The BEST of the Best?


#1

Greetings my bretheren in Christ,

I am reaching a phase in my journey home in which I want to delve deep into the arguments against Catholicism. Before I come Home to the Church, I want to put the teachings of the Church under as much fire as possible, and I want to truly test the Biblical and historical foundations of the Church.

But in order to do this I need resources. Most of the arguments against Catholicism that I see are laughably weak. Jack Chick, Lorraine Boettner, “Maria Monk”, among others.

But what I really want to get my hands on are books written by the Protestant “cream of the crop.” So my brothers and sisters (especially my Protestant ones):

What books have the “best” Protestant arguments against Catholicism? (If such a thing exists)


#2

Before Atemi and Myfavoritmartin jump on this, a lot of Christians will tell you it’s the Bible.

But, of course, you and I know differently.


#3

True, but I guess I just wanna hear both sides you know.

When I enter the Church, I want to know that I have heard the best Protestantism can deliver. Is that a good or bad inclination?


#4

If you are entering the Church with the full trust and faith in the Church that Christ built, then you can tell them, “Bring it on!!!” But If you’ve still got unanswered questions and doubts, then you are treading on thin ice. The worst lies about the Catholic Church have a grain of truth behind them, to lend them credence.

Take, for instance, the Crusades.
A) Some of the crusaders killed innocent Jews.
B) The crusades were called by the Pope (not all of them, but some).
C) Therefore, one can draw the conclusion that the Pope ordered the death of innocent Jews.

Now, someone can easily believe this, because the first two facts are easily verifiable. So one assumes that the third fact is true. I understand that I glossed over that example, but I think it shows my point.


#5

It’s a perfectly rational and reasonable request. We’ll just have to wait and see what gets recommended to you.


#6

Boettner is probably the most efficient anti-Catholic out there.


#7

I hear that James White’s book “The Roman Catholic Controvery” is at least mildly scholarly and interesting. You may also check out some of Matt Slick’s stuff at CARM.(Link removed as per Forum Rules and Banned Topics.)

***Note: I do not endorse nor agree with any of these anti-Catholics, nor their conclusions. I am simply pointing the original poster to some of the stuff requested.

And I agree with the comment before about being careful. If you must read the anti stuff, at least do so prayerfully and carefully.


#8

Also, in order to hear both sides at the same time I’d check out some of the formal debates out there.


#9

Honestly if there were any strong arguments you would have seen them in these forums by now. I dont know of any books that accurately portray Church teaching and then proceeds to refute them.

:smiley: LOL!

Dont worry, NEITHER of those are anything to worry about. The Roman Catholic Controversy was pretty weak, I feel like writing up a article on all its problems. If I remember correctly in the RC Controversy book there wasnt a single Scripture reference quoted in the chapter on what Catholics believe about Justification (I assume to give the impression our teachings have no support in Scripture) yet there was Scripture quoted for the Protestant chapter on Justification (these chapters are like 15 pages long, hardly enough to really talk about anything). Further passages like James 2:24 were not even touched except in a footnote which was about the lenght of this post and it was talking about James 2:14-26 not 2:24 specifically. Sadly the RC Controversy doesnt quote much Scripture at all (even for the Protestant side).

As for Slick’s webpage there is nothing to worry about there either.


#10

James has a live show that you can call in on if you think it so simple to refute what he claims. Of course you can write the article but he may never see it.

Your memory fails you as there is scriptural references in that section.

Most of the section entitled “Justified Before God: Rome’s View” does not rely on scripture but provides ample quotes from the Council of Trent, Ott, the CCC, Keating, Hardon, Council of Florence, as well as others. Most of that section takes Rome at Rome’s word.

In a book that is only 264 pages including the footnotes I count over 150 scriptural references. Since the book includes discussions on history as well as theology, I would say that is a fair amount of scriptural references.

You are, as best as I can tell, correct about James 2:14-26 and 2:24 but if you would like to see his exegesis of this verses, purchase his book “The God Who Justifies”.


#11

Why not call James White or Eric Svendsen, and talk to them?


#12

I will keep this in mind.

Any other books anyone can think of?


#13

Calling in live shows doesnt get anywhere because it is hard to follow discussions like that when you dont have the text in front of you (which most of the listeners do not) and combine that with the fact time is very limited means neither side has enough time to say all that they wanted to say.

Your memory fails you as there is scriptural references in that section.

Well Im looking at the chapter right now and I dont see a single quote used in the description of the Catholic view.
There are three passages given, Eph 2:8ff; Rom 5:1; and 1 Cor 1:30f…but each of these are listed in defense of Protestantism in ‘contrast’ to the Catholic position.

So when you say there are Scriptural references in that chapter I consider that very misleading.

Most of the section entitled “Justified Before God: Rome’s View” does not rely on scripture but provides ample quotes from the Council of Trent, Ott, the CCC, Keating, Hardon, Council of Florence, as well as others. Most of that section takes Rome at Rome’s word.

Thats not the point. The point is that the RC Controversy demands teachings be held up against Scripture, yet White wouldnt give the Catholic Church a fair chance by quoting any Scripture which Catholics use in defense of their doctrines on Justification. Now turn to the next chapter where the Protestant doctrine of justification is examined, I count no less than 25 references to Scripture.

