Over at National Catholic Register, Kathy Schiffer asks; "Why were so many students from Southern Evangelical Seminary willing to risk losing their jobs, ministries, and even family and friends to embrace a religion they once rejected as false or even heretical?" She writes:
Douglas Beaumont has brought together ten compelling conversion stories in a new book, Evangelical Exodus: Evangelical Seminarians and Their Paths to Rome, published by Ignatius Press. Included among the Catholic converts who contributed to this book are Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University; Joshua Betancourt, a lay Catholic hospital chaplain who has worked with St. Joseph Communications and Lighthouse Catholic Media; Andrew Preslar, a founding member of Called to Communion who had studied for the Anglican priesthood before being received into the Byzantine Rite; and seven others, all of whom have at least a Master's degree. Although ten SES students and faculty contributed to this book, Dr. Beaumont reported that there were two or three times as many converts whose conversion stories are not included in this collection.
Of course, their reasons varied. The contributing writers arrived at their Catholic faith from different perspectives, and were motivated by different concerns: the nature of the biblical canon, the identification of Christian orthodoxy, and the problems with the Protestant doctrines of sola scriptura (“scripture alone”) and sola fide (“faith alone”). Many were attracted by the Catholic Church's great beauty—its music, art, great cathedrals. It's important to note that many of the writers had never shared their thoughts with the others before the book was published.
Doug talked with the Register about his own conversion, and about the factors which led him to swim the Tiber and enter into full communion with Rome. “Several things got me thinking about the ancient church,” he explained. “Even though I had studied the Scriptures, I wanted to know more about the formation of the biblical canon. I was interested in what 'counts' as orthodoxy among all Christians, not just those in my tiny little group.” And as he studied and talked with other Christians, in both large and small denominations, the same problems kept popping up; there was always one more step to go.
Beaumont asked himself a hard question: If I trust the church for the Bible that I have, at what point does it become acceptable to not trust the church any longer?