he shines when explaining points of Catholic doctrine to former Evangelical Protestants and those of the Reformed tradition, including and especially ministers, who shared his training and education in their seminaries. He has taken the “covenant” basis of Reform theology and explained it in Catholic terms. Aside from his too liberal use of puns, I enjoy his writing and have never found any problem in over a dozen books and several video series.
He has a way of explaining the complicated and what seems far off things and making them easier to comprehend. Here is a great link to a lot of free downloadable audio lectures debates and books by Dr. Hahn. Enjoy.
So, above everything, is his outlook on theology correct? Is he a reliable apologist? Opinions?
When I first heard him on EWTN, knowing he was a convert, I thought, this man sounds just like what I was taught growing up about my faith. (I’m a cradle Catholic who had very devout parents and all Catholic School teaching, taught by Franciscian Sisters and Dominican Sisters and Priests, and Catholic lay people.)
He sounds like he’s been Catholic all his life.
He is very correct, reliable and a very awesome man when it comes to Catholic Church teaching and a great Catholic!! He really lives it!! He and his wife Kimberly and his children, from what I have read, all sound very devout, just like my family growing up!!
I heard someplace, or read someplace and I don’t remember where, that he is one of the few people who can teach Priests. I wish I knew the source for that, I’d post it.
Scott Hahn adheres to the teaching of Mark Miravalle on the so-called ‘fifth and final Marian dogma’. There are very serious theological errors in that set of ideas. He also makes the serious theological error of imputing femininity and a feminine role to the Holy Spirit.
I think Dr Hahn is an excellent apologist and wholly orthodox Catholic.
He has a talent for explaining the sacraments with exceptional clarity. His work on the covenantal view of salvation history is enormously influential; he may one day be considered quite a theologian of the Church.
It is Dr. Hahn detractors that assert that Dr. Hahn has applied femininity to the Holy Spirit. Dr. Scott Hahn has clarified his position and repudiates those detractors. He makes it clear that he never assigned feminine characteristics to the Holy Spirit.
The matter is settled. Scott Hahn has made it very clear that he does not hold the position you assert he does.
Yet some people still want to continue to say what is not true.
Exactly right, rpp. Dr. Hahn does not hold any theological opinions that are in any way at odds with Catholic teaching. If something was clearly defined by the Church to oppose any of his theological opinions, he would be the first to chuck them in the fire and move on.
In regards to the “fifth Marian dogma”, reasonable Catholics may disagree, but it is certainly not heretical to believe it or support it (Mother Teresa signed the petition in support of it, and I’m pretty sure she’s not a heretic :)).
I would absolutely recommend anything Dr. Hahn writes or speaks. I have heard it said that the difference between knowlegde and wisdom is the ability to connect the dots. You can have all the factual knowledge in the world, but you aren’t truly wise until you see how the pieces of knowledge fit together. Dr. Hahn is truly wise, and even better, he has the gift of being able to explain those connections in ways that the average person can understand. He is a great gift to the Church, IMO. He has probably done more to win more people to the Catholic faith than any of us will ever be able to do in our lifetime.
I have a number of Dr. Hahn’s books, and every one of them has the Imprimateur and the Nihil Obstat, which are the Church’s way of verifying that nothing in the books is in any way contrary to Church doctrine. I don’t think you can get any more reliable than that.
I was just watching a Mother Angelica rerun yesterday. She was talking about Dr. Hahn’s book " A Father who keeps his promises" which I happen to be reading at the moment. Her take on him was that he is probably the finest apologist of the century. I have read many of his books and listened to a lot of his lecture series, I always tune in to him after journey home on EWTN. I have learned so much from his books, expecially the Lambs Supper.
I think Scott is doing very well in atoning for the severe damage he inflicted in originally converting many Catholics away from the faith and in keeping so many “bible only” Christians separated from the fullness of Cathlolic teaching.
He is logical, bright, energetic and well informed. He is an excellent bridge between Protestants and Catholics and can do wonders in bringing others back to the Catholic Church. The only negative thing I would say though is that he is fixated on “scripture only” stil. His early cultural exposure to sola scriptura from his prior protestant faith has stuck so to speak; he just now undersatnds the deeper reality of what scripture really teaches when spoken through the proper teaching traditions. This alignment is fine though since everything in Catholicism is consistent with scripture and “scripture only” supports Catholicism and in fact reveals the errors of Protestantism. But while scripture it fully embraced by the Catholic Church it s not ALL of our belief nor the full deposit of faith - there is MUCH more. So, Scott is a great guy for getting people into the front door and truly saved but he is not the deepest and greatest theological expert we have by any means. I think some of his more steeped Catholic peers get a little frustrated that he limits himself mostly to a scripture only perspective and can’t get to the nuanced depth of teaching that the church has from scripture only.
I am happy to have him in the family though and can’t imagine how Protestants can emotionally deal with losing such bright talent and still keep their own incomplete faith.
These are very good points. As a convert myself I tend to argue from Scripture almost exclusively simply because that’s all Protestants evince to allow. In my own work for my parish, we emphasize the other aspects of life within the Church as well—the sacraments, the liturgy, the experiential, the sublime. These speak to different people in different measure and are no less important than Scripture. The lives of the saints bear this out.
Scripture geeks need to be reminded of this from time to time.
I understand what you’re trying to say, but I do not think the reason is necessarily because there are some vestiges of Protestand thinking in his approach. I think it’s more from the fact that biblical theology is his area of expertise. Dr. Hahn is, first and foremost, not an apologist but a biblical theologian. So, of course, he’s going to focus more on Scripture than a systematic theologian or a moral theologian would. That’s his field of study.
Absolutely. But I think James is right in noting that it does limit his effectiveness as an apologist in some ways. I would say that Archbishop Fulton Sheen was the most effective Catholic apologist of the 20th century because he had the whole package.
At last count, Scott Hahn authored 16 books on Catholicism. In these thousands of pages, if he has one or two wrong ideas, or adheres to some idea about a future dogma that is controversial, is that so bad? The guy has done so much for the faith and for Catholics everywhere. He’s now publishing a book that will be used in nearly 1/2 of the Catholic Schools for educational purposes. Why would anyone throw stones at such a devoted follower of Christ?
Even IF he’s wrong on a few items, that proves he’s not infallible. Did anyone think otherwise?
We should be thanking God for Scott Hahn’s conversion and publications, not insulting him.