Bible Christian trying to save a Catholic


I’m in the camp that thinks we are to dialogue with our fellow Christians. Yes, your neighbor is looking to save/convert you. God bless him for it! The door-to-door JW’s and SDA’s are also looking to save us. Heaven only knows why we Catholics, so confident and sometimes even boastful amongst ourselves (that we have the fullness of truth and the authority of the Holy Spirit), do not share the same desire to “save” our neighbors. My daughter asks me often why Catholics don’t feel strongly enough about the faith to go door-to-door. “We want them to be Catholic too, don’t we?” she says.

Are we (those urging you to avoid religious discourse like the plague) forgetting that the Holy Spirit may be responsible for the interest your neighbor and his daughters have in you and yours?

There are so many places to start the discussion. But first, pray fervently that the Holy Spirit guides your words and opens his mind (and yours, for that matter).

Then, you can start by telling him you are troubled by the misinformation in the tracts. Do a little research to adequately answer the misinformation. Assure him that you have every confidence in the Catholic Church’s ability to stand up to scrutiny and that you only want to tackle one topic at a time. This is also good advice for people willing to allow JW’s and SDA’s into their homes as they often try diversionary tactics if one topic is not successful.

On the other hand, you can suggest to him exchanging books to read for a future discussion. He can give you 2-3 titles and you can give him 2-3 (Catholicism vs Fundamentalism, Scott Hahn, etc).

Right now, you aren’t looking to convert him. You are looking to open his mind to the possibility that some of what we teach is correct and that some of what he thinks he knows about Catholicism is completely erroneous. The Holy Spirit converts. We are His vehicles. What an awesome and humbling reality.

Your neighbor is also your brother and we are our brother’s keeper.


[quote=Church Militant]I think the wisest course of study is a topical one and that you resolve the issue of Sola Scriptura before going anywhere else with the study.

I agree with CM. He has given you some links. And there are some other good links on this thread.

Even if you were to read up to the PhD level on your Catechism, it still might not make a bit of difference to your neighbour. BTW, do not be intimidated by his credentials. They could very well be from a good school. On the other hand there is an unfortunate trend of handing out degrees from non-accredited colleges.

The strongest apologetics tool that a Catholic has is a life lived in faith. No words.

CM is right about Sola Scriptura. You can get some good resources from the Catholic Answers Library. Just use the search window. And here are some good threads which have turned up recently. You may have to scroll down to find some good arguments. You can also use your search window to find more.

Sola Scriptura: How much of the Bible must be read for a person to be saved?

Can Sola Scriptura change?

Sola Scriptura – The most critical thing which folks need to interpret is love – not text

st pauls lost letters

“Private Interpretation” Question

Is Sola Scriptura ever really practiced?

Did Jesus write the Bible or build a church?

Romanus Pontifex (closed then continued next)

On slavery: natural law versus sola scriptura


This is true. But there is the question of pacing. Since Catholicism is a relationship faith, it is better to build up a friendship with the neighbour first. That way there are boundaries and safeguards should a Sola Scriptura discussion erupt.

There are plenty of productive points of contact which do not include Apologetics. Works of faith, for instance. Helping the homeless, pro-life, even helping the environment. Hockey.


I like VociMike’s advice, it puts your task into proper perspective! And when you don’t know or are unsure of the correct answer, say that and take time to do the research. But you are sharing your knowledge of the faith, you are not expected to be a spoksman for the Church.

In post #41 you wrote:

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

My neighbor will point out that the Holy Spirit inspires men to know the truth in the bible. I am sure he will say there is only one truth. When disagreements occur, somebody is wrong. Which Bible verse or ECF should I use to show the Church, the Catholic Church, is who the Holy Spirit guides and aides in interpretation? (Not individuals denominations or schismatics.)".

That gives you the perfect opportunity to ask your friend if he sincerely believes that, and if he does why does it appear to the spectators that the Holy Spirit guides different “believers” onto different paths, (all using the same source, the Bible “alone”), which has to led to +30,000 so called Christian denominations when before the reformation there was one Church. And we all know from Scripture Jesus prayed that the Body of Christ be one like He is with His Father.

You’ll do fine!

God Bless you and your friend!


What I find so interesting and am not sure how to respond is: He believes that minor points of disagreement between two individuals under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is healthy. I asked him what about Christ wanting us to be one. He responded, “we are one body and the minor differences are the many parts of the one body.”

What are some truths we would disagree on that are major?



First off, I somewhat agree about the minor differences, and how that causes us to study, discuss and better understand our faith. As I said my wife is So. Baptist, and we wasted a whole lot of time arguing the question of whether Jesus had earthly brothers and sisters. After a long time we both realized that issue alone would not get anyone into or keep anyone out of heaven, so we should move on to more important disagreements.

