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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Michael Spencer

Thank you, Carl. This is an extremely helpful contribution to the conversation. You are an outstanding interviewer. The Mohler question was a "10."

Carl Olson

Thanks, Michael. It's a real pleasure to interview men like Dr. Beckwith, as well as Dr. Noll (a great scholar and gentleman), Dr. Brad Harper (witty and humble), and others who know Evangelicalism well and who have substantial, serious things to say about Catholic-Evangelical relations. It's encouraging to see that this dialogue, however difficult and intense it can be, can be done in an authentic spirit of charity and brotherhood.


Marvelous interview. I now have a sense of what happened. Is there ever a chance of pulling some of your stuff together as a book? Kind of like what Philip Yancey has done.

Francis Beckwith

I would love to do it. I just need a publisher. :-)

Carl Olson

Hmmm... a publisher, you say? I'll see if I can think of one that I can recommend. ;-)

Mark Brumley

A very good interview. The best I have seen on the subject yet.


A great interview!


Great interview. Dr. Beckwith enriches the Church with a rich mind and a gentle spirit. May God bless him in his walk with God.

Angelo Natalie

Great answers to intelligent questions. Thank you, my brothers! I have a hunch Frank's "journey home" book is going to one that I will buy for friends (and myself, of course).

As a church musician, I would love an essay from Dr. Beckwith on music in worship ... fleshing out the brief comments made here and other interviews.

Philip Saenz

Dear Dr. Francis Beckwith,
I'm glad you finally saw the light. What took you so long? If you would have had greater faith in Jesus Christ, you would have become Catholic a long time ago. Dr., Jesus is the head of His Church. Jesus is infallible. Therefore, His Church is infallible. The Holy Catholic Church is the only Church that will dare claim the charism of infallibility out in the open. Only a true church will dare claim that because it has to claim it. Presto, then, it is the Holy Catholic Church. Why belong to a church that can't even claim infallibility? Do you see what faith will do?

Philip Saenz

Dear Dr. Francis Beckwith,
I'm glad you finally saw the light. What took you so long? If you would have had greater faith in Jesus Christ, you would have become Catholic a long time ago. Dr., Jesus is the head of His Church. Jesus is infallible. Therefore, His Church is infallible. The Holy Catholic Church is the only Church that will dare claim the charism of infallibility out in the open. Only a true church will dare claim that because it has to claim it. Presto, then, it is the Holy Catholic Church. Why belong to a church that can't even claim infallibility? Do you see what faith will do?

Pr. Dave Poedel

A very good interview with a very interesting man. I left the Roman Church in the early 70's and found Lutheranism to be a good place to grow. While I will always be a Catholic, I am now an Evangelical Catholic rather than a Roman one. Even after studying in Rome, I know that God is using me to His service as a Pastor in a conservative Lutheran synod.

There is no room for anti-Roman or anti-Evangelical polemics. As someone who sits squarely between Roman and Evangelical theologies, I enjoy living the best of both: The Real Presence of our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist AND the centrality of Holy Scripture. And, yes, I will acknowledge that we claim "sola scriptura", we do indeed have a Tradition through which we interpret the Scripture, which includes the Lutheran Confessions, but also other Tradition that may or not be written.

Tony Jordan

Dr. Beckwith, is no doubt a highly trained philosopher, theologian, obviously extremely acquainted with the 'core' of Reformation Truth, plus all that Catholic philosophy and theology offers as well!

However, at the end of the day, there are certain fundamental Biblical truths, such as 'Justification' by grace through Faith 'Alone' that is, 'The Grace Alone, embodied in Christ, corresponds to the Faith 'Alone' in the believer, that simply cannot be denied, as emphatically proclaimed by the most anointed Apostle of them all, Paul, whom Almighty God used to pen almost 2/3 of New Testament Scripture.

In other words, Salvation is either by Grace through Faith, Alone, or Grace, + Faith, + Sacraments + works = Salvation, as believed by Catholicism! This is not what we find in God's Word. The Law of non-contradiction, in Logic, makes it abundantly clear that two competing 'Truth' claims cannot be both right, at the same time and same respect. Catholicism uses Eastern Logic, in order to justify her plan of salvation, both/and, which is simply not logical. Salvation is either by Grace through Faith, Alone, OR, by works, i.e., sacraments, etc! It cannot be both! Of course, Catholicism insist it is by both, using eastern dialectic logic, both/and, which is illogical!

