Christian community of faith would consider himself a lost sheep coming to Christ. I would still be interested in a comparison between the two directions of conversions, based on whatever objective criterion you offer. What I saw among conversions away from the Chruch is simply inarticulate and describes the Catholic Church inaccurately.

most of them are either authors or freelance writers, they often work for the church or a ministry and they are usually available for speaking engagements. In other words - they are in the business.

All the more reason to demand a certain level of sophistication from the conversion story author.

42 posted on 04/02/2008 9:13:06 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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