Why Evangelicals Go Catholic?

Last month I had a colleague of mine, who grew up Southern Baptist, asked me about what I thought about the Roman Catholic church (he is considering converting to Roman Catholicism).  I told him that he would have to do his research and then make a prayerful decision based on what he has found.

Then today I came across the following from John Piper:

Piper lists four of his own reasons:

  1. Many are hungry for seriousness and are tired of the slap sticks that are normative in many evangelical services.
  2. Many are hungry for roots, a sense of history that they don’t feel in the new church plant down the street…”
  3. Many are hungry for intellectual and artistic richness that are not satisfied in the jeans, movie clip and so on type services.
  4. Many are hungry for authority, stability, and clarity…”

But John Piper think that the Roman Catholic Church has gotten it wrong on too many essential doctrines like: justification, the Mass, dispensing of grace, role of tradition alongside of Scripture, authority of the pope, baptismal regeneration, veneration of Mary, and the prayer to the Saints, etc.

I do understand all these hungers.  I’ve shared them on this blog.  But I’ve satisfied them and continue to do so–without going to Rome.

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9 Responses to Why Evangelicals Go Catholic?

  1. Simon says:

    TC, just on #4 – I think it’s a bit incorrect to say that just because people look for authority in Church life means that they are too lazy to figure things out for themselves. Those who have gone to Rome or Constantinople have done so thoughtfully, at the end of a long process. Especially on the issues he lists as problems.

  2. Simon says:

    It’s an interesting phenomena… I wonder if the statistics now show that there are more going from Prostestantism to Catholicism/EO than those going the other way. Perhaps you might know of a survey TC?

  3. Lon says:

    The strange-fire trendiness of evangelicalism and charismatic/pentecostal circles is making the unity, authority and history of the Roman church attractive to more and more people. I’ve written about my own disillusionment in: http://averageus.com/2012/02/26/sometimes-i-wish-i-could-be-catholic/

  4. Jon Hughes says:


    That’s a great piece. I wish I could be Catholic too. Wouldn’t it be nice for us all to have that sense of history, unity, and belonging! But, alas, it’s not going to happen. I’d be handing my thinking over to the Magisterium. Shall instead continue to disagree with TC and others as my very own private Pope 🙂

    Joking aside, I do enjoy reading outside of the theological box, including Roman Catholic writers.

    • TC says:

      Lon: thanks for your piece. Yes, Rome appears to have many of the answers. But many of us continue to say no.

      Jon: I’ve come to expect little agreements between myself and you. 😀

      Yes, we can continue to dialogue and learn from each other, while respecting one another’s differences. I believe there is room in the kingdom for this sort of thing.

  5. TC says:

    Jon, I’m appropriately moved. 😀

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