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

Return to ROME
By Francis J. Beckwith

3 – Summa Apologia

Page 47: I graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 1983. I had switched my major two years earlier from journalism to philosophy as I became interested in studying theology more formally in graduate school. Advice from mentors, my undergraduate studies, and my wide reading in theology had convinced me that even if I were to study apologetics more formally in graduate school, philosophy was the discipline in which I should earn my doctorate.
Note: Has Francis J. Beckwith used this gained knowledge to preach Jesus Christ?
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. Acts 26:19-25.

Pages 47-48: It seemed to me that philosophy has a unique and important role to play in our understanding of the nature of knowledge and its relationship to Christian faith and its rationality. “Philosophy,” according to my friend J.P. Moreland, “operates as a second-order discipline that investigates other disciplines.” What he means is that the primary task of the philosopher is to critically examine the logical, metaphysical, and empirical foundations of particular disciplines and beliefs. For example, an attorney, a specialist in the first-order discipline of law, is the person one ought to consult concerning one’s rights pertaining to the area of law in question, for example, property law, criminal law, tort law, etc. On the other hand, a philosopher of law tries to answer such questions as “What is a right?” “What is the nature of rights?” or “Is there a natural law that transcends culture?” The theologian is the person best suited to answer questions concerning religious history, biblical theology, or dogmatics. On the other hand, the philosopher of religion seeks to find answers to questions such as, “Is it rational to believe in God?” “Are God’s attributes logically coherent?” “Are miracles possible?”
Note: Has Francis J. Beckwith used this gained knowledge to preach Jesus Christ?
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:8-10.

Page 60: Due to the combined influences of Montgomery, Reformed theology, and my Fordham professors, as the end of the 1980s approached, I had become convinced that the Catholic creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed), the deliverances of the first six ecumenical councils, as well as the canons of the Synod of Orange (AD 529), were authoritative renderings of Christian doctrine. I was also convinced that I believed this because these ecclesiastical pronouncements were derived exclusively from biblical exegesis and nothing more. Since I had studied the works of quasi-Christian groups (such as the Mormon church) that denied the veracity of the Catholic creeds because they were deemed “extra biblical” I was driven to a deep respect and appreciation for the formulation and promulgation of the Catholic creeds, which are embraced as normative by most “Prostestant eyes,” and thus I missed much of their carefully crafted language, what they assumed and asserted ecclesiastically, and when they occurred historically, all of which would play a part in establishing a first premise in an internal conversation that led to my return to the Catholic Church nearly two decades later.
Note: Has Francis J. Beckwith used this gained knowledge to preach Jesus Christ?
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.