Re: Feedback on Howell

From: Ted Davis (
Date: Mon May 05 2003 - 18:51:49 EDT

  • Next message: George Murphy: "Re: Feedback on Howell"

    I know Ken Howell quite well. We both studied at the Indiana University
    graduate school at the same time, and he took courses in my department
    (history and philosophy of science) while mainly studying linguistics. He
    has since earned a doctorate in HSC with John Brooke.

    At the time, Ken was a staunch Calvinist, even pastoring a PCA or OPC church
    (I can't recall which). His conversion to Catholicism surprised me, but he
    has talked about it with me. I don't feel free to share here all of his
    reasons, but religious authority (and the magisterium of the Roman church)
    did play a major role.

    In our student days, Ken and I sometimes discussed my more open view of
    Christianity--by this I mean simply that I didn't define Christianity in a
    narrowly reformed way, even though I was also a Calvinist at the time. (I
    might still be, depending on the definition applied, but I don't want to
    digress about that.) Ken had a hard time accepting this, as I recall.

    Since his own conversion, he has mentioned this point to me as something of
    an irony. Obviously, he now also holds a more open view of Christianity
    than he once did.

    By "open," just to be as clear as possible, I really mean "ecumenical," but
    ecumenical in the sense of "mere Christianity" rather than "anything goes."

    Ken is a good friend, a very clear thinker, and a credit to the church he
    now serves. His book is also very original and I think important. It got
    reviewed in PSCF partly b/c I asked him to make sure that we received a


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