Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic

( 1 )


"In 2007 Francis Beckwith, an esteemed scholar on ethical and political issues at Baylor University, after announcing that he had returned to the Roman Catholic Church, resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society. In this highly readable apologia pro vita sua, Frank reveals the reasons for his surprising spiritual odyssey."--Edwin M. Yamauchi, Miami University and 2006 ETS President

"Frank Beckwith sketches vividly the sense of home that so many of us have found in the Catholic Church. It is the ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $2.93   
  • New (9) from $7.25   
  • Used (8) from $2.93   
Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price
(Save 33%)$15.00 List Price


"In 2007 Francis Beckwith, an esteemed scholar on ethical and political issues at Baylor University, after announcing that he had returned to the Roman Catholic Church, resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society. In this highly readable apologia pro vita sua, Frank reveals the reasons for his surprising spiritual odyssey."--Edwin M. Yamauchi, Miami University and 2006 ETS President

"Frank Beckwith sketches vividly the sense of home that so many of us have found in the Catholic Church. It is the one place where we can have it all, where we can be both evangelical and catholic. Told with grace and wit, Frank Beckwith narrates life as it really is: a divine comedy. And he makes us all laugh with him as he tells a truly edifying story."--Scott Hahn, Franciscan University of Steubenville

"Moving, memorable, unblinkingly honest but always alive with charity, Beckwith's Christian story--leaving the Catholic Church, serving the Lord as a world class Evangelical scholar and teacher, then finally returning to his Catholic roots while treasuring his Evangelical journey--is an unforgettable witness. I highly recommend it."--Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Denver

"St. Augustine famously said that the word 'religion' is derived from reeligere, to choose again, perhaps over and over in the sense of a reunion. Here is that reunion story once again. Frank Beckwith takes us through some of the most interesting religious and intellectual terrain of the post-1960s generation of American Catholics. Far from being a rebuke of Evangelical Protestants, who nourished him deeply, Beckwith's 'confession' should be a wake-up call for Catholics."--Russell Hittinger, University of Tulsa

"Frank Beckwith's memoir is a remarkable act of evangelical charity. He recounts his reversion to Catholicism in ways that honor his Evangelical past, even as he shows how its riches are being transformed by his new life in the communion of Rome."--Ralph C. Wood, Baylor University

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In May 2007, Beckwith, the president of the Evangelical Theology Society (ETS), stepped down as president of the society and resigned his membership. Eight days earlier, Beckwith had embraced the Catholicism of his childhood and youth and had been publicly received back into the Catholic Church. In this thinly written, often plodding book, Beckwith lukewarmly chronicles his journey back to Catholicism, from his early days of reading philosophy and his academic study with Protestant Christian apologists such as Norman Geisler and John Warwick Montgomery to his graduate work at Fordham and the encouragement of various family members to embrace Catholicism once again. In the end, Beckwith takes the best from both worlds, claiming that he is an evangelical insofar as he believes in the Gospel (evangel) and a Catholic insofar as he believes that the church is universal. Since Beckwith's book resembles a conversation among those in the know about the principles and struggles within ETS and Catholicism, it would have been more useful as a journal article. The book has little meaning for anyone outside this select circle struggling with a move from Protestantism to Catholicism. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Here, Beckwith, a high-profile former Evangelical Theological Society president, tells the provocative story of his return to the Catholic Church. He begins with his early religious upbringing and training, dropping the names of past and present theologians along the way, then explains the rationale behind his atypical spiritual odyssey as well as why he still considers himself an evangelical. Grover Gardner, who's read over 650 commercial audio titles, employs a solemn tone for this tale of transformation. Of limited interest and therefore recommended only to scholars or theologians. [Audio clip available through]
—Deb West

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587432477
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/10/2009
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis J. Beckwith (PhD, Fordham University; MJS, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis) is professor of philosophy and church-state studies, and fellow and faculty associate in the Institute for the Studies of Religion, at Baylor University. In 2008-09, he will serve on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame as the Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellow in Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice and To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

It's difficult to explain why one moves from one Christian tradition to another. It is like trying to give an account to your friends why you chose to pursue for marriage this woman rather than that one, though both may have a variety of qualities that you found attractive. It seems to me then that any account of my return to the Catholic church, however authentic and compelling it is to me, will appear inadequate to anyone who is absolutely convinced that I was wrong. Conversely, my story will confirm in the minds of many devout Catholics that the supernatural power of the grace I received at baptism and confirmation as a youngster were instrumental in drawing me back to the Mother Church. Given these considerations, I confess that there is an awkwardness in sharing my journey as a published book, knowing that many fellow Christians will scrutinize and examine my reasons in ways that appear to some uncharitable and to others too charitable.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bridge building

    A couple of years ago Francis Beckwith created a small sensation in Christian circles when he decided to return to the Catholic Church while still the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. This book is his account of the events and deliberations that prompted him to make such a move. Even though the book focuses on this particular move, it is filled with theological and personal reflections that can be of interest to many who are interested in the role that Christian life plays in America in the past fifty years. Like most conversion stories, this book narrates both the personal experiences and theological reflections. This is not a triumphalist book that will try to pound a particular doctrinal message, but a frank and honest reflection of someone who tries to live his Christian vocation with integrity and sincerity. Rather than stressing the discontinuities between his two lives as a Catholic and one as an Evangelical protestant, Beckwith portrays all of these transitions as part of his spiritual and intellectual growth. He is very charitable and respectful of all of his erstwhile Evangelical Protestant colleagues, and tries to maintain good relations with them. He also makes a powerful case that there is nothing intrinsically contradictory in being an Evangelical and being a Catholic, and a chapter in this book is dedicated to making an argument for inclusion of Catholics in Evangelical Theological Society. He maintains also that there are many things that faithful Catholics can learn from Evangelicals, and hopefully this book can serve the purpose of bridging the gap between those two sometimes-estranged communities.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012


    While not a comprehensive understanding of Catholic doctrine it corrects common error in most protestant though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)