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Roman Catholicism Paperback – June 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875520928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875520926
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Please do not waste your time on this obviously anti-Catholic book.
mom1992
Consequently this being True not only is The Bible inerrant, but also the Council of the Catholic Church which proclaimed it 'sacred and canonical'.
J. Grammo
I am, in fact, like Boettner, a Reformed Protestant, though also a philosophy professor at a Roman Catholic University.
Stephen J. Garver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 230 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J. Garver on October 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Given all the extreme rhetoric of many of these reviews, I'd like to attempt to present something closer to a rational evaluation, largely borrowing from a review I wrote for another book sales website.
Lorraine Boettner's thorough and expansive treatment of Roman Catholicism has certainly become a classic since its first publication in 1962, widely disseminated and used as a basis for further critiques. Boettner's book is, however, also infamous. The book's infamy stems from its method of argumentation which combines various strategies: not only biblical exegesis, citation of Reformed creeds, quotations from Protestant authorities, and social analysis, but also innuendo, guilt by association, half-truths, and distortions of Roman Catholic teaching. Today, the book is also rather dated, failing to take account of the Second Vatican Council and other developments in 20th century Roman Catholic biblical and theological studies. For all its 450 pages, there is very little of continuing and helpful substance. It is, however, fun to read and bears witness to the polemics of an earlier era (one would wish!).
I do not have the space here to give a complete analysis of Boettner's shortcomings, but will cite some representative examples. Moreover, I do not speak here as an apologist for the Roman Catholic church. I am, in fact, like Boettner, a Reformed Protestant, though also a philosophy professor at a Roman Catholic University. It does not seem to me, however, that the cause of Protestant Christianity is well-served by inaccurate portrayals of other traditions or criticisms that only attack straw men. I write this review, then, on behalf of truth.
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76 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Ambrose on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book back in the early 90's when it was given to me by a fundamentalist co-worker. I was a lax Catholic at the time who sailed through 12 years of Catholic schooling without ever really delving deep into my faith. I read the book with interest, and an open mind, since I already began having some serious challenges with what my friend was teaching me about the "obvious contradictions" (as he saw them) between Biblical teachings and Catholic doctrine. I found many of Dr. Boettner's historical accusations so over the top, and distorted that I soon began to question his scholarship (not to mention his motives) on everything else.

My curiosity was piqued and I began to devour every book I could find that would shed some light on how the early Christians read and understood scripture (starting with William A. Jurgens', "Faith of The Early Fathers") . It took the good Dr. Boettner to get me interested enough to finally begin searching for the truth - and it led me deeper into the Faith I was raised in. Thanks Dr. Boettner!
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53 of 67 people found the following review helpful By K. Schwartz on September 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Divine tradition is the writings of the fathers and doctors of the catholic church. Now God is infallible, so divine tradition should be also. But Boettner writes that Augustine, a prolific church father, wrote a book of retractions to his writings later in life. Another Church doctor, Alphonsus Liguori, in his book, the means of salvation and perfection, wrote that if God willed all the angels to go to hell, they would willingly do so to follow the divine will. This is absurd since God cannot make a contradiction."

In response to this post and this book, all I can say is that people need to do a better job of understanding what it is they are trying to condemn. First, Boettner misleads the reader to believe that Augustine "comes to his senses later in life". Maybe the reader should, himself, read Augustine to find the TRUTH. Boettner also attempts to build up a Catholic strawman and then knock it down. He does it well (who couldn't). In fact, if this was actually what the Church taught, I would be objecting myself. Furthermore, he is dishonest, which is a cardinal sin for a "scholar".

For starters, Catholic tradition is not the "writings of the fathers and doctors of the Catholic Church". The Church fathers bear witness to Apostolic Tradition, but they aren't in themselves "Tradition". Thus, a Church Father OR Doctor CAN err. Their writings are only accurate in as much as they agree with what the Church has always taught. This does not mean that our understanding cannot grow or expand. However, teachings cannot be contradicted (i.e. cold-blooded murder is never morally acceptable). The teaching on infallibility only extends to matters of faith and morals. And that only extends to the Magisterium.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful By readerg on July 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Roman Catholicism" by Loraine Boettner is easily one of the worst pseudo-histories/studies of the Catholic faith ever written.
Boettner most definitely did not do his homework, even when it may appear to the uninformed that he has.
He was among the worst of the anti-Catholic bigots of the 20th century and like anyone with a hateful prejudice he swallowed hook, line and sinker every lame and groundless piece of nonsense he could scrape up concerning the Church and the faith instituted by Jesus Christ.
He managed to get Church history, theology, doctrine, practices and beliefs wrong all at the same time. There is probably not a single page in this book that is not riddled with errors, but that is what one would expect from a misguided, misinformed and spiteful man with a terrible axe to grind against the Church of Jesus Christ.
If you are interested in a much higher level of reading about the Catholic Church I would recommend "Triumph: The Power and Glory of the Catholic Church" by H.W. Crocker III for honest and accurate history, and for an explanation and discussion of Church doctrine, "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" by Karl Keating.
Don't waste your time and money on Boettner. If this is the best that anti-Catholic bigots can do, they should hang their heads in shame.
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