... I just like these people. They are serious about their faith in ways that annoy unsympathetic Catholics. You can actually discuss orthodoxy, heresy, and apostasy with them without first issuing a trigger warning. And contrary to the conventional wisecracking, “hate” never arises. In fact, what you experience is the kind of affection and brotherhood that emerges when serious people who respect each other purposely engage in an old-fashioned, knock down, drag out argument.
Last year, for example, ETS’ president, Thomas R. Schreiner, in his banquet address at the annual meeting, singled out for critique my defense of the Catholic view of justification. (In fact, his new book includes a chapter based on the address, “Frank Beckwith’s Return to Rome”). Two days before the meeting, he emailed me and told me that he was going to do this. His note was kind, generous, and respectful. Was I offended, or tempted to write my friends to help orchestrate a campaign to stop the conversation? Are you kidding me? I was honored.
Tom, like me, loves Christ. But he thinks I am wrong about justification. He cared enough to critique me in public in front of a room full of men and women I deeply respect. For an academic who wants to be taken seriously, I do not think it can get much better than that.[Hat tip to JM]