Sunday, April 05, 2009

Newt Goes Home to Rome

I was stunned to learn via Fox News Sunday that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has left evangelicalism to become a Roman Catholic. Apparently Newt hasn't discussed this publicly much yet, but Chris Wallace asked the question and Newt replied in the affirmative. He then proceeded to give an explanation of why, which didn't improve my mood any.

It's sad. If someone of Newt Gingrich's obvious intelligence and knowledge of history can dump biblical doctrine for a bunch of warm fuzzies and rituals, it doesn't bode well. I don't mean to suggest that only stupid people fall for false religions and cults. Actually, it's quite the opposite. But Newt knows better. And he is grooming himself to be the next GOP standard bearer.

It's funny, because Newt was warning about the possibility of there being a third party formed by disgruntled conservative Republicans if the GOP doesn't get its act together. I can tell you in advance that you can count me in to the third party, because I am not going to be led by Rome.

NOTE: Here is a transcript of the Newt/Wallace interview.

Postscript: I guess this has been known in some elements of the blogosphere for some time, and by Christianity Today. However, it was news to me. Been preoccupied with other things, I guess.


lee n. field said...

"I guess this has been known in some elements of the blogosphere for some time"

I've seen chitchat about this for months on Freerepublic.

Another soi-disant "evangelical" who's forgotten what it's all about. Sola fide, anyone?

---the obviously pseudonymous "lee n. field", 5 solas, 5 points, untempted by the Tiber.

Jack said...

I wasn't aware that Gingrich ever associated with an evangelical Protestant group. I thought he attended the Church of Machiavelli.

The Squirrel said...

According to CT, Gingrich was baptized into a neo-orthodox liberal Baptist church a while back. Obviously, he was never grounded in the faith, if he is even regenerate.

Remember, also, that Newt is a history professor. Historians are, by nature, traditionalists. Rome can have an allure for people with such a temperament. I’ve felt it myself. No attraction to the doctrines of RC, but the pageantry and the history, sure. (Of course, I feel the same allure for the history of ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.)


Solameanie said...


I guess that helps explain part of it, i.e. "neo-orthodox liberal Baptist church."

I hope the SBC takes note as the "moderates" press for more control again.

Randy said...


Some years back, a co-worker of mine were headed to Toledo for a district meeting. Matt was my friend as well. In the car we discussed faith. He is Roman Catholic. So, we bantered back and forth in a friendly way. It struck me that I could actually talk to Matt and him with me without a fight insuing. He didn't convince me that day and obviously I didn't convince him. He finally summarized his dissertation with this statement:
"Randy, when you finally get your heart right, you'll come home to Rome!" I chuckled and said, "Matt, none of my roads lead there." Or something to that effect.

So, sadly, Newt makes the switch. That is sad indeed. For some time even Chuck Colson is fond of the Catholic church. I think a big reason for that is his wife is Catholic.

Like you, I won't be led by Rome. And as for another matter, I won't become a socialist either.

Off the subject, it's weird that I mentioned those two things in a way. Now we have all this hoopla about Obama going to Notre Dame to speak. Go figure.


Solameanie said...
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Solameanie said...


I think you hit on part of the problem, or at least your friend did, to be more accurate. "When you finally get your heart right." Typically, many people are drawn into Roman Catholicism by emotion and feelings rather than by Scriptural teaching. I liken it to the Mormon "burning of the bosom." They love the ritual, the age, the candles and the mysticism. Actual biblical doctrine and teaching means very little in the long run. Emotion drives people more than actual biblical study. When you study the Bible in Roman Catholicism, it's through the lens of the Magisterium rather than what Scripture actually teaches in its text. The Magisterium and tradition carries more weight than the Bible.

Randy said...
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Randy said...


You are on target my friend. I have to admit there is an attraction to the tradition and ritual than to actual Biblical teaching. I think that's why Rich Mullins dabbled with the Catholic thing for awhile. However, when pinned right down to it, he couldn't embrace it at the end.

I was talking to my brother about this yesterday. I said that even though I know the errors in the Catholic practice, even with me, if I didn't know scripture or hadn't been saved as a teen, who knows what could have happened. I'm sure glad it didn't!

People love form and ritual. "If" you can just do enough, get caught up in all the rules, traditions and liturgy, it seems plausible. However, as you so aptly said, emotion drives people. Even as an evangelical I have to be so careful not to fall into things that even evangelicals can fall prey to. Everything has to be filtered through the Word rightly divided! So when my emotions clash with scripture, then I have to obey scripture. I think you hit my friend's idea right where he was. Good thoughts.


Solameanie said...


"Church of Machiavelli." LOL. I thought I was the only one who viewed the world through Machiavellian eyes.

Usually. Sort of. Well . . .