Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Francis Beckwith

Since everyone else is talking about Francis Beckwith, I guess I might as well, too :)

Being a far right-wing Protestant, you might expect me to howl about what a great travesty this is. But, in fact, I actually share quite a bit of Beckwith's sentiment towards the Catholic church.

There is a lot that I like in Catholicism. There are a huge number of wonderful theologians, missionaries, and thinkers that have come from the Catholic church. It is a reversal of the endless church-splitting that occurs in the Protestant arena. The theology in the Catholic church is surprisingly diverse, and most Protestant theology exists somewhere in the Catholic church.


But ultimately what leads me away from the Catholic church is historical -- the Catholic church has had some hideous leadership in the past, and there is no reason to believe it won't happen again. Now, that's true of every organization, but not every organization makes the same claims about their leader that the Catholic church does.

And then there are a number of other doctrines that I stumble on (and I don't know how many of these are essential to being Catholic, but I stumble on them anyway), like the immaculate conception of Mary and other Mary-stuff. Likewise, the over-use of icons.

Perhaps what I really am is Orthodox. I don't know, but right now I'm looking to Evangelical Covenant.

If this entry makes little sense it's because I've had little sleep.

3 Comments:

At 5/24/2007 7:38 AM, Blogger Timothy said...

No, you'd not be Orthodox. The Eastern Church also honors Mary, holds her immaculate conception and perpetual virginity, and you'll find the Theotokos in many icons.

>"But ultimately what leads me away from the Catholic church is historical -- the Catholic church has had some hideous leadership in the past, and there is no reason to believe it won't happen again."

Where in scripture did Christ promise His Church that it would not have hideous leadership?

Interestingly, during those periods, none of the hideous leaders taught error. The Church was preserved.

The Church is either what it claims to be or it is not. If not the Catholic Church, then which church? Or, did Christ lie in Matthew 16 when He said the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church?

Is the Evangelical Covenant the true Church founded by Christ in Matthew 16? What proof have they?

Should you not seek the Truth?

God bless ...

- Timothy

 
At 5/24/2007 10:43 AM, Blogger crevo said...

"Interestingly, during those periods, none of the hideous leaders taught error."

I'm not entirely sure of that. But I am sure that they persecuted those who taught truth. I don't find a big difference.

"The Church is either what it claims to be or it is not. If not the Catholic Church, then which church? Or, did Christ lie in Matthew 16 when He said the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church?"

I think the problem is your equivalence of the Church with an organization. I agree that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. I don't think it has. But I would think it has if I thought the Church referred to the Catholic church specifically, or the Evangelical Covenant church specifically, or the Orthodox church specifically.

But the fact is that the Church is not an organization, but the people who serve Christ. _They_ are His body, not an organization.

One thing that I left out of the reasons why I like the Catholic church is that, while I believe the Bible _should_ be emphasized more as a unique message, I agree with the Catholic church that it is part of a tradition, and not entirely separable from that. However, I think the Catholic church goes too far in this area, and does not always adequately grasp the unique status of scripture among tradition.

But I also disagree with the idea that "teaching error" is equivalent with the idea of the gates of Hell prevailing against the Church. I think this has actually been a stumbling block for the Catholic church, and actually causes it to teach more error rather than less, simply because it is unable to say, "hey we as the Church were wrong." I don't view the ultimate in Christian ideals as having the perfect metaphysic, but rather as being devoted followers of Christ. As imperfect followers of a perfect Christ, we will always have an imperfect conception of a perfect metaphysic. But I'm more concerned with following Christ than the metaphysical knowledge.

 
At 5/24/2007 12:50 PM, Blogger Chris said...

If you're thinking of Orthodoxy, you wouldn't be alone. In the late 70s and early 80s, a lot of younger evangelicals fled to it (and other liturgical churches) - including Francis Schaeffer's son. This was also the time Bob Webber (of blessed memory) went to the Anglican Communion. In fact, there was a book written about it called Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail.

 

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