CAI, Sungenis and Justification


#1

Hello everyone,

I know that Dr Sungenis might not have the best of reputations around here, but I tell you something - his ‘How Can I get to Heaven’ book is simply awesome.

You see, I have been a Catholic all my life but I have been besieged by Evangelicals in the last couple of years. These last two years have been agony for me. I just could not put the doubts, questions and all that behind me and my relationship with God was suffering because of it.

I mean, I had got to a stage where I was feeling guilty for doing a good deed because I had started to feel that I was not trusting fully in Jesus; that I was adding to his work; that I was like a Pharisee; that I was trying to obligate the Lord by my deeds and all that. I had got to a stage where doing good was feeling like doing sin - that was what Protestant theology did to me!

I read loads of Catholic apologetic articles regarding justification on the web; read Jimmy Akin’s ‘The Salvation Controversy’; ‘The Catholic Verses’ by Dave Armstrong and many other articles but the turmoil inside me only got worse. Nothing seemed to be conclusive, decisive or authorative enough.

Then I got ‘How Can I Get To Heaven’ by Robert Sungenis - and that was it!!! All the turmoil, all my confusion, all my doubts were all gone. Within a few days (the time it took me to read the ‘How Can I…’ book), I had this deep sense of relief and peace within me.

It became so clear, so quickly. I know exactly what I need to do to get to heaven. I have been a Catholic for 39 years now and should have not got into such a state considering all the religious schooling I had (I come from Malta, a tiny Mediterranean island with Catholicism being the official religion because it is written in the Constitution); but in all those years, I have come across nothing that explains the Catholic teaching (actually, the Lord’s teaching) on justification and salvation so clearly or better than this. The Catholic Church needs to teach justification in this way! It is only now, that I know exactly what the Church teaches on salvation.

I thank the Lord for his work done through Dr Sungenis. If anyone is currently agonising about the question of Justification/Salvation (if it’s by faith alone or not, are works required or not and all that), I sincerely suggest getting the ‘How Can I Get To Heaven’ book. It will change your life and throught it the Lord will give you the answer to this all-important question.

I also must add that the bickering between Catholic apologetic proponents like Keating and Sungenis saddens me greatly. We must be united brothers – like Jesus told us to be.

amercy.


#2

For those interested in the book, I thought a link might be helpful, here.


#3

Great testamonial, amercy!

Even though Mr. Sungenis isn’t currently in good standing with Catholic Answers, that doesn’t mean his work is shoddy. In fact, he used to have a series on EWTN on justification, but was pulled when he started to move to the fringe on other matters. As far as I know, Mr. Sungenis teaches perfectly orthodox teachings on salvation, the Eucharist, and the role of the Magisterium (Books: “Not by Bread Alone”, “Not by Faith Alone”, “Not by Scripture Alone”).

I’m glad the Lord was able to use his work as an instrument to keep you safe at home,

RyanL


#4

I bought this book too, at a time when I was having a hard time ‘just getting a Catholic answer’ to this very basic question (it was before I stumbled across these forums!) The title caught my eye. I had not even heard of Sungenis at the time. I found it extremely helpful too. It’s actually a ‘shortened’ version of his book ‘Not by Faith Alone’. So, if you liked ‘How Can I Get to Heaven’, you might also want to get ‘Not by Faith Alone’ when you’re ready to get even deeper into the subject.


#5

[quote=RyanL]Great testamonial, amercy!

** Even though Mr. Sungenis isn’t currently in good standing with Catholic Answers, that doesn’t mean his work is shoddy.**

I’m glad the Lord was able to use his work as an instrument to keep you safe at home,

RyanL
[/quote]

Sad, but true. However, I don’t think Robert stays awake nights worring about his “good standing” with CA :sleep:

If you have read other threads on the bad feelings among apologists, you will have read that the Sungenis books are indeed among the CA library items… although Mr Keating says he does not use them.

As for How to get to Heaven… I have given many dozens of copies of this book to others …and all have met with wonderful acceptance and appreciation. Thanks for enjoying this book, it is good, and I enjoy it even today.

By the way, I have also supplied many dozens of copies of Catholicism and Fundamentalism too… with the same great results.


#6

I have read his “Not By…” series and they are great. The way I came about the “How Do I Get To Heaven” book is that I bought “Not By Faith Alone” book and found that I was in over my head, so I bought the abriged version of it and thought it was fantastic. Later I went back and read “Not By Faith Alone” and had a much easier time with it.

Anyone else have a hard time with the “Not By Faith Alone” book?


#7

I’m a newbie here- why doesn’t Catholic Answers Like Robert Sungenis?
I have only read his conversion story, nothing else.


#8

[quote=Vanny]I’m a newbie here- why doesn’t Catholic Answers Like Robert Sungenis?
I have only read his conversion story, nothing else.
[/quote]

Not that this isn’t a legitimate question, but this has been discussed so much on these threads, to perpetuate it would only encourage more gossip than there has already been. You might try going to the top of the page to the search feature and do a search on “Sungenis.”


