- 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: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Biblical Defense of Catholicism Paperback – June 1, 2003
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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
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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He wrote in the Introduction to this 2003 book, "The present work endeavors to show that Catholicism can more than hold its own with regard to the evidence of the Bible, as it relates to distinctive doctrines that are considered unbiblical or even antibiblical by many evangelical Protestants. Our separated brethren often contend that Catholics (to understate it) are very unfamiliar with the Bible. This is, sadly, probably true as a general observation (although biblical illiteracy is certainly not confined to Catholics)." (Pg. xiii)
He states, "Protestants do, of course, accept the traditional Canon of the New Testament. By doing so, they necessarily acknowledged the authority of the Catholic Church. If they did not, it is likely that Protestantism would have disappeared like almost all of the old heresies of the first millennium of the Church." (Pg. 23)
He argues, "Relics... have an explicit biblical basis. The bones of Elisha were so spiritually powerful that they caused a dead man to come back to life (2 Kings 13:20-21). A woman was cured of a hemmorage after she touched the fringe of Christ's garment (Matt 9:20-22). Jesus told her that her faith had made her well, so that both the physical object and the woman's disposition worked together. St. Peter's mere shadow healed the sick and cast out demons (Acts 5:15-16), as did "handkerchiefs and aprons" touched by St. Paul (Acts 19:11-12). The last four examples are identical to Catholic secondary relics: objects that had come into contact with a saint or with Jesus." (Pg. 104-105)
He points out, "C.S. Lewis... In one of his last books, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, he stated that he prayed for the dead, among whom were many of his loved ones, and that he believed in Purgatory, comparing it to an intense rinsing of the mouth at the dentist's office. He thought no one would want to enter Heaven unclean, as this could be downright embarrassing." (Pg. 145)
He observes, "In Luke 2:41-51, the story of Mary and Joseph's taking Jesus to the Temple at the age of twelve, it is fairly obvious that Jesus is the only child. Since everyone agrees he was the first child of Mary, if there were up to five or more siblings, as some maintain... they were nowhere to be found at this time. This passage alone furnishes a strong argument for the implausibility of the 'literal brothers' theory." (Pg. 195)
This book will be of great interest to anyone studying Catholic apologetics.
That said private debates on these things are enjoyable - particularly if you are Catholic as the Bible is "stacked" our way. Also, if Catholicism gets bagged too heavily in public I believe it should be defended. This is so people don't get too warped an idea of Catholicism but sometimes also defending it is in the interests of those protestants who bad mouth it because they sometimes 'shoot themselves in the foot' by attacking the largest Christian denomination. This can reflect on the validity of their own denomination in the eyes of atheists and thus prospects of conversion. We should never stand in the way of the opportunity for atheists to freely choose our religion.
As a resource I find this book particularly valuable. Protestants don't care what our Catechism says or what Popes have pronounced. Those who are motivated to debate have the common ground that they believe in God's Word. That is a strength of this book. It doesn't just include this but relies solely upon it.
The author is a protestant convert who converted after trying to show that Catholicism was non-Biblical and his research made him realise that the caricatures of Catholic doctrine were incorrect and the doctrines taught to the first Catholics by the Apostles better fit the Bible then protestant guesses that started about 1500 years later. Accordingly, it is a very practical resource to use when protestants claim Catholicism is unBiblical. I recommend it to any Catholics who don't have a thorough knowledge of how the scriptures relate to Catholic doctrine. This is the second time I have bought it. This purchase was for a friend who indicated that they were joining the Catholic Church.
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