Cover of "Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical...

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The latest issue of U.S. Catholic features a story with a title that will be familiar to long-time Patrollers, “Born-again Catholics: Evangelicals crossing the Tiber.” If you recall, almost exactly two years ago I published a piece in Religion Dispatches entitled “Evangelicals ‘Crossing the Tiber’ to Catholicism.”

Now, I know I’m not the first to use the phrase “crossing the Tiber;” in fact, in my essay it was a reference to the book of same name by Stephen K. Ray, which details his conversion story.

The U.S. Catholic piece, by J. Peter Nixon, is well written, and provides yet another set of examples to counter Marvin Olasky’s remarks in Christianity Today in which he attempted to undermine my piece by saying that he didn’t see any such trend and, further, “If anything…more Catholics are becoming evangelicals.”

Truthfully, this, like any trend story is nearly impossible to prove using anything more than anecdotal evidence, though that kind of evidence is certainly readily available. More importantly, as both my piece as well as the recent story point out, those who do combine these traditions find the fusion to be an asset to their faiths. At the very least, we can be assured that each evangelical turned Catholic represents one less person claiming the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

About The Author

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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0 Responses to Altogether Now: Evangelicals Are Converting to Catholicism!

  1. Dan Allison says:

    I’ve been reading these stories for years. The one thing that’s clear is that American churches lack something, and people continue to search for that something.It’s not something another conference or manifesto or movement can provide.

  2. Evangelical sociologist Christian Smith published his own narrative of his move from evangelical Christianity(I think he was PCA) to Catholicism last month, _How to Go from Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps_. I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet but Smith was THE guy in the sociological study of evangelicals. I remember he got tied up in some sort of PCA squabble a few years back. He also moved institutions from UNC Chapel Hill to Notre Dame.

  3. The book title is interesting. The Russian Orthodox Church believes that it is The Historical Church, and that the Catholics and Protestants both departed from The Historical Church.

  4. Patrick Sawyer says:

    Jonathan,

    The Washington Post article you site at the end of your post, where you reference people referring to the Pope as the Anti-Christ, quotes Michelle Bachmann from 2006 as saying “It’s abhorrent, it’s religious bigotry. I love Catholics, I’m a Christian, and my church does not believe that the pope is the anti-Christ, that’s absolutely false.” Do you not believe Bachmann? With that statement cited, do you actually think she regards the Pope as the Anti-Christ (even if she is mistaken about what her church or her church’s tradition believes)? Or were you referring to someone else in the article? (Although most would assume you were referring to Bachmann I think).

    You also said “those who do combine these traditions find the fusion to be an asset to their faiths.” Is it your opinion that those who occupy this catagory believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone – that their justification before God has nothing to do with their personal merit or works (an Evangelical understanding of soteriology) OR do you believe this catagory to be filled with people who have adopted human work and merit as being part of the justication process (a Catholic understanding of soteriology)? Just curious about your perspective on that if you have one. Thanks.

  5. Bob Jones says:

    I’m intensely concerned about spreading the Christian worldview, Christian faith, and inviting people to trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. Will U help me?
    Thanks. God bless.

  6. Bob Jones says:

    The title Catholic or Protestant without Jesus leads one to eternal darkness,tears and torment. But Jesus in a persons heart and life leads to light, truth, and eternal fulfillment. Thanks again.

  7. Joe M says:

    Of course “more Catholics are becoming evangelicals.” Anyone in an Evangelical church can tell you the umpteen stories they know first hand. But the Tiber-thing is a trend nonetheless, and easier to identify since for Catholics there is only ONE church. So the flow is from many to one. For the ex-Catholic, he or she can land in many many different spots. Catholic equals a very specific membership card. Evangelical does not.

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