Mormonism, Catholicism, and the Romney Candidacy

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It begins this way: In a piece recently published in the Catholic and Evangelical portals of the Patheos website, Warren Cole Smith explains why he cannot support Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President of the United States.  “A Vote for Romney is a Vote for the LDS Church” reminded me of the sort of anti-Catholic screeds that were widely published during the presidential candidacy of Senator John F. Kennedy.Catholics conversant wit … [Read more...]

Edith Schaeffer, me, and April 29

Four years ago tomorrow, April 29, 2007, I was publicly received into the Catholic Church at 11:00 am at St. Joseph's Parish in Belmead, Texas. The day before, I participated in the sacrament of confession for the first time in over 30 years. Oddly, 25 years ago, on April 29, 1986, I met Edith Schaeffer, the widow of Francis A. Schaffer. I tell the story of our encounter in my book, Return to Rome: Confession of An Evangelical Catholic (Brazos Press, 2009): During my second year in New York City … [Read more...]

John Paul II and Evangelicals: An Ecumenism of Reason and Life

That is the title of an essay I just published at HeadlineBistro.com, "a service of the Knights of Columbus dedicated to bringing readers the top, daily headlines that Catholics need to know."  My essay is one of several published this week by HeadlineBistro.com in celebration of the May 1, 2011 beatification of the late Pope John Paul II. My essay begins: As we reflect on the life of John Paul II at the eve of his beatification, we should remember the ways in which the late pontiff touched t … [Read more...]

Touchstone interview of Hadley Arkes: “Courage and Conversion”

A year ago tomorrow, April 24, my friend Hadley Arkes was received into the Catholic Church. My wife, Frankie, and I were present at the Mass in which Hadley received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.In the recent issue of Touchstone, Marcia Segelstein interviews Hadley about his conversion. You can find it here. Here's an excerpt: … [Read more...]

Reason, Conversion, and Plausibility

That's the title of my most recent entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: It is an odd thing to explain to other Christians why one moves from one theological tradition to another, since you know (or will eventually discover) that the reasons that seemed so compelling to you seem less than adequate to others. I believe that the reason for this is that each of us approaches these sorts of questions with a plausibility structure, about which we rarely reflect.What do I mean by a … [Read more...]

John O’Callaghan on the Harris-Craig Debate

(HT: Thomas Hibbs and Ronny Fritz).My friend, John O'Callaghan, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, offers in the Notre Dame Magazine a thoughtful analysis of the question posed to the participants in the Craig-Harris debate: "Is Good From God?" Writes O'Callaghan: On April 7, a sold-out audience in Notre Dame’s Leighton Concert Hall watched this year’s edition of “The God Debate.”Before a packed house, “New Atheist” Sam Harris and philosopher of religion Willi … [Read more...]

The Scandal of Being a Christian, or in the words of the immortal Frank Sinatra….

[Barbara] Forrest spends several pages [in her 2011 Synthese article, pp. 370-373] discussing both my Christian faith as well as my published works critical of other religious traditions such as The Baha’i World Faith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism or LDS).... [Because] I simply cannot respond to every unsupported, uncharitable, and unreasonable assertion she makes about my theological beliefs...[,]I will briefly address some of her claims about religious exclu … [Read more...]

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Inadequacy of Intelligent Design

My friends Edward Feser and Jay Wesley Richards, both fellow Catholics, are engaged in an online dispute about whether contemporary Intelligent Design theory (ID) runs counter to classical Thomistic understandings of nature and final causality. On this matter, I am with Ed. For I believe that ID, as defended by Michael Behe and William A. Dembski, is a view that in the long run serves to undermine rather than advance the cause of Christian theism. Of course, I see why some of my fellow … [Read more...]

Roger Olson on “Evangelical AND Catholic”

My esteemed colleague, Professor Roger Olson, has written on his blog some interesting and thoughtful comments about Evangelicals and Catholics. He writes: Over the last 50 years many notable evangelical thinkers have converted to the Roman Catholic Church (or to some independent Catholic church of which there are many; here I’m concerned mainly with those who have converted to the RC Church).  Think of Tom Howard, evangelical professor at Wheaton (and I think Gordon), who converted to RCC and wr … [Read more...]

Rob Bell may be on to something

A couple of days ago I posted a smart-alecky entry about the controversy surrounding Rob Bell and his alleged belief in universalism, suggesting (by means of humor) that perhaps his celebrity is just another passing, naval-gazing, fad on the saw dust trail that is American Evangelicalism. But after I received a stinging rebuke from an Evangelical friend (who would have undoubtedly gotten my humor if I were a middle aged blonde woman with dreadlocks), I took some time to read up on Pastor Bell … [Read more...]


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