Another “old school” examination of Roman Catholicism

The Baptist Faith and Roman CatholicismWHR
By Wendell Holmes Rone
Kingsport Press, 1952, 287 pages

In this “old school” critique from the 1950s, Landmark Baptist minister, Wendell Holmes Rone, thoroughly examines the theological differences between Baptists and Catholicism. Rone uses documentation from Catholic and Baptist sources to illustrate the positions of each on various doctrinal issues. By today’s standards, the author’s tone is definitely a bit rancorous as might be expected from a book from that time period. There is a certain amount of denominational pridefulness in Rone’s arguments but he does such a good job of dissecting Rome’s apostasy that the Christian reader will forgive a little sectarian swagger.

Chapters

  1. The Authority of Holy Scriptures
  2. The Origin and Continuity of Baptists and Catholics
  3. The Christian Doctrine of Salvation
  4. The Doctrine of the Church
  5. Christian Liberty and the Relation of the Church and the State
  6. Practices Peculiar to Roman Catholicism
  7. Miscellaneous Items
  8. Conclusion

It’s safe to say that back in 1952, the great majority of Baptist churches in America preached the Gospel of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case (see American Baptist Churches). But the Gospel is still proclaimed in conservative Baptist and evangelical churches. In contrast, despite the ecumenical window dressing of Vatican II, Rome hasn’t changed its spots a bit. Rome still preaches a gospel of sacramental grace and works righteousness and has never recanted any of its anathematizing proclamations from the Council of Trent. The two sides are mutually exclusive. Both cannot be right.

Regrettably, ecumenical apostasy is spreading throughout evangelical Christianity. Southern Baptist, Chuck Colson, and Southern Baptist Convention leaders, Richard Land and Larry Lewis, led the charge in 1994 along with other evangelicals with the “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” declaration; an attempt to gloss over serious doctrinal differences like, oh, say, justification by faith versus justification by works, in the interest of “Christian” unity. Reacting to righteous outrage within the SBC, Land and Lewis recanted and asked that their signatures be removed from ECT.

Wendell Holmes Rone (1913-2003) pastored many Baptist churches in Kentucky as well as serving in several Baptist associations, earning the affectionate title of “Mr. Kentucky Baptist.” While this book is heavy on Baptist distinctives and even Landmark Baptist distinctives, evangelical Christians of various denominational affiliations who are interested in the topic will find this book useful. Used copies are available from Amazon.com. For a list of over 300 books that compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word, see my Books tab here.

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