- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Banner of Truth; First Edition edition (December 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0851516734
- ISBN-13: 978-0851516738
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,494,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Church of Rome at the Bar of History Hardcover – December 1, 1996
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This book is becoming more and more popular in challenging the alleged authority and supremacy of the Roman Church. Webster certainly puts the Church of Rome to the Bar of History and finds it lacking in that court. The book is well organized, fully documenting the claims of the Roman Church as derived from official source documents and depicting the shortcomings of those claims from both historical sources and Scriptural interpretations as given by the early church fathers. Webster was well educated in the Catholic Church, attended parochial schools until a teenagers, and then a Benedictine monastery throughout high school years. He thoroughly understands the Roman Catholic faith and its doctrines.
Both the Councils of Trent and Vatican I contented "that the Roman Catholic Church alone has the authority to interpret Scripture correctly. And secondly, that no one, the Church included, is to hold an interpretation of Scripture which is contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers." Webster does an excellent job in not only challenging Rome's authority in interpretating Scriptures but also proves that "the Church cannot even claim unanimous consent from the early Fathers onwards for it current teaching on the nature of tradition itself, much less for a comprehensive body of doctrine with the exception of the broad biblical doctrines such as the existence of one God; the inspiration of Scripture; the recognition of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; and baptism." -p. 31.
Challenged also is the Roman Church belief in 'development of doctrine' or 'unfolding of doctrinal truth'. This is a theory that the apostles left truth in germ form in Scriptures which took centuries to develop fully and was revealed to the Church as the need arose. "If any doctrine is claimed as a true development it must be consistent with the truth of Scripture (its alleged source) and should be supported by the testimony of the Church to the manner in which it has been increasingly understood in the course of history." -p. 19. Webster states that no one denies that there can be a development in understanding the deep truths of Scripture over time (such as the doctrines of the Trinity and the dual natures of Christ), "but the theory now under consideration cannot legitimize Roman Catholic tradition for its fails two very important tests - the test of Scripture and the test of history." Of importance to Webster is to examine what interpretation of Scripture was held by the early church fathers.
I would recommend this book to anyone that needs to do research on the historical claims of the Roman Church and wants to be able to defend his views against those that makes claims that cannot be supported by historical documents.