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Magazine: Growing Trend--Evangelicals ‘Crossing the Tiber’ to Catholicism
TheSacredPage.com ^ | August 6, 2010 | Michael Barber

Posted on 08/07/2010 3:38:50 PM PDT by Salvation

Friday, August 06, 2010

Magazine: Growing Trend--Evangelicals ‘Crossing the Tiber’ to Catholicism

The magazine Religion Dispatches has a new piece up by Jonathan Fitzgerald, entitled, "Evangelicals ‘Crossing the Tiber’ to Catholicism: Under the radar of most observers a trend is emerging of evangelicals converting to Catholicism."


As he points out, there are an increasing number Evangelicals coming into the Catholic Church. In fact, while my wife and I were at Fuller we witnessed this phenomenon firsthand. Indeed, students would come up and ask us if they could follow us to daily Mass (which was celebrated at a Catholic Church down the street). I went to Mass with many fellow students who had never experienced a Eucharistic liturgy. . . and, for many of them, once they started attending they couldn't stop.

Here's the story as Fitzgerald reports it:
In the fall of 1999, I was a freshman at Gordon College, an evangelical liberal arts school in Massachusetts. There, fifteen years earlier, a professor named Thomas Howard resigned from the English department when he felt his beliefs were no longer in line with the college’s statement of faith. Despite all those intervening years, during my time at Gordon the specter of Thomas Howard loomed large on campus. The story of his resignation captured my imagination; it came about, ultimately, because he converted to Roman Catholicism.

Though his reasons for converting were unclear and perhaps unimaginable to me at the time (they are actually well-documented in his book Evangelical is Not Enough which, back then, I had not yet read), his reasons seemed less important than the knowledge that it could happen. I had never heard of such a thing. . .

. . . [M]y parents never spoke ill of the Catholic Church; though the pastors and congregants of our non-denominational, charismatic church-that-met-in-a-warehouse, often did. Despite my firsthand experience with the Church, between the legend of my parents’ conversion (anything that happens in a child’s life before he is born is the stuff of legends) and the portrait of the Catholic Church as an oppressive institution that took all the fun out of being “saved,” I understood Catholicism as a religion that a person leaves when she becomes serious about her faith.

And yet, Thomas Howard is only the tip of the iceberg of a hastening trend of evangelicals converting to Catholicism. North Park University professor of religious studies Scot McKnight documented some of the reasons behind this trend in his important 2002 essay entitled “From Wheaton to Rome: Why Evangelicals become Roman Catholic.” The essay was originally published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and was later included in a collection of conversion stories he co-edited with Hauna Ondrey entitled Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy.

Thomas Howard comes in at number five on McKnight’s list of significant conversions, behind former Presbyterian pastor and author of Rome Sweet Home, Scott Hahn, and Marcus Grodi founder of The Coming Home Network International, an organization that provides “fellowship, encouragement and support for Protestant pastors and laymen who are somewhere along the journey or have already been received into the Catholic Church,” according to their Web site. Other featured converts include singer-songwriter John Michael Talbot and Patrick Madrid, editor of the Surprised by Truth books, which showcase conversion stories.

Would Saint Augustine Go to a Southern Baptist Church in Houston?

McKnight first identified these converts eight years ago, and the trend has continued to grow in the intervening years. It shows up in a variety of places, in the musings of the late Michael Spencer (the “Internet Monk”) about his wife’s conversion and his decision not to follow, as well as at the Evangelical Theological Society where the former President and Baylor University professor Francis J. Beckwith made a well-documented “return to Rome.” Additionally, the conversion trend is once again picking up steam as the Millennial generation, the first to be born and raised in the contemporary brand of evangelicalism, comes of age. Though perhaps an unlikely setting, The King’s College, an evangelical Christian college in New York City, provides an excellent case study for the way this phenomenon is manifesting itself among young evangelicals.

The King’s College campus is comprised of two floors in the Empire State Building and some office space in a neighboring building on Fifth Avenue. The approximately 300 students who attend King’s are thoughtful, considerate and serious. They are also intellectually curious. This combination of traits, it turns out, makes the college a ripe breeding ground for interest in Roman Catholicism. Among the traits of the Catholic Church that attract TKC students—and indeed many young evangelicals at large—are its history, emphasis on liturgy, and tradition of intellectualism.

Lucas Croslow was one such student to whom these and other attributes of Catholicism appealed. This past spring, graduating from The King’s College was not the only major change in Croslow’s life, he was also confirmed into the Catholic Church.

