Authority and book suggestion


#1

I would like a book or other recommendation for how to explain to someone where the Church’s authority comes from.

NOT specifically on the office of Pope or infallibility of the Pope, but where the Church gets the authority (which I know is from Christ) with which to say what is true and what is untrue, what is right and what is wrong. Or why we should listen to what the Church says?

This would be for conversing with someone (Catholic or Protestant) who thinks the Church is a cult and we decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.


#2

[quote=DonaNobisPacem]I would like a book or other recommendation for how to explain to someone where the Church’s authority comes from.

NOT specifically on the office of Pope or infallibility of the Pope, but where the Church gets the authority (which I know is from Christ) with which to say what is true and what is untrue, what is right and what is wrong. Or why we should listen to what the Church says?

This would be for conversing with someone (Catholic or Protestant) who thinks the Church is a cult and we decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.
[/quote]

I can’t recommend a book right now, but I can point you to a few things in the Bible. John chapters 16 and 17 both contain passages where Jesus tells the disciples that they will receive an advocate to guid them to the truth. First and Second Timothy show the passing on of authority from Paul to Timothy. Paul then warns Timothy not to be too quick to lay hands on others until he’s sure there ready. There you have a quick synopsis of the apostolic succession. You can see this in action in Acts chapter 15. The apostles and the elders (I forget the exact word it uses to describe the others) are in council. When they reach their decision, Acts says something to the extent that it seemed good to them and to the Holy Spirit. The Church of the apostles had that authority, and we can see the authority passed on to others, not only in the book Timothy, but also in the case of Mathias. The Catholic Church can trace herself back to the apostles, so it make sense that that same advocate would guide the Church to the truth. That’s just a quick summary, but it might give you something to read that’s biblical. If you’re discussing this with a protestant, if you can show that’s it’s in the Bible you’ll have more crebility than if you give an expaination for somewhere else.


#3

Start with this Catholic Answers tract:

"What’s Your Authority?"
catholic.com/library/What_Your_Authority.asp

There are several other good articles on this subject on this site. Just go to the main page, type in “Authority” in the search feature, and off you go.

Then read Mark Shea’s “By What Authority?” a small, easy to read book addressing the very question you are answering.


#4

There is a great tape set by Scott Hahn titled “The Bible Alone?”


#5

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