On top of that it oversimplified the Catholic position by not quoting full sections from the Council of Trent (including leaving out many Scripture quotes Trent cites).

In a book that is only 264 pages including the footnotes I count over 150 scriptural references. Since the book includes discussions on history as well as theology, I would say that is a fair amount of scriptural references.

The number of Scripture quotes means nothing if the Catholic position wasnt fairly presented (especially regarding Justification) as basing its teachings from Scripture. Further looking at the Scripture index there are lots of passages that should have been cited/examined for the Catholic side, a few that come to mind: Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom 2:6-8; 4:18-22; 5:5; 5:19; 11:21f; 1 Cor 6:11; Gal 3:8 (+Gn 12:3); Gal 5:19-21; Phil 2:12f; Hebrews 11(esp vv1-8); 2 Pt 1:9; etc

Not even one of these verses (or anything similar) could be quoted?

You are, as best as I can tell, correct about James 2:14-26 and 2:24 but if you would like to see his exegesis of this verses, purchase his book “The God Who Justifies”.

If I can get a hold of a copy I will. Looking at Amazon.com I am able to see the Scripture index for that book. It looks a lot more thorough, the index includes many of the verses I listed above. At the same time I wonder how many were quoted in support of Catholic claims.


#14

You are right, he could have taken a different path with his book.

Do you think he mis-represented your church, other than you aren’t happy with his lack of scriptural support for your side?


#15

My sense is yes. If it is purported as an inherent truth that the Protestant position alone is supported by Scripture, and Scripture quotes are provided to substantiate that claim then it is incumbent upon him to provide those Scriptural quotes which the Catholic Church believes support it’s claims. To fail to provide those quotes is to implicitly suggest that Romes position is not substantiated from Scripture and, perhaps, that Rome doesnt care whether its position is supported from Scripture. Suggesting that latter point, in particular, is a misrepresentation of our Church (Wouldnt you agree?) since our Church sees its position as having support in Scripture.


#16

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is worth reading for a decent representation of a variety of Protestant positions.


#17

Also some of you would like adress the protestant position of Early Church beliefs and Bible canon issues. In my experience that is were the protestant apologists tend to be weaker. And that is what leads many former protestants to the CC or to EO.


#18

He misrepresented it on two levels:
1)By not providing Scripture implies our views of salvation are unBiblical

2)The chapter was only about 15 pages long, that really isnt enough room to do any side justice, especially if he is selectively quoting the Council of Trent. I would like to see a Protestant do a full commentary on Session 6 (Justification) of the Council of Trent.

3)The issue of imputed vs infused righteousness is probably the key issue, yet I dont remember seeing much talk about the distinction nor Scripture looking into it. For example White quoted Rom 5:1 a few times, yet in context 5:5 shows infused grace as part of justification, yet I dont see him quote or examine Rm 5:5 which Trent explicitly quotes.

Another thing that I remember is his emphasis on the “incompleteness” of Catholic teaching on justification, yet that is simply a misunderstanding. The Church teaches anyone who has grace infused into their soul (through Baptism) is immediately made worthy of Heaven. Once sanctifying grace is in your soul you are an adopted child of God, you are in His family. There is nothing “incomplete” here. From there you are called to GROW and persevere in righteousness, not because the former was incomplete or lacking, but because you can. Take the example of reading Scripture, while you might already have a good grasp of Scripture and love God through that knowledge and consider yourself a solid Christian there is always room to grow, the more you read/study Scripture the more your capacity to love God grows. While this is a quick summary I hope I got the general concept across.


#19

I disagree.

The guy wrote a 264 page book from preface to the last endnote. The book covers topics as diverse as:
sola scriptura
tradition
claims of the papacy
justification
purgatory
the mass
sola gratia

As best I remember all the sections have extensive quotes from your church’s councils and catechism. I suppose he could have chosen to provide whatever scriptural support you may have for a particular dogma but he didn’t. I guess he could have written a three volume work but he chose not to.

You say “To fail to provide those quotes is to implicitly suggest that Romes position is not substantiated from Scripture…”

If you use the following definition of “substantiated”, than I say so what?

[quote=Webster’s] to establish by proof or competent evidence
[/quote]

Your church does not claim to establish it’s various beliefs and dogmas by proof from scripture. I realize your church claims none of it’s dogmas contradict scripture but that is an entirely different thing than saying that all of the RCC’s dogmas are established by proof from scripture.

I don’t see how it can be said he wasn’t fair to your church’s position on various topics if he provided quotes from the catechism and various councils. Additionaly, I don’t think anyone would believe the books was meant to be an exhaustive study of the topics. The mass gets a whopping 20 pages. At best, this is a survey of the topics, albeit a brief one.

Now, did he misrepresent a Catholic belief? I realize he doesn’t agree w/ much your church teaches but did he misrepresent a teaching?


#20

I am thinking of looking mostly at James White, from what I hear he merely regurgitates cotra-Catholic arguments of R.C. Sproul and Salmon, among others.

I have limited monetary resources, so I am looking for reasonably priced (but still quality) anti-Catholic books.


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