Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Anti-Catholic Bible

The Anti-Catholic Bible
A fascinating article on the origins of the modern anti-Catholic movement.

Some excerpts:

Since the late 1970s several new anti-Catholic organizations have been founded, and some older ones have been revitalized. A partial lineup includes Chick Publications, Mission to Catholics International, Lumen Productions, Research and Education Foundation, Osterhus Publishing House, Christians United for Reformation (CURE), Harvest House, and Bob Jones University Press. Combined they turn out more anti-Catholic tracts, magazines, and books than ever before—millions of copies each year.

When one reads enough of this material, one becomes aware that the same points tend to be made by different writers in the same way, even in the same words. Who is borrowing from whom? It doesn’t seem that any of these groups relies very heavily on any other. Instead, they all fall back on one source, Loraine Boettner’s work, Roman Catholicism, a book first published in 1962 by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company of Philadelphia and reprinted many times since.

This book is the origin of much of what professional anti-Catholics distribute. It can be called, to use a phrase that might rankle some, the "Bible" of the anti-Catholic movement.

At first glance Roman Catholicism seems impressive. Its 460 large pages of text are closely packed with quotations. The table of contents is broken down into dozens of categories, and the indices, though skimpy, at least are there. But a careful reading makes it clear that the author’s antagonism to the Catholic Church has gravely compromised his intellectual objectivity.

The book suffers from a serious lack of scholarly rigor. Boettner accepts at face value virtually any claim made by an opponent of the Church. Even when verification of a charge is easy, he does not bother to check it out. If he finds something unflattering to Catholicism, he prints it.

Hmmm? Remind you of anyone?

Many Protestants—whether or not they realize how inaccurate and unscholarly Boettner’s work is—look to Roman Catholicism for their arguments against the Catholic Church. Catholics should prepare themselves for discussions with Protestants by studying Scripture and Church history and by reading solid books on apologetics. That way they will be prepared to heed Peter’s exhortation: "Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15).

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Tracy said...

Excellent post Elena!!

a soldier's wife said...

I've been reading about this in a book I'm reading now "Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on Romanism by Bible Christians" by Karl Keating.
Very intersting! Great Post!

a soldier's wife said...

forgot to say, that it's deep reading for me though, so it's going slow. I have to stop and think about what I've read every few pages.

Sal said...

That's a good one, SW. I just finished "Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic" by Tim Currie, which is very similar, though more personal. I recommend it, as well.

Kelly said...

I think you mean David Currie, sal. Tim Curry is the actor. ;)

Sal said...

Yikes! I did! All I could see on the book spine on the shelf was Currie. Freudian slip.
Thank you!
You know what we should do sometime? List the books we've really liked for apologetics and why. Especially if they would be good for a particular group or type of person.

Nancy Parode said...

Sal, that's a great idea. It would be a wonderful addition to this blog. I hope one or more of our faithful contributors has a little extra time to add a booklist...and maybe some user reviews...?

a soldier's wife said...

Thanks Sal,
"Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic" is in my Amazon Cart. I keep meaning to go ahead and click the order now button, but I keep finding something new to add.

Kelly said...

That's a great idea, sal! I'll try to get to it at naptime.

Unashamed said...

You're probably already aware of this, but Fundies are not the only ones who are anti-Catholic. I had a Jehovah's Witness come visit me last night and he was quite vocally anti-Catholic. I remarked to him that say what he would, he can't deny that God preserved the Bible through the Catholic Church. He got all flustered when I said that. You know them...the Bible (their bible, of course) and not the church is the main thing. But remind them how we GOT the Bible and then...well, you get the idea.

Maggii said...

yeah..the first time I ever heard the whole 'whore of babylon" theory was when studying with some Jehova Witnesses....the ones I studied with didn't start out with the anti-Catholic stuff wasn't until I'd been studying with them for a while that it started to come up frequently...thing is it only brought be BACK to the church. Then they dropped me like a hot potato.