What questions should I ask a fundamentalist?

Fundamentalists always come prepared with a long list of questions to attack uninformed (sometimes innocent) Catholics.

Can someone give me a list of questions which I can ask a fundamentalist so that he/she realizes that their theology also has loopholes?

  1. Given that we are to interpret the Bible literally, why aren’t the Catholics right about John 6 and James 2?

  2. Given that Christ turned water into wine and St Paul recommended wine for Timothy, on what basis do you prohibit alcohol?

  3. If we are not saved but rather are damned by works of the Law, why do you insist upon tithing, which is a work of the Law?

Where in Scripture is Sola Scriptura?


I got this list from John Martignoni of the Bible Christian Society. Most non-Catholics cannot answer these without contradicting themselves or Scripture.

  1. Question: If everything that we need to know as Christians is in the Bible, then where in the Bible does it give us the list of books that are supposed to be in the Bible? How do we know all of those books are supposed to be in the Bible if there is no list in the Bible?

  2. Question: If we are saved by faith alone, then we don’t need to love anyone - even God! - in order to be saved, right?

That’s a logical question to ask someone who believes in salvation by faith alone. And, you’ve just put them in a difficult position. If we do indeed need to love in order to be saved, then we are not saved by faith alone, are we? We are saved by faith and love - which Catholics refer to as faith working through love (Gal 5:6). If we do not need love in order to be saved, then they are saying you can get to Heaven without loving God…without loving your fellow man…a pretty ridiculous position to take. Also, if it is faith alone, without love, then how come 1 Cor 13:13 says that love is greater than faith? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Afterall, if salvation is the greatest thing we can achieve, and it is by faith alone that we achieve salvation, then faith should be greater than love. But the Bible says differently.

  1. Question: If you have faith, but have not works, can your faith save you?

If they answer yes, then they contradict Scripture (James 2:14 -17). If they agree with Scripture and answer no, then they agree that it’s not faith alone that saves us. And remember, if they say that James is talking about a different kind of faith, what do you do? Ask them to show you where it says that and pay careful attention to what they say, because it is not going to match up with the Bible.

  1. Question: If salvation by faith alone is the most central and most important Christian doctrine, then why does the phrase “faith alone” appear only once in all of Scripture…and that is to say that we are not justified by “faith alone” (James 2:24)?

  2. Question: If God alone can forgive sins, and we are to confess our sins only to God, and not to men, then why does Matthew say that God gave the authority on earth to forgive sins to “men”…plural (Matt 9:6-8); and why does James tell us to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16)? And why does Jesus give His disciples the power to forgive or retain sins (John 20:23)?

  3. Question: Is whether or not we have faith, God’s sole criteria for judging us worthy of salvation?

*If the answer is no, then it is not salvation by faith alone, is it? If the answer is yes, then why does every passage in the N.T. that speaks of judgment, say that we will be judged by our works? (For example: Matthew 24:14-30 & 31-46; John 15:1-6; Rom 2:6; Rev 20:13; et al) Why don’t they say we will be judged by our faith? *


  1. Question: For a Christian, what is the pillar and ground…in other words, the upholder and foundation of the truth…is it the Bible?

If yes, then you are disagreeing with the Bible which says it is the Church (1 Tim 3:15)? If no, then how can you believe in the Bible alone as the sole rule of faith, when the Bible tells us that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth?*

  1. Question: Is God’s revelation to men ongoing, or did it end with the death of the last Apostle?

*If they say it ended with the last Apostle, then where does it say that in the Bible…isn’t that a non-biblical tradition? *

  1. Question: Jesus tells us in John 6:27 to “labor for the food that leads to eternal life” which He will give us. In John 6:55, Jesus tells us that His Flesh is real food and in verse 54 He says that whoever eats this flesh (this food) has eternal life. What does Jesus mean when He tells us to “labor” for the food that will lead to eternal life and that by eating this food (His flesh) we will have eternal life?

Even if Jesus is speaking symbolically, isn’t He still telling us that if we “do” something, we will have eternal life? Isn’t that suggestive of faith and works? And, doesn’t He in fact command us to “labor” for eternal life? Why does He do that?

  1. Question: Christ redeemed all men with His death on the cross. In other words, He paid the price for all men’s sins. Yet, not all men are saved. What is the difference between those who are merely redeemed and the subset of those who are redeemed and saved? Is it something Jesus did, or is it something each saved individual did?

