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Church of Rome at the Bar of History Paperback – November 1, 1997

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Church of Rome at the Bar of History + 2,000 Years of Christ's Power, Part Two (v. 2) + Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851517102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851517100
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Church.
Unanimous consent refers to the moral unanimity of the Fathers in interpreting Scripture (not Tradition).
Devin Rose
My issue is not with whether or not the author/reader agrees but the fact that it is never mentioned.
Joseph Cipriani

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Scott on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe this to be a 5-star book, but I am concerned about who reads it. I can't imagine any Catholic reading this book and believing the material; unless you're a Catholic who is genuinely questioning the authority of your church this will only get your hackles up. Protestants who are strong in their faith don't need historical evidence to be convinced of their beliefs, so I am afraid that this book will only serve to poison your spirit against Catholic brothers and sisters.
To those very close to a Catholic: this book is immensely helpful in deciding what to believe. You are bomabarded constantly with Catholic claims to "catholicity"; that is, that Christ instituted only one church (naturally, the RCC) and that all Christians everywhere and for all time have believed exactly what the RCC says. Along the same lines, Reformation beliefs are johnny-come-lately's and that Protestants should return to the "real" church. This is the most difficult argument of Catholics to wrestle with, because Bible verses can be interpreted differently as can fruits of the Spirit but history is a fact.
Well, Webster blows the "catholic" argument out of the water. He has an easy job, because he doesn't have to show that Church Fathers would have been Protestant, merely that some beliefs of each father go against modern Catholicism. By quoting historical documents (which are extensively referenced), he shows that the early Church contained a mix of "Catholic" and "Protestant" beliefs (at best) or were entirely opposed to an idea like a papacy at the beginning. He admits that the doctrine of the Eucharist is the best supported historically, but even so, some authoritative writers explicitly supported views more like Calvin's on the topic.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Seth Aaron Lowry on November 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
William Webster has developed his little apologetics niche by arguing against the claims made by the Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, in this book he offers some really good arguments along with some really terrible ones. First the positive aspects of the book. Webster does a great job of dealing with the more Protestant oriented issues like justification, faith, and the Scriptures. I believe Webster argues convincingly that the deutero-cannonicals were not considered authoritative Scripture by the Church fathers. Nevertheless, he fails to take into consideration the fact that many of the fathers meant different things when they referred to the canon as opposed to Scripture. Just because the Fathers didn't regard the deuteros as part of the Christian canon, or books read during the liturgical season, doesn't mean they didn' regard them as Scripture. In fact, Athanasius lists the books of the canon as the 66 found in Protestant bibles minus Esther, but elsewhere in his writings he repeatedly refers to many of the apocryphal books as Scripture. Either he contradicted himself on many occasions or he had two divergent notions as to what the canon was and what was Scripture.
When it comes to other issues like justification Webster is correct in his assessments of the the different ideas held by Protestants and Catholics, but he doesn't do enough to convince that his views are correct. Examining the Marian doctrines, Webster illustrates dogmas such as the assumption and immaculate conception weren't held by the Church Fathers. Also, his work on the supposed evolution of the papacy is also strong, but to understand that issue one should read his longer work, The Matthew 16 Controversey, for a fuller and more thorough line of argumentation.
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38 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for those who are unaware of the actual extent to which historic church fathers disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church's claims on various matters of dogma. This is very important for a number of reasons: 1) The Roman Catholic Church has claimed a place as the only true legitimate church intended by Christ. 2) The Roman Catholic Church has claimed that its doctrines were universally taught by early church fathers. 3) The Roman Catholic Church insists on adherence to its dogma as requisite for salvation.
William Webster does not solely rely on openly debatable or elusive scripture passages to make his case. More impressively, Webster takes a look at the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church "on its own turf" as he quotes from the early church fathers and demonstrates how they contradicted the teachings of the Roman Church. This is a powerful argument against a church which relies on the unanimity of consent of historical early Christian Church leaders as a basis for its own credibility and divine authority.
Roman Catholics who are honest seekers of historical truth regarding the claims of their own church will appreciate the non-combative, matter-of-fact manner in which historical facts are objectively presented in this book. This is definitely not an "in your face" anti-Catholic book. Non-Catholic Christians who question Roman Catholic claims to supremacy and having an unbroken, consistent chain of theological thinking and dcotrine throughout history will appreciate the informative, concise, and organized presentation of the real historical truth.
Webster begins the book establishing the debate between Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) as a basis for Christian teaching, versus scripture and "tradition.
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