Croslow’s interest in Catholicism began over six years ago when he was a sophomore in high school. At the time, Croslow’s Midwestern evangelical church experienced a crisis that is all too common among evangelical churches: what he describes as “a crisis of spiritual authority.” As a result of experiencing disappointment in his pastor, Croslow began to question everything he had learned from him. This questioning led him to study the historical origins of scripture and then of the Christian church itself. Eventually he concluded that Catholicism in its current form is the closest iteration of the early church fathers’ intentions. He asks, “If Saint Augustine showed up today, could we seriously think that he’d attend a Southern Baptist church in Houston?” The answer, to Croslow, is a resounding “No.”
 
. . .

You can read the rest here.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; converts; evangelical; freformed
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This has come up several times already, and seems to be discounteed by many. But I am wondering since we are getting different sources on this.
1 posted on 08/07/2010 3:38:53 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Additional information and threads

Catholic Ping!

2 posted on 08/07/2010 3:43:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

It is fine as long as the new Catholics continue to vote like Evangelicals, we do not want them to start voting like Catholics.


3 posted on 08/07/2010 3:45:28 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: Salvation

Hard to believe that some who already have a ticket to Heaven want to get off the train and work their way there. That is what happens when you don’t know Bible Doctrine.


4 posted on 08/07/2010 3:47:06 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: Salvation; Irisshlass; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

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

Add me / Remove me

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

5 posted on 08/07/2010 3:48:04 PM PDT by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
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To: ansel12

There are a number of conservative Catholics here.


6 posted on 08/07/2010 3:48:33 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: Salvation

There is the Catholic Church and then some 35,000 other “Christian” religious sects each purporting to authoritatively carry on the “Great Commission” given by The Christ:

“All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Mt. 28:18-20)

We have seen today the utter collapse of the Anglican and Lutheran Churches that were fruits of heresy and apostasy and their lesser samplings in the form of an unknown number of Evangelical mushrooms.


7 posted on 08/07/2010 3:49:04 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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welcome back to HIS church


8 posted on 08/07/2010 3:50:48 PM PDT by raygunfan
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To: ansel12

I want them to vote like Catholics. I do not want them to vote like Liberals.


9 posted on 08/07/2010 3:51:38 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: fish hawk
Doctrine?

Pontiff Calls for Complete Fidelity to Magisterium (and Doctrine)<
Catholic Biblical Apologetics:Being Catholic & Christian:Faith and Salvation-Authoriative Doctrine
Doctrine of the Church -Social Credit: applied Christianity
The Three D's -- Dogma, Doctrine and Discipline [Ecumenical]
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)

If the Embryo is Human, It is a Person: Vatican Doctrine Official

Or did you mean Dogma?

Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]

The Decline of Dogma and the Decline of Church Membership
The Three D's -- Dogma, Doctrine and Discipline [Ecumenical]
Radio Replies First Volume - Dogma and reason
Radio Replies First Volume - Development of dogma
Docility (on Catholic dogma and infallibility)

10 posted on 08/07/2010 3:52:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Ping!


11 posted on 08/07/2010 3:53:19 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: ansel12

“It is fine as long as the new Catholics continue to vote like Evangelicals, we do not want them to start voting like Catholics.”

LOL! So true. Especially when it comes to the issue of illegal immigrants.


12 posted on 08/07/2010 3:53:26 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: trisham

That is irrelevant to my post, don’t you think that they know about how most Catholics vote? We can’t afford to be moving people from conservative voters to liberal voters, I hope that isn’t happening here.


13 posted on 08/07/2010 3:53:37 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: vladimir998

Vladimir,
I voted for Reagan. I voted for every conservative candidate that has come across my path. I have NEVER voted liberal. I never will. And I am a lifelong Catholic.


14 posted on 08/07/2010 3:55:28 PM PDT by sayuncledave (A cruce salus)
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To: vladimir998

I notice that you said “Catholics” not CINOs who might vote the way Pelosi et al do.


15 posted on 08/07/2010 3:57:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: sayuncledave

You wrote:

“Vladimir,
I voted for Reagan. I voted for every conservative candidate that has come across my path. I have NEVER voted liberal. I never will. And I am a lifelong Catholic.”

Me too. I vote like a Catholic, not a Liberal.


16 posted on 08/07/2010 3:59:20 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998
I want them to vote like Catholics. I do not want them to vote like Liberals.

I don't think that you know the voting data, the majority of Catholics are liberals, Obama just got 54% of their vote. I hope that those converts vote like Evangelists.

17 posted on 08/07/2010 3:59:37 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: Salvation

You wrote:

“I notice that you said “Catholics” not CINOs who might vote the way Pelosi et al do.”

Catholics need to take their faith into the voting booth. Liberalism is evil - plain and simple.


