Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘apologetics’

“Understanding” Roman Catholicism

March 24th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

A large postcard from the Lakeshore Community Church (LCC) showed up in yesterday’s mail.  On the front is a photo that appears to have been taken inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, along with the phrase “Understanding Roman Catholicism,” with the latter two words much larger than the first and in a font that seems to have been chosen to evoke feelings of shabbiness, disorder or decay.

On the back is a large banner that asks …

So You Want To Understand Roman Catholicism?

… and beneath the banner is this message from LCC …

If you have ever wanted to understand Roman Catholic teaching in light of the Bible, you’re not alone. Many people wrestle with what it all means and how much it applies to their life today.

At Lakeshore, we’re taking a careful look at Roman Catholic teaching from history, councils, quotes of leaders, and official catechisms and will compare them to the appropriate verses in the Bible. We think you’ll be intrigued by the comparison and learn more about both in the process.

Our promise? No Catholic bashing because we believe people matter to God. Our request? Check us out with an open mind and then reach your own informed conclusions.

On nothing more than a whim I googled the phrase “Understanding Roman Catholicism” (with the quotes) and a very interesting resource popped up.  It is a book by that name written some 16 years ago by Rick Jones.  According to,

Rick was born and raised a Roman Catholic which laid the foundation for his third book, “Understanding Roman Catholicism”. Being saved out of Catholicism caused him to experience the dramatic difference between the emptiness of religion and a fulfilling personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In addition, in 1987 God led Rick to Chick Publications, where he has worked for the last twenty years. It was there that he began an extensive study of official Catholic beliefs and learned the stark differences between Catholicism and the Bible. Not wanting a single Catholic to miss heaven, this book was written to offer Catholics true Biblical salvation, which they will never find in their religion.

Chick Publications has conveniently posted a version of this book online so it is possible to get some idea of what Jones means by “the stark difference Catholicism and the Bible.” I am not,however, going to spend any time critiquing Jones’ arguments as they are really quite sophomoric. You can check them out for yourself or take a quick look at this thread from Catholic Answers Forums where several people say essentially the same thing.

While Jones’ book contains elements drawn from “history, councils, quotes of leaders, and official catechisms” and bears the same name as LCC’s series of talks, I don’t know for sure that LCC plans to base its presentations on this particular resource.  Even if it doesn’t, though, I expect LCC will rely on something similar.

I doubt that LCC will pick up any new members from among those Catholics who actually know their faith.  The problem is that, in this diocese anyway, there are thousands who don’t – both practicing and non-practicing.

As one of the members of the Catholic Answers Forum wrote,

The problem is that as practicing Catholics, we know to avoid Chick publications – Protestants and non-practicing Catholics don’t. We know how to knock down his arguments – non-practicing Catholics don’t.