Auburn Avenue, Norman Shepherd, and the Coming Home Network
A few years ago we published an essay in The Trinity Review (go to the Review Archives at our website, www.trinityfoundation.org , to read "Protestant Pastors on the Road to Rome") by Elizabeth Altham, a Roman Catholic journalist reporting on the conversion of Protestant clergymen to Rome.
Just before Thanksgiving another Presbyterian preacher, educated at a conservative Presbyterian seminary, converted to Rome, with the help and encouragement of the Coming Home Network, a Roman Catholic society that furnishes moral and financial support to Protestant clergymen considering Rome.
Responding to an inquirer, this Presbyterian clergyman said, "A man is indeed justified by his works. A recent OPC [Orthodox Presbyterian Church] Overture still denies James 2:24. It were as if Reformed folks want to remain willfully blind or use forced logic to contort James' words.... Auburn [Avenue Pastors Conferences] and [Norman] Shepherd were catalysts, but not the primary straws or reasons as to why I joined the Roman Catholic Church."
Once again, we see the theology of Norman Shepherd and the Moscow-Monroe Axis contributing to what B. B. Warfield called "perversions" to Rome.
I contacted the Coming Home Network and asked them some questions about their activities. Below are the answers to my questions kindly sent by their assistant director:
JR: How many Protestant clergymen are you presently working with?
CHN: Currently we have 839 ministers on our roles [sic].
JR: How many Protestant clergymen have you helped to join the Roman Church?
CHN: Of these 839 ministers, 483 are now in full communion with the Catholic Church.
JR: What are the trends: Are the numbers increasing?
CHN: Yes the numbers are increasing. We have had a 34% increase of non-catholic clergymen contacting us this year as compared to last year.
JR: Is there any denomination that predominates in conversions?
CHN: The largest single denomination is Episcopalian, the second largest are ministers from the Baptist tradition.
JR: Which seminaries have these men been educated in?
CHN: We have not kept a scientific record of the names of the seminaries in which the ministers were educated. They tend to be from all over the USA and the world.
JR: Are there other groups like yours working to facilitate such conversions?
CHN: No, we have been told by sources in the Catholic Church that we are unique in our work with non-catholic clergy.
Comment: The Coming Home Network keeps the list of clergymen it is presently working with confidential. But if you have been hearing some strange sermons lately, you might want to ask your pastor – especially if he has been reading Norman Shepherd or N. T. Wright – if he is considering Rome and is in touch with the Coming Home Network. There are at least 350 clergymen out there who are.
The Trinity Foundation
December 6, 2003
For further reading go to the Review Archives page at http://www.trinityfoundation.org