James K.A. Smith reviews Francis Beckwith’s book about his return to Rome. Francis J. Beckwith (Ph.D., Fordham) at one time was the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has written several books and was considered a leading and intellectual voice in the culture wars and on the side of the “objective” truth of Christianity or what I would call the modern approach to such questions.
Smith, I think, rightly determines that Beckwith’s “return” was more a coming home than return to something larger than his former world of evangelicalism. Rather than a move, it was a full circle journey that conveniently allowed Beckwith to remain within that same world (mind-set) he supposedly left behind.
In this whole area of people converting or moving between traditions, what is more interesting is when the one moving tells us it was because he learned something or was faced with an event/experience that actually called his current world into question and then he made a choice to change or move to something that was truly different than his former world. I have not read Beckwith’s book, so I can’t say for sure, but based upon Smith’s review, this doesn’t seem to describe what happened to Beckwith in his “return” to Rome.