Introducing …. John Kincaid

Jun 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog Posts

Last week Neal, Taylor and I attended the Letter & Spirit Summer Institute in Steubenville, Ohio, hosted by Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. While we were there, we met John Kincaid.

John Kincaid

Right away the three of us recognized that John would be a wonderful addition to the Called to Communion team. John is a graduate of Geneva College, Covenant Theological Seminary (MA), and Duke Divinity School (ThM). He is currently entering his second year as a doctoral candidate (PhD) at Ave Maria University, where he lives with his wife Kristen and their two children, Natalie and Jack. After being raised in a broadly evangelical home, John embraced the Reformed faith during his time in college, and for a period of five years sought to discern a call to the pastorate in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). While at Covenant, John’s journey toward the Catholic Church began, and under the direction of Dr. Reinhard Hutter at Duke, he asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Along with his wife Kristen, John was received into full communion at the Easter Vigil (2008) at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. John’s interests center on the theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas and modern Pauline scholarship, and he is writing his dissertation under Dr. Michael Waldstein on Saint Thomas Aquinas and the New Perspective on Paul on the doctrine of justification.

John brings to Called to Communion a number of gifts, among which are his exceptional knowledge of Scripture and theology. In my discussions with John over the course of the week, it was obvious to me that John knew his stuff in Scripture and theology, but even beyond that, it was his heart that most impressed me. He has a contagious passion for the truth, a gracious humility, and a deep love for Jesus Christ and His Church. Sometimes when you meet people, you get a little glimpse of their heart, and although John didn’t talk much about himself, what I saw was a man whose heart is a continual prayer to God to be of service in Christ’s Kingdom. This heart of love for Christ and His Church is central to our mission at Called to Communion, the mission of reconciling divided Christians into communion in Christ’s one Body. So we at Called to Communion are delighted to have John on our team. John, welcome aboard!

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  1. John, glad to have you on board and look forward to interacting with you.

  2. I am thankful to be part of Called to Communion and I hope that I can contribute something positive to the frateral discussion. Bryan, thank you for your very kind words, I am humbled by them and I hope by the grace of our Lord, to increasingly become the man you describe in the post.

  3. Welcome, John! Hurry up and finish that dissertation so that you can transform it into a book, so that we can read it. I was also received into the Church in Raleigh, NC (St. Nicholas’ Ukrainian Catholic Mission, meeting at St. Thomas More Academy) in 2008, although I live in Charlotte, and its 2009. Small world, spinning fast. Peace, my brother!

  4. John, a hearty welcome to Called to Communion. It is wonderful to hear the news about your Doctoral work, there is so much work to be done in that field and I pray your contribution will bear much fruit for our Lord and His Church.

  5. Andrew,

    Thanks for the encouragement and please pray for me in regard to the dissertation. There is a massive amount of material to bring together in order to compare Patristic and Scholastic engagement with Paul, culminating with Saint Thomas, with the world of modern Pauline scholarship, most notably the New Perspective.

  6. Tom,

    Thank you, and I ask for your prayers as well.

  7. Hey, Bryan. When are you going to get around to writing a blurb about me?

    Welcome again, John.

  8. John,

    I am sure you have had interaction with Matthew Levering. His Temple and Torah in St. Thomas is great stuff.

  9. Tom,

    Yes, most definately. He is a teacher and good friend, however is he is leaving Ave for the University of Dayton and will be sorely missed.

  10. Kevin, I look forward to reading your comments here. I’ve just encountered this website recently and find it helpful in many regards even though I am not a Roman Catholic.

    Btw, there is a question that I’ve been wanting to ask those of you who left your Reformed churches behind. Having been in a Reformed Church for 10 yrs., and having very close friends in Christ for over 25 yrs. who are Reformed, I am well aware what they think of the “romanist, anti-christ, church that has apostacized and practices priestcraft.” Most of the Reformed churches consider you ex-communicated and having departed from the true, Christian faith.

    So, what were your experiences like in leaving those churches behind? How did/do family and friends treat you? Have you been shunned, ignored, rebuked, or something entirely different? I ask these questions partly for my own benefit. While I am not contemplating becoming Roman Catholic, I nearly crossed the Tiber at one point. In speaking with my Reformed friend recently, she came out with some rather stern language. When I told her of my inclinations toward the EO, she reacted by issuing warnings that I wouldn’t be worshipping the same Jesus, and that the EO aren’t born-again. Her take on my journey toward Catholicism was, “You were running after and embracing error.”

