Book Critique of Return to ROME by Dr. Francis J. Beckwith

Return to ROME
By Francis J. Beckwith

2 – Viva Las Vegas

Page 29: But when one’s character has been shaped by a Vegas culture of unbridled indulgence, combined with parents living disordered lives, it is only with great difficulty that one can reorient oneself away from such deeply embedded influences. Looking back at what has been wrought in this branch of my family has helped make me more confident in the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage, family, and the common good.
Note: Christians will refer to Scripture for sound advice on marriage, family, and the common good.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:18-21.

Page 30: My parents supported the Civil Rights Movement and were diligent in making sure that my brother and I knew of Dr. King and the tragedy of his death.
Note: Martin Luther King, Jr. should not be viewed as a Christian role model.
In his 1986 book Bearing the Cross, David Garrow wrote about a number of extramarital affairs, including one woman King saw almost daily. According to Garrow, "that relationship ... increasingly became the emotional centerpiece of King's life, but it did not eliminate the incidental couplings ... of King's travels." He alleged that King explained his extramarital affairs as "a form of anxiety reduction". Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Pages 30-31: Although I was too young to remember the presidency of John F. Kennedy, my father made sure we listened to the late president’s 1961 inaugural address, one of the great political speeches in American history.
Note: John F. Kennedy should not be viewed as a Christian role model.
According to Michael O'Brien of the Washington Monthly, on February 7, 1960, Frank Sinatra and Campbell were in Las Vegas, where Sinatra introduced her to John F. Kennedy, then a senator and presidential candidate. In her 1977 memoir, she said that she became one of JFK's mistresses for a period of about two years, frequently visiting him in the White House after he was elected president. Her account was supported by phone records and other documentation, although Kennedy staff and supporters attacked her veracity when she published her memoir. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Pages 34-35: Because I was born in 1960, I was part of the first generation of American Catholics who would have no memory of the Church prior to Vatican II. This also meant that I grew up, and attended Catholic schools, during a time in which well-meaning Catholic leaders were testing all sorts of innovations in the church, many of which were deleterious to the proper formation of young people. Vatican II itself was not the problem. The problem was the implementation of its reforms and the way in which some Catholics misinterpreted its documents due to the influence of widely held cultural views that were in some ways antithetical to a mature Christian faith.
Note: Not hearing Scripture in your language would be antithetical to your faith.
The most palpable changes which followed the council include the widespread use of vernacular language in Holy Mass instead of the Latin language, the subtle disuse of ornate clerical regalia, the revision of Eucharistic prayers, the abbreviation of the liturgical calendar, along with various indirect changes such as the celebration of the Mass with the officiant facing the congregation (versus populum), instead of facing east toward the Lord (ad orientem); the displacement of the Church tabernacle from the central aisle, and for modern aesthetic changes encompassing contemporary Catholic liturgical music and artwork, many of which remain divisive and polemic among the Catholic faithful as of 2015. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Page 44: This interest in Mormon theology never waned. After earning my PhD at Fordham University in 1989, I published two books and several academic articles on LDS beliefs. What was especially gratifying about my second book on Mormonism was that it was taken seriously by LDS scholars, two of which wrote book jacket endorsements: Brigham Young University Professor Daniel Peterson and LDS philosopher Blake Ostler. I say all this because one of the lessons that I learned from the examples set by both my parents and Dan Green is that when you disagree with another person you must not forget that that individual is still entitled to both your respect as well as your Christian charity. This is why I have always tried my best to offer my criticisms of LDS thought in measured tones rather than with inflammatory rhetoric, which, sadly, is not atypical in some quarters of Christianity.
Note: Would Francis J. Beckwith disapprove of the conduct of Jesus Christ?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:15-28.

Page 44: Danny Green has since become a strong Calvinist, having come under the influence of the writings of Michael Scott Horton and R.C. Sproul. This, however, does not surprise me. For my experience has been that most very intelligent Christians who had come to a deeper walk with Christ in independent Evangelical and/or non-liturgical churches often gravitate toward a theological and/or ecclesiastical tradition that has strong historical roots, such as Calvinism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, or East Orthodoxy.
Note: Are “intelligent” Christians missing the work of God in new movements?
Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’” Luke 5:33-39.