Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Evangelicals and Catholics in Dialogue

If you have never heard of Francis Beckwith, you should. He is a professor at Baylor, just over an hour north of us, and a Catholic turned Evangelical Protestant turned Catholic. Here is a great story from Christianity Today about a dialogue that took place recently between Beckwith and Timothy George, a prominent Evangelical leader and theologian.
Former Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) president Francis Beckwith's reversion to Rome in 2007 reignited perennial questions of how evangelicals should relate to Catholics. Namely, can a Roman Catholic credibly claim the evangelical label? Beckwith thinks so, and he has an ally in Beeson Divinity School dean Timothy George. Nevertheless, during their charitable dialogue George and Beckwith reiterated key differences on authority and how Christians are counted righteous before God. The Penner Foundation and Center for Applied Christian Ethics hosted the discussion at Wheaton College on September 3.

Familiar with speaking before evangelical audiences, Beckwith testified to an upbringing in a Catholic parish where he did not learn much about who Jesus claimed to be or what he came to do. His desire to follow Jesus led him to a Protestant church. After years of nurture and study among evangelicals, the philosopher ascended to the ETS presidency in 2006. Even after returning to his Roman Catholic roots, Beckwith contends he could sign the ETS doctrinal basis, which reads: "The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory." He noted that someone could maintain ETS membership in good standing while holding any number of heresies, such as denying original sin. But as he learned during the controversy surrounding his reversion, Catholics are excluded.
Read the entire story. But, what might even be better is to watch the dialogue.
Tip o' the hat to Carl.

5 comments:

Francis J. Beckwith said...

Thanks Aggie!

Take care,
Frank Beckwith
Baylor Bear!

Francis J. Beckwith said...

One more thing: I will be on the Journey Home next Monday night on EWTN. (Shameless plug!)

Marcel said...

Francis - we need to have you come down to Aggieland sometime. I think you might just be blown away at the number of Evangelical Catholics you will find here.

Francis J. Beckwith said...

I'm game. A visit to College Station is always fun!

Marcel said...

Francis - can you give me a call at the office of St. Mary's sometime? The number is 979-846-5717. I would love to talk about it in detail.