18 posted on 08/07/2010 4:01:29 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Salvation

I meant Bible Doctrine not Catholic Doctrine. There is a giant difference. The Bible is what God says to us and the other is what Rome says to their followers.


19 posted on 08/07/2010 4:01:55 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: ansel12

You wrote:

“I don’t think that you know the voting data,”

I know it better than you do - as I proved last week.

“the majority of Catholics are liberals,”

Nope. Catholics are Catholics. Liberals are Liberals. CINOs aren’t really practicing beliving Catholics. They’re just Liberals who play act as at belonging to a religion.

“Obama just got 54% of their vote.”

CINOs, not Catholics.

“I hope that those converts vote like Evangelists.”

I hope they vote like Catholics. The Catholic vote, for instance, is 100% pro-life. The CINO vote is not.


20 posted on 08/07/2010 4:04:52 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: fish hawk

” There is a giant difference. “

Nope. But there are HUGE difference between the various heretical breakoffs as to what “Bible Doctrine” means.


21 posted on 08/07/2010 4:04:59 PM PDT by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
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To: fish hawk

You wrote:

“That is what happens when you don’t know Bible Doctrine.”

We probably know the Bible better than you do if previous experience is anything to go by.


22 posted on 08/07/2010 4:06:03 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: ought-six
“It is fine as long as the new Catholics continue to vote like Evangelicals, we do not want them to start voting like Catholics.”
"LOL! So true. Especially when it comes to the issue of illegal immigrants.

And abortion.

23 posted on 08/07/2010 4:06:34 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: Salvation; the_conscience; smvoice; Quix; Gamecock; jboot; Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; BibChr
The issue is not how many that swim the tiber.. the answer is simple.. they are not saved..and unsaved people always look to make their god as they like him ...so they go to Catholicism or Buddhism or hinduism or Islam or the mormons or wherever the god that meets their idea of what or who god is fits..

As I said before Sal.. we are not concerned with numbers.. the tares are free to bundle where they choose.. "many are called but few are chosen "

Should the Holy Spirit lead the to repent and believe they will leave the wherever and find a church that has a high view of God and a high view of scripture,in other words a protestant church.

To those that go where ever I wish them a happy and prosperous life.. because this is the greatest joy they will ever have

24 posted on 08/07/2010 4:07:15 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Salvation
I wonder if a number of these conversions are because some who walk with Christ feel that alot of Protestant denominations are leaning more secular and liberal with each passing year (due, possibly - or probably, to the influence of those who infiltrate mainline churches in the hope of undermining them), and want to belong to a "stronger" church that won't bend with the prevailing political winds.

I believe firmly that liberals, socialists, fascists, and communists are bent on turning Christian denominations into their version of what a church should be; that is, subservient to the all-powerful federal government, and marginalize those who hold fast to the Christian beliefs that have held sway for 2000 years. Jesus said we would be persecuted. Looks like it is starting to come to pass.

25 posted on 08/07/2010 4:08:53 PM PDT by jeffc (One Big A$$ Mistake America)
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To: RnMomof7

You wrote:

” they are not saved..and unsaved people always look to make their god as they like him ...”

So you can read their hearts, huh?

The arrogance and meanspiritedness of anti-Catholicism is once again revealed for all to see.


26 posted on 08/07/2010 4:10:42 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Salvation

For however much this is true, many more have left Catholicism to go Evangelical over the past decades. And because now a measurable number are going to God via Rome doesn’t mean there is no outflow to the E-churches.


27 posted on 08/07/2010 4:11:58 PM PDT by joelt
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To: vladimir998

According to you there only seems to be a very small number of Catholics in the United States, the Vatican must be wildly inflating their numbers.

I wonder if the Vatican agrees that you have the power to dismiss 54% of Catholics in America from the church because they voted for Obama?


28 posted on 08/07/2010 4:12:04 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: joelt
For however much this is true, many more have left Catholicism to go Evangelical over the past decades.

If that is true, or to what ever portion of it is true, I hope that they vote pro-life and conservative like Evangelicals do.

29 posted on 08/07/2010 4:14:27 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: Salvation; markomalley
They may well have stumbled upon Mother Angelica and learned the importance of reading the Gospels as opposed to limiting their reading to St. Paul.
30 posted on 08/07/2010 4:16:37 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: sayuncledave

Well, I have been Southern Baptist and have never voted for a democrat and I never will.


31 posted on 08/07/2010 4:19:43 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: fish hawk

Amen.


32 posted on 08/07/2010 4:21:05 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: Salvation
I do not understand how anyone who truly understands the Reformation, and is a faithful student of the Bible, can convert (Cross the Tiber) to Roman Catholicism. I have been a minister for over 30 years, and have never been further aaway from that idea than I am now. It is mystifying!

