Catholicism - East of Eden?


Hey there,

A Calvinist teacher recommended that I read Catholicism east of eden by Richard Bennett. Does anyone know if there is a worthy criticism of it somewhere (preferably online)? Or have you read it yourself and want to say a few words?

  • Steffen


I haven’t read the book, but a quick Google search reveals that it is promoted heavily on numerous virulently anti-Catholic web-sites. That alone tells me that it is not worth even refuting. We are not obligated to offer in depth refutation of every bit of Catholic tripe that comes down the pike.

Sometimes all you need to do is consider the source.


I’m not a Catholic myself, so I would very much like to find out if this dude holds water.

I have now read the first couple of chapters, and there are quite a few flaws… but also some stuff that I can’t answer (yet).

  • Steffen


Care to post any of it? I have not found Bennett or any similar writer to be particularly helpful in articulating serious critiques of Catholicism.



Yeah, please by all means post anything that you can’t answer on a new thread here in Apologetics and we’ll see if Bennett has half the case that he thinks he does. What little of his stuff I’ve read from online sources was rhetorical bunkum.

Most people seem to accept that he was a priest and therefore that lends him some sort of credence, but even that is doubtful from what I have read.

I don’t question that he was a priest.

I question the veracity of some of the things that he says and I know for a fact that he claims to be knowledgeable and then blows it when he opens up his personal can of rhetoric.


Here’s one concerning the priesthood especially concerning Mass as a sacrifice:

  • The Roman priesthood is partly modelled after the Levitical priesthood in the OT. But the levitical priests were mortal men and thus had to have successors, while Jesus is and was immortal and his priesthood unchangable, therefore he needs no successors.

  • Steffen


I can’t stress to people enough If you are on the journey and you have questions post them on the website of CHN. Comming Home Network. These are a bunch of people who have had these problems and will take the time to answer your questions. Largly because someone there has probably been exactly where you are. Given the subject matter it seems to me they will be able to help you.


Christ set up a human priesthood to act in his places. I dont need to argue peter here. He gave the apostles the ability to bind and loose and to forgive sins. He sent them to spread the goodnews over all the world. They were going to need sucessors.


The question is erronious in and of itself. You must remember that christ is the son of David. He sits on Davids throne and rules Davids kingdom. and that kingdom will never end. It is not modeled “partly” after the levites. It is the continuation of the Davidic kingdom literally. Christ did not come to do something new that had never been done before he came to do what he said from the beginning he would do. He came to perfect the old law. To be the savior promised to isreal. To be the desired of ages. To be the fullfillment of all that had gone before. To fulfill the old testament not to abolish it. Christ is the King of the Davidic kingdom which he perfected and restored for all of time. To say he “modeled” the church “partly” after the levites misses the point entirly. It is such a gross misstatement that it is not even worth the paper it is written on.


Thanks for the quick reply.

So basically you say, that the priests aren’t really Christ’s successors, only his priests (himself being the High Priest, I figure)?

Anyway, the case took another turn… This guy is becoming too much! He now estimates that “between 23 and 56 percent of the priesthood have a homosexual orientation.” Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

That is just so ridiculous… I can’t believe that that book belongs to my history teacher, who usually stresses, that we should be “critical” when reading an historical source (or textbook for that matter).

This book is not helping anti-catholicism in any way. :doh2:

By the way, there’s a small thing that has been bothering me. When people (not only cats, I know many pros that do it too) make the sign of the cross, it looks as if they do it upside down (an upside down T)… which just seems wrong. Does anyone know why they do it that way?

  • Steffen


I paraphrased, so it might be primarily due to myself… Peter doesn’t say explicitly that one follows from the other in Catholic dogma, I just assumed… and decided to not put it too blunt, because I didn’t know the Catholic stance.

My fault.

  • Steffen


I feel the the scarecrow form the wizard of OZ right now. You know “If I only had a brain.”

I just read this (maybe it was on this forum) seems like the “backward” sign of the cross was practiced prior to the current version.

Seem’s like I also remember that some Orthodox still do it the same way?

I hate getting old.



The second move in the making of the sign of the cross is touching the breastbone (not chest).



front of shoulder

front of shoulder

It’s likely you are seeing people who touch the middle of their chest with the second touch instead of touching slightly lower (below the imaginary line between shoulder-touching motions).

They make their last three touches nearly parallel:


These people usually make their s.o.c. quickly and truncate their second move------Instead of making a “full” cross like this:




If that’s the case, no big deal. It really isn’t important to make a fully proportional cross on yourself. It started, after all, as a simple sign among the first christians, who acknowledged each other by making a small cross on their own foreheads with their thumb, and to make a truly proportional cross we’d have to touch our feet.

I’m more interested in those who make the sign without any thought whatsoever as they go through the motions of the mass----actually often the same people now that I think about it:blush: .

(if this whole explanation isn’t what you are seeing----I don’t know what is going on :doh2: )


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