Bob Jones and the Immaculate Conception

Fr. Dwight Longenecker | 12/7/2017 | Dwight Longenecker
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People who know my story realize I am a graduate of the fundamentalist Bob Jones University.

It’s pretty much of a stretch therefore that I not only ended up as a Catholic priest, but I was ordained and now serve here in Greenville, South Carolina on the doorstep of BJU.

People - Animosity - Part - Point - View

Sometimes people ask if there is animosity between us. There isn’t any on my part, but I can certainly understand their point of view if some people from that world regard me as a traitor, a heretic and a seriously deluded person. I get it.

For my part, I have always thanked God for my strong Evangelical upbringing and I have always seen my progress from Bob Jones University to the Catholic priesthood as being a case of simply adding more to the riches I had received in that world. I’ve outlined that in my book More Christianity--which explains the Catholic faith not as something essentially different from Evangelical religion, but something more.

Protestantism - Movement - Reformers - Attempts - Excesses

Protestantism is, after all, a reductionist movement. The Reformers were sincere in their attempts to prune back the excesses, the extra traditions and superstitions of medieval Catholicism. Everything good in Protestantism is derived from the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church, so becoming first an Anglican, and then a Catholic, and then a Catholic priest was a matter of adding more and more to my faith–not reducing it or changing it in any essential way.

Of course, in this pilgrimage the Blessed Virgin Mary looms large. Fellow convert Kimberly Hahn was asked what were the three things that were the biggest problem for her as she became Catholic. She is quoted as saying, “Mary, Mary and Mary.” The sincere Protestant really believes that Catholics put the Blessed Virgin Mary where Jesus should be. This is probably the biggest problem for...
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