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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: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,523,028 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

195 of 237 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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85 of 107 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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55 of 71 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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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is based totally on prejudice. How could anyone take it seriously? I nearly laughed out loud when I saw people recommending it as a book to learn more about Catholicism, but they were serious. I hope they are seriosly misinformed about Catholic teaching, so it's not totally their fault. If that's the case, then I suggest they read the Catechism (so they can know what the Catholic Church actually teaches). However, if they do know what Catholics believe, then I want to know why they feel it necessary to instead look to a book filled with straw-man arguements, misquotations, misrepresentations, lies, deceit, etc. such as this one? The only reason I can think of is if they're afraid of the truth. Now don't get me wrong. I have no problem with people simply disagreeing with Catholicism; that's one thing. Many Protestants have sincere questions about Catholicism. But this book is more than simply disagreement; this is plain trash. It relies on people's total ignorance and prejudice. If anyone thinks this book is an "excellent book", then I think they need to do a little more research. Because either they are very ignorant of Catholic teaching, or they just like Catholic-bashing (as opposed to honest disagreement, which many good Protestants have).
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