Cliff was raised in the Christian Reformed faith. After attending Calvin College and Seminary, he was ordained a minister of that denomination. He was a minister for 42 years. He describes how a deep hunger for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist led him and his wife Home to the Catholic Church.
by Dr. Kenneth Howell. I am deeply grateful for how I grew up. I was baptized into the Presbyterian Church when I was an infant, grew up in a good, solid congregation that had a vibrant youth group in my teen years. I attended a Presbyterian college, a Reformed seminary, and taught in a Reformed seminary before becoming a Catholic. As I look back I can now see three ways in which the Reformed Faith prepared me for becoming a Catholic.
Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803–1876) was a New England intellectual and activist, preacher, labor organizer, and noted Catholic convert and writer. Brownson was a publicist, a career which spanned his affiliation with the New England Transcendentalists through his subsequent conversion to Roman Catholicism.
Intellectually, I had a strong “faith” in the tenets of Protestantism, particularly as they were expressed in the Calvinist tradition. Yet Calvinism excused my sin as something God Himself did not see, since, so I believed, the righteousness of Christ had been imputed to me because of my genuine faith, covering over my sins so that He was blind to them, at least insofar as my salvation was concerned.
Ron Moffat, a former Scots Calvinist recalls his journey into the Catholic Church. “Peter said simply, ‘Lord to whom shall we go?’ I knew in my heart, there was nowhere else I could go if I wanted a faith that wasn’t subject to change depending on the latest intellectual fads. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, but if I wasn’t, I knew there was no better alternative.”
Over the next few years of talking to [my friend] about what he was studying, I slowly began to understand the TULIP doctrines and I realized that I didn’t actually agree with any of them. As a good Protestant, I knew that I could question every tenet of the faith that I had been brought up in and still be a good Christian, so as I gradually began to doubt Calvinism, I never questioned my relationship with God, nor His love for me.
Browsing the religion section of the local used bookstore, I caught sight of a peculiar volume, the black and red ink on the spine contrasting sharply against the drab surroundings. “Now, there’s an oxymoron!” I thought to myself as I reflected on the book’s title, which read Catholic and Christian. Intrigued by the apparent paradox, I reluctantly grasped the book from the shelf and began reading, beginning with the ornate back cover. The author was a certain Dr. Alan Schreck, a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. His objective was simple—to clarify Catholic doctrine for the many Catholic and non-Catholic Christians who misunderstand it. At $4.50 the paperback seemed a bargain I couldn’t afford to ignore. Little did I know that this meager investment would pave the foundation for my journey home to the Catholic Church.
A Protestant Historian Discovers the Catholic Church by A. David Anders, Ph.D. I grew up an Evangelical Protestant in Birmingham, Alabama. My parents were loving and devoted, sincere in their faith, and deeply involved in our church. They instilled in me a respect for the Bible as the Word of God, and a desire for […]
I was born into a loving, believing community, a Protestant “mother church” (the Reformed Church) which, though it had not for me the fullness of the faith, had strong and genuine piety. I believed, mainly because of the good example of my parents and my church. The faith of my parents, Sunday School teachers, ministers, and relatives made a real difference to their lives, a difference big enough to compensate for many shortcomings. “Love covers a multitude of sins.”