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The numbered structural format of this book is modeled after the classic work by the French mathematician, physicist, and Catholic apologist Blaise Pascal, Pensees ("thoughts" - 1662). My intention is to critique various aspects of Protestantism, in the manner of "sayings" (272 total) - a literary technique used to great effect by our Lord Jesus Christ, St. Francis of Assisi, Confucius, Martin Luther, and Socrates, among many others. The generalizations used in this method are not meant to imply that there are no"exceptions to the rule." They are simply broad observations of Protestant ideas and tendencies.
My intention is not to insult or to excite needless quarreling. This material is not meant to be an attack on the merit and personal character of present-day Protestants, but rather a very straightforward and critical examination of various aspects of Protestant theology and the formal principles of Protestantism, as well as some of its negative tendencies in practice.
True ecumenism, to which I am passionately committed, does not "paper over" profound disagreements in a delirious, "warm fuzzy" atmosphere of self-deluded bliss. Rather, the profundity of authentic ecumenism is fellowship despite major differences, in a special and delightful environment of mutual respect. I maintain a deep love and respect for my "separated" Christian brethren. And I offer these reflections in that spirit.
Table of Contents
I Sola Scriptura: The Bible as Ultimate Authority
II Doctrinal Diversity and the Invisible Church
III The "Pure" Church, Devoid of Sinners
IV Private Judgment
V Church History
VI The Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture
VII Predestination, Calvinism, and Arminianism
VIII "Dead" Catholics and Rituals, Etc.
IX Martin Luther and Protestant Origins
X Faith and Works
Appendix 1 John Calvin on Protestant Divisions
Appendix 2 The Agony of Luther, Melanchthon, and
Bucer Over the State of Early Protestantism
Appendix 3 Luther's Assertions of His Own Authority
Appendix 4 Erasmus on Luther and Protestantism, and
Luther on Erasmus
Appendix 5 John Henry Newman on Protestantism
Apostolical Tradition, 1836
On the Abuse of Private Judgment, 1837
Private Judgment, 1841
St. Athanasius' Rule of Faith, 1844
Faith and Private Judgment, 1849
Catholic Digital Downloads for Sale 06/28/2010