By now, many of my readers will already know of Dr. Francis Beckwith’s decision to return to the Roman Catholic Church. Beckwith, who taught at Baylor where two of my cousins went to school (prior to Beckwith’s tenure), was originally baptised, confessed and communed in the Roman Catholic Church, but later left for evangelical Christianity. He has been, until his resignation in recent days, president of the Evangelical Theological Society. (By the way, here is the ETS doctrinal statement: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.”) Just several days ago, he was received back into the Roman Catholic Church by way of confession. And has resigned his post as president of ETS.
Some folks, of course, ain’t none too happy about all this. Like Dr. Eric Svesden.
Svesden, apparently, would just rather you predict your apostasy ahead of time and have done with it. In a post responding to Beckwith’s return to the Roman Catholic Church, Beckwith has his own sort of questions:
Did he have questions about where his allegiance resided when he assumed the position as president of ETS? What were the signs of his apostasy? And what measures did/does the ETS executive committee take to provide oversight over the theological musings of its president? How was Beckwith nominated, selected, and voted in given his (now well known) leanings evident in his articles, in his conversation, in his teaching?
This kind of thing is occurring with alarming regularity these days, due in large part to the post-modern, post-Christian abandonment of fidelity to truth (recall my last blog article on Timothy George). There are warning signs for this sort of thing, and they are not that difficult to detect. Do we really need to wait until someone follows through with his “exploratory” musings, all in the name of academic freedom, before we begin to call him to account?
Sure would be nice if potential apostates could forecast their intention to apostatize.