    So, I expect some flack from family and friends when they realize I am formally no longer Protestant. It’s good to hear how others dealt with rejection, insult, and misunderstandings from those closest to you.

    If you want to put this post in another place, feel free. I think it’s beneficial to have this kind of discussion, wouldn’t you agree?

    In Christ’s Immeasurable Love,


  11. Darlene,

    I think it just depends. One cannot paint with a very broad brush on the question of how people react. I had one pastor kind of give me a ‘wink’ and pat on the back as if to say, “I see where you are coming from and secretely think its cool.” But another friend of mine was formally ‘excommunicated’ from his PCA church. My friend’s reactions were all over the map. All of them, however, still count me as a brother in Christ.

    I don’t think there is an official position in the Reformed world. If I recall, the PCA general assembly did a study in the 1980s about the question “Are RC baptisms valid.” I believe that the majority opinion of the study was that RC baptisms were valid (following John Calvin who himself was baptized as a Catholic).

  12. John

    I recently listened to your interview/podcast and have several sincere questions about your journey and about the decision to join the Catholic church. Is there a way we can have an email conversation or anything where I can ask some of those questions?


  13. Mike,

    Sure, email at 2kincaids@

  14. Hey Vincent,

    Somehow, five copies of your comment were posted. I reduced these to one. Thanks for your question.

    [Also, I noted that the fifth comment was deleted. I didn’t mean to do that. Your question is a good one that is often asked, and it should be squarely faced. You were wondering why John converted to the Catholic Church given the changes she has made in her liturgy, in particular the Mass and the Ordinal.]

    Only John can speak to his reasons for converting to the Catholic Church, but I can try to address your concerns about the recent changes in the liturgy of the Roman Rite.

    Bad liturgy does not render the sacraments invalid. False doctrine, strategically placed, could do that. So the question is not, “Is the contemporary Roman Rite good liturgy?” (I would answer “yes” and “no.”) The question is, “Is false doctrine injected into the liturgy at key points so to render the sacrament(s) invalid?”

    You brought up (1) the Novus Ordo Mass (to which the standard objection is its reorientation of emphasis from the action of the ordained priest towards the oblation of the people), and (2) the Roman Ordinal, in particular, the Ordination Rite for the Order of Bishop.

    1. It is true that the sacrificial nature of the Mass is not made explicit in Eucharistic Prayer II, one of four options for the Canon of the Mass in the Roman Rite. The other Canons do make explicit that the Eucharist is a sacrifice.

    Eucharistic Prayer II is an almost exact replication of the ancient Eucharistic Canon of Hippolytus, with the additions of an Epiclesis and the Commemorations of the faithful, the Virgin Mary and the Apostles. The reference to the offering of the priest is reworked in the Novus Ordo version of the Oblation in order to correspond more closely to the (total) action of the whole assembly of the baptized.

    Now, we can argue that the antiquity of the Canon of Hippolytus is not sufficient basis for its inclusion in the modern Rite. We can also lament the reworking of the reference to the [ordained] priesthood in the prayer of oblation. (This is probably a part of a renewed focus upon the priesthood of the baptized, and their real participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice.)

    We must note, however, that the addition of the Epiclesis (lacking in Hippolytus) emphasizes the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, the priest explicitly praying that the gifts may become his Body and Blood, which strongly underscores the sacrificial nature of the sacrament.

    2. I do not have a copy of the Roman Ordinal. But I did find a transcription of the (NO) Ordination Rite online: Ordination Rite – Order of Bishop.

    The prayers include references to “the fullness of priestly grace” and “a high priest.” So it seems that your objection does not pertain to the new ordinal, even if we grant, for the sake of argument, that omission of an explicit reference to the high priesthood of the bishop constitutes a fatal defect of form.

    Finally, we should always bear in mind our duty to the Church, especially when we do not like or agree with her decisions. As others have pointed out in this forum, if I only submit to authority when I agree with the authority, then I have only submitted to my own authority. And there is nothing less Catholic, nothing less Christian, than that.

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