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The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism Paperback – February 27, 2014
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The Protestant s Dilemma is different from other books written by Catholic converts. Devin Rose takes his reader on a dialectical journey, showing that the beliefs we share with our Protestant friends are only authoritative on ecclesiastical grounds that our Protestant friends reject. Working within the tradition of Socratic reasoning, Rose provides a compelling case for the Catholic Faith. --Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies, and Co-Director of the Program in Philosophical Studies of Religion, Baylor University
When as a Protestant I began to explore Catholicism, I Googled, Why become Catholic? What I was really searching for was a book like The Protestant s Dilemma. This book pokes, prods, and wrestles with Protestant beliefs, showing how they come up short and how the Catholic alternatives are true. If you struggle with the claims of Protestantism or even if you feel satisfied with them! The Protestant s Dilemma will open your eyes to the rich, logical, biblical claims of the Catholic Church. --Brandon Vogt, Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
As a former Protestant pastor, I wish that I had read a book like this! Devin Rose serves as a theological tour guide, leading the Protestant from the parlor of Martin Luther to the high altar of St. Peter s Basilica. Along the way, he demonstrates that each and every step toward the Catholic Church conforms to Sacred Scripture and Church history. This is the guidebook to get you from the Reformation to Rome. --Taylor Marshall, author of The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism & the Origins of Catholicism
About the Author
Devin Rose is a Catholic husband and father. By day he's a software developer, and by night, after tucking the children into bed, he's a lay apologist. He has appeared on EWTN radio and written articles for numerous Catholic websites.
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Rose asks readers to consider what it means if the Reformers were correct in their removal of seven books (Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Tobit,) from the Old Testament. First Rose calls attention to the historical fact that the seven books in question were part of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT used by the apostles and quoted throughout the New Testament. He goes on to discuss how the Jewish canon (list of books recognized as inspired), appealed to as authoritative by the Reformers, was not settled upon until the end of the first century, if not later. The Christian Church, however, had always used a Bible containing the works rejected by the Reformers, reading them at the Sunday liturgy and quoting from them in her teaching. Rose then asks readers to come to grips with what the Reformers' rejection of these books means:
"If Protestantism is true, then for 1500 years all of Christianity used an Old Testament that contained seven fully disposable, possibly deceptive books that God did not inspire. He did, however, allow the early Church to designate these books as Sacred Scripture and derive false teachings such as purgatory from their contents. Eventually, God's chosen Reformer, Martin Luther, was able to straighten out this tragic error, even though his similar abridgement of the New Testament [his attempt to remove James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation] was a mistake." (p.74)
Put in those terms, one can understand the title of this book. Unbeknownst to them, sincere Christians, born into communities stemming from the Reformers, have either a) been wrongly deprived of seven books of Holy Scripture; or b) the Holy Spirit allowed the apostles and the entire Church to use a defective Bible and be deceived. It was Rose's realization that (b) was unthinkable for an orthodox Christian, and (a) matched the details of history, that moved him to the Catholic acceptance of these seven books. And that acceptance enriched his experience of Christ!
In the course of just over 200 pages Rose repeats this thought exercise for 33 other points of contention between the Protestant Reformers and the Catholic Church - the papacy, ecumenical councils, the Scripture and Tradition, infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, marriage as a sacrament, the Eucharist, etc., etc. He continually and successfully shows readers the way out of the dilemma - the Catholic Faith, a seamless garment of Scripture and reason, consonant with the facts of history. And while doing this he maintains a sincere charity toward the Protestant Christian of today; his tone is never one of condescension or triumphalism. Rather, his purpose is to unite brothers and sisters in the visible unity for which Jesus prayed at the Last Supper. My hat is off to Mr. Rose!
Now, under the title of The Protestant’s Dilemma and published through Catholic Answers press, the book has been remarkably changed and improved. In my opinion, The Protestant’s Dilemma is a triumph for both Devin Rose and Catholic Answers Press, and a real tribute to the power of a publishing team’s direction compared to the limits of self-publishing.
So what’s changed? A lot. For those who haven’t read the original book, the concept behind If Protestantism is True was to take the many presuppositions of Protestantism, such as “God just wants us to live by the Bible alone,” and to expose how fallacious those statements are in light of church history, the Bible, and logic. This is a must for conversations with Protestants who perhaps have never met a Catholic well-versed in the Bible or church history, and think the Catholic system of Mary and statues is silly and the Protestant one built on solid rock.
In The Protestant’s Dilemma, many original arguments are deleted, reworked, expanded, collapsed–honestly it felt like I was reading an entirely different book. The new insights into Martin Luther and the early Protestant Reformer’s writings and thoughts were perhaps the most noticeable and helpful, and it’s probably these sections that I’ll read again soon–I hadn’t seen this research in other books.
The overall structure of the book, though, is what moved The Protestant’s Dilemma from “good” to “buying this for friends with questions.” Structure matters, readability matters, and, at the suggestion of Catholic Answers, Devin added three subheadings to every chapter. “If Protestantism is true” lays out the fallacies, “Because Catholicism is true” demonstrates the consistency of Catholic thought, and “The Protestant’s dilemma” wraps up each chapter with the problem presented. It’s easier to read than before, more accessible than before, and more people and parishes will benefit as a result.
D-Rose has written a good book, and I highly recommend it.