Dr. Francis Beckwith


Dr. Francis Beckwith, former Evangelical Protestant philosopher and president of the Evangelical Theological Society, has given his first full-length radio interview about his re-version to the Catholic Church. The interview really highlights all the in-depth study that this outstanding Protestant scholar did during his discernment process.



Your post referred me to “Stand To Reason” a web site where the interview with Dr.Beckwith is posted.

Do you know anything about “Stand to Reason”. I am interested since they are very nearby me, and I never heard of them.

From all appearances, it is a “Christian” site, meaning Protestant?



I know scant about the website, except for the fact that it is an orthodox Protestant ministry/website. Also, Greg Koukl, one of the website participants is a former co-author of Dr. Beckwith, as well as a very good friend of his.


I was disappointed with that interview, Beckwith was almost dancing around the issues, he downplayed the teaching that salvation could be lost, he wasnt as direct as he could be.

Im glad he brought up the distinction between infused and imputed grace but overall his delivery was very weak. Maybe he wasnt trying to win the argument but rather get some concepts across. I dont know, but the host walked all over him with what are in fact weak arguments. Maybe he isnt good at being on air or maybe he didnt have the heart to talk to an old friend in an aggressive way or something, but that was not a good defense of Catholicism on air.

It was painful to listen to the way Beckwith couldnt give straight answers. I couldnt finish the show, I stopped about 50min through.


I’m about to listen to it, so I’ll probably be disappointed as well. :slight_smile:

If Beckwith can’t smash to smithereens intellectually Koukl’s lame arguments against Catholicism, there is a problem here. :confused: :smiley: I guess they’ve worked together in the past and are good friends so Beckwith feels he must be timid.

I just listened to Koukl explain that the Roman Catholic Church was not the original Church because of the book of the Acts. Hello? Duh. And oh, don’t you know “the Roman Catholic Church didn’t start until well after 350 AD.” Hello? Priests, bishops, apostolic succession, primacy of Rome, baptismal regeneration, Eucharist sacrifice, other sacraments, all that stuff about prayers for the dead for starters? And oh, “any evangelical can easily claim the first 300 years of the Church.” Hello? Ibid. Please say I didn’t just hear that. :smiley: And also, “Jesus didn’t start an institution” which by that he means Jesus didn’t start a universal visible Church at all. Hello? Ibid.

“The authors of the New Testament did not distinguish between the visible and invisible church. To them, the church that existed in the world was the only church there was…This visible church was the church…we do an injustice to the teaching of the New Testament authors if we impose this conception of an invisible church on the ideas they formulated. These authors were describing the concrete, historical, visible church that had come into existence in their day, and which was rapidly spreading throughout the Mediterranean world. It is this church that they chose to label the ecclesia.” (evangelical scholar Craig Van Gelder, The Essence of the Church [Baker, 2000], page 105,106)

“The society was well known and unmistakable. Its doctrine was everywhere the same; its worship, with rich diversity of forms, centered around one Eucharistic memorial. It had an organized hierarchy for worship and for the pastorate of souls. This hierarchy maintained union between the local branches, and did so in the name and by the authority of Christ. However far back the history is traced, no date can be assigned, however roughly, for the appearance of Catholicism in the Church. The Church was Catholic from the outset.” (Anglican Canon A.J. Mason, cited in The Church and Infallibility [1954] by BC Butler, page 37-38)

This was his earlier show from 06-17-2007. I’m about to listen to the 08-05-2007 show with Beckwith. Stay tuned to The Journey Home and CA Live in September 2007 too.

Phil P


LOL :smiley:


Still editing my post above. Darn it, if this interview makes me so frustrated and mad enough I just might call in to Koukl and James White too.

NOT. :smiley:

Phil P


Hey Dude,
I sorry to hear you were disappointed. He has the education, and the personal experience of a re-conversion. He should have been at the top of his game.
I’d write to him and let him know kindly how you feel.
He is at Baptist university: Baylor University, Waco Texas, 767958. His title is Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Associate Professor of Church-State Studies at Baylor.

