Roman But Not Catholic – Part 1
I could not be more excited about a book! Roman But Not Catholic, is a book co-authored by one of my professors. This book is meant to examine the issues that still divide Catholics and Protestants. It also seeks to be ecumenical in the true sense of the word. And finally, it is meant to carve out space for the Evangelical who has been tempted by Roman Catholicism or converts to Catholicism re-thinking their decision.
At first glance this may sound kind of funny. But, there is actually quite a lot of resources developed to convert Protestants or Evangelicals to Catholicism. There are actually some really ‘big’ names who have converted. Such as Frank Beckwith, Scott Hahn, Ulf Eckman, Peter Kreeft, John Henry Newman, and many more. Moreover, some of the converts and those who were already Catholic, have made it their goal to reach the Protestants.
The Catholic Church claims that they are the one true church. At some level this phrase needs unpacking, because to any Protestant or Evangelical reading this it sounds stark and plainly wrong. However, the point being made is to say that the true confines of the Christian body resides under the authority of the Pope who is the successor of Saint Peter. The claim is not as rash as initially sounding.
This means that Catholic Apologists like Patrick Madrid and Scott Hahn have a legitimate ministry of trying to convert Protestants, if they are right about such a claim. Even if a Protestant believes in Jesus, they think that the fullness of the faith is found in the Catholic Church. The dozens and dozens of published conversion stories from Catholic Apologists, thinkers, and bloggers, are often used as a “they converted, so you should too” kind of argument.
I myself have read through thousands of pages on these subjects, because my own past is intertwined with Catholic roots. Moreover, sometimes one just gets a little annoyed with the numerous problems in Protestant circles, and then of course, the grass looks a little greener. Finally, I have walked with numerous Christians who have either been Catholic and now live as Evangelicals, or been Evangelicals and now live as Catholics. The reasons for both of these groups run very deep.
I have been inspired by the faith of both of these groups and it is also why I am excited to read this book. It is not meant as the old-time polemics of angry Protestants misunderstanding and yelling at the errors of Catholics. Moreover, it does not treat Catholics as half-breed or non-Christians in the first place. Therefore, I think on Reformation Day and All Saints Day (500 years after the Reformation), it is fitting to begin this book.
Feel free to comment and join with me in the study!