Mark Galli, formerly editor for the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, has decided to become Roman Catholic. Normally, conversions between Roman Catholicism and Protestant evangelicalism go the other way around: typically, I see a lot of “cradle” Roman Catholics grow up to become Protestant evangelicals. So, why would a Protestant evangelical “cross the Tiber” and make the journey towards Rome?
What makes the Mark Galli story so significant is because Galli was for several years the editor of what many still consider to be the flagship periodical of Protestant evangelicalism, Christianity Today. He also raised a lot of eyebrows in late 2019, when Galli, a moderate conservative who is firmly “pro-life,” with respect to abortion, wrote an editorial calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
It is a good question to consider: Why would someone who once publicly championed the principles of the Protestant Reformation take the Eucharist, with Rome’s understanding of transubstantiation, along with other doctrines of Rome that repel the typical Protestant?
Was part of it the continual drift we see in the Protestant evangelical movement away from centuries-long, established church tradition? In Galli’s case, according to an article in the Roys Report, he was a “cradle” Catholic, who became heavily involved in Presbyterianism as a teenager. He eventually moved towards Anglicanism, and even looked into Eastern Orthodoxy for awhile.
Was it the never-ending fracturing in Protestant evangelicalism, that zapped him of his spiritual energy? Was it the tendency of evangelicals to unite more around politics than solid, Scriptural doctrine? An interview with Galli tells the story.