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Well here's one Protestant at least who's not going to bombard this book with criticisms and complaints--seeing as how these reviews are meant to discuss the book, not the plethora of beliefs held by whichever reviewer. I'm not really sure what some of these Protestant reviewers were expecting when they picked up the book.
That being said, I'm in no danger of converting, and yet I definitely think this book warrants 4 stars. Prompted by discussions with my Catholic roommate I was referred to this book. It didn't dispell all the historical and theological "myths" that Protestants propagate (most of which I would say aren't myths), but it did lay out a very solid argument from historical, theological, and biblical grounds. Any Protestant looking for a solid Catholic critique on those three grounds of the Protestant position should definitely pick this one up and be challenged by fairly solid scholarship. I especially appreciated hearing a thoughtful critique of 2 Timothy 3:16 and other scriptural passages used to defend Sola Scriptura (Chapter 3).
Bottom line, I don't think Sungenis and his companions are right, but I think he makes a good argument that Protestants need to hear and address. If you want a good and concise Catholic argument on this issue--seek no further.
When a Protestant discusses the faith with a Catholic the words, "show me where it says that in the Bible" will always come up. By saying this, the Protestant assumes that everything concerning faith and morals is WRITTEN explicity in the pages of Scripture. But is this assumption itself a biblical teaching?. To the surprise of most people the answer is no! The Bible nowhere states or implies that the Bible alone is the only rule of faith for the believer. Do you think differently? Then you must read this book. "Not by Scripture Alone" is a thorough review of how Scripture should be used in the life of a believer. Those who hold to the idea of Sola Scriptura, have rejected the biblical teaching of an authoritative Church (Matt 18:17) and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thes 2:15). This book handles all the issues one by one and demonstrates that a true Bible-believing Christian can not believe in the Bible Alone theory. I congratulate the authors of this fine book. I know that this book will help people come home to the fullness of the Christian faith that can only be found in the Catholic Church. Reviewed by Gospel Truth Ministries.
Well it probably won't, but this is the most complete book available on the issue of Sola Scriptura. I heard many arguments on both sides of the debate before I read this, and every one of them and more is examined in detail in this book. Bible verses are thouroughly examined in their context, and varying translations are even discussed rather than quoting from the English translation that best supports the apologist's point of view, as many others have done. Frequent quotations from Protestant authors throughout the book and the inclusion of the transcript of a formal debate between Patrick Madrid and Douglass Jones in the appendix allows the reader to hear arguments on both sides of the story. The size of the book may be a turn off to some, and there is some redundancy from the multiple authors, but the book is still very much worth while. For someone who is new to studying Catholic/Protestant dividing issues, I would recommend first reading a conversion story such as Scott Hahn's or David Currie's, to get your feet wet before plunging into the deep end with this book.
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Recent scholarship on the subject is brought in and analyzed. Among these works is most notably the books Sola Scriptura! edited by Don Kistler and Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences by Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie. However, several other sources of Protestant apologetics are utilized as well. The best Protestant arguments from these works are shown to be based on flawed pre-suppositions and circular logic. This work is not perfect either as Patrick Madrid's work in chapter one is weak in spots. (Hopefully Bob Sungenis will edit out the 'canon fodder' argument of Madrid in subsequent releases.) But the rest of the chapters amply compensate for this. That is really the only complaint I have with the work as Madrid's work in the two written debates is more in tune with the rest of the book. As this work shows in detail, the arguments of Protestant apologists prove to be either: a) Developmentally challenged. (The good arguments are always stopped short of a logical conclusion that is fatal to the Protestant position.) b) Logically self-refuting or c) The foundation of the Protestant position is shown to be purely arbitrary. While there is a bit of overlap; nevertheless each author covers a different angle to this topic which makes for very interesting reading. The tone of the book is charitable also, which is important with any work dealing with a topic this finely nuanced. This book is detailed, complete, and almost too much in a way (it leaves no stone unturned) but this is important considering the division that has resulted over the centuries because of the subject of sola scriptura. As far as I am concerned Catholics and other Apostolic Christians cannot go far enough in exposing this doctrine for what it is.Read more ›
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