The widely read author and philosopher Peter Kreeft presents a unique book that focuses on the important beliefs that Catholics and Protestants share in common. He says this book is inspired by Christ's high priestly prayer in the Gospel of John "that they may be one," and by St. John Paul II's ecumenical encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, which is also based on Christ's prayer for unity. While there are still significant differences, Kreeft says that there has been a radical step of agreement on the single most important issue, justification. Kreeft says the style of the book is that of Pascal, Nietzsche, Solomon, and Jesus: short answers, single points to ponder rather than long strings of argument. It is direct, simple, and confrontational, but vertically rather than horizontally, "directing arrows not against each other (Protestant or Catholic) but against our own hearts and minds and wills." It is timely because, as Pope St. John Paul II said, this next millennium is destined to be the millennium of Christian reunification as the first millennium was that of Christian unity, and the second one of Christian disunity. Above all, Kreeft says that this work is simple, not easy, or obvious, but condensed. It – like all of reality – is Christocentric. Its purpose is to be "like an Australian sheep dog, herding and hectoring Christ's separated sheep back to His face. For that is the only way they can ever return back to each other."
The widely read author and philosopher Peter Kreeft presents a unique book about the important beliefs that Catholics and Protestants share in common. Inspired by Christ's prayer for unity in the Gospel of John and Saint John Paul II's encyclical Ut Unum Sint, Kreeft demonstrates that Christian reunification is possible. While he acknowledges that there are still significant differences between Catholics and Protestants, he emphasizes that they agree on the single most important issue: justification. The style of this book is modeled on Pascal, Solomon, and Jesus: short answers and single points to ponder rather than long strings of argument. The writing is direct, simple, and confrontational, but vertically rather than horizontally by "directing arrows not against each other (Protestant or Catholic) but against our own hearts and minds and wills." The purpose of this book, writes Kreeft, is to be "like an Australian sheepdog, herding and hectoring Christ's separated sheep back to His face. For that is the only way they can ever return back to each other."
Catholic Answers to Protestant Questions is a must read for those seeking to grow in their Catholic identity. Here are just a few of the questions that are covered in this book: Where did the Bible come from? Was Christ or Constantine the founder of the Catholic Church? Was Peter the first Pope? What do Catholics mean by being "born again" and why do they baptize children? Where do Catholics find the seven sacraments in the Bible? Why do Catholics believe in the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ? Why do we need a priest to forgive serious sins? What are indulgences and why are they needed? Where can we find a priest being referred to as "Father" in the Bible? Do Catholics worship saints? What is the communion of saints? Is Mary the Mother of God? Did Jesus have brothers and sisters? Was Mary assumed into heaven? Is there a purgatory? Is there a rapture? Is salvation assured? Are we justified by faith alone, or by faith and works? Do Catholics practice idol worship?
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing
Release Date: 2012
In Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism, Dr. R.C. Sproul takes his stand for the cardinal doctrines of Protestantism in opposition to the errors of the Roman Catholic Church. Sproul, a passionate defender of the gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, cites the historic statements of the Protestant Reformers and the Roman Catholic authorities, then references modern doctrinal statements to show that the Roman Catholic Church has not altered its official positions. In light of this continuing gap, he writes, efforts by some in the evangelical camp to find common ground with Rome on matters at the heart of the gospel are nothing short of untrue to biblical teaching. In Sprouls estimation, the Reformation remains relevant.