If he is timid, the Baptists will eat him alive.



I agree, he should have given a better defense. The fact is there are solid Catholic answers that can successfully refute all tenets of protestantism. Beckwith should have used all the resources at his disposal.


First of all the man has been under a lot of stress lately. He has had a lot of interviews. He also does not want to create a firestorm in the Reformer world which he left.

He is going to be on Catholic Answers Live shortly. He may be more relaxed then.


In defense of Beckwith, Beckwith did say that he agreed to the program with the understanding that he would share how he reverted to Rome, not engage in yet another polemical argument. So when the host started talking about issues like Purgatory and Indulgences (which had no relation whatsoever to the assumed theme of the interview, i.e., the issues that drove Beckwith to revert), Beckwith was not prepared immediately to set up the Catholic theological background necessary in understanding such issues and answer a list of Protestant criticisms.


I’m almost finished listening to the Beckwith interview, and I think he did just swell under the circumstances. First it is Koukl’s show so he is used to interrupting whenever he feels like it. But Beckwith did a fine job explaining what he understands as the Catholic teaching on various issues and answering objections. I might edit a few of Koukl’s programs together (especially Koukl’s comments from 6/17/2007 about “the RCC began after 350 AD” and “evangelicals can easily claim the first 300 years” of the Church) and put on my audio page. Probably underneath the Bonocore vs. Matt Slick debate from last year. :thumbsup:

Phil P


Hey. Thanks for the encouraging word. This is what I just posted on the comments section of the STR blog:

I do want to thank Greg and Melinda for having me on as a guest. I will confess that my performance was less than stellar, largely because I was prepared for one sort of interview and received another. That is not Greg’s or Melinda’s fault. They both are good souls with pure motives, and I love them very much. It is my fault. For I had traveled quite a distance in the past several years, from Protestantism to Catholicism, not realizing that some of my friends were not on the same journey. So, for me, what seemed like a small trek in late April was the conclusion of a spiritual jog that had begun, inadvertently, many years prior. Thus, I saw my friends as only an arms length away, when in fact the distance was greater. And yet, we are so close; so close in fact that we can bridge the distance by our mutual affection and love for Christ, something that theological disputation may not ever be able to bridge this side of heaven.

God bless Stand To Reason.



I am overwhelmed by the power and the humility of the post.

Thank you, and God bless you, and grant you strenght and peace



I apologize for my above comments about you, as I listened to the rest of the show it is clear you were not on the show to engage in heated debate, much less put yourself in a position to harm your friendship with Greg.


Hey Dude,

How do you like them apples?


It depends what apple:
Q:What is worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm?

A:Biting into an apple and finding half a worm!

Dr Beckwith was not there to debate, and the fact remains there are good answers to any Protestant objections.


No need to apologize. :slight_smile:



To me, this interview only goes to show how so many converts make decisions on the emotional level, not the logical one.

Almost every convert to Catholicism from Protestantism I know of has this same overwhelming problem.

But this is only my experience.

Do people convert to Catholicism for "emotional" reasons?

, not the logical one.

Almost every convert to Catholicism from Protestantism I know of has this same overwhelming problem.

But this is only my experience.I think you’ve generalized.

You can’t prove that by my testimony, but I’m pretty sure that you wish it was true.

As if your own conversion, or the ones of so many other n-Cs has no strong underlying emotionalism. :shrug: If God created us to be emotional beings and made that an integral part of our very human natures, then why shouldn’t conversion entail some measure of emotion as well. You imply that n-C conversions are purely rational, and all one has to do is watch n-C services on the TV or attend nearly any service with an altar call to see that that is not true at all at all.

No…I disagree with you (as I most always do…) and say that what you have offered is a specious statement. That means that it’s deceptive and not true.:coffeeread:

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