I recently met an individual while reading “Witness to Hope” (JPII) and St. Augustines “Confessions”. We’ve had a few discussions on Catholic theology,etc. In our latest conversation, he mentioned that the reason that the Roman Catholic Church and it’s closer relatives (Orthodox, Anglican) were overly legalistic in their approach due to the influences of people such as Augustine and Martin Luther (who he claimswere lawyers). (Though he has great admiration for JPII) He said that Augustines views on women were very extreme (?). He then stated that he felt that no one church (protestant or catholic) had the answers…How can I counter?

First, I don’t find Augustine overly legalistic, but very expressive and complete in his reasoning (though I’ve only read Confessions so far). Secondly, it was my understanding that Augustine was a rhetorics teacher, not a lawyer. Finally, I don’t find Augustines views of women to be harsh in the slightest, though I have often heard such protests against him. Is this type of non-Protestant, non-Catholic association classified as Non-Denominational? Thoughts?

I don’t know much about Augustine and Luther.

One way to approach the idea that no one church has the answer is this:

There is only one truth. In fact Jesus goes so far as to say that He is truth. There can only be one true way, because God is who He is and He doesn’t change just because a person is in a different church. Jesus also said He would build His Church and that the gates of Hell would never prevail against it. If Jesus is truth and there is only one truth, and if Christ’s Church would never fall, then there must be one church that does have all the answers or else Christ Himself is a liar.

You’ll want to be very nice of course and friendly and polite. Also, this could be the first step towards the truth, so you don’t want your friend to come to the conclusion there is one true church and then decide its the Methodists or something. You also don’t want to push Catholicism on him to the point that he feels like you’re just trying to convert him. He may ask why the Catholic Church is the true Church and not others, or object to some Catholic beliefs. If you know the answers, pray for help and explain them. If you don’t, tell him you aren’t sure what the answer is but you are sure that there is an answer, and that you will give it to him very soon. Then come back here and ask about it. :slight_smile: And of course, pray all through this :slight_smile:

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