I apologize for being less than blogorific or video-rific, etc. I am trying to get a lot done, but it isn’t necessarily stuff that is easily “seen” very quickly. I made progress on a chapter in the Beckwith response today, however, and wanted to provide just a paragraph as an example. This is from a chapter where I am examining the simple fact that Frank Beckwith never actually crossed the Tiber River: he paddled around in the middle, always holding Rome’s view of man, Rome’s view of grace, Rome’s view of natural law (just like a lot of other “non-Catholics” we could name, like Norman Geisler and William Lane Craig). In Return to Rome Beckwith narrates how he answered his niece’s question as to why he wasn’t a Roman Catholic. Upon quoting his response, I reply:
While this answer was being given to a young person, and hence would not be as full as might be given in another context, the fact is that the reply is telling all the same. I have often been asked the same question in various venues, and my response is, Lord willing, consistent. Why am I not a Roman Catholic? Because Roman Catholicism has a gospel that does not give peace, because it fundamentally violates the Scriptural teaching on how one is made right with God. Rome has a false gospel that cannot save, hence, I have no reason to abandon the peace I have with God through Christ’s perfect atonement for the treadmill of Rome’s sacramental system of salvation. One would think that anyone who has purposefully crossed the Tiber because they have encountered the gospel and been changed thereby would have a similar response. Beckwith’s reply is a tepid statement of taste, a general “we are very much the same but I have a few disagreements on these side issues” type of thing that while reflecting a lot of modern evangelicalism is likewise far removed from the heartfelt motivations of the Reformation.
Having given this response, Beckwith then asked the question cited above. It likewise reflects that he was still very much in the middle of the Tiber River, for the person who has embraced the gospel of grace has not only landed his boat on the far side, but has torn the boat apart to use the wood as a pulpit from which to proclaim freedom in Christ to those trapped on the other shore. But Beckwith can speak of permanently abandoning Rome as something he could not yet actually justify! Surely this kind of statement demonstrates the thesis at hand, as no person who has found peace in the gospel of grace in contrast to Rome’s sacramentalism will forget to mention that as the primary reason he or she does not submit to Rome’s claims of authority.