No amount of philosophical meandering, nor the preponderance of writings by early church Fathers, can validate erroneous doctrine. Quod non est biblicum, non est theologicum: What is not biblical is not theological. Scripturam ex Scriptura explicandam: Scripture is to be explained from Scripture; one of the several forms of a maxim employed by both Lutheran and Reformed orthodox to indicate the normative authority and self-unthenticating character of Scripture over against the Roman Catholic contention that the church has the absolute authority to explain the text. The Orthodox grant that Scripture cannot be interpreted outside of the church; but insist that the authority of the church derives from Scripture, and not the authority of Scripture from the church's testimony. Since the Word, as such, is authoritative and effective, it must be its own standard of interpretation. (Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms, by Richard A. Muller, pp. 256, 277).

Tony Jordan

Again, I cannot fathom how men like Dr. Beckwith, and other Protestants of his ilk; could turn their backs on the emphatic Biblical truth of God's Word, to embrace the likes of Catholic dogma, which essentially 'apotheosized' Mary, elevating her to divine status, deification. This is not my opinion, but comes from a most treasured book of Catholicism, "The Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori" Let us hear a few of the most blasphemous pronouncements from this revered book. "Thou art the Mother of God, and ALL-POWERFUL to save sinners, and with God thou needest NO OTHER RECOMMENDATION for thou art the Mother of true life."(p.155). "For thy protection is OMNIPOTENT, O Mary,' says Cosmos of Jerusalem, 'Yes, Mary is Omnipotent." (Ibid., p. 155). "At the command of Mary, ALL Obey, Even God" (Ibid., p.155).

Here is where the 'Law of Non-Contradiction' simply cannot be got around, for it will haunt you to the end, and God knew what He was doing when He created these logical principles, which He allowed Aristotle to discover, and it is a 'thorn' and will continue to be, in the side of eastern dialectic logic, which Catholicism holds on to, in order to justify her BOTH/AND Jesus/Mary, theology, instead of the absolute 'Truth' of God's Word, that is, it is EITHER/OR, that THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, is either ALL that the Bible, proclaims and declares Him to be, the ONLY Saviour, the ONLY Mediator, the Only Advocate, the Only High Priest before the Father, because He is Omnipotently, Omnisciently and Omnipresently sufficient as God, the Second Person of the Eternal Godhead, OR HE IS ABSOLUTELY, NOTHING AT ALL!

The Word of God, the Bible, makes it abundantly clear, that the Eternal Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who ALONE, are Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, can see and know the hearts of all men, and therefore, are the ONLY ones who collectively as One God, in three persons, function sovereignly, and DO NOT share this Glory with anyone outside of their Omnipotent domain.

Hear the Word of God! "I AM the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praises to carved images." (Isa. 42: 8). This is why Jesus said. "Father, the hour has come, Glorify Your Son, that Your son may also glorify you, as You have given Him authority over ALL FLESH, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him." "And this is eternal life, that they many KNOW (Who?) You, the only true God, and (Who?) Jesus Christ, (not a mention of Mary) whom You have sent." (John 17: 1b-5a) emphasis added.

You cannot interpose Mary, or any other departed soul, to intercede for anyone on earth, as NOT only is it utterly and completely un-Scriptutal, it id ALSO absurdly and down rightly Illogical, based on the absolute sovereign declaration in God's Word, and all that Jesus said, as divinely recorded in His Word. " God who at various times and in various ways spoke in past times to the Fathers by the Prophets, has in the last days spoken to us by HIS SON...who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding ALL THINGS by the word of His power, when He had (with the consent and help of Mary, NO! NO! NO!) BY HIMSELF purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of majesty on high." (Hebrews)

And what does The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, do for us here on earth, let us hear from the Word of God, yet again.

"But He (Jesus) because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore, He is also able (to do what?) SAVE (to what extent?) TO THE UTTERMOST those who (first go to Mary, NO!) who come to God (directly) THROUGH HIM, (Why?) since He ALWAYS lives (to do what?) To make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:24) emphasis added.

Let us now, by sound contextual analysis, bring together a few other text to show emphatically, from God's Word, the Scriptures, that ONLY the sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, eternal Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are the ONLY ONES, who are not only capable, but the ONLY ONES declared in Scripture, that are absolutely necessary to Hear us pray, and who ALONE can effect any communication for forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.

