Here I stand.

Author:Collins, Kenneth J.
Position:Correspondence - Letter to the Editor

I recall reading The Catholic Moment when it first appeared back in 1987, and due in part to my ongoing interest in conversion, I was immediately intrigued by Richard John Neuhaus' metamorphosis from Lutheran minister to Roman Catholic priest. The process of human transformation, in terms of its many subtleties over time, and richly informed by generous theological reflection, gave me a deep appreciation for this very thoughtful account. I was, therefore, surprised to find that such subtlety and attention to nuance was not duplicated in Neuhaus' review of The Evangelical Moment ("The Public Square," August/September), a book that in a certain sense chronicles my own transition from Roman Catholicism to evangelical Protestantism. The door apparently does not swing both ways.

Though it is ostensibly about my own contribution to the field of American religion, the review nevertheless begins and ends with a paean to Timothy George, "a Baptist who is dean of Beeson Divinity School and who will also deliver our annual Erasmus Lecture in October." It's almost as if the reviewer, not liking the difficult task at hand, needs to remind us that there are, after all, "good" evangelicals who do not raise the admittedly difficult historiographical issues that are considered in a forthright fashion in The Evangelical Moment. Emboldened by this move, Neuhaus likewise feels free to declare that "the great majority of Christians in the world belong to bodies that, in continuity with two millennia of history, believe women cannot be ordained to what is traditionally called the presbyterate," as if the mere pronouncement of such a statement thereby...

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