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A Biblical Defense of Catholicism Paperback – June 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This exciting book shows that, far from straying from the Bible, Catholicism is eminently and thoroughly biblical. Indeed, Catholicism is the only Christian religion that is in full conformity with what the Bible clearly teaches.

To demonstrate this, Catholic author Dave Armstrong (a former Protestant campus missionary) focuses on those issues about which Catholics and Protestants disagree the most: the role of the Bible as a rule of faith, whether we are justified by faith alone, whether doctrine develops, what the Eucharist really is, veneration of Mary and prayer to the saints, the existence of purgatory, the role of penance in salvation, and the nature and infallibility of the papacy.

Working patiently, systematically, and, above all, charitably (and citing Church councils, the Church Fathers, canon law, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church), Armstrong begins his comprehensive examination of each of these disputed issues with an authoritative explanation of what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

Then, with skill and tenacity, he subjects each Catholic teaching to microscopic scrutiny, measuring its conformity with the Bible. Armstrong's rigorous, Scripture-packed analysis relies on hundreds of Bible passages (including verses from 229 of the 259 chapters in the New Testament!), shedding light on the meaning of those passages as well as on the meaning and truth of the doctrines in question.

The result? With a mastery of Scripture equal to that of the most committed Protestants, Armstrong demonstrates that the Catholic Church is the "Bible Church par excellence," and that many common Protestant doctrines (such as sola Scriptura) are in fact themselves not biblical.

Here is a book that challenges Protestants to reconsider their anti-Catholic assumptions; and that will lead Catholics to turn with greater confidence to Scripture, where they will find a powerful biblical defense of their Catholic faith.

About the Author

Dave Armstrong is a Catholic apologist and author (convert from evangelical Protestantism in 1991). His conversion story is in "Surprised by Truth" (1994). He's been published in "The Catholic Answer," "This Rock," "Envoy," and other periodicals. Dave's many radio appearances include "Catholic Answers Live" and "Faith & Family Live."


His website / blog, "Biblical Evidence for Catholicism" has been online since February 1997, and contains more than 2500 papers (including 50+ separate web pages and 625+ dialogues). Sophia Institute Press has published five of his 30 books: "A Biblical Defense of Catholicism" (2003), "The Catholic Verses" (2004), "The One-Minute Apologist" (2007), "Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths" (2009), and "The Quotable Newman" (editor: 2012).

Dave was the co-author (with Dr. Paul Thigpen) of "The New Catholic Answer Bible" (Our Sunday Visitor: 2005), and editor for "The Wisdom of Mr. Chesterton: The Very Best Quotes, Quips, and Cracks from the Pen of G. K. Chesterton" (Saint Benedict Press / TAN Books: 2009) and author of "100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura" (Catholic Answers, 2012).


He has been happily married to Judy since October 1984; they have three sons and a daughter and reside in metro Detroit.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press; Revised edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1928832954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1928832959
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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An amazing book by the amazing online apologist, Dave Armstrong.

Covers the biblical evidence for those Catholic doctrines that typical Evangelicals/Fundamentalists find problematic: Tradition, Justification/Salvation, Development of Doctrine, Eucharist, Sacrifice of the Mass, Communion of Saints, Purgatory, Penance/Reconciliation, the Blessed Mother, the Papacy and infallibility. Appendices on perspicuity, the visible Church, the OT deuterocanonicals, celibacy, infant baptism, and liturgy.

Quotes from major Catholic writers and official statements of doctrine.

This book is arguably more thorough than the previous best book on the subject: Keating's Catholicism and Fundamentalism. Dave Armstrong's Biblical Defense of Catholicism might supplant Keating's book in the future if the word gets out...

Could some Evangelicals/Fundamentalists find "problems" with some of Dave's interpretation of Scripture and its applicability to Catholic dogma? Sure, but so do most Protestants find "problems" with their fellow Protestants interpretation of Scripture. This book by Dave Armstrong proves that Catholicism is AT LEAST as "biblical" as any so-called Protestant "Bible Church" of whatever denomination, sect or cultic persuasion.

Catholics have the Bible, Tradition, the early Fathers, the early Saints and Doctors on our side. The overwhelming evidence is there for anyone looking with an open mind: the Catholic Church is the original and historic Church Christ founded! Get Dave's book and examine the evidence for yourself! Forget Dave Hunt, James G. McCarthy, James R. White, Norm Geisler, R.C. Sproul -- or rather read them along with this book which demolishes them all!!!

Support this man, his ministry, his huge web site, and his powerful biblical apologetics! Buy this book in bulk!!!
Don't forget the sequel More Biblical Evidence and anything else written by Dave Armstrong.

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I have been a Catholic all my life, and unfortunately, I have not been taught the Bible as in depth as the "Bible Christians". Life experience has challenged me to seek and learn more about my faith, my beliefs, and my way of worship.
I have been on many occasions have been challege by "bible christians" on my beliefs. Initially, I could offer them little to no response to their accusations towards the Catholic Faith. I am by no means a theologian now, but after reading this book, I could now go into a moderate debate and discussion with others in defense of the Catholic faith. More importantly, it allowed me to discover and learn more of "why we do what we do".
The book is very fulfilling and definitely a must read!
Thanks Dave for an amazing book.
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Be amazed as Dave demonstrates what Catholic catechisis and schooling has failed to teach you!! Catholicism is biblical and you have no excuse not to be as passionate as the Evangelicals down the street. At least now you can hold your own in conversation with Bible Protestants!
Makes me wonder if Vatican II foresaw the internet as a grand tool of evangelisation, which isn't suprising as the HS did guide it. In that case, Dave has heeded the call of the new evagelisaion. Better knowledge leads to charity, rather that ignorant fear, and leads to true ecumenism.
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Armstrong, a tireless and insightful Catholic apologist -- one of the recent crop of very smart, Spirit-filled converts who are intent on sharing the wonder of a faith discovered -- gives us a detailed account of the scriptural affirmation of the Catholic faith.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It will enhance anyone's appreciation of the Bible as well as the Church, and of the relationship between the two.
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With the Second Vatican Council's renewal in the Catholic Church has also come a renewed interest in Catholic apologetics and evangelism. As one who labors in these fields, I know from experience Dave Armstrong is one of the best kept secret of Catholic evangelism. Dave's honesty and sincerity has brought numerous people into the Catholic Church, and his work has been featured in The Catholic Answer, Envoy, and This Rock - the three staples of Catholic apologetics in North America. He is one of many former Protestant evangelists who have come into the Catholic Church over the past decade, yet he is different in that he never found himself hating the Catholic Church. "I always regarded Catholics as brothers in Christ," Dave recently stated in an interview, "My wife and I even played John Michael Talbot songs at our wedding, six years before my conversion."
What is now Dave's first book was originally lengthy explanations of Catholic distinctives intended to bolster his confidence in and understanding of the Catholic Church, so that he could explain himself to his Protestant friends. Those of us who have worked with Dave in the past have long suspected this manuscript exists, but until recently Dave never thought of publishing it. I am thankful for its publication, however, since it is not only enjoyable and easy to read, but it presents a fresh style of apologetics. For Dave, the goal is not simply to win an argument, but to win converts.
Thus Dave initially sets out to find common ground with the Church's separated brothers and sisters in Christ. These folks are not treated as opponents, but rather as fellow Christians seeking the full Gospel message preserved by the Catholic Church. In such way, Dave follows St.
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