If it’s something Christ did, then why doesn’t He do the same thing for all men? After all, Scripture says He desires that all men be saved (1 Tim 2:4)? If it’s something the individual believer did, then isn’t that a work? The point here is that the believer has to “do” something in order to be saved. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is not something Jesus did, it is something the believer did that the unbeliever didn’t do…he believed, by the grace of God…but he had to cooperate with that grace. He had to do something or else he would not have been “saved.”*

  1. Question: Do we have to forgive others in order to have our sins forgiven by God?

*If yes, then we are not saved by Faith Alone. Afterall, we cannot be saved if we do not have our sins forgiven, and we cannot have our sins forgiven if we do not forgive others. Therefore, we are saved by faith and at least one work…the work of forgiving others of their sins against us. If the answer is no, that we do not have to forgive others in order to have our sins forgiven, then they are going directly against what Jesus says in Matthew 6:14. *

  1. Question: Where in the Bible does it say:
    A) Scripture alone is the sole rule of faith for Christians?
    B) We are saved, or justified, by faith alone?
    C) Baptism is a symbolic gesture that the already saved believer makes to show his commitment to God?
    D) That every individual, Christian or not, has the right to interpret every single passage of Scripture on their own in order to determine, by their own authority, what is true doctrine and what is false doctrine?
    E) That you are to have altar calls?
    F) That you are to meet at your church every Wednesday night?
    G) That it is okay to disagree on the “non-essential” doctrines as long as you agree on the “essential” doctrines?
    H) That there is even such a thing as a non-essential doctrine…a non-essential part of the Word of God?

The answer to all of these is, it’s not. None of those things are in Scripture. Don’t accept anything but a Scripture passage that states these things explicitly. And you won’t get it, because it’s not there. And, again, listen to the answers to all of these questions. Listen for the inconsistencies and make sure you bring them to folks’ attention.

Thanks guys, keep posting. The next time those fundamentalists come with a list of their questions, I’ll give them a booklet of my own! :thumbsup:

You’ve got a lot of really good questions. Just remember that you can’t make them realize anything.

Whenever they say that some belief is not “essential”, ask them where the Bible says so.

I can’t add much to what others have posted. Except maybe this:
Ask if they have read the early Church Fathers and why it is thier beliefs are not in line with those who were taught by the Apostles.

First, methinks it’s pointless to get into a situation where you’re “dueling with scriptures”. For every crystal-clear scriptural verse that supports Catholic teaching, they’ll have one that “proves” that we’re wrong. :shrug:

Methinks it’s better to ask questions like:

By who’s authority was the books of the bible chosen?

If the bible was the sole source of authority, why does it not say so clearly in the Bible?

What about Christians before the bible was put together…where did they get their direction?

And others that have already been posted.

If one feels intimidated, start with the first question and use the “broken record” technique until you get a satisfactory answer.(which will not happen, since a Fundie won’t be able to answer this one correctly :wink: ) If you just keep asking, they won’t be able to get to their specific questions on Scripture which admittedly, many Catholics would not be prepared to answer (scripturally).

Here are some other questions:

  1. Where in the Bible are invitation hymns and altar calls?

  2. Where does the Bible use the formulas “accept Christ” or “personal Savior”?

If he says, “The concepts are there,” then reply “And likewise Catholic concepts are there, too.”

My 2 cents…just be sure that when you do apologetics, that being positive about your own faith is primary. :thumbsup: Preaching by the example of your own fire for the faith is probably more powerful for most people who “resist” being “taught.” And of course, it’s good to have answers when they want to know why you don’t go by sola scriptura or something else… :smiley:

  1. How do you confess your sins?
  2. Why do you just bread and drink wine instead of real Eucharist? (Even if they believe it is Eucharist, it’s not because they have no priesthood.)
    3.How do you understand Jesus’ words about Peter who is the rock?
  3. Are you sure everything you say about the CC is truth? If you are not sure you are in risk of telling lies, and that’s a sin.
  4. What do you think, why such amazing miracles like the one of Fatima or eucharistic miracles happen only in the CC? Why only some Catholics can have stigmata, can give up eating everything (except for the Eucharist)?
  5. Jesus wants all his desciples to live in unity. What do you do for the unity of Christians?
  6. Why do you think that your denomination is the right one?
    Good luck!

Question 6 is devastating. Fundamentalists are characterized by separatism, which itself is derived from Anabaptist experience and tradition but directly counter to Scripture. Having all the Scriptural evidence handy in Christ and the apostles’ calls for unity can be nothing but be effective here.

Just FYI on #2, most fundamentalist Christians do not drink wine - ever. When they have the Lord’s Supper (on the last Sunday of the month, usually) they use grape juice and a lot of times will make a point during the course of the celebration that the “elements” are a symbol of His Body and Blood, and not actually His Body and Blood. Just in case someone in the congregation is tempted to take Jesus at His Word and believe that “This is” really means “This is” and not “This represents.” :rolleyes:

I can’t remember where I got this list, but it is not my own.
Some of the items have been listed, but here they are together.

Entitled “Ten Sets of Questions”

TEN Sets of Questions

  1. If the assertion that the bible is the sole rule of faith, what did the evangelizers use until 397 when the canon of the New Testament was set? What was the sole rule of faith up to that point. If the verbal testamony of the Church was authoritative during the begining of Christianity, why is it not valid now? Where in the bible does it say that the verbal authority of the church becomes invalid after a specific date?

