As I have stated in the first part of this series, my motivation in pursuing this topic has nothing to do with personal animosity toward Dr. Francis Beckwith or Roman Catholics in general. I was a Roman Catholic. I well remember what it was like to have my then-cherished view of religion challenged. In 1981 I left the Roman Catholic Church, kicking and screaming all the way, as God drew me to a repentance that is unto eternal life (John 6:44; 2 Timothy 2:25).
I cherish the simple gospel of grace and loath any system that would pervert this precious truth. The desire of my heart is to be humble and gracious, while maintaining a God-honoring tenacity for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The thought that some may view this series as unkind or as an attempt toward self-promotion grieves me.
I'm sure that Francis Beckwith is a very nice guy. I listened to his interview with Greg Koukl (on Koukl's program, Stand to Reason) and appreciated his down-to-earth forthrightness. In fact, I would welcome an opportunity to personally relate to Dr. Beckwith my concern for him and for what's at stake in this debate. It is no insignificant matter.
Meanwhile, my prayer is that God will use the fruit of my labor to strengthen genuine believers; encourage those who are doubting; and save others, snatching them from the fire while hating the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude 20-22).
Soli Deo Gloria
Tony A. Bartolucci
Clarkson Community Church
8339 Ridge Rd. W.
Brockport, NY 14420
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