On September 13, Mark Galli, former Presbyterian pastor and Editor-in-Chief of Christianity Today for seven years, was received into the Roman Catholic Church. In an interview with Tod Worner, editor of the Roman Catholic Word on Fire Institute, Galli explained some of the reasons for his conversion. Among other things, it involved reading the writings of Francis of Assisi, Henry John Newman, Robert Barton, John Paul II, St. Teresa of Avila, etc., practicing Roman Catholic contemplative prayer, and studying the church fathers. It also involved messing around with liberal theologians such as Karl Barth. Galli said, “Among the many key turning points, one occurred when I was editing an issue of a magazine called Christian History, and the subject of the issue was Francis of Assisi. Naturally, his life of heroic self-denial and absolute infatuation with Jesus deeply impressed me. At the same time, in the evenings, I was reading John Paul II’s encyclical The Splendor of Truth. I dabbled in Christian mysticism for a while, then Eastern Orthodoxy, and then a theology of radical grace as expressed in certain Lutheran writers and the theologian Karl Barth. Certainly the tradition of Catholic mysticism is most impressive, especially as seen in St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, among many others. As things were becoming more and more clear, I listened to an audio version of Robert Barron’s book Catholicism, not once but twice. I found myself sobbing. I was driving as I was listening, but had to pull off the road because I couldn’t see straight. That was the point I had become converted in heart, and knew I had to figure out the logistics of getting confirmed” (“Why Mark Galli Decided to Become Catholic,” Word on Fire Institute, Sept. 10, 2020). Galli’s “dabbling” with error is a loud warning to those who have an ear to hear. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
(Friday Church News Notes, September 18, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)