  2. If Christ was only speaking hypothetically about eating His body and drinking his blood in John chapter 6, why didn’t he clarify His position when many of the people that were following him left, claiming his teaching was too hard?

  3. If Peter doesn’t have a pre-eminent place in Christian history, why is he always listed first when the Apostles are named. Why is only Peter given the task of “feeding his sheep”? Why is only Peter given the keys? Why does Peter have the vision of “the unclean” in Acts, not Paul? Why is it Peter who first starts witnessing after the Pentacost?

  4. If baptism isn’t necessary, but rather a symbolic show of faith, why does Peter claim that baptism is what saves you? Why does Paul call it the “new circumcision”? Why does Paul say “we die with Christ in baptism”? Why does Christ say that one must be “born of water and spirit” and then go baptize people with the disciples immediately thereafter? Why did Christ himself get baptized?

  5. If works are not necessary, why was Jesus’ ministry centered around doing good works? Didn’t Jesus demonstrate His power through good works? Didn’t Jesus command us to “do the will of the Father”. Doesn’t the word “do” imply activity? Isn’t loving God and neighbor something that requires action?

  6. If Mary isn’t the Mother of God, why did Elizabeth call her that while under the influence of the Holy Spirit? If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, doesn’t that make Mary the Mother of God, or is there some point at which Jesus is not God?

  7. If Jesus didn’t intend a sacremental Church and establish a ministerial priesthood, why did he give certain powers and authority to only the disciples? He didn’t give the power to forgive sins to everyone, He didn’t celebrate the last supper with everyone, why is this?

  8. If salvation is a one time, once and for all event, why did Jesus say “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father”, and “he who persists to the end will be saved”?

  9. If the Church was not intended to have a hierarchal structure, why does Paul mention in several different letters, the qualifications of the offices within the Church?

  10. If Christ intended to have a multitude of independent churches, why did he say He was building his Church (singular). Why does Paul exhort everyone to be of one mind and one body?

I guess more than half of the booklet is ready by now. :slight_smile: Any more?

Let’s start with Daniel Chapter nine (the foundation of dispensationalist theology).

(KJV I assume you are KJV-only):

24Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.


27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

  1. Disys say that there is a ‘church age gap’ between verse 26 and 27.
    Where is the gap? IN THE TEXT.

  2. Dispys say that the ‘prince that shall come’ in verse 26 is different than ‘Messiah the Prince’ of verse 25.
    How do you know it is speaking of two different people from a simple reading of the text? Why would Daniel suddenly change his mind and start talking about a different person? How does this make logical and grammanical sense? Please find it IN THE TEXT.


3.Please find ANY referance of the ‘rapture’ in Scripture or in church history prior to the 19th century.

  1. Dispys (like Harold Wilmington of Libery University) say that during the millenniam, resurrected people and non-resurrected people with sin natures will live side by side on the earth.
    PLEASE, find this ANYWHERE in the Bible.

  2. Find ‘seven year tribulation’ in the Bible.

  3. Find ‘revived Roman Empire’ anywhere in the Bible.

  4. Please find anywhere in the Bible that says the Jews will return to the land in 1948.

A verse no fundamentalist has ever properly explained:

John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

  1. Why did Jesus expect Nicodemus to know what He was talking about?

  2. Where do you find, in the Bible or in 1700 years of Church history, salvation as a past ‘crisis event’ that must ‘happen’ and not a process?

Let me know when it is finished, i’d like a copy.

You can ask, if sola scriptura is true, why does the Bible say that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth… :slight_smile:

If sola scriptura is true, why do sola scriptura churches disagree on, among other things,

Should there be infant or Adult baptism?
Does baptism confer Grace or is it just a symbol?
Is our destiny governed by Calvinist Predestination or Arminian Free Will?
Once Saved Always Saved?
Is there assurance of Salvation?
Can one lose Salvation?
Is Salvation a one-off event or a lifelong journey?
Does hell exist?
Can one be saved outside the Christian Church?
Should images be used in worship?
Does the Church replace Israel?
Is Divorce permissible
Is Abortion murder?
Is prophecy still given?
Are there still Miracles?
Are miracles guaranteed if you have enough faith?
Will there be a pre-trib Rapture?
Premillenialism or Postmillenialism?
Will there even be a millennium?
Speaking in Tongues - valid or deception?
Baptism in the Holy Spirit - is it real?
Are demons real?
What role do Works have in Salvation?
What is the Nature and Function of Sacraments?
Is Jesus physically present in Communion?
Is communion a mystic event or a remembrance ceremony?
Are the Sacraments necessary to salvation?
What form of Authority should exist in the Church?
Does a minister need to be ordained?
What does ordination confer?
Is Apostolic Succession necessary?
Can women be Pastors?
Can homosexuals be admitted to Church?
Does God promise Christians material prosperity?

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