1) "Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE, no man cometh unto the Father BUT BY ME." (John. 14: 6) Emphasis added.

How do we know this means that JESUS is the ONLY Mediator between the Father in the Spirit realm, and mankind here on earth?

Hear God's Word again:

2) "For there is ONE GOD, and ONE MEDIATOR between (who and where?) God (In Heaven) and men (on earth) the Man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5) emphasis added.

Now, the next text is absolutely potent with confirmation, that ONLY the Eternal Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are able, capable, and absolutely sufficient to hear any one on earth, when we pray. Not Mary, or any other departed soul! Listen to God's Word:

3) "For through HIM (The Lord Jesus Christ), we both HAVE ACCESS, (By how many spirits?) ONE SPIRIT (The Holy Spirit) UNTO THE FATHER" (Eph. 2:18) emphasis added.

Taking John 14:6; I Tim 2:5; and finally Eph. 2:18, by sound Biblical Hermeneutics, and proper contextual analysis, emphatically show the sovereign interconnectedness of THE TRINITY.

This resolutely, rules OUT any other departed spirit, Mary included, from not only being unnecessary, but renders it totally un-Scriptural to expect her to hear the prayers of any one on earth, as ONLY the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient; therefore, to ascribe such attributes to Mary, which is the only logical way she could function is such a capacity, is tantamount to blasphemy against the Godhead, and gross idolatry.

The blessed Mary, has had nothing whatsoever, nor the Godhead, to do with all these utterly unbiblical claims about her.

What are Mary's last recorded words in the New Testament? Let us hear from God's Word. "Whatever He (Jesus) says to you, DO IT.' (Jh. 2:5b) The next verse then records: "This beginning of sings did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested (what?) His Glory; and His disciples believed IN HIM." (Jn. 2:11).

In Luke 1:28, Mary is referred to as, "...blessed are you AMOMG WOMEN" Here we see the Holy Spirit using the preposition 'en' which means according to position, is, "in, on, at, among, within" and relationally, means, 'besides' and 'with' this is precisely why He did NOT use the preposition 'huper' which means 'beyond' 'over' or 'above' for Mary is NOT above any of the redeemed children of God, as Catholicism has exalted and literally deified her to be, and can be found nowhere in the New Testament in such a status. All of this exaltation and deification can only be found in the un-scriptural, spurious sacred tradition of Romanism.

Unfortunately, and sadly, the Jesus of catholicism is another (heteron) Jesus; the gospel of Catholicism is another (heteron) gospel; and the spirit of Catholicism is another (heteron) spirit!

Joseph Paul Adorable

The story of Dr. Francis Beckwith, like the stories of Dr. Scott Hahn, David B. Currie and many others, are good testimonies to share.

Indeed, "We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the sake of truth." (2 Cor. 13:8).

Joseph Paul Adorable

Joseph Paul Adorable

Message for Mr. Tony Jordan. Please read any Catholic book in the light of the official teachings of the Church. If you do, you will understand why Dr. Francis Beckwith embraced the Catholic faith.

With regards to the Blessed Virgin Mary, please do not exclude in your readings these verses: Gen. 3:15; John 19: 26-27 and Luke 1:48.

Ave Maria!

Joseph Paul Adorable

Richard Price

Very interesting reading, however I am struggling a little bit with a few points.

1) With the appeal to the early church Fathers being useful and interesting, with issues as 'vital' as the Virgin Mary, considering her role, doesn't it seem entirely suspect that more is not laid down in the Bible? I know some of the proof texts especially in Revelations, but aren't you concerned that the view of Mary and the development of the doctrine about her s based on a series of very tenuous prepositions that have been allowed to develop with little of a more objective framework to judge that development? What worries me is that the development of that doctrine is not really accountable to the Bible, because it is entirely contingent on the way the Catholic church interpets the Bible.

2) Arguments from silence about it being possible for her to have been assumed as enoch was, a the fact her tomb was reputed to be found empty offer little in terms of positive truth. I have found the case that converts will establish whether Rome's authority seems half-credible then somehow lay aside these more difficult issues and chalk down to the church being presumed as infallible in its formations of these dogma's. Is this not a concern you have?

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