Catholic apologist ridicules the Gospel of grace

In this post-modern era when plurality and inclusiveness are exalted at any cost, it’s considered distasteful and offensive to be adamant about religious beliefs. This attitude is even infecting the evangelical church. But beliefs DO matter. Greatly. As an example, Roman Catholics’ notions of justification and sanctification are quite different from Bible Christians. To put it succinctly, Catholics believe a lifetime of striving to become increasingly sanctified (holy) will hopefully merit for them justification and a place in Heaven at the moment of their death. Bible Christians, in contrast, believe we are justified only by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone and receiving His imputed perfect righteousness, and we will be increasingly sanctified as we follow the Lord in obedience, albeit imperfectly. The difference in the two beliefs is huge and irreconcilable.

Most Catholics who are technically aware of the difference in belief between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity regarding justification and sanctification would term Biblical salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone as “easy believism,” but would probably view debates with Protestants over the issue as distasteful. The prevailing attitude among most Catholics is, “to each, their own” and “whatever works for you.” However, conservative Catholic apologists have no such reservations and regularly ridicule the Gospel of grace in their appeals to Protestants and wavering Catholics.

I regularly listen to the Catholic talk-radio show, “Called to Communion.” The stated purpose of the show is to try to convert Protestants to Catholicism. At some point during almost every episode, host, David Anders (above photo), disparages the Gospel of grace. Here’s an illustrative example from the 10/17/18 podcast, which begins at the 34:30 mark with moderator, Tom Price, reading a question from a listener followed by Anders’ response:

TP: This is a text we received from Sara. She says, “I’m Catholic, my roommate is a Southern Baptist. We’ve been talking about faith and theology and one of the topics we come back to is sanctification and justification. What are the differences between Catholic and Protestant understandings of sanctification and justification and where do they come from?”

DA: Great question. Here’s the main difference. Your Southern Baptist friend, more than likely, holds to the standard Protestant position, which is this: God will bring you to heaven even if you hate His guts as long as you have notional faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. That’s what it boils down to. God will bring you to Heaven kicking and screaming, so to speak, even though you are at enmity with Him in your will as long as you have the conviction that you have been saved because of what Jesus did and not what you did.

In the above segment, apologist Anders GREATLY distorts and ridicules the Gospel of grace, but as I said, he does this regularly in an effort to draw his audience to Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. His last comment is very revealing. Although Catholics often refer to “grace” and “faith,” their bottom line is, did THEY do enough to merit Heaven?

Four days in the Big Apple! – Part One

This past weekend, my wife and I took a trip to New York City with our two sons. We had a great time, although I’m glad to be back to rest up. I could write a 3000-word post about the excursion, but I’ll keep it brief.

The trip came about because our oldest son, a Washington Redskins fan, thought it would be a good idea if he and his brother, a New York Giants fan, traveled to NYC together and attended a game when the “