In Search of Authentic Universal Christianity

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Although the Bible tells us that Jesus established a Church (Matt. 16:18) and reminds us of our Savior’s desire for Christian unity (John 17:20-21, Eph. 4:16, 4:12-13), we’ve seen a recent explosion of new churches. They claim to be “Bible-based” churches; often they have broken off from some larger church or denomination. With as many as 28,000 different Christian churches today, the mystery to many is <which one is Jesus’ true Church?>

In this article you will learn how to solve that mystery. You’ll be the “gumshoe” (detective) in an interactive scriptural investigation.

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Knowing Enough History to Defend It: Catholic History and Apologetics

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Catholics should be prepared with at least a brief reply to commonly cited events and issues in the Church’s two millennia past. In the words of Blessed John Henry Newman, we need to be Catholics “who know so much of history that (we) can defend it.” We might not be able to change someone’s mind when she asks us about why the Church was so mean to Galileo, but at least we can demonstrate that we know our history. If she’s not willing to listen to a dissertation-length explanation, a few points might help her understand better. The fact that we know may impress her, open the door to more friendly conversation, and grant an opportunity to witness the reason for our joy in being Catholic. This article offers some guidelines and hints for answering these historical questions.

One advantage any Catholic starts with when discussing our history is the position of the Catholic Church as a historic, unique institution. Our Founder entered human history at a definite place and time, established his Church upon St. Peter and the Apostles, and promised to protect and guide it until the end of time, when he returns. With the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to inspire it; yet he left imperfect humans to lead it as his representatives on earth. St. Peter had denied him thrice before his death on the cross; all but St. John had abandoned him during his Passion. Upon them, he founded the Church and gave them authority.

So the Church is distinctive among institutions in the history of mankind: it is human and yet divine; perfect, yet in need of reform; holy, yet made up of sinners; infallible, yet led by fallen, fallible humans. That’s a hard concept to express to someone outside the Church—sometimes it’s hard for us inside the Church to remember it.

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Photo selected especially for Cathy and Paul

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Concise answers to fundamental questions about the Catholic faith

Do Catholics worship Mary? Why do Catholics emphasize Mary so much?

Timothy it says Jesus is our sole mediator, yet we pray to Mary and the Saints. Is that going against the Bible?

In Romans, chapter 3, it says that none is righteous and that all have sinned, but the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is without sin…could you explain that in light of Romans 3?

Why do Catholics call Mary the Queen of Heaven? Doesn’t God rebuke the Israelites in the O.T. for worshipping a false goddess called the Queen of Heaven? Should we not refer to Mary with that title, therefore, since it is the title of a false goddess?

The Bible clearly says that Jesus had brothers and sisters, but the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was a perpetual virgin…how can you reconcile those seemingly different positions?

See the answers to these questions and more

The Catholic apologist’s universal scriptural reference sheet

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Sola scriptura

Jn 21:25 … not everything is in the Bible.
2 Thess 2:15; 2 Tim 2:2; 1 Cor 11:2; 1 Thess 2:13 … Paul speaks of oral tradition.
Acts 2:42 … early Christians followed apostolic tradition.
2 Pet 3:16 … Bible hard to understand, get distorted.
2 Jn 1:12; 3 Jn 1:13-14 … more oral tradition.
2 Pet 1:20-21 … against personal interpretation.
Acts 8:31; Heb 5:12 … guidance needed to interpret scriptures.


Sola fide

Jas 2:14-26 … what good is faith w/o works?
Heb 10:26 … must avoid sin.
Jas 5:20 … “earning” forgiveness.
Lk 6:46; Mt 7:21; Mt 19:16-21; Jn 5:29 … must do will of God.
1 Cor 9:27 … “buffet my body …”
Phil 2:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 2:6-10, 13, 3:31; Mt 25:32-46; Gal 6:6-10; Rev 20:12 … works have merit.
1 Jn 2:3-4; 1 Jn 3:24; 1 Jn 5:3 … keep commandments.

Salvation (once and for all?)


1 Cor 9:27 … after preaching … I myself disqualified.
1 Cor 10:12 … thinks that he stands … lest he fall.
Phil 2:12 … work out salvation with fear and trembling.
Heb 4:1 … fear of failing to reach salvation.
1 Jn 5:16,17 … some sins are mortal, some not.
Rom 11:21,22 … spare branches, continue or be cut off.


Deuterocanonicals

Deuterocanonicals were used in NT: 2 Mach 6:18-7:42 … Heb 11:35; Wisdom 3:5-6 … 1 Pet 1:6-7; Wisdom 13:1-9 … Rom 1:18-32
Septuagint (Gk, w/ Deuterocanonicals) version of OT quoted in NT, noticably different from Hebrew version: Is 7:14 … Mt 1:23; Is 40:3 … Mt 3:3; Joel 2:30-31 … Acts 2:19-29; Ps 95:7-9 … Heb 3:7-9 etc.


Purgatory…

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The Catholic Treasure Chest Website: Down to Earth Answers To Life’s Heavenly Questions.

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Visit the Site

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The theological art and science of Catholic apologetics

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Truth or friction?

The Catholic Church, since the time of the apostles, has preached the faith as the truth.  I have already quoted St. Peter to the effect that the apostles and their converts “were not following fictitious tales.”  Jesus Christ proved the truth of his assertions about himself by rising from the dead.  As St. Paul explains in Chapter 15 of his first epistle to the Corinthians, the resurrection of Christ was a matter that could be verified with eyewitnesses, not only the apostles, but many others, as well (cf. CCC 641-44).  In addition, the many prophecies that our Lord fulfilled by his birth, life and death, give further proof of the truth of the revelation committed by him to his Church (cf. CCC 156 and 522).  It is with arguments of this kind that we must defend the doctrines of the Catholic Church, not by seeking to prove that the Catholic religion is more useful than any other.

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