Not Your Usual Suspects
The RC Church has had significant reason to boast of two illustrious converts from outspoken Reformed Protestantism in the past few years.
First, it was R.R. Reno in the Spring of 2005, professor of Christian theology at Creighton University and author of "In the Ruins of the Church: Sustaining Faith in an Age of Diminished Christianity," a book which had urged Protestants disillusioned with their churches and denominations NOT to swim the Tiber. We, especially those of the beleaguered Anglican Communion, had been citing Reno for all we worth. (it was the early Spring of 2005, I was curled up on a glittering RC friend's sofa drinking tea after a late night birthday party in Manhattan, and out it came... "so have you heard about Reno?"Arrggh)
Reno had to offer quite an explanation to his following, which he honorably did in the 2/05 issue of First Things, as available here.
Then, on Reno's heels, Rome Sweet Home gladly received Reno's friend and colleague Bruce Marshall, lauded rock star profess of theology at Southern Methodist University, formerly ardent evangelical Lutheran, and author of the watershed "Trinity and Truth." Marshall entered the Church quietly last Fall, leaving his admirers throughout the Prot world shaking their heads in awed confusion and conjecture- was he blackmailed by his wife? Was he feeling moldy? At any rate, the word is that the dilute "What Catholics Believe" committee in his parish did not make the good professor take their catechism course. He had, after all, written the book.
To date, Marshall has not written a Reno-style retraction to explain himself; but in class on Friday, I was there when he opened a class full of funny Methodists in prayer. And at the end, he quietly crossed himself...