Monday, September 24, 2012

Apologist Interview: Francis Beckwith

Today's interview is with Frank Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University. He talks about his background, the importance of ethics and church-state issues, the reason for controversy about Christianity and politics, the meaning of "separation between church and state," what the Bible says about politics, how Christians should be engaged politically, thinking about hot-button issues, how to properly argue for issues, factors for evaluating candidates, the importance of voting, his book Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (review here), recommended reading, and advice for apologists.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (1hr)

Books by Frank Beckwith include:
• Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft
Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice
Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air
Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.


Ex N1hilo said...

Why no mention of Dr. Beckwith's apostasy?

Yes, issues of morality, politics, and church-state relations are important. And the professor makes some good points with regard to those issues. But they pale in comparison to the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which Beckwith has rejected.

Perhaps we are seeing the reduction of Christianity to a system of ethics.

luminary said...

Great interview Brian! I just discovered Apologetics315. Frank is certainly a gifted Apologist/Philosopher with a very relaxed and good way of sharing his perspective.

Anonymous said...

One of the comments above is why my pastor (who's a Calvinist) once said that there are five-point Calvinists and there are five-point jerks.

Billy Squibs said...

An apostate to Roman Catholicism? Yeah, right...

Anywho, I really enjoyed this interview, Brian and Frank.

BTW, you are in for a treat, luminary. I personally recommend just about anything from John Lennox or the Unbelievable? radio show.

The Janitor said...

Your Calvinist pastor would have regarded John Calvin as 5-point jerk I guess, since he would no doubt have agreed agree with Exn1hilo that the gospel of Rome is a false gospel. Thus, those who turn to it from the true gospel are indeed apostates.

It's a shame that so many protestants have lost sight of the importance of the Reformation. And it's a shame that so many apologists (professional and lay apologists) don't stand up for the true, saving gospel.

Ex N1hilo said...


Is your big tent not wide enough to cover even me?


Yes, an apostate. In some of his essays about his return to the RCC (which can be found online) Dr. Beckwith recounts that one of the first things he did was to sit down with a priest, and partake in the sacrament of penance, where the priest granted him pardon for all the sins he has committed during his 30 years away from the RCC.

Jesus and the apostles taught that we are to go to our heavenly Father, asking Him for pardon for our sins. For it is Christ Himself, as our Priest, who provided the needed sacrifice and who pleads for us before the Throne of God. What need have we of another priest? Of another Christ? Which, by the way, is how Rome refers to its “priests” as “Alter Christos.” There's nothing in God's word about going to a priest for absolution.

If that sacrament is what Dr. Beckwith is trusting for his right-standing before God, it is an empty hope that will disappoint him on judgment day. He is denying the sufficiency of the scriptural standard of coming directly before the Throne of Grace, relying on Jesus Christ alone as his Advocate, a standard to which, presumably, he held for 30 years before he returned to the confessional to really get pardon for his sins. Sad.

Brian said...

Only on-topic comments regarding the content of the interview please.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brian. We were about two comments away from burning people at the stake, I fear. Who says the inquisition no longer exits?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian, well said.

Have listened to the first 30 minutes- I'm impressed by Beckwith. If I was going to delve into church state issues more, I'd be keen to look at Robert George's stuff, who he mentioned.

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