Thursday, November 29, 2007

Marvelous DVD / Audio / Written Catholic Conversion Resources / Recent Lutheran Converts to Catholicism and Orthodoxy

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Audio files of the EWTN series, The Journey Home, are available to listen to for free, at EWTN. Here's another page that categorizes the audio files differently.

Or you can purchase audio and video archives of the show (mixture of DVDs, CDs, and VHS).

EWTN currently offers DVDs of 119 shows of The Journey Home. Here is another purchase page that categorizes the shows by year.

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Tim Cooper of This is the Faith database (that I have advertised on this blog) has compiled (for free use) an amazing list of over 750 conversion stories: most in audio and some in written form. The really cool and unique thing about it is that it the stories are categorized by former belief.

For more resources, see my Conversion & Converts (Catholic) page.

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Lutheran scholar Carl E. Braaten has recently written about a spate of recent Catholic converts, coming out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (my emphases added):

I am writing out of a concern I share with others about the theological state of affairs within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The situation might be described as one of "brain drain." Theologians who have served Lutheranism for many years in various capacities have recently left the ELCA and have entered the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church in America.

Why?

When Jaroslav Pelikan left the ELCA and became a member of the OCA, I felt it was not terribly surprising. After all, he had been reading and writing about the Fathers of Eastern Orthodoxy for so many years, he could quite naturally find himself at home in that tradition, without much explanation. A short time before that Robert Wilken, a leading patristics scholar teaching at the University of Virginia, left the ELCA to become a Roman Catholic. Then other Lutheran theological colleagues began to follow suit. Jay Rochelle, who for many years was my colleague and the chaplain at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago joined the Orthodox Church. Why? Leonard Klein, pastor of a large Lutheran parish in York, Pennsylvania, and former editor of Lutheran Forum and Forum Letter, last year left the ELCA to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood. Why? This year Bruce Marshall, who taught theology for about fifteen years at St. Olaf College and was a long-standing member of the International Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue, has left the ELCA to enter the Roman Catholic Church. Why? David Fagerberg, formerly professor of religion at Concordia College, although coming from a strong Norwegian Lutheran family, left the ELCA for the Roman Catholic Church, and now teaches at the University of Notre Dame. Reinhard Huetter, a German Lutheran from Erlangen University, came to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago fifteen years ago to teach theology and ethics, now teaches at Duke Divinity School, and this year became a Roman Catholic. Why? Mickey Mattox, a theologian who recently served at the Lutheran Ecumenical Institute in Strasbourg and now teaches at Marquette University, has recently begun the process of becoming a Roman Catholic.
Protestants confronted with these "defections" have to have some sort of explanation that somehow adequately explains what to them seems like a senseless move.

Think about it. If you are in a Christian denomination, and folks are leaving left and right for a Church that you think is dreadfully wrong on many issues, you have to have some sort of interpretation that explains this, besides that other Church being TRUE. Therefore, all these theories are made up: smells and bells, the security of being told your theology instead of having to think it through, being merely emotionally fed up with Protestant in-fighting and tendency to liberalism, etc.

They latch onto those, rather than directly face the truth claims of the Catholic Church. It's quite curious to observe. I see it all the time in Protestant forums (such as the ["late great"?] ReformedCatholicism blog), that almost seem literally obsessed with Catholicism, and dealing with the continuing exodus of some of their "best and brightest."

We'll see much more of the same (mark my words) as the Catholic revival continues.

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