The evangelical defection to Rome appears to be continuing unabated, as Jason Reed, formerly of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, has joined the Roman communion. Indeed, it’s because he was formerly a professor at SES that his conversion has caused a ruckus in certain parts of evangelicalism. (You can hear Jason tell the story of his conversion here.)
To be honest, I’m unsurprised to hear that yet another “evangelical” has swum the Tiber and made tracks for Rome.
Allow me, if you please to explain why I’m unsurprised. If you watch the video I’ve linked to above, between the 33 and 35 minute mark, Mr. Reed effectively states that leading up to his conversion to Rome, he couldn’t define evangelicalism. I can tell you why he couldn’t define evangelicalism—it’s because right now, evangelicalism is an amorphous blog with no real doctrinal center. As I believe I’ve said before here at Southern Reformation, the vast majority of evangelicals aren’t really Protestants to start with—they’re just not Catholic. There is a whole world of difference between the two.
Furthermore, given the fact that Mr. Reed was educated at SES, and was Dr. Norm Geisler’s research assistant when he was writing his Systematic Theology, his conversion is even less surprising. Dr. Geisler is well-known as a Thomist philosopher who is a rabid anti-Calvinist and consistently puts philosophy before theology. If you’ve read Dr. Geisler’s screed against Calvinism in Chosen But Free, one of the things that is conspicuous by its absence is any exegesis of the disputed texts. Since Dr. Geisler has demonstrated his complete inability to exegete John 6, is it any surprise that Mr. Reed was swayed by the Roman exegesis of the passage?
I know of at least two students from SES who have long since left evangelicalism (whatever it is), one to become a member of an Antiochian Orthodox congregation, and the other to become an Armenian Orthodox priest. Given their education at SES, I wasn’t surprised.
You see…theology matters.