Friday, February 29, 2008

Another look in the rear-view mirror

I get a lot of inquiries about my conversion from Evangelicalism to Catholicism and it's interesting what my answers look like from time to time. It would be really easy to have a few prepared paragraphs to paste in an email, but as time goes on I think my vision actually gets clearer (perhaps it gets more cloudy in other respects) and so I thought I'd paste in here the most recent version.
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As I say, I’m about to head out of town, but before I go—and I will write more later—there were two realities I unexpectedly bumped into which I couldn’t see as consistent with my evangelicalism, one past, one present. The fact from the past was that there were extant, authentic records of the writings of the people who immediately succeeded the Apostles. This I found very shocking. Letters written by 2nd generation Bishops to Christians in Rome, Corinth, Philipi, etc. The present reality was the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Apostolic Fathers taught it, and it was perceived at the Mass. That one-two punch was the core of the battle. Leading up to that was a complete loss of belief in the traditional “solae” of Protestantism: sola fide and sola scriptura. I had already come to believe on strictly Scriptural grounds that both these doctrines were hopeless. Two other important prior events were my coming to see justification as an eternal process rather than a legal fiction and seeing the Jewishness of the Gospel. It seems to me that both of these insights were great forerunners to my conversion to Catholicism.

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