A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days
By Dave Hunt
Harvest House, first published in 1994, 544 pages
I’ve been meaning to read “A Woman Rides the Beast” for quite some time and finally squeezed it into my queue. The author, Dave Hunt (1926-2013), was a Christian apologist who was never known to mince words or to be deferential when defending the Gospel.
I had assumed from the full title that this book focused primarily on eschatology but that’s not the case at all. Hunt begins by identifying the Great Harlot of Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, as the Roman Catholic church. He uses the remainder of the book to justify that conclusion. Many events from the Roman church’s sordid history are examined as well as the origins of many of its unscriptural doctrines.
This book definitely belongs in the collection of every Christian interested in Roman Catholicism. Yes, Hunt leans towards hyperbole at times but that’s understandable given the subject matter. The author references “Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy” by former Jesuit priest, Peter de Rosa (see my review here), and “The Pope and the Council” by disaffected 19th-century ex-priest, J.J. Ignaz von Dollinger, to a fault, but it’s not a problem in my eyes. Few of the people purchasing this book are expecting an academic treatise yet Hunt has done more than enough homework.
If you’re interested in comprehensive examinations of Catholic dogma you would be better served by reading “The Gospel According to Rome” by James McCarthy or “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment” by Gregg R. Allison (only nerdy seminary alum need apply in the case of the latter), but this book does a fine job of highlighting some of the most unbiblical and anti-Scriptural elements and episodes of Roman Catholic history.
Let’s be honest; the average Catholic has very little knowledge of their church’s history. What they were taught was more idealistic than realistic. And evangelicals? Most evangelicals these days have no idea why the Reformation even took place. They hear Catholics speak about Jesus and “grace” and “faith” and assume everybody’s now on the same page. This book would be ideal for both Catholics and evangelicals who should know better. Don’t let the 544 pages scare you. Hunt breaks it all down into many short, manageable chapters. “A Woman Rides the Beast” would definitely make my top ten list of books about Catholicism. Now there’s an idea for a future post!
Final thoughts: You surely won’t find “A Woman Rides the Beast” at your local Christian bookstore but it’s readily available from Amazon.com. When I first read the Book of Revelation after coming out of Catholicism and accepting Christ, I knew exactly what was being referred to in chapters 17 and 18. As more and more evangelicals get swallowed up into mega-church ecumenism, those Christians who continue to identify the Great Whore of Revelation as the Roman Catholic church will be increasingly relegated to the fundamentalist/lunatic fringe.