Disagreements from Protestants

I’m really into debate with my mother (we debate theology for fun), but I also want to start learning things in regard to defending the faith. As a person surrounded by a Protestant family, I want to learn to defend my transition to the Catholic faith for any who question me.

So my question is…
What are the most common and biggest questions a Protestant would ask a Catholic because of disagreement (theological differences)?

Some I’ve already thought of are…

  • Existence of Purgatory
  • Confession to a priest
  • Existence of mortal/venial sins
  • Imputed vs. infused righteousness
  • Veneration and prayer to saints
  • Mary’s perpetual virginity
  • Mary’s status as the Mother of God, Mediatrix of Grace, and deserving of veneration
  • Tradition must be followed
  • Transubstantiation and the Real Presence of the Eucharist
  • Sacred Tradition + Scripture vs. Sola Scriptura
  • Sola Fide, faith alone vs. faith and good works
  • How the church can exercise infallibility.

Any others?

-Certainty of salvation
-Infant baptism

I’m sure there are more but everything will eventually come down to authority or authority of the canon of scripture resulting in authority of interpretation. If you don’t establish authority you might just be debating for nothing.


If I may suggest a great book “Catholicism for Dummies” answers everything in a easy way. Use it myself. Plus it will give you the answers for all “those questions” plus staying on this Forum will also help. Another great Book by Peter Kraft is Fundamentalist vs Catholicism.

P.S Have you read any of the Church Fathers i.e Clement of Rome/Ignatius/Augustine ?

Local Catholic Bookshop or Amazon sell these.

God Bless Walk with the Lord.

Go to lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/titles?style=list and listen to everything by Dr. Scott Hahn.

You will find a wealth of topics and information on the Catholic.com tracts page.

Wow. I struggled with all but 3 of these having recently come from the Lutheran Church. (Mary’s virginity and Real Presence were non-issues for me, and Sola Scriptura was actually a big push for me towards Catholicism. Faith and Good works I think were identical but said differently as well, personally.). :slight_smile:

I found “Catholicism for Protestants” and
Waking Up Catholic” to be quite helpful to me, in addition to some discussion with the leaders in my RCIA class. I’m much more comfortable with those concepts above now, and they’d been my hang-ups for years. Wish I’d read up on this sooner. :thumbsup:

A lot depends on the communion they are members of. The ones I struggle with are:

  • How the church can exercise infallibility (by extension papal supremacy)
  • Mediatrix of Grace (Mother of God is Lutheran doctrine)
  • with Transubstantiation and Purgatory, it depends on who is defining it.

Folks from other communions will have lots more issues than a well catechized Lutheran.



  • baptism necessary for salvation (ironically my Baptist mother-in-law has been huge on this issue in my conversion)
  • the Pope
  • once saved always saved (or rather disagreeing with that concept)

the Answers4Catholics app has been very helpful in dispelling these and more, especially while on the go! Great $1.99 investment for all Catholics :slight_smile:

Speaking as one who has gone the other way, I agree with adf417 that it does come down to authority. I have come to believe in Sola Scriptura, and I assert that no Catholic can truly claim to believe the Bible. The best a “good” catholic can do is claim that they believe what the Church tells them to believe about the Bible. I point to Matt 13:54-55 as proof. I can look at these verses and accept that the “brothers and sisters” spoken of here are actually children of Joseph and Mary. As a good catholic, you cannot even allow for this possibility, not because of anything in the Scriptures, but because of the “infallible” dogma of perpetual virginity.To allow that the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus are children of Joseph and Mary is to allow the possibility that the Church is not infallible (which it has “infallibly” declared itself to be).

Hope I gave someone something to consider and think about!


Nothing that hasn’t been heard many times before. :nope:

Thank God for the Catholic Church for the authority to define the canon of scripture and the means for preserving it all these years. Thank God for free will to allow us the ability and authority to distort the original intent of these scriptures and the grace to know better not to. :signofcross:


Very well said :thumbsup:

The Tradition that the Blessed Virgin Mary remained a virgin is not only taught by the Church but also held by Fathers such as Origen, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Epiphanius and St. Basil.

There is indeed scriptural basis for holding that Christ was the only child of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that is St. John 19:26-27: “When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” The point is that if Christ entrusted His Mother to St. John after His death there probably were not other children who would have done it instead. It presupposes that there were no other children than Jesus Christ. It has also been considered on the basis of St. Luke 1:34 that the Blessed Virgin Mary made a formal vow of virginity. Cf. Biblical proof that Mary (and Joseph) made a vow of virginity. Furthermore, the same use of term “brothers and sisters” referring rather to “cousins” is found in Genesis 13:8, 14:14-16; Leviticus 10:4 and 1 Chronicles 15:5-10, 23:21-22.

That’s a very standard list. :wink:

Have you tried doing searches for those answers on this site catholic.com/

On the road toward the river, but I’ve found everything by Scott Hahn as well as Devin Rose’s book If Protestantism is True to be very helpful!

My husband has definitely been a lot more reluctant about my “curiosity” of Catholicism but after listening to Scott Hahn’s CD Why Do We Have a Pope, he even said that he feels like we need to explore this some more because it made so much sense.

Honestly, your mom is snared in the details. A wise Catholic friend told me recently that really the first step is acknowledging these two things:

  1. Did Jesus establish a visible church that “the gates of hell would not prevail against it”?
  2. What did He mean when He said that the Spirit was coming who would “guide you into all truth”?

I’d focus on those two things first because if she can admit that those are true according to the Bible all the other questions are more easily resolved. I’m not saying that I don’t still have questions about the details but I keep having to take myself back to those questions.

Just sharing some ideas.

Re: “according to the bible” and those 2 questions

As you probably know from posting on these forums, if one were to insists a bible “only” answer to such a question, And I’m not saying you’re requiring that, but THAT person whoever they are, insisting on that narrow qualification, must first prove 2 things[LIST=1]
*]who gave us the bible in the first place? It didn’t just drop from the sky.
*]where does the bible say anywhere, only the bible resolves all questions?
[/LIST]Quick answer to those questions[LIST=1]
*]the NT scriptures came AFTER Jesus estalished His Church. iow the Church wrote The NT scriptures. They were written in, by, for, and canonized by, Our Lord’s Church, the Catholic Church. That’s right, Peter, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, are all in the Church they wrote to and for. Catholics writing for the Catholic Church. #[FONT=Arial]34 [/FONT]. And in 381 a.d. the CC assembled, and canonized all her books we call the “bible.” Before that we had no bible.
*]No scripture says that only scripture answers everything and resolves all questions. How could it when it didn’t come on the scene till 350 years after Our Lord’s resurrection and ascension back to heaven.
[/LIST]Therefore, If one wants to find the Church that Jesus established, they look at
*]scripture for sure, but NOT without the Church who came first, that gave us the scriptures, #[FONT=Arial]34[/FONT] . Only one Church qualifies.

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