A Reasoned Reply from the Far Side of the Tiber

In reference to White’s article dated May 30, 2007. “Francis Beckwith Begins to Give His Reasons” It is well expected that Mr. White’s comments towards Mr. Beckwith’s reversion to Mother Church would not be favorable. What else would one expect from White. What else could White have said, but not speak in a favorable tone. After all White is a Prot. And not only a Prot. but one of the foremost defenders of Prot-ism and avid opponents against Mother Church. So how can anyone take what White writes seriously. I mean he is soooo one sided. White is better off not saying anything at all and letting the matter just die down. He makes it worst by commentting on Beckwith’s reversion, thus drawing more attention to the subject of why Prots. revert at all, especially those who are learnered theologians, who at one time held the presidency of the ETS!!

   This kind note (I wonder what would happen if I started calling Roman Catholics “Papists” as often as they refer to me as a “Prot” or a “Deformer” or, in the loving, yet creepy words of Art Sippo, “anti-Catholic bigot” and a member of the “Kampus Krusade for Kthulhu” and the “Death Eater crowd”?) illustrates a common element of the non-dialogue that normally takes place today about important issues. If you read the first portion of my review, posted only a few hours ago, you will note that I addressed a wide range of things, including the reading of patristic sources, dating the origination of particular doctrinal concepts (like indulgences), etc. It asked serious questions about serious issues related to the gospel. But what did Bob, my Catholic correspondent, hear? Well, basically…nothing. Nothing of substance made it through Bob’s filters. Instead, what does he say? White should shut up, because White is wrong. Well, there you go! I’m so “one sided”! Well, like the Pope isn’t! I guess the Pope should be less one-sided, Bob?
   And as for Beckwith being a learned theologian, he wasn’t, and isn’t. He’s a learned philosopher. There is, of course, a difference. Beckwith is admitting he was an unfounded non-Catholic. By that I mean, he was not a Catholic, and did not know why he was not a Catholic. By his own statements in the article I am reviewing, he had not read patristic literature; his views of grace and man had always been in opposition to Luther and Calvin (as is the case with most non-Catholics today); he did not know why he was not a Catholic, that is, his position was not one of knowing conviction. He had not even read the Council of Trent. And I have a feeling that would describe a large proportion of the membership of the ETS as well. Join this together with his common cooperation with Roman Catholics in other areas (cultural issues, social issues, philosophy), his own background in Catholicism, etc., and the reversion is hardly surprising. One who does not passionately understand why the death of Christ is once-for-all, finished, completed, and perfect (in opposition to Rome’s Mass), and who is not committed whole-heartedly to the sole sufficiency of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ as his or her whole and entire standing before God (over against Rome’s infusion of grace and synergism) will find things like ecumenism, philosophy, social issues, etc., more than sufficient to overthrow any commitment to mere “doctrines” like sola fide or sola scriptura.