When I was eight years old, my best friend informed me that I would be going to hell since I had not yet been baptized. My best friend had been
From Hatred to Hope: One Man’s 20 Year Journey into the Catholic Faith by Daniel Burke. My first exposure to Catholicism was through an abusive step-father. A few key memories include our home being destroyed end-to-end in a drunken rage, and forensic photographs of my mother after a brutal encounter. My most prominent memory is of gunfire in our home during a shouting match between him and my mother. I was only nine years old. Not the greatest introduction to the faith.
A special panel of Catholic converts discuss the topic of Sola Scriptura or “Bible Alone”.
In seminary the problems we had with Evangelical belief were only exacerbated. From my early days as an Evangelical I had been aware of the many differences in interpreting the Bible and the plethora of Protestant groups all claiming to have the “correct” biblical teaching. This awareness intensified at seminary as we studied various Protestant traditions and their interpretations of the Bible.
Through my history classes I quickly realized that all allegedly “Bible only” groups actually had an extensive extra-biblical tradition for interpreting the Bible. This tradition was influenced by specific ways of reading texts and ways of explaining uncomfortable passages that don’t fit with the system. It was also heavily determined by historical, social, political, theological, and philosophical factors. In many cases Protestant traditions had surreptitiously adapted the traditional teaching of the historic Church.
As an active Protestant Christian in my mid-twenties, I began to feel that I might have a vocation to become a minister. The more I studied, the more perplexed I became. At one stage my elder sister, a very committed Evangelical Protestant with somewhat flexible denominational affiliations, chided me with becoming “obsessed” with trying to find a “true Church.” “Does it really matter?” she would ask.
In 1978, I was ordained a Presbyterian minister (Presbyterian Church in America) and served two churches while I also obtained a doctoral degree in biblical linguistics. Shortly after my ordination, I was preaching a homily on the unity of the Church and stated that the only justification for the Reformation was that the Catholic Church had left the Gospel.
I was like many teenagers: The Church’s proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ just did not seem relevant to my life. I never made a conscious choice to be an atheist; rather, I just assumed that the Church had nothing to say to me.
“The more we studied, the more the beauty, majesty, weight and history of the whole of the Christian world seemed to open up to us. We had not really left our core beliefs behind at all – indeed we love and greatly appreciate what we had been given in our Presbyterian communities – we had only fleshed them out in a real sense.”
Former Protestant pastor, Dr. John Bergsma, joins host Marcus Grodi on this episode of Deep in Scripture to discuss 1 Timothy 3: 14-15 and the authority of the Church.
Marcus Grodi welcomes former Associate Reformed Presbyterian Mark Ayers to discuss Scripture verses 1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 16:19; Isaiah 22:15-25; Luke 22:32; Luke 1:39-56 and Samuel 6:1-14.
In this “Year for Priests,” Marcus asks guests to choose Scripture verses that have specifically inspired them to follow Jesus. Marcus welcomes Dr. Eduardo Echeverria, former Evangelical and Reformed Calvinist,
Marcus welcomes long-time friend Dr. Scott Hahn. Marcus and Scott went to Protestant seminary together, and Marcus was surprised to find out that the once anti-Catholic Scott, had become Catholic! This