Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Why Do Evangelicals Convert to the Catholic Church?" - Evangelical Theologians solve the Mystery!

Have you ever wondered why people like pizza? "Is mystery", as the great spanish philosopher and manservant Manuel once said. Well, the issue is now solved. Scientists and surveys have consistently proven that people like pizzas because they are yummy.

Have you ever wondered why people become Christians? Yes, I know people like Richard Dawkins would agree with Manuel's conclusion ("Is mystery"), but once again, it seems that the mystery has been solved. 100% of those who convert to Christianity have said that it has something to do with believing in Jesus Christ. Imagine that.

Well, now some evangelical theologians believe they have solved the riddle of "Why Are Evangelicals Converting to Roman Catholicism?" In this article, Michael J. Vlach of reports on Scot McKnight's September 2002 article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society "From Wheaton to Rome: Why Evangelicals Become Roman Catholic."

And the answer is? Well, there are four answers:(1) a desire for certainty; (2) a desire for history; (3) a desire for unity; and (4) a desire for authority.

Fancy that, eh? Who'd have thought? One can barely resist the temptation to go "Duhhh." People like pizzas because they're yummy, they become Christians because they believe in Christ, and they become Catholics because they are seeking certainty, history, unity and authority.

But now, here is the really weird thing: is there something WRONG with these desires? I mean, are we supposed to think "Poor souls, led astray by their idolatrous desires"? Are they implying that those evangelicals who do NOT convert to the Catholic Church do NOT desire these things? Is there something "weak" in desiring these things? Are true Christians those who can hold their heads high and stand against the storms of controversy that rage in their traditions BECAUSE they lack of certainty, history, unity, and authority?

What is one to make of such observations?


At Sunday, April 13, 2008 2:39:00 pm , Blogger Rob said...

-Are true Christians those who can hold their heads high and stand against the storms of controversy that rage in their traditions BECAUSE they lack of certainty, history, unity, and authority?-

Hmmmmm. I think some in the Emergent Church might say that.

Good news is, maybe recognizing this will make some of the more radical evangelicals think more about these matters (in particular history and authority) and rectify some of the madness out there. (we have Jesus-onlies over here. That's a neat one. They are anti-trinitarian, only Jesus is God; indistinguishable from the father, etc. Anyone detect a lack of a magisterium?)

At Sunday, April 13, 2008 9:42:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

Michael J. Vlach

Vlach is the name given to Romanians by non-Latin populations. I fancy some of his ancetors to have possibly been Aromanians from Balkan countries.

At Sunday, April 13, 2008 9:46:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

What is one to make of such observations?

I don't know and I don't care. As You can clearly see even from my previous comment, I'm an Orthodox, and thus I cherish nationality and nationalism over and above about everything else (the whole tribal, patriarchal thing, You know ...)

At Monday, April 14, 2008 9:51:00 pm , Blogger L P Cruz said...


I blog about this a long time ago here

See what you think.

The truth is that the Evangelical in as much as it has no idea what that word means, which the first Prots used to describe themselves have always been like Roman in its theology. Evangelicalism is fed heavily by the Pietist/Revivalist stream. Hence, there is no certainty because there is always movement and revival going on. It is quite faddish because experience is the norm. Of course, the novelty of experience wears out so a new "move" of the Spirit is sought after. People get tired of that.
If everything is shifting, no history and no creed, of course it leads to uncertainty.

They wake up in the morning wondering why they ain't Roman, when they can not answer why they are Evangelical, of course, they should be Roman.

But that long rant is not the reason for my post here.

This Sunday my Lutheran church picked some of the hymns you edited way back then when you were with the LCA. My heart was strangely warmed when I saw your name in the credits.

I want to say I appreciate your past work in those hymns.

Thanks for blessing the Lutheran Church of Aus.

The Infamous

At Monday, April 14, 2008 9:54:00 pm , Blogger L P Cruz said...


I know you are a double agent but we wont tell Mother Church about that.



At Tuesday, April 15, 2008 4:11:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Louis Bouyer was of the opinion that there was a spiritual connection between revivalist protestantism and Catholicism. I don't know where that puts your thesis, LPC. And yes, I would agree, that anyone who can't answer the question "Why am I not Catholic?" should be one.

Re the hymns: Thems were the good ol' days. Occasionally I attend a Lutheran service and see one of my hymns being used too--occasionally not credited. For those of you wanting to see some of them, why not have a look at my other blog: Sing Lustily and With Good Courage (

At Wednesday, April 16, 2008 3:04:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Looks like I'm off the hook, since I have Catholic and now Lutheran reasons why I am not Catholic.

Interesting that some of the big number winning "evangelical" types are now beginning to see that their back door stats aren't that good.

Experience -- what I'm doing for or about Jesus -- over that Jesus has done for me eventually will leave one empty, since it isn't the Gospel, it's me about the Gospel.

The problem is, one can find certainty, history, unity and authority in all sorts of places, and many do. These things of themselves prove nothing except having found certainty, history, unity and authority. There is nothing per se wrong with these things -- unless one is certain of what is in fact an error, the error has a long history, the unity is unity in error, and the authority defines the error.

At Friday, October 03, 2008 8:22:00 pm , Anonymous gerhard e. said...

Credo in Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam

- Unam: Unity (Interior: certainty of doctrine; exterior: institutional unity of the faithful of the catholic church)
- Apostolicam: Historicity and authority

There are missing
- Catholicam: Universality (opposite of radicality) gives answers to all the questions of life to all the people in the whole world)

- Sanctam: The catholic cult, the sacraments and its institutions are holy. They are animated by the Holy Spirit, ant testified by martyrs and miracles.

I think that all the four notes are found the best in the Catholic Church


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