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Endorsements for Return to Rome

Brazos Press recently published on its website several endorsements for my forthcoming book, Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic, which is set for release on December 1, 2008.

I am humbled and honored to have received these endorsements from such an august group of Christian thinkers and writers, including my dear friend and frequent WWWtW commentator, Michael Bauman. You can read the endorsements here.

Comments (14)

So . . . all I can say is the book heads my amazon list which only awaits a green light from the financial approver of the household . . . I look forward to reading it, hoping for further insight into my own questions.

Dr Beckwith
Without giving away the ending of the book, can you give us any indication as to how you reconcile the Gospel that evangelcials preach with the Roman Catholic view of the Sacraments?

Graham Veale

Graham,
I have no letters behind my name, and I would not dare speak for Dr. Beckwith. I am a simple layman professing love for the Lord, that He would will our participation in the Trinitarian communion of persons- our divinization through grace (2 Pt 1:4), and accomplish it according to the manner in which He created us. That is, grace is communicated through matter, or sacramentalism. Paraphrasing Chesterton, "God as Reedeemer does not ignore what God as Creator has done". The Incarnation itself is evidence of that principle.

Are you guys really going to turn this thread into a battleground for inter-church warfare? If you do, you'll both lose.

Sincere apologies, Dr. Bauman.
I'm aware of the futility of impersonal apologetics. I suspect that I'm inexperienced at contributing the joy of what I've discovered in my "intellectual pilgrimage", through the likes of a Chesterton or Dr. Beckwith, without it being read polemically. It's only that I received confirmation of what I hold as true when Dr. Beckwith closed his "Journey Home" appearance with the summation that divine filiation is "where it's at".

Dr. Bauman cracks me up.

Many of my friends (Protestants, Catholics,and the dreaded and forever wavering undecided alike) have been looking forward to reading this for quite some time. I was gratified at many of the comments as to the personal nature of the account and am all the more eager to actually read it.

No offense, Dr. Beckwith, but I hope Dr. Bauman got more than a free lunch for his endorsement.

Still, it would be interesting to read a more substantive review of the book by Dr. Bauman on W4, given his own unique perspective & personal views on the matter. Or perhaps even one by Ms. Lydia Greene.

I'd be more interested in such a view from a more neutral source, which I believe such folks might very well provide, than to those of my coreligionists in the church.

My seeking a review from those in the latter would be like my going to Giuliani for his opinion on Sarah Palin's performance in a debate.

Ari,
You're assuming I got a lunch. I wish (wink).

By the way, Ari, I don't want you to get the wrong impression from my previous post. It's not that Frank is cheap; it's just that he's way too smart to be seen in a restaurant with someone like me.

I certainly don't want inter-church warfare. I hope that my question was not interpreteted as a polemic. I am from Northern Ireland, where I teach Religious Education, and where educational segregation and civil religion keeps Evangelicals and Roman Catholics separate. I find it interesting that there are individuals (prominently in the USA) who see no contradiction between the gospel of the "Born Againers" (like me) and the Sacramentarians. And a reading of Kreeft and Budzisewski (and now Dr. Beckwith) presenting the gospel makes it abundantly clear that we have no substantial differences in this area.
How much of this is due to John Paul II? Or would it have occured in any case?


Graham Veale

I certainly don't want inter-church warfare. I hope that my question was not interpreteted as a polemic. I am from Northern Ireland, where I teach Religious Education, and where educational segregation and civil religion keeps Evangelicals and Roman Catholics separate. I find it interesting that there are individuals (prominently in the USA) who see no contradiction between the gospel of the "Born Againers" (like me) and the Sacramentarians. And a reading of Kreeft and Budzisewski (and now Dr. Beckwith) presenting the gospel makes it abundantly clear that we have no substantial differences in this area.
How much of this is due to John Paul II? Or would it have occured in any case?


Graham Veale

Graham,
As a born-againer myself, I suspect that you and I agree on a great deal, and for that I am enormously grateful. I am heartened to know that I have friends and allies in Christ, people like you, across the ocean.

But I also am heartened to know that I have friends and allies in Christ across the Tiber. Frank Beckwith is one of them. While I am, and shall remain, firmly committed to the Protestant distinctives (because I think they are true), I am equally firm in my support of my fellow Christians in the churches from which I dissent. I must never permit myself to reject those whom, after a generous assessment, it seems to me that God has accepted. If they are the friends of God, then they are my friends too. Ecclesiastical boundaries will not separate them from my prayers, my support, my friendship, or my good will.

I am in no way saying that theology does not matter, or that truth is a small thing. I reject both those notions as false and therefore dangerous. But I am saying that if my standards for fellowship are more exclusive than God's, then they are simply too exclusive.

God bless you in every way, brother.

Dr. Bauman,

But I am saying that if my standards for fellowship are more exclusive than God's, then they are simply too exclusive.

I believe you mean this whole-heartedly, but if this sentiment rings generally (i.e., not specifically to this case) then why not, on an entirely different but related matter, include Catholics such as Beckwith in the ETS?

Mind you, as I had expressed previously under the relevant thread, Protestant Evangelicals should govern their professional societies according to how they deem fit as is clearly their right, of course; however, would you personally be so averse to such a motion as inviting entrants from Rome?

Obviously, the chasm between the Church of Rome & Protestantism will continue to be a divide that cannot be healed imminently and perhaps even unto the future.

Yet, with how graciously you as well as other non-Catholics on this thread such as Cella have behaved toward your Papist friends :^) in various discussions that involved even the Faith, I do have hope that although a physical united Christendom is not possible; we can, at the very least, engage in a united ecumenical engagement of some sort as this.

That is, of course, unless Dr. Beckwith & yourself (who are closer to the situation) has deemed such actions at this point as an impossibility.

God bless you both.

Well spoken, Ari. We agree on a great deal.

For what it's worth, between Frank and me, I was the first to resign from ETS. I had been the book review editor for its journal for many years, and simply decided to sign off. Why? Because I discovered that ETS wasn't so much a theological society as it was an inquisitorial society. It seemed to be taken up more in heresy hunting than in deepening the evangelical understanding of God and man in a fallen world. We kept having purges, or else attempting to, based upon the idea that the enemies we needed most to oppose all happened to be on our membership rolls. So, I figured there were better things for me to do, and resigned. I wasn't really willing to stay on with a group that couldn't distinguish between its friends and its enemies, and that treated the one group as the other.

Some day I'll tell you what I took up instead.

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