Skip to main content.
Information about Faiths, Beliefs, Doctrines, Etc.
Follow us:

Apologetics Research Resources on religious movements, cults, sects, world religions and related issues

home Home     Information about Apologetics Index research resources How To Use Our Religion Database
Color Key Color Key    index Topical Index

Dr. Beckwith returns to Roman Catholicism

Pages In This Entry:

  1. Francis J. Beckwith
  2. Dr. Beckwith returns to Roman Catholicism
  3. Francis Beckwith -- Research Resources

Next page:
Previous page:

Francis Beckwidth has returned to Roman Catholic Church

Dr. Beckwith was raised Catholic but became an Evangelical Protestant in his youth. In May, 2007, it became public knowledge that Dr. Francis Beckwith had recently returned to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

His move was made public by James White on his Alpha & Omega Ministries blog:

Apologetics Index research resource Head of the Evangelical Theological Society Swims the Tiber (contra) James White, Alpha & Omega Ministries

This was followed by a post from Jimmy Akin:

Apologetics Index research resource Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church (pro) by Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers Director
  of Apologetics and Evangelization.

Predictably, the fur has already started flying. See, for example, this post -- and its related comments section -- at the Meandering Home blog.

On May 5, 2007, Dr. Beckwith confirmed and explained his return to the Catholic Church in a post on the Right Reason blog.

For an understanding of the reasons why this high-profile conversion is sending shockwaves through the Evangelical community, see:

Apologetics Index research resource Are Catholic beliefs and practices Biblical?
Apologetics Index research resource Is Catholicism a false religion? Are Catholics saved?
Apologetics Index research resource Research resources on Roman Catholicism

Beckwith Resigns from Evangelical Theological Society

WACO, Texas (BP)--Francis (Frank) Beckwith, a prominent professor of church-state studies and philosophy at Baylor University, has resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society, citing his return to the Roman Catholic Church.

Beckwith initially said he would remain an ETS member because he could "in good conscience, as a Catholic, affirm the ETS doctrinal statement." But a statement released by the ETS executive committee May 8 said that "after further prayer and reflection, Dr. Beckwith has voluntarily withdrawn his membership from the Society as well."

The executive committee said Beckwith's resignation and subsequent withdrawal from membership were "appropriate in light of the purposed and doctrinal basis of the Evangelical Theological Society" and in light of Beckwith's "wholehearted confessional agreement with the Roman Catholic Church." ETS is comprised of some 4,100 theologians, philosophers and ministers, but few -– if any -– are Catholic.

The executive committee also stated that the ETS, as a scholarly society, holds to the belief that "the Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs." Similar language and other statements supporting scriptural authority are contained within the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, the document on biblical inspiration and authority adopted by the society's membership in 2006. The committee said that the Catholic Church's statements "from the Council of Trent to Vatican II set forth a more expansive view of verbal, infallible revelation."

"Specifically, it posits a larger canon of Scripture than that recognized by evangelical Protestants, including in its canon several writings from the Apocrypha," the statement from the ETS executive committee said. "It also extends the quality of infallibility to certain expressions of church dogma issued by the Magisterium (the teaching office of the Roman Catholic Church), as well as certain pronouncements of the pope, which are delivered ex cathedra, such as doctrines about the immaculate conception and assumption of Mary."

On those doctrines, evangelicals will not agree with Catholics, but Beckwith's departure from Protestantism may facilitate other opportunities to discuss Catholic theology. The statement from the ETS executive board said it encourages and welcomes dialogue on the matter in the future.
- Source: ETS pres. resigns, returns to Catholicism, Baptist Press, May 9, 2007

A Sad Day

Douglas Groothuis, professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary commented on Francis Beckwith's explanation as follows:

Dear Frank:

This is a sad day for all true sons and daughters of the Protestant Reformation, for all who lived and died for its truths.

Having abandoned the distinctives of the Reformation (which are deeply rooted in Holy Scripture), you are embracing serious theological error. I wish I could say otherwise, but conscience-bound, I cannot.

By joining Rome, you are putting an institution above God; you are putting men (and I mean males) ahead of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ (See Galatians 1:6-11).

However, you are doing the right thing to resign from your position at ETS.

I have appreciated much of your writing over the years, but I lament what you have now done.

Doug Groothuis
- Source: Doug Groothuis, comment posted on the Right Reason blog, May 5, 2007

Tags and keywords for this Apologetics Index entry More About...

Related Tags / Keywords:

Join us at Google+

Information about Apologetics Index research resources Comment

    Our Comments Policy
  • We favor well-reasoned, constructive comments.
  • This is not a discussion- or debate forum.
  • Keep comments brief and to the point
  • lengthy comments (more than a few lines) should be posted on your own site, a forum, or perhaps Google+. You are welcome to post a link to your comments.
Note: To post your comment, you can log in with your WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account.Note: All comments are moderated.

Comments are closed.

RSS Feed Free Updates
Subscribe: Subscribe to Apologetics Index via email Email   Follow Apologetics Index at Twitter Twitter   Read Apologetics Index in an RSS reader RSS   Google+ Google+

Information about Apologetics Index research resources More Apologetics & Countercult Research?

• Select a topic from our A-Z Index
• See our home page for the latest updates and additions to the site
• Or use our Google-powered search engine:
This post was last updated: Jan. 24, 2012