Over the years a lot of folks, including me for a time, thought that Catholics and most protestants agree on the fundamentals of faith in Jesus Christ. But the older I get, and the more I study the more I am convinced there is a great deal of difference, especially between Catholics and “fundamentalist” non-catholics. Most of those great differences are the 5 “TULIPS” of Calvinism, (various non-Catholic fundamentalists adhere to some or all of them, but not all stand strongly on all of Calvin’s teaching).

  1. They believe in faith alone, (even though that term only appears in James and it says salvation is not by faith alone), we believe we must cooperate with God, have faith and as St. Paul said, work out our salvation in fear and trembling, (and I trust you correctly understand fear of God is the utmost respect, not fear that would cause one to run away from Him).

  2. They believe in the infallibility of the individual believer as he/she interprets Scripture, we don’t but rely on those who are best skilled in that, as found in the Church Christ established.

  3. They believe the Bible Alone is the only available deposit of the Revelation of God passed on to humans. We believe the total deposit included the Apostolic Traditions, which came orally from Jesus and were passed on to the Apostles, and then faithfuly to their successors, the Bishops, who passed it on to the Presbyters, (the priests). We believe those big “T” Traditions must not and do not conflict with Scripture, but compliment each other. They don’t believe we believe that.

  4. They believe the Church Christ established is “invisible”, and essentially leaderless, we believe it is clearly shown in Scripture to be “visible” and was founded by Jesus Himself on St. Peter and the Apostles to be universal, (worldwide), and survive until Jesus returns for us. We believe He intended there to be a hierachy, they don’t.

  5. Many of them believe Jesus commissioned the Apostles only to preach the Gospel, and gave them limited authority, but also believe that authority died when they did. Many of them believe the Apostles each started their own churches and left them independent, and those independent churches were on their own after the Apostolic Age.

  6. We believe that when Jesus established the Church, he promised as it says in Scripture to protect it to the end of time. He granted Peter primacy, (the keys to the Kingdom), and the rest of the Apostles significant authority as well, including “succession”, (Holy Orders, the laying on of hands). The successors of the Apostles are the Bishops, and the successors of Peter are the various Popes. Scripture clearly shows that when Judas died, the Apostles chose a successor, Mathias, they didn’t just leave the group, (which was representative of the 12 tribes of Israel), reduced to 11.

  7. They believe in “multiplying by dividing”, (don’t like what the preacher or someone else said or did, start your own church and hire a pastor you like better), and we believe the Church expands by spreading the Gospel through out the world, by building up the Body of Christ, not tearing it apart.

I could go on and on, but these are basic differences.

God Bless, keep the Faith!

Do Protestants believe that Catholics are true Christians?

I wouldnt go to his house for Bible Study if someone paid me to do it. He has already set the goundrules-Bible only based on his interpertation -and since he has a doctorate he will politely sneer if you dispute anything he says. The only thing he wants to do is take you away from your faith. After he does this you will be anohter “trophy” he brags to his friends about.


While I agree with Bob, a bible study is not appropriate now, I don’t agree with his “fear” of being in the clutches of someone with a doctorate from a bible school. I know a guy, that demonstrates very un-christian behavior, who has a “doctorate” from a bible college, but it was an un-accredited bible college in a strip mall in Indiana. The degree was awarded for a six hour bible study! Don’t be intimidated by the initials after a man’s name, he may have bought them! This man I wrote of later went to a community college and got an associate of arts degree, after he “earned” his doctorate. That’s kind of backwards isn’t it!



God Bless You All for your time and efforts. Thank You!!:thumbsup:


This is true but beware the Trojan Horse.


Actually, Jesus prayed that we would be one *as he and the Father are one. *I can’t imagine Jesus and the Father disagreeing about anything, regardless of how minor.


I would advise against book swaps. That is NOT what Catholics want to do. Personally, I think the best way to handle this is through life examples. If we live as happy, faithful Catholics, and let those around us know that, then that is the best possible witness to Christ and the faith. Getting into an debate over interpretations of the Bible simply does not work in nearly all cases.


Many people here enjoy Dr. Scott Hahn. Well, he did not convert due to a deabte with Catholics, he converted because God called him and because his knowledge of Scripture pointed to the Catholic faith as being the only faith that aligned with the truth. He spent years bashing Catholics and drew thousands away from the faith, yet it was a Priest that touched him the most and that was the Holy Spirit working, not a debate on Bible interpretations.


