Boettner's 'list' answered


#1

While I’m certain that this topic must have been addressed at some point, I did a search on “Boettner” in the titles of threads posted in the past year and found no ‘hits’ so here I go (and apologize in advance if this is old news).

Whilst re-arranging books last week I came across my ancient and tattered copy of Lorraine Boettner’s Roman Catholicism and I sat for a few moments looking through it again (for the first time in years!) and, as I was closing the book, decided to check out, one last time, the ‘list’ of Catholic ‘inventions and heresies’. I thought about how I had thought at one time to make an investigation of some of these claims (those that seemed deserving of an answer - “Wax Candles”, for instance, has never seemed to me an invention of which anyone, or any institution, should feel any shame for having ‘invented’ nor could I ever see how wax candles could be thought to be heretical - but I enjoy warm candlelight…).

So this morning I decided to search the Internet to see if anyone had, in fact, taken the time to investigate and report upon ‘Boettner’s List’ (excellent title and, perhaps, material for a movie) and came across a very good ‘answer’ to the list at…

christianforums.com/t922262-the-boettner-list-fact-or-fiction.html

…which I thought worth sharing.

If this subject has been addressed ad nauseam in the past, I apologize and hope that this post will be simply deleted by the moderator. If not, it makes for interesting reading for any who have seen the list in its original format or in the numerous plagiarisms from the original source.


#2

Thanks for the link to that great article. :thumbsup: I’ve saved the text for future reference.

And speaking of references, the easy availability of the references the author used is proof alone that Boettner was talking off the top of his head and from his bias rather than from any real research. It’s truly sad to think that many people are still using his ridiculous charges against the Church when they can all be so easily refuted by anyone who takes the time and effort to find the truth instead of swallowing Boettner’s bilge whole. And that too is a sad comment on some Christian groups that they don’t look into these things for themselves but just take what Boettner wrote at face value merely because they want to believe it and not because he actually presented them with the truth.


#3

[quote=Della]Thanks for the link to that great article. :thumbsup: I’ve saved the text for future reference.

And speaking of references, the easy availability of the references the author used is proof alone that Boettner was talking off the top of his head and from his bias rather than from any real research. It’s truly sad to think that many people are still using his ridiculous charges against the Church when they can all be so easily refuted by anyone who takes the time and effort to find the truth instead of swallowing Boettner’s bilge whole. And that too is a sad comment on some Christian groups that they don’t look into these things for themselves but just take what Boettner wrote at face value merely because they want to believe it and not because he actually presented them with the truth.
[/quote]

You know, I think I’m going to actually dust it off and read it again. It really reads like a novel that ‘has it all’ - you experience a range of emotions: some is just hilarious, some so very sad and, in the end, you almost tend toward some sympathy for a man whose bigotry is so blinding and scholarship so poor that you have to feel sorry for someone who seems to have been educated yet learned nothing. Reading his comments on public schools and parochial schools is comical - by his logic we here in the heart of the evangelical Bible Belt should have the absolute brightest scholars graduating from our public schools and yet, having lived in two southern states, off and on, for the majority of my life, there is always the “thank God for Mississippi” comment when it turns out that our schools are ranked so abysmally low.

Yes, indeed, I’m going to read it again and get all riled up! I think Mr. Keating wrote that there’s really no point in making an effort to refute all contained within the ‘anti-Catholic bible’, as the bulk is simple bigotry or easily dismissed as factually wrong, yet I am glad that someone took the time to answer ‘Boettner’s List’!


#4

You know, that part about the candles was what got me, too…I thought, “Candles? What were they doing before? Sitting in the dark?? Burning the trash???” I mean, it’s idiocy!
Really, when you sit down & look at it, Boettner is so * stupid*, & yet there are those who want to believe this kind of nonsense enough that they will believe it…
Which makes the point by point refutations in the article linked that much more valuable, IMO.


