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That’s not a risk I was willing to take…It occurred to me that the burden was on me, and not on the Catholic Church, to show why I should remain in the schism with the Church in which my parents baptized me, even as I could think of no incorrigible reason to remain in the schism.1 And secondly, and more importantly, he believes the Protestant Evangelical faith is deficient biblically with respect to its overall teaching on the gospel, justification and salvation.It is the subject of justification and salvation that Beckwith devotes most of his attention to in his book.
They held to a view that, I believe, does the best job of accounting for And so, being convinced that the distinctive Roman Catholic dogmas can be historically validated and that Rome’s salvation teachings are fully consistent with Scripture, Beckwith has issued a challenge to Evangelicals to give serious consideration to the claims of Rome and reconsider their commitment to their Protestant faith and the legitimacy of the Reformation and to follow him into the embrace of Roman Catholicism: Thus, there is a heavy burden on the part of Reformed writers to show that the ascendancy in the sixteenth century of a Reformation thinking that had no ecclesiastical predecessors may be attributed to a return to the true understanding of Christianity.3 When I finished reading the book, I have to confess that I agreed with the authors, in that it does indeed seem that the Reformation is over for large tracts of evangelicalism; yet the authors themselves do not draw the obvious conclusion from their own arguments.
year I tell my Reformation history class that Roman Catholicism is, at least in the West, the default position.
Rome has a better claim to historical continuity and institutional unity than any Protestant denomination, let alone the strange hybrid that is evangelicalism; in the light of these facts, therefore, we need good, solid reasons for not being Catholic It would seem, however, that if Noll and Nystrom are correct, many who call themselves evangelical really lack any good reason for such an act of will; and the obvious conclusion, therefore, should be that they do the decent thing and rejoin the Roman Catholic Church Professor Trueman’s reasoning would serve as a catalyst for reorienting my sense of whether the Catholic Church or I had the burden in justifying the schism in which I had remained for over thirty years…I could think of no incorrigible reason to remain in the schism.5 Now, I take such a challenge seriously.
, because like him, I was baptized and raised Roman Catholic, attending parochial schools through my primary grades and a preparatory school run by a Benedictine monastery throughout my high school years. Beckwith, in my teens I turned away from the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity altogether but was converted in my early twenties and began attending a Protestant Evangelical church.
And for the past thirty seven years I have been a committed Evangelical Protestant. Beckwith’s book because he had been President of the Evangelical Theological Society at the time of his decision to revert to the Church of Rome and I was intrigued to learn the reasons that had formed his decision.