“Magnificent Obsession” with Roman Catholicism


When I returned to the Lord two years ago, after a very long “prodigal” season, I was thirsting for His Word and information about Christianity. One day at the library, I stumbled upon “The Case for Christ” (1998), a popular, basic Christian apologetic written by evangelical, Lee Strobel*. I enjoyed that book so I then borrowed his “The Case for Faith” (2000). Whoa! Put on the brakes! In that book Strobel cites Roman Catholics, Mother Teresa, pope John Paul II, G. K. Chesterton, and Teresa of Avila as shining examples of faithful Christians. He even devotes an entire chapter to the thoughts of Catholic philosopher, Peter Kreeft. I was stunned! Had Rome suddenly embraced the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone? No, Rome still teaches its false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. When I had walked away from the Lord and the church in 1991, I could see the beginnings of cooperation and compromise with Rome, but nothing like this outright, unabashed betrayal of the Gospel.

Since then, I’ve seen many, many more examples of evangelical compromise and betrayal. Last week I was browsing the net and came across the article below that’s critical of Scottish Reformed pastor, David Robertson. Robertson is well known in Reformed evangelical circles and is a close associate of theologian, Sinclair Ferguson. Robertson authored a book titled, “Magnificent Obsession” (2013), in which he identifies the pope as a brother in Christ. He favorably quotes the pope and other Catholics twenty-six times throughout the book. In the attached video, Robertson admits he’s even tempted to convert to Catholicism.

Consequently, I echo the questions regarding Robertson in the article: How can Ferguson share a pulpit with Robertson? How could Alistair Begg recommend “Magnificent Obsession” and invite Robertson to speak at one of his conferences? How could R. C. Sproul recommend “Magnificent Obsession”? How could 3500 copies of “Magnificent Obsession” be distributed to pastors at the 2016 Shepherds’ Conference hosted by John MacArthur? Did these gentlemen actually read the book? Did their eyes glaze over when Robertson identified the pope as his brother in Christ and went on to quote him and other Catholics twenty-six times? What goes through people’s heads?!?!?!

Book Review: Magnificent Obsession (with Roman Catholicism)

* I’ve since found out that Lee Strobel, like Ravi Zacharias, is a disciple of theologian Norman Geisler, a leader in the Catholic-evangelical ecumenical movement.


8 thoughts on ““Magnificent Obsession” with Roman Catholicism

    1. LOL! Very sorry, dear sister MARIA! I was hoping my correction kicked in before you saw it. Long day and responding to comments from you and Jim at the same time. Thanks again for the encouragement and I pray you continue with your important messages as well. There’s a great joy in just being obedient and sowing the seed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m encouraged by a very small number of family here at WordPress – including you – who I can relate to theologically, even though I know I can be a “square peg” at times.


  1. Definitely should be discerning about this guy…concerning this book handed out at Shepherd’s Conference, I was surprised they handed it out too. That was not normal of Shepherd’s Conference. I did see on Twitter that it was a case of a book slipping in which the guy in charge of looking at books should have been more discerning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How did we get from, say, 1970, when no evangelical, even Billy Graham, would dare put a quote from the pope in a book, to 2016 when favorable references to Catholics are commonplace and anyone who objects is a backwards sectarian? My fundamentalist brethren would call it a Jesuit conspiracy. I won’t go that far but I know the RCC has been waging a systematic campaign to recover the “separated brethren” since 1964’s Unitatis Redintegratio.

      Liked by 2 people

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