61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
The Catholic Church and Conversion
, June 19, 2009
This review is from: The Catholic Church and Conversion (Paperback)
As a child I learned that the Roman Catholic Church was a very evil organization. The reasons for this fact were so many and so obvious that it was never necessary to actually list what those reasons were. The badness of Catholics was known and accepted by all intelligent people, hence why bother explaining the reasons for it? One might as well write books on why the earth is round or why basic arithmetic is true. To this day, I've seen much written against the Catholic Church but very few reasons for being against the Catholic Church. Most of those reasons were written by G. K. Chesterton in "The Catholic Church and Conversion".
That's because Chesterton begins the book in the logical way, by tackling common complaints about the Catholic Church. While this book was written almost a century ago, those complaints haven't changed much. Anti-Catholic bigots are as much behind the times as they often accuse Catholics of being. Hence any apologist today could sort Catholic-bashing into two classes, just as Chesterton did. The first class would contain statements like:
"Catholics believe that the Pope is infallible."
"Catholics worship the Virgin Mary."
"The Church has more money (or more land) than any other organization in the world."
"Catholics believe that all non-Catholics go to Hell."
"Catholics believe that all sex is wrong unless it's intended to conceive a child."
The problem with these types of arguments, as Chesterton says, is that they're untrue. Anyone who has the slightest desire to know the truth could learn it by asking a Catholic acquaintance or reading a book. The problem is that the enemies of the Church would rather not know the truth.
For those who do get the basic truth about Catholicism by one means or another, there are obstacles that an intelligent person could actually take seriously, and those are Chesterton's main focus in this book. The chief obstacle is that the Catholic Church is simply too large. It's claims to possessing the universal truth about God and Man, sin and salvation, life, death and afterlife, are so all-encompassing that it's frightening. Chesterton says:
"To accept that the Catholic Church is right is one thing. To accept that is always right is another thing."
Any thinking person who who decides to investigate anti-Catholic propaganda will determine that it is false, and probably in the course of doing so will see strong arguments for the Church. Actually accepting the full doctrine of the Church is a different class of decision. I would know, since I'm a Protestant who currently wrestles with my choice of church. But anybody in any Christian denomination or none should take the challenge presented in this book by one of the greatest writers of all times.
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