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Evangelical Exodus: Evangelical Seminarians and Their Paths to Rome Paperback – February 29, 2016
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"This is a true 'Book of Exodus' — riveting like the original, inspired, and inspiring. The contributors have taken a long journey to the banks of the Tiber, and it is every step an adventure."
— Scott Hahn, President, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
"The integrity of this significant book is matched only by the passion of its contributors. Their honesty in recounting an odyssey of faith is refreshing indeed."--Wayne Alan Detzler, Professor Emeritus, Southern Evangelical Seminary
"Just when I thought I'd heard all the reasons why Protestants become Catholic, I encountered Evangelical Exodus. This book has set a new standard for compelling conversion stories." --Devin Rose, Author, The Protestant's Dilemma
"As these thoughtful contributors reveal, there is an exodus of smart Evangelical converts, marching backward in time, but forward in thought, to the promised land of Catholicism."
— Brandon Vogt, Author, Saints and Social Justice
"These conversion stories will encourage more Protestant ministers to come into the Church, as well as fallen away Catholics to come back home. I recommend this great book for everyone!"--Terry Barber, Author, How to Share Your Faith with Anyone
About the Author
Douglas Beaumont has a Ph.D. in theology from North-West University and an M.A. in apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, where he served as assistant to President Norman Geisler and taught Bible and religion for ten years. Beaumont is the author of The Message Behind the Movie (Moody, 2009) and has contributed to The Best Catholic Writing (Loyola, 2006), The Apologetics Study Bible for Students (B&H, 2010), and Got Questions? (Pleasant Word, 2009). He lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and four children.
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As someone who has attended non-liturgical Protestant churches for most of my life, Catholicism has admittedly always seemed quite foreign to me. When I saw the subject of this book – testimonies of seminary-educated Protestants who converted to Catholicism – I was immediately intrigued. Frankly, it was difficult for me to imagine what would draw a Protestant to the Catholic church, so I really wanted to read the book. I’m so glad I did.
I found it to be engaging, insightful, and enlightening. The tone of all the writers was very respectful, never speaking down to those who haven’t followed the same path. They speak honestly about the factors involved in their conversions, both personal and theological. I greatly appreciated that they didn’t try to OVER-intellectualize their stories; there is certainly an intellectual component to their conversions, but they don’t gloss over the personal factors that are at play when any of us make a decision about faith.
Just as an atheist reading Christian testimonies probably wouldn’t feel an immediate pull toward faith, most Protestants reading these testimonies probably won’t feel an immediate pull toward Catholicism. But Protestants SHOULD at least feel the need to grapple with some very important subjects that are raised consistently throughout the book: in particular, the development of the canon, the need for unity within the church, the issue of theological authority, and the practices of the early church. These are subjects that many Protestants have never even considered, and that the Catholics in this book raise legitimate questions about. Whether you ultimately arrive at a Protestant or Catholic conclusion on those questions, every Christian should understand the implications. There are four excellent appendices that help with this. Don’t skip them! They serve as a perfect capstone after reading the individual testimonies.
I highly recommend this book for any fellow Protestants who want to better understand Catholicism!
They were all:
* Protestant seminarians
* From the same seminary: Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES)
*Who learned from a prominent Protestant scholar, Norman Geisler
And who all decided to become Catholic, not in spite of their Protestant schooling there, but in many ways because of it!
Doug Beaumont is the editor of the book and himself one of the converts. He and I first corresponded online many years ago. I knew right away that he was a deep thinker and a Protestant who was open to finding the fullness of the truth, wherever the search led.
After long years of reading, studying, and praying, he entered full communion with the Catholic Church. And so did many of his former peers at SES.
These converts were all getting graduate degrees from SES. Many are getting their doctorates from well known institutions.
In Evangelical Exodus they each describe their own journey from Protestantism to Catholicism through study of the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, philosophy and theology.
These men were committed Evangelical Protestants who believed in sola Scriptura, sola fide, an the Protestant canon of Scripture. They were not to be moved toward Catholicism by shallow arguments or evidence. Rather, as they demonstrate, they pierced into the depths of the reasons supporting the Faith and discovered that Christ’s Church was there waiting for them.
Doug Beaumont writes:
During my time at SES I had been told that we were learning to defend the “historic Christian faith.” But as I enlarged my studies, I began to realize that many of SES’ distinctive teachings could not be counted as historic in the implied sense.
Much of SES’ doctrinal statement (to which students and faculty were held) contained a mix of Reformation theology, Anabaptist doctrines, and even late nineteenth-century beliefs.
True or false, these did not seem legitimately to constitute the historic Christian faith.
Commendably, SES directed its students to study Aquinas and the Church Fathers. Most Protestant seminaries don’t dare do that, or do so in a tightly curated fashion.
But ironically such study had the opposite effect: the students came to see that their seminary wasn’t teaching what the Fathers taught!
Becoming Catholic was not easy for these men. And since becoming Catholic some have had very challenging times. They had invested years of their lives into becoming Protestant teachers, pastors, and scholars, only to leave Protestantism.
I am so glad that they have told their stories in this volume. They lay out clearly, succinctly, and in a heart-felt manner the way that God led them to Catholicism. None expected it nor sought it.