Well, I’ve posted a bit from the library, but now I finally have the Internet in my barracks room (don’t ask me how it all fits), so I can continue my research into the great mysteries of faith (and life, the universe, and everything, while we’re at it). I have been going to Mass at the post chapel, and I am thinking about driving into Savannah this Sunday to go to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (more to see what it’s like than to make it my weekly church). As my experience of all things Catholic has grown, however, I still feel a need to give the other side a fair hearing. After all, I grew up on the other side, and I don’t want to cross over until I’m sure I’m doing the right thing. As it is, I have one foot on each side of the fence, and it’s a rather awkward position in which to be.
Growing up Protestant, I always assumed Catholicism was wrong, and I didn’t need to read detailed Protestant apologetics to prove it to me. Now that my previous assumptions have basically proven to be false, I find myself seeking the counsel of those whose objection to Catholicism is based on study and not assumption.
In my search, I have come across the website of James White. I have browsed his site many times before, and I am sure most of you have heard of him. For those few of you who haven’t, he is a Protestant of the Calvinist persuasion, who runs a ministry which counters various cults and non-Christian religions. Among these false groups, he has included Catholicism.
One of his articles was a fictionalized account about a meeting between a Protestant couple considering Catholicism, a Protestant pastor, a recent convert to Catholicism, a rather unskilled Catholic apologist, and James White himself. In this article, the bumbling Catholic doesn’t stand a chance against James White’s knowledge and debating skills. In the end, the couple is saved from their almost disastrous decision, and the Catholics walk away in defeat.
Now, this sort of article is a convenient way to present a point of view, and I must be fair and say I have seen Catholics do it too. Simply have the protagonist be absolutely brilliant and have the antagonist be incompetent. Despite the annoying debating device, however, some of what he said intrigued me. He said that the Council of Trent officially declared the Deuterocanonicals to be part of the canon for the first time, and that all the previous councils (he mentions Carthage and Hippo) which had declared them as part of the canon were only provincial councils, and thus not binding. Is this true? This is quite important, because it casts doubt on the legitimacy of the Catholic Church to pronounce the canon, if, if in fact, some books were only officially added as a response to Protestantism, over a thousand years after the establishment of the rest of the canon.
Thanks for any information, and feel free to comment on the rest of the article. It’s good to be back! God bless!