The question is often asked, "Which is right: Catholic or Protestant?" Catholics argue they have authority, based on their unbroken leadership chain to the Apostles. Protestants say they have authority, based on their unmediated direct access to the Bible. What you're about to read is an informal dialogue I had with Dr. Peter Kreeft on the historic healing happening within Christianity. I think you'll greatly enjoy this short, but powerful transcript, packed with insights. For years I was unsatisfied with the Catholic vs. Protestant debate because I saw Christ profoundly in both of Christianity’s two largest groups. It was especially puzzling when one group excelled in the other group’s gifts! For instance, Catholics boldly announce they have the fullness of truth, yet Protestants are almost single-handedly debating with atheists. And Protestants loudly insist that following the Bible results in unity, yet there are over 20,000 Protestant denominations. A few years ago when I was seeking God about this in prayer, I kept receiving a picture of a tree. The accompanying scripture was Jesus’ comment that the Kingdom of God would grow into the largest tree. (Luke 13:18) Of course, this miraculously happened in history. But then the Spirit highlighted to me that the Roman Catholics are more like the tree trunk and the Protestants are more like the tree branches. Most importantly: it’s the same tree! This view of the Father’s family tree helps explain the following: 1. Why Catholicism seems central, structural, immovable; and why Protestantism seems decentralized, flexible, and engaging. Both can suspiciously see each other as a kind of inadequate version of Christianity, mostly due to less familiarity. 2. How the tree is nourished by both water via the trunk and sunlight via the leaves. Catholics rely more on past revelation from others’ encounters with God to support the church universal; while Protestant branches rely more on direct encounters with God to support specific, personal connection. 3. That for living organisms (like the church), essential things remain over time, but non-essentials might naturally expire. Thus for Catholics, out-of-date traditions fall off as dead tree bark; and for Protestants, denominations extending out too far fall off as dead tree branches. The Spirit also showed me that the charismatic experiences (visions, healings, tongues) are God’s miracle grow for the entire tree, and this is why places receiving them produce spectacular expansion. (Of the approximate 600 million Christians specializing in charismatic gifts, about 100 million Catholics practice these, yet this fact is often concealed within the tree trunk.) I believe we lost this obvious perspective of the organic Church when the modern West slowly began worshiping its own mind, and became less animated by the Spirit. In other words, it turns out that ‘who is right?’ is the wrong question. It follows that Catholics are right on some things; Protestants on others. And that’s OK. Because we are not first about the laws of logic, but the life of love. So what do we do with this? We can start by giving God permission to release more of the unity we already have, most especially through manifesting common, supernatural prayer. The Spirit unites the Body. It’s always better to let the Holy Spirit reveal who we already are. (John 16:13) That’s how I got this image, which was really healing to me. No longer do I feel oppressively pressured to promote second things over first things. Enjoy this fascinating interaction!
Author: Christopher A. Castaldo
Release Date: 2009-10-06
Drawing on his Roman Catholic background, personal interviews with Catholics and Evangelicals, and years of research, Chris Castaldo takes readers on a fascinating and practical exploration of the challenges and opportunities encountered by Catholics who become Evangelicals. He examines the five major reasons why Christ’s followers often leave the Catholic Church, and shows how to emulate Jesus in practical ways when engaging Catholic friends and family. And, with humor and authenticity, he shares his own faith journey in order to help readers understand and work through their own. For those who are tired of scratching their head in confusion or frustration about how their Catholic background may influence their walk with Jesus, and why on earth their Catholic family believes they’ve gone off the deep end, Holy Ground offers vast insight and practical help. More than providing historical perspective, theological reflection, and practical lessons, it shows readers how to emulate the grace and truth of Jesus Christ in relating to the Catholic people whom they love.
Five hundred years ago, a Catholic monk nailed a list of grievances on the door of a church in Germany and launched a revolution in the history of Christianity. Today there continues to be a number of unresolved issues between the Protestant and Catholic churches, and many experience this ongoing division within their family and among friends and neighbors.Written in an accessible and informative style, Gregg Allison and Chris Castaldo provide a brief and clear guide to the key points of unity and divergence between Protestants and Catholics today. They write to encourage fruitful conversation about the key theological and sociological differences between the two largest branches of Christianity.From the revolutionary events 500 years ago that sparked the Reformation to today, Unfinished Reformation takes a nuanced and thoughtful look at doctrine, practice, and how Protestants and Catholics can have fruitful discussions about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Author: Charles W. Colson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Incorporated
Release Date: 1995
In March 1994, several prominent evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders gathered together for one historic purpose--unity. As these leaders explored previously divisive issues, they developed an unprecedented and controversial statement of common mission, called "Evangelicals and Catholics Together". In the wake of this controversy, the authors have continued their partnership with this landmark book of the same name.
