Coming Soon: Evangelical Exodus

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Over the course a single decade, dozens of students, alumni, and professors from a conservative, evangelical seminary in North Carolina (Southern Evangelical Seminary) converted to Catholicism. These conversions were notable as they occurred among people with varied backgrounds and motivations – many of whom did not share their thoughts with one another until their decisions had been made. Even more striking is that the seminary’s co-founder, long-time president, and popular professor, Norman Geisler, had written two full-length books and several scholarly articles criticizing Catholicism from an Evangelical point of view.

What could have led these seminary-trained students (and some of their professors) to walk away from their Evangelical education and risk losing their jobs, ministries, and sometimes even family and friends, to embrace the teachings they once rejected as false or even heretical? Speculation over this phenomena was rampant and, unfortunately, often dismissive and misguided – leading to more confusion than understanding (ironic, given the seminary’s noted commitment to truth). For those who wish to know the truth, the stories of these converts is now being told by those who know it best – the converts themselves.

Thoughtful Evangelicals, Catholics, and those caught in-between, will benefit from the tales of these personal journeys, as well as the contributors’ discussions of the primary issues they had to face: the nature of the biblical canon, the identification of Christian orthodoxy, as well as the problems with the Protestant doctrines of Sola Scriptura (“Scripture Alone”) and Sola Fide (“Faith Alone”).

Evangelical Exodus will be especially helpful for Evangelicals considering becoming Catholic, as well as anyone wishing to understand why many are doing so.

The book is scheduled for a February 2016 release.

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4 thoughts on “Coming Soon: Evangelical Exodus

  1. Wow! Sounds good. One more Ignatius Press book to add to the growing books shelf of this four year post-exodus Evangelical. Tiber swim team 2012! Just remember potential converts… swim teams are for swimming! Swim hard and keep swimming!

  2. Professor Beaumont,

    (This is Jeff Lynch, one of your students from SES several years ago. You and I corresponded several times in the past. I live in California)

    Regarding your upcoming book, Evangelical Exodus, did your research reveal a large number of students, alumni, etc. leaving any reformed seminaries, i.e. Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, etc.? I would be surprised if that was the case. On the other hand, I am not shocked with the “exodus” from SES to Roman Catholicism, mainly due to the inordinate focus and deep dedication to Thomas Aquinas and his teachings at SES. Will your book wrestle the the “Aquinas angle” and its effect on theological beliefs?

    Thank you. I am looking forward to your book. It sounds like a fascinating read.

    In Christ,

    Jeff Lynch (916) 541-4408

    >

  3. Jeff,

    This is not a research monograph, rather it is a collection of personal “conversion” stories and a few chapters on specific issues. Thus, I did not really research anything else. I would definitely disagree that the faculty/alumni moves to Catholicism are “mainly due to the inordinate focus and deep dedication to Thomas Aquinas and his teachings at SES” however. Obviously his philosophy is taught at SES – but not his theology (at least where it touches Catholic/Protestant issues). Although Aquinas certainly made Catholicism more attractive, he is too easy of a scapegoat to explain the dozens of converts – many of whom entered into Reformed communions long before becoming Catholic. Rather, it is issues that neither evangelicalism nor the various reformed camps can adequately answer that drove most of us beyond his philosophy to his theology. But no more spoilers for now. 😉

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