Return to Rome – Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic (by former SES Professor, Dr. Francis Beckwith)



There are several Catholic converts from Southern Evangelical Seminary that did not, for one reason or another, have their stories included in Evangelical Exodus. Some were for personal reasons, but most were simply unavailable at the time, or had not yet begun or completed their journeys across the Tiber. In this case, the story had already been told, so we settled for a book introduction!  🙂   I hope you enjoy the continuing stories of this Evangelical Exodus.

Return to Rome – Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic

f beckwithFormer SES Professor, Dr. Francis Beckwith

When Dr. Francis Beckwith was in high school, he was searching for Christ and truth. His religion teachers at his Catholic school were more into talking about their feelings and were not interested in the substance of the faith. Dr. Beckwith began visiting a Protestant bookstore where he was introduced to Evangelical writers such as Francis Schaeffer. He became an Evangelical himself and, after earning a Ph.D. from Fordham University, became  president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and an adjunct professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Dr. Beckwith’s search for truth did not end there though. He wrestled with questions like, What does it mean to be evangelical? What does it mean to be Catholic? Can one consider oneself both simultaneously? Then, in 2007, after much prayer, counsel, and consideration, he decided to return to the Catholic church and step down as ETS president. You can read Dr. Beckwith’s announcement and explanation HERE. His book, Return to Rome details this journey, focusing on his internal dialogue between the Protestant theology he embraced for most of his adult life and Catholicism. He seeks to explain what prompted his decision and offers theological reflection on whether one can be evangelical and Catholic, affirming his belief that one can be both.

Below is Dr. Beckwith’s interview on The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi.