Are You Considering Moving from Your Faith Tradition to Another?

I’ve been browsing the latest edition of Modern Reformation and it is very interesting. The theme of the issue is Exit Interviews. The focus is on those who have made the move from Evangelicalism to other faith traditions or to atheism. Here are some of the interviews and articles:

Exit Stage West: Michael S. Horton with Christian Smith (Interview) (Smith is Catholic)
Some Things Just Never Change: Response – Exit Stage West (Response)  By Michael S. Horton
Exit Stage East: Michael S. Horton with Peter Gilquist (Interview) (Gilquist is Orthodox)
Exit to Eastern Orthodoxy   By Alison Sailer Bennett
Exit to the Emerging Church   By Tim Keel
Exit to Liberal Episcopalianism   By Julianna Gustafson
Exit to Cultural Atheism   By Michael Shermer
Exit to Atheism/Agnosticism   By Jeff Lord
The issue is timely in that the journey from one tradition to another is a hot topic right now. I recently finished a new title from Zondervan called Journeys of Faith and it is a wonderful book. The book features four authors: Wilbur Ellsworth (who moved from Baptist to Eastern Orthodoxy); Francis Beckwith (who moved from Evangelical to Catholic); Chris Castaldo (who went from Catholic to Evangelical) and Lyle Dorsett (who moved from Lutheran to Anglican. Each essay is followed by a response and a rejoinder. For example Gregg Allison provided the response to the essay by Frank Beckwith. Allison left no doubt about his opinion concerning those considering moving from Evangelicalism to Catholicism. He says, “if any readers are contemplating a journey toward the Catholic Church, they will be persuaded that they are moving not from lesser faithfulness to greater faithfulness but from greater faithfulness to lesser faithfulness, a journey they must reconsider and abandon.” (115) There was one paragraph which stopped me short and left me speechless. It comes from Brad Gregory’s response to Chris Castaldo. He writes,
“If Catholicism is true, then it is certainly better to be a well-formed Catholic who pursues holiness in accord with the Church’s teachings but never reads Scripture individually than to be an Evangelical Protestant who has memorized hundreds of biblical verses but understands them within an errant theology and without either the grace conferred by the sacraments or the fullness of ecclesial life in the body of Christ. Here I agree with Saint Augustine, who despite being steeped in Scripture wrote in De doctrina Christiana that ‘a person strengthened by faith, hope, and love, and who steadfastly [inconcusse] holds on to them, has no need of the Scriptures except to instruct others.” (168)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is gracious and civil yet not afraid to be frank in the discussion. For those who considering moving from one tradition to another this is must reading. For those who want to understand what all the fuss is about here’s where you want to start.

About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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