Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Witherington on “Roman but Not Catholic”

Ben Witherington III has started a review series on the work “Roman but Not Catholic”, by Ken Collins and Jerry Walls. The various entries are pithily entitled Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. I’m not sure how far it will go, but here’s what he’s got so far:

Part 1: Keep in mind, “a text, not read in light of its original context, just becomes a pretext for whatever one wants it mean today, and distortion inevitably follows”, and “nothing can be theologically true that is historically false”.

Part 2: This is just a throwaway, introducing the next two sections as contributions by the two authors.

Part 3: Ken Collins outlines his own chapters in the book, 2,3,6,7,9-12,15-19. Topics include Tradition, Scripture, “The Church”, Sacraments, Priesthood (very good!), the papacy, Mary, Justification, and Regeneration, Assurance, and Conversion.

Part 4: Jerry Walls chapters (1,4,5,8,13,14, and 20), “What We Have in Common”, logical challenges to Newman and his theory of Development, dealing specifically with “the Tu Quoque” objection, the claims of the papacy in the light of probabilities of history, popular Roman Catholic apologetics, and also “the World’s Largest Pluralist Denomination”.

This is a work for your pastor – for you if you are a pastor! – or for the book table at your church. You don’t need it until you need it, and then you really will wish you had digested the contents of it while you’re talking to someone who wants to go “home to Rome”. The subject matter is not simple. In some ways, it is all-encompassing of twenty centuries of church history (in this sense, the book itself is pithy), seasoned with Scripture and sound logical argument.

And if you have not yet been to the Amazon site for this book, go there, check out the reviews, comment on them, write one for yourself, and encourage every Protestant to read it.


  1. Ben Witherington's reviews of 'Roman But Not Catholic' are found here at Patheos:

    1. Links to each of the reviews is available in the indented text sections.