#9

heyyyy fellow malteser!!! I’m Maltese too, from Toronto, where you from???

excuse the excitement everyone, we are a small breed, but the most Catholic country in the world


#10

[quote=bigdawg]I have read his “Not By…” series and they are great. The way I came about the “How Do I Get To Heaven” book is that I bought “Not By Faith Alone” book and found that I was in over my head, so I bought the abriged version of it and thought it was fantastic. Later I went back and read “Not By Faith Alone” and had a much easier time with it.

Anyone else have a hard time with the “Not By Faith Alone” book?
[/quote]

I have the “Not By…” series too and have read “Not By Faith Alone” but I have jumped around the book since it is “deep”. His footnotes use Greek (and I know no Greek!!:smiley: ) but his book is one you re-read again and again and find some “gem” of information you never thought of before. A great reference! I don’t have the “How Do I get To Heaven” but might buy it and use it as an outline to his “Not by Faith…” book. I am also reading his “Not By Scripture Alone” and am finding it very interesting.
I know nothing of his “differences” with CA …even so, I like his work!


#11

[quote=Vanny]I’m a newbie here- why doesn’t Catholic Answers Like Robert Sungenis? I have only read his conversion story, nothing else.
[/quote]

Note:

That is a different discussion for another time. As was suggested, it would be best to use the search engine to find previous discussions on that topic. Let’s keep the discussion in this thread focused on the merits of the book being discussed. Thanks! :slight_smile:


#12

I love the work of Robert Sungenis. His scholarship and eloquence is often on a level of its own. Aside from the science issues, I love his apologetics regarding doctrinal issues, and his ability to debate any and everyone effectively.


#13

His Not By Scripture Alone, Not By Faith Alone, and Not By Bread Alone are the 3 best books I know responding to specifically Protestant evangelical or fundamentalist ideas on these doctrines. Buy them all. Plus he has been the most successful against James White in debate. I recommend his two 2000 debates vs. White on justification (May 2000) and Papacy (Oct 2000). The Papacy one I was there in person and met Robert and James.

As for why CA and CAI can’t get along, it has something to do with Chinese food and soy sauce, the details are fuzzy. :whacky:

Phil P


#14

BTW, the Jimmy (James) Akin book The Salvation Controversy covers similar ground as How Can I Get To Heaven, but Akin covers even more topics (indulgences, etc) and is more compact. Both are adequate responses to your typical evangelical or fundamentalist beliefs on salvation/justification.

Phil P


#15

[quote=Superstar905]heyyyy fellow malteser!!! I’m Maltese too, from Toronto, where you from???

excuse the excitement everyone, we are a small breed, but the most Catholic country in the world
[/quote]

Hi there! Kif inti? (You understand Maltese no?)

Good to hear from a fellow Malteser. I am from B’Kara originally, but I now live in Marsascala.

I guess if we want to discuss further, we should do this out of the forum. Should you so wish, please let me know and I’ll send you my personal email address.

Good Bless you friend.
AMercy.


#16

[quote=PhilVaz]BTW, the Jimmy (James) Akin book The Salvation Controversy covers similar ground as How Can I Get To Heaven, but Akin covers even more topics (indulgences, etc) and is more compact. Both are adequate responses to your typical evangelical or fundamentalist beliefs on salvation/justification.

Phil P
[/quote]

Yes, I read that too - but as I said earlier, the Sungenis book is the best I’ve read on justification. A matter which I agonised over for so long, getting into quite a mental and spiritual tangle in the process, has been resolved in a few days.

I feel galvanized now - these days I’m actually looking forward to meeting the Evangelicals who were after me; I can now talk to them with confidence and inner strength. Maybe I’m being optimistic, but with this new found clarity and peace, I can maybe, with perseverance and lots of prayer, evangelise them into the Catholic Church.

God Bless you all brothers!
Thanks for your responses - it’s a good feeling to be able to talk to such a buzzing community of faith.

amercy.


#17

So do you have any special traditions/customs that you do in honor of St Paul paying you guys a visit?
Any good stories, shrines, etc?


#18

[quote=Catholic Dude]So do you have any special traditions/customs that you do in honor of St Paul paying you guys a visit?
Any good stories, shrines, etc?
[/quote]

Hi,

Yes of course; St Paul is held with special reverence in Malta. We in fact refer to him as ‘Missierna San Pawl’ (Our Father St Paul). He is the patron saint of the island actually.

There are a number of churches dedicated to this great apostle around the island (btw, there are more than 370 churches on this island which is about the size of Washington DC).

His feast on the 10th of February, where we commemorate his shipwreck on our island, is a public/bank holiday here.

I have been on the tiny reef/rock where his ship was shipwrecked a number of times. We have erected a statue of St. Paul on this little island.

I myself attended a Catholic School run by the monks of St. Paul (Missionary Society of St. Paul) which was set up in Malta. Close to the school (about 100 meters) are a number of underground catacombs which early Maltese Christians had dug. There are a number of freschos depicting St. Paul’s shipwreck here on the walls of these catacombs. Publius, the chief man of the island who eventually was ordained by St. Paul himself as the first bishop of Malta, lived in the same town as where these catacombs are found. Obviously, St. Luke, St Paul’s physician, friend, evangelist and writer of the Acts was also here with him.

For those interested, one can read the about the shipwreck in Acts 28.

Hope that is useful information.

amercy.


#19

I have Bob’s book on justification. It’s the best tool I know for apologetics, and should be read more than once.


#20

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