Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another High Profile Evangelical Turns Catholic

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The return of a prominent evangelical philosopher and theologian to the Catholic Church, his childhood home, has provoked a storm of controversy in the evangelical community.

Francis J. Beckwith is a tenured associate professor of church-state studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the largest Baptist university in the world. He resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society May 5, after entering into full communion with the Catholic Church a week earlier.

He said in interviews that a combination of factors -- including the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" and a closer study of the writings of the early Christian theologians known as the Fathers of the Church -- had led him gradually to embrace Catholicism.

Beckwith is a specialist in Christian philosophy, philosophy of religion, social ethics and church-state issues. He has written extensively on issues of religion and public policy. He is especially known for his defense of the pro-life position on abortion and of the constitutionality of teaching, in public schools, the theory of intelligent design as an alternative to evolutionary theory.

His latest book, "Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice," is slated for release in August...

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