A response to my entry on Roman Catholic conversion stories completely missed the point. The writer states, “I guess Saint Paul was a loon for giving his personal testimony of how he was changed by Jesus Christ in the Sacred Scriptures as well.” A careful reader though would have noted I differentiated between Biblical conversion stories (like that of Paul in Galatians 1; cf. Acts 9) and conversions to an alleged infallible church magisterium (like those given in Madrid’s book Surprised By Truth). The former are God glorifying examples of undeserved mercy on an enslaved sinner, the later are examples of what Luther called a “theology of glory”. They do not point to Christ—they point to a triumphal entry into a magnificent human institution: the Roman Catholic Church. Their conversion stories are about what they did. They are about what wisdom and glory they achieved.
   The writer continued, “We should all give an account of our conversion stories, this is how we help pass on the Gospel, just as Saint Paul did.” This helps prove my point: Paul did not give an accounting of an initial biblical conversion and then proceed to give an accounting of his conversion to the “true church” located in Rome. He did not give testimony to the realization of an infallible Papacy as the ending location of his spiritual journey. Rather, Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life” (1 Tim. 1:15-16).
   Lastly, I made no personal attack on Catholic apologist Scott Hahn. As a point of interest, In Surprised by Truth, Hahn states, “The practice of telling the story of one’s conversion has been around as long as Christianity has. Since Paul’s testimony in Galatians 2 (cf. Acts 9:1-9) of his experience with Christ on the Road to Damascus, to Augustine’s Confessions, to our own day, thousands have recounted their journey to Christ and his Church” [[Patrick Madrid (ed), Surprised By Truth (Encinitas: Basilica Press, 1994), p.9]. First, note that Paul’s conversion story was told in Galatians chapter 1, not chapter 2. Second, note that Paul doesn’t speak of a conversion to the Roman church. Third, In Galatians 2, Paul doesn’t have a notion of an infallible Council to place his trust in- even opposing Peter at Antioch for “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel” (Gal. 2:14). It was probably a mistake that Hahn points his readers to Galatians 2, and not chapter 1. There is irony though- for the paradigm of an infallible church for Paul to place his trust is clearly not found in Galatians 2.

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