Saturday, May 05, 2007

And You Thought It Was Bad When a Fundamentalist Left for Willow Creek

The ETS President, Frances Beckwith, has resigned after returning to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

The story appears to have broken publicly when evangelical apologist James White published this post. Beckwith tells his own story here. Apparently he feels he can still affirm the notoriously mimimalistic ETS doctrinal statement and intends to retain his membership in the organization.

I have to believe (and hope) that a failure to expel Beckwith will be the last straw for independent fundamentalist and Southern Baptist participation in ETS. I remember hearing several years ago that serious discussion about withdrawal was taking place within elements of both camps who remained in the organization despite the failure of the membership to expel proponents of open theism, despite the recommendation of the executive committee to that end.


Anonymous said...

It sounded to me after reading his post that he made his decision in haste. He tried to say it was calculated but to say that the early church was far more Catholic than protistant is crazy. He said that rejoining the church was easy because he had already been confirmed and baptized. I don't think he ever really wanted to leave in the first place. Ben, do you think that from his thinking he just " lost " his faith?

Anonymous said...

Rereading my post's sometimes makes me say things like, " holy cow, I can't believe I mispelled that. I also forgot to leave my name.

Your truly! Bruce :-)

Bruce said...

"Bruce who?" asks Bruce McKanna.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure why they should expel him. I ahve read the ETS statement and Catholic can without reservation affirm it


Ben said...

Bruce NOT McKanna,

I had the same question as Bruce McKanna, not that you have to tell me. Do I know you?


If you read James White's post you'll see that the founders of ETS understood the statement to exclude Roman Catholics. Now apparently, they haven't expelled other Roman Catholics, so I don't know why they'd start now. And of course the membership does have the right (if not the integrity) to define the original statement. Kind of like the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution.

But if Roman Catholicism is now completely indistinguishable from evangelicalism, then I guess Mark Noll is right that the Reformation's over. But that's exactly why I think evangelicals who actually understand what the gospel IS ought to get out rather than tacitly affirm that ETS has a clue.