There’s a lot of good input here. I tend toward being as generous as I can without taking away from my other responsibilities (e.g. family), so the idea of avoiding dangerous situations is not what I would do. I also tend to like to drive the conversation by asking questions that address the person’s highest values. For example, i would say, “You want to do everything Jesus would ask of you, right?”
"Jesus commands in Matthew 28:20, the great commission, “Make disciples of every nation teaching them to obey ***ALL ***I have commanded you.”

“You want do do ALL that Jesus commanded, right?”

“What then is ALL? If Jesus made this commandment He’d also provide a way for us to fulfill it. He certainly wouldn’t then say 'Well, things are so messed up, there’s no way to know ALL that I commanded, so I rescind my previous command.”

This I believe addresses many of your issues with your neighbor. The Church is not only true in some abstract way, it also provides for the deepest desires of a true Christian’s heart, the desire to know, love and serve God.


I was an independant baptist once. Then I read “Born Fundamentalist Born again Catholic” by David B. Currie. I would tell him that he should read that book. He “sola scriptura” (a myth really), ask him if he ever reads commentaries or footnotes, then explain you have tradition from the beginning not just some guys interpetation. BTW, the bible says twice that people need to adhere to tradition as well as the bible (2 Thessalonians 3:6, and 2 Thessalonians 2:15). Then ask him which came first the canon of New Testament scripture or the church. The church obviously, the people protestants never want to read (the early church) canonized their bible except the FACT protestants butchered the bible taking out scripture. I wouldn’t do a bible study with him, he will take things out of context, twist things and it’s just a waste of time. I would tell him to read the above book and then ask him the questions above. He, (if he’s honest) with have to admit that he got his scipture from the Catholic church. (unless he’s an ardent Jack Chick reader with his lies)

Anyway good luck,


It’s obvious that this neighbor who has asked you to come over for a one-on-one Bible study is really just planning to ambush you. He is equally obviously one of those who think that “Catholics are not Christians.” So I suppose that all those who died before the Reformation went to Hell? His daughters did not come by those Chick tracts on their own. They are pernicious. I saw one that portrayed Mary as leading the Faithful to Satan (with Satan sitting on a throne and saying “Well done, good and faithful servant!” to Mary. Anyone who passes around Jack Chick or Tony Alamo (another Catholic hater) tracts is not going to even try to be fair or evenhanded. Hie thee to a good Catholic bookstore or online site and get a good apologetics primer. Offer to exchange questions and claims in writing. He’ll either get angry or … just maybe … learn the truth like Scott Hahn and so many other protestant ministers have when they started studying to find ways to disprove the Catholic Church but instead wound up realizing that the Catholic Faith is the true Church!


I have no problem discussing religion with non-Catholic Christians, and do so frequently, but the chick tract would be a deal breaker for me. If someone had the audacity to bring that filth to my children, I would light it on fire. Then I would tell my children that people who intentionally spread lies about the Church will fare no better. Bearing false witness is a sin. Dramatic, yes, but so are those tracts… especially to impressionable young children. It’s a revolting tactic.

When I was done, I would tell the neighbor that if I should ever see another tract around my home or around my children, I will know that it was by his design and end whatever relationship was being established. Jesus didn’t need to spread vicious lies to get His message across and no true follower of His would do so either.

As for the Bible study, I only engage in it with people who understand that it is quid pro quo. If he is knowledgeable and secure in his own faith, he should have no problem reading Catholic literature and taking his family to celebrate Mass. If it is one-sided, I would pass.


There is something that you and ALL Catholics should know about people like your neighbor. They are all ignorant about the Catholic faith. They only know what someone else has told them which is probably not the truth. If you go over there, prepare yourself and enlighten him.


Start talking with him about Authority. Both Biblical and Ecclesial. Then, make the next topic Authority. After that, you might want to head in the direction of Authority. Once you have covered everything to do with Authority, tackle the important subject of Authority.

You cannot go past this issue! Do not move on to ANYTHING else. It is an absolute waste of time. Believe me, I’ve tried time and again, but these well-meaning folk either just don’t get it (whether deliberately or not, only God knows), or sign up with the local Priest for instruction!


Agree to the bible study, but YOU choose which book of the bible…the Book of Tobit comes to mind, or better yet, 2 Maccabees and you could discuss the doctrine of Purgatory.:rolleyes:

Bible studies are wonderful, my parish is doing the “Great Adventure” by Jeff Cavins right now. Its has been terrifffffffic so far and has helped me grow leaps and bounds in my Catholic Faith.:thumbsup:

Thats an Idea,You not only Choose which Book of the bible to study, but You Choose which bible study program.:thumbsup:

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