#5

[quote=Zooey]You know, that part about the candles was what got me, too…I thought, “Candles? What were they doing before? Sitting in the dark?? Burning the trash???” I mean, it’s idiocy!
Really, when you sit down & look at it, Boettner is so * stupid*, & yet there are those who want to believe this kind of nonsense enough that they will believe it…
Which makes the point by point refutations in the article linked that much more valuable, IMO.
[/quote]

When I first read that, I thought the same… then I thought how PROUD the Church should be having invented either the wax candle itself, or the ‘heresy’ of the wax candle (for Boettner does not make the distinction of whether the wax candle is an invention or a heresy of the Church).

If you’ve ever taken a Christian/Catholic ‘Holy Land’ tour/pilgrimage, you will know that one of the standard tourist items offered for sale (and cheap!) are replicas of the clay oil lamps used at the time of Christ in that area of Palestine. Now take your authentic replica of antiquity - the oil lamp - and try reading by the light produced: next to impossible! A nice big wax candle, though - while not as bright as a 60 watt bulb - allows you to read deep into the night.

So while I know not if it was the Church working together, or an individual lay or cleric Catholic, I have always been proud to quote Boettner to all and say, “Look! We invented wax candles! Where would America be today had not the Church invented the candle that Abraham Lincoln was said to have used to illuminate his books so that he might educate himself!”

Yes, we can be nothing but glowing :smiley: with pride when we affirm our invention/heresy of the wax candle!


#6

I think it’s excellent that someone has shown how erronious the “facts” in Roman Catholicism are. But this will still not strike to the heart of fears of Roman inventions. One still needs to make the case for Tradition, otherwise the inventions will just have come about at different dates than what Boettner claimed while still being equally horrifying to the anti-Catholic.


#7

[quote=Andreas Hofer]I think it’s excellent that someone has shown how erronious the “facts” in Roman Catholicism are. But this will still not strike to the heart of fears of Roman inventions. One still needs to make the case for Tradition, otherwise the inventions will just have come about at different dates than what Boettner claimed while still being equally horrifying to the anti-Catholic.
[/quote]

Yes, Sacred Tradition and authority in matters of faith and morals. :thumbsup:


#8

[quote=Zooey]You know, that part about the candles was what got me, too…I thought, “Candles? What were they doing before? Sitting in the dark?? Burning the trash???” I mean, it’s idiocy!
Really, when you sit down & look at it, Boettner is so stupid, & yet there are those who want to believe this kind of nonsense enough that they will believe it…
Which makes the point by point refutations in the article linked that much more valuable, IMO.
[/quote]

Boettner’s list of “Roman Catholic Inventions and Heresies” in the fifth edition of his book, published in 1989, runs to forty-five items. The third of them is:

Wax candles, about…320

Why wax candles are objectionable, he nowhere explains. However, in his discussion of Purgatory, he quotes a passage from Hislop’s “The Two Babylons”. To judge from what Hislop says, it seems not unlikely that Boettner rejected the use of wax candles in part at least because Hislop rejected them - [/font]. Both writers were Presbyterians - and the *fundamental *reason for rejection of such things is likely to have been unease with using anything in Christian worship which was not clearly prescribed by the New Testament as understood within Presbyterianism. ##


#9

I devoted an entire chapter to Loraine Boettner and his book “Roman Catholicism” in my book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism.”


#10

Karl, I bought your book way back in the mid 80s BECAUSE a co-worker brought THAT book into the office! This was before the days of any kind of “harrasment” and THAT book enfuriated me. I had seen Jack Chick tracts but THAT book was so far beyond the pale…I have never, ever, read anything so separated from anyting approaching historical reality much less truth. AND to make matters even worse I had to deal with followers of dear brother Jimmy Swaggert. Growing up in predominately Catholic New Orleans did not prepare me for the realities of living in Baton Rouge.


#11

Karl,

I have your Chapter 17 on line at [/font]http://jloughnan.tripod.com/keating1.htm I hope that you do not mind? If there is a problem, I will delete the file.

Fr. Paul Stenhouse, M.S.C., Ph,D., also treats with Boettner in one of his Chapters on

“A LIGHT ON FUNDAMENTALISM - Vol. 1.”