How do you go from a system of salvation by Grace, to a system of salvation by works?

33 posted on 08/07/2010 4:23:45 PM PDT by LiteKeeper ("It's the peoples' seat!")
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To: ansel12

You wrote:

“According to you there only seems to be a very small number of Catholics in the United States, the Vatican must be wildly inflating their numbers.”

False. The Vatican accurately reports the number of baptized Catholics. The number of loyal, practicing, believing Catholics is far smaller, however. This has been the case for at least 40 years since many Catholics in America chose protestantized ideals over the true Christian faith.

“I wonder if the Vatican agrees that you have the power to dismiss 54% of Catholics in America from the church because they voted for Obama?”

Neither I nor the Vatican dismiss them from the Church. We simply dismiss their pretensions about being well informed, well catechized, or loyal.


34 posted on 08/07/2010 4:25:38 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: jeffc

That will never happen in the SBC I go to. It is the Catholics who will not kick someone out if they break God’s laws. Some do not even have the guts to kick someone out who votes for abortions. etc.


35 posted on 08/07/2010 4:26:11 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: ansel12

Why would it?


36 posted on 08/07/2010 4:28:41 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: RnMomof7
To those that go where ever I wish them a happy and prosperous life.. because this is the greatest joy they will ever have

"Vanity. All is vanity"

And the greatest vanity of all is to claim to have knowledge of which followers of Christ God will choose and which He won't. Vanity is the sin that will undo you.
37 posted on 08/07/2010 4:29:03 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: fish hawk
The Bible is what God says to us which should be obvious since there is no doctrinal differences between any of the Bible-believing protestant denominations.

Or am I incorrect about that? :-)

38 posted on 08/07/2010 4:32:46 PM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: LiteKeeper
How do you go from a system of salvation by Grace, to a system of salvation by works?

You can't. But how is Catholicism a system of salvation by works?

39 posted on 08/07/2010 4:36:09 PM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: vladimir998
” they are not saved..and unsaved people always look to make their god as they like him ...”

So you can read their hearts, huh?

The arrogance and meanspiritedness of anti-Catholicism is once again revealed for all to see.


I have no dog in this fight, but is this really "arrogance and mean-spiritedness"? Christians as a whole view all non-Christians in this way (as do Muslims of non-Muslims). Belief that one's religion is the only real "ticket to heaven", as another poster put it, leads naturally to believing that one's particular religious denomination is the only true way. Do Catholics believe evangelical Christians have the same ticket to heaven?
40 posted on 08/07/2010 4:42:53 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: LiteKeeper

You wrote:

“It is mystifying!”

The truth often is to some.


41 posted on 08/07/2010 4:43:49 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: ansel12

Oh, I very much agree with the Church’s condemnation of abortion.


42 posted on 08/07/2010 4:44:16 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Salvation

Pope Benedict’s grand project of reunifying and revitalizing Christianity seems increasingly plausible. This elderly, conservative German theological may prove to be as consequential a Pope as John Paul II.


43 posted on 08/07/2010 4:45:13 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: vladimir998

The biggest mistake of the Human mind is not what you think is right but what you know for certain is wrong. Who is “we” ? are you Legion?


44 posted on 08/07/2010 4:46:12 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

You wrote:

“Do Catholics believe evangelical Christians have the same ticket to heaven?”

Catholics believe non-Catholics can be saved. What is arrogance and meanspiritiedness is to assume people are unsaved just because they went from a newfangled sect created less than 500 years ago to the Church Christ extablished almost 2,000 years ago.


45 posted on 08/07/2010 4:47:30 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: fish hawk

You wrote:

“The biggest mistake of the Human mind is not what you think is right but what you know for certain is wrong. Who is “we” ? are you Legion?”

No, I am Catholic. Ane we probably know the Bible better than you do.


46 posted on 08/07/2010 4:49:01 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998

Well 54% of those Catholic voters voted for Obama, it has always been the norm for Catholics to vote liberal, the exceptions have been rare.


47 posted on 08/07/2010 4:50:22 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: ought-six

If we can get Catholics to vote like Protestants then we could stop abortion.


48 posted on 08/07/2010 4:52:01 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: vladimir998; Dutchboy88

Probably not. But if you do, why don’t you follow what it told you? Not only what to do but the things you are doing that it told you not to do.


49 posted on 08/07/2010 4:53:05 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: trisham
Why would it?

Since Catholics vote proabortion and are more proabortion than even the giant pool of simply "Protestant", then we have to hope that the Evangelicals that are supposedly becoming Catholic do not vote as Catholics but as the ultra pro-life, ultra conservative Evangelical group that they are supposedly leaving.

50 posted on 08/07/2010 4:58:34 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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