Back in May, I posted on a very good book on Roman Catholicism, “Test All Things: An Invitation to Examine Your Catholic Faith in the Light of Scripture” by Joe Mizzi. See my review here. As I perused through Mizzi’s website, Just For Catholics, I noticed that he had posted another free downloadable PDF of a book, this one titled “Whose Voice Are You Listening To?” Any book that examines Catholicism and is free to boot is right up my alley, so I downloaded it.
Whose Voice Are You Listening To?: A Comparison of the Catholic Catechism to the Bible?
By Marlene C. Crouch
Tate Publishing, 2009, 310 pages
In this book, the author compares several key Catholic doctrines with Scripture, concentrating mainly on the church’s teachings about Mary and Petrine authority, with a secondary focus on sacramental grace and eucharistic transubstantiation. There’s some excellent information here as Crouch cites many paragraphs from the Catholic catechism and contrasts them with an abundant amount of Scripture to refute the above doctrines. However, there are also some fundamental flaws in this book that cannot be overlooked.
In her introduction, Crouch urges her Catholic readers to “please know that all of (her) efforts in compiling (this information) were born out of love and compassion for (her) Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ – brothers and sisters in Christ who love the Lord and who believe the Gospel’s basic message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, but who are deceived and held in bondage under false doctrines derived from the traditions of man and who are thereby deprived of the freedom and joy of fully experiencing the magnitude of God’s love” (page 14, my italics).
However, throughout the book and especially in the chapter devoted to God’s grace, Crouch makes it clear that Roman Catholicism proclaims a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit in direct contrast to the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Which is it, Ms. Crouch? Can a Catholic be born-again in Christ by following the standard works-righteousness salvation theology of their church or not? Catholics by definition DO NOT believe in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE.
In the chapter on the church, Crouch takes the view that when Jesus died on the cross, He descended into hell and “preached to everyone who had died, from Adam to the thief on the cross” (p. 183). She then claims that, “Those spirits who heard his voice and believed his preaching” were saved (p.181). Crouch is saying the Old Testament souls who had not trusted in the Lord for their salvation prior to their death had a second chance, which is at odds with the general revelation of Scripture. People who believe as Crouch does cite 1 Peter 3:18–20 and 1 Peter 4:6. These are no-doubt difficult verses and require thorough and prayerful study. I know there’s some debate about where Jesus went in His spirit and what He did between the time of His death and resurrection, but this claim that the unrighteous souls who died before Jesus’ death were able to trust in Him as Savior is heterodox. Who wouldn’t trust in Christ at that point if it were possible? Wayne Grudem provides some good analysis of 1 Peter 3:18–20 and 1 Peter 4:6 in the article far below.
Because of these two very serious flaws, I can’t recommend “Whose Voice Are You Listening To?” I’m disappointed that Joe Mizzi includes this book as a free download on his website.
Mary’s Immaculate Conception?
Mary, Ever Virgin
Pray Only to God
Keys to the Kingdom and Power of God
Peter, the Rock
Peter, Son of Jonas
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?