Purgatory, prayers for the Dead and Catholic Tradition at [/font]http://jloughnan.tripod.com/fun1_17.htm

And a little more on

The Important place of Catholic Tradition: Inconsistencies of Bible-based religions

At jloughnan.tripod.com/fun1_12.htm


#12

I’ve noticed on this link to the thread you provided that no one has posted any comments!

Hmmmm…I wonder why??


#13

[quote=Karl Keating]I devoted an entire chapter to Loraine Boettner and his book “Roman Catholicism” in my book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism.”
[/quote]

Karl,

I’m quite sure that it was your work, in fact, which brought notice of Boettner’s work to most, if not all, of us! Although I have lived the majority of my life amongst the fundamentalists of the deep South, it was not until I read Catholicism and Fundamentalism that I came to realize the literary sources from whence sprang the anti-Catholicism that I first experienced in the 1940’s and which seemed so overwhelming (and seemingly springing from a single source) in the mid-1960’s through the present. I was living in Atlanta at the time that Catholicism and Fundamentalism was published and it was a simple task to find a ‘Christian’ bookstore in the area that carried Roman Catholicism (the same store which carried all the Jack Chick comics and publications since, at least, 1975, I believe).

I hope that you know the great debt that we who live amongst (and I may say have suffered amongst) fundamentalism owe to you as the author of Catholicism and Fundamentalism. And it’s through your book that I was able to ‘hone’ some skills that I had, by necessity, acquired when speaking to the fundamentalists who (save from the times I have lived out of the U.S.!) have had such frequent contact.

What amazes me now is how Birmingham - and the Hanceville and Cullman areas of Alabama - have become places of pilgrimage thanks to one fearless, faithful, and no-nonsense nun who founded EWTN (about 15 minutes by highway from my home and where I attend daily Mass, primarily on Tuesdays and Thursdays). I believe that you have visited the EWTN facilities? If so, you know that the bookstore and gift-shop there (which is actually separate from EWTN but, none-the-less, is often standing room only - ESPECIALLY this past April!) has a “Keating section” that is longing for new publications. I believe you said, in your eletter that your next book is to concern Traditionalist? As I received some - hmm - ‘eye-opening’ information on “Pope Michael I” from a friend recently (and actually tried to send it to you - but "karlkeating@catholicanswers.com" just bounced back) I am looking forward to the new publication.

Good luck, and may God forever bless you and your apostolate,


#14

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## Boettner’s list of “Roman Catholic Inventions and Heresies” in the fifth edition of his book, published in 1989, runs to forty-five items. The third of them is:

Wax candles, about…320

Why wax candles are objectionable, he nowhere explains. However, in his discussion of Purgatory, he quotes a passage from Hislop’s “The Two Babylons”. To judge from what Hislop says, it seems not unlikely that Boettner rejected the use of wax candles in part at least because Hislop rejected them - [/font]. Both writers were Presbyterians - and the *fundamental *reason for rejection of such things is likely to have been unease with using anything in Christian worship which was not clearly prescribed by the New Testament as understood within Presbyterianism. ##

[/quote]

That is a fascinating bit of memorabilia! I wonder if Boettner lists Hislop as a source - I’m going to go check that out now: it is almost time for getting out of bed and collecting eggs now, anyway.


#15

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## Boettner’s list of “Roman Catholic Inventions and Heresies” in the fifth edition of his book, published in 1989, runs to forty-five items. The third of them is:

Wax candles, about…320

Why wax candles are objectionable, he nowhere explains. However, in his discussion of Purgatory, he quotes a passage from Hislop’s “The Two Babylons”. To judge from what Hislop says, it seems not unlikely that Boettner rejected the use of wax candles in part at least because Hislop rejected them - [/font]. Both writers were Presbyterians - and the *fundamental *reason for rejection of such things is likely to have been unease with using anything in Christian worship which was not clearly prescribed by the New Testament as understood within Presbyterianism. ##

[/quote]

Yep - Hislop’s “The Two Babylons” is quoted on pp. 230-231 but it is odd that Boettner doesn’t list this work as a source for his ‘wax candles’ heresy. Not that the work exhibits much scholarship in the way of citations…


#16

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