Saturday, 29 August 2015

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, by Dave Armstrong

Protestants often consider themselves to be true 'Bible Christians.' The assumption is that the Bible supports their own positions and the Catholic can only rely on unbiblical traditions. In this book, Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong challenges this assumption by unveiling and marshaling the Scriptural support for Catholic doctrines. Armstrong expertly presents the Biblical case for such doctrines as the Eucharist, purgatory, the Papacy and other Catholic distinctives.

In the introduction, Armstrong makes clear that it is necessary to understand the Doctrine of Development in order to appreciate Catholic theology. Our theology did not fall down from heaven, but underwent development through theological reflection. We should not expect to find a fully developed Mariology in the New Testament, but we find the seeds from which our Catholic Mariology came. Protestants ought to understand this, as there is nobody prior to the 16th century who believed exactly what the Reformers believed.

I have said in previous posts that I would love to see a Catholic version of Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and I have yet to see a book that functions in a similar way. A Biblical Defense of Catholicism comes close. Although it only deals with those doctrines that are held by Catholics against Protestants, it has a comparable level of depth and technicality, as well as ease of reading. I particularly liked the table that Armstrong provided in the chapter on the Eucharist, in which he compares Transubstantiation with such phenomena as the conversion of water to ice and the digestion of food.

Many of Dave Armstrong's books are self-published, however, this title is published by Sophia Press and is very handsomely bound and produced. This will book would be of great value to Protestants wanting to know how Catholics justify their beliefs and to Catholics who want to explore the Biblical foundations of their faith.

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