Author: Christopher A. Castaldo
Release Date: 2015-03-31
In Talking with Catholics about Jesus, author Chris Castaldo provides an easy-to-follow introduction to basic Catholic belief and practice, equipping evangelical Protestants for more fruitful spiritual conversations. Written in accessible, non-technical language, this short book offers readers: A more informed awareness of Catholicism Encouragement to move from a combative posture to a gracious one Clarification of erroneous caricatures of Catholics in favor of a more constructive understanding Based in part on Castaldo's experience as a Catholic and time spent working professionally in the Catholic Church, Talking with Catholics about Jesus gives readers a framework for recognizing where lines of similarity and difference fall between Catholics and evangelical Protestants, along with handy tips for engaging in spiritual discussions. Readers will gain encouragement and practical insights for gracious and worthwhile discussions of faith with Catholic believers.
Author: Paul Rock
Publisher: Presbyterian Publishing Corp
Release Date: 2015-09-16
Pope Francis has taken the world by storm, captivating Catholics, Protestants, and non-Christians alike. Sneaking out of the Vatican at night, washing the feet of inmates, and taking selfies with young fans is certainly unlike any religious leader we've seen in a while, and some of the religious establishment is uneasy about it. The revitalization Francis is bringing to the Catholic Church is not without precedent, however. Jesus had a similar effect in his day, drawing crowds with his humility, kindness, and wisdom--even as he drew the disapproval of established religious leaders. The things that have brought Francis such media attention are the same things that made Jesus so peculiar and attractive in his day. Thoughtful examination of Jesus' example and legacy, as well as an honest look at the similarities and differences between Catholic and Protestant faith, invites reflection on the heart of Christianity and how we relate to our fellow Christians. Readers will discover the power of heartfelt joy, radical love, and passion for justice to shake people out of religious complacency and into dynamic, contagious faith. Jesus, Pope Francis, and a Protestant Walk into a Bar looks at what is universal among Christians, what is unique to Catholics and Protestants, and how all Christians can practice understanding and cooperation across differences. Perfect for individual or group use, discussion questions are also included to encourage further thought and conversation.
This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print. This book is especially relevant as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation draws near and discussion of the arguments made against the Church during that time in history receive renewed interest. The Case for Catholicism answers arguments put forward by early Reformers like Luther and Calvin as well as contemporary defenders of Protestantism like Norm Geisler and R.C. Sproul. It provides a meticulous defense of the biblical and historical nature of Catholic doctrines from Scripture and church history. Finally, in both answering Protestant objections to Catholicism and in providing evidence for the Faith, The Case for Catholicism cites modern Protestant scholars who question Reformation assumptions and show how evidence from Scripture and church history support aspects of Catholic theology. This book is divided into four sections, with each answering a key question Christians have asked about the nature of their faith. Those key questions are: What is my authority? What is the Church? How am I saved? Who belongs to the body of Christ? The Case for Catholicism will become a reliable, resource for any Catholic who desires a well-researched, readable, and persuasive answer to Protestant arguments made against the Catholic faith.
Devin Rose was raised atheistically but underwent a radical conversion to Protestant Christianity before ultimately becoming Catholic. This book was written after ten years of reflection and dialogue with Protestants and Catholics on the key issues that divide them. Rose presents a series of intelligible and compelling arguments for the Catholic Church's claim to be the Church that Christ founded. He considers the strongest Protestant responses to his arguments and offers straightforward rebuttals to them. The papacy, Ecumenical councils, the canon of Scripture, the Protestant Reformers, and the sacraments are just a few of the many topics covered in illuminating detail. Catholics will learn to defend their faith, and Protestants will be challenged to answer the toughest questions about the roots of their beliefs.
What if Protestantism were true? What if the Reformers really were heroes, the Bible the sole rule of faith, and Christ's Church just an invisible collection of loosely united believers? As an Evangelical, Devin Rose used to believe all of it. Then one day the nagging questions began. He noticed things about Protestant belief and practice that didn't add up. He began following the logic of Protestant claims to places he never expected it to go -leading to conclusions no Christians would ever admit to holding. In The Protestant's Dilemma, Rose examines over thirty of those conclusions, showing with solid evidence, compelling reason, and gentle humor how the major tenets of Protestantism - if honestly pursued to their furthest extent - wind up in dead ends. The only escape? Catholic truth. Rose patiently unpacks each instance, and shows how Catholicism solves the Protestant's dilemma through the witness of Scripture, Christian history, and the authority with which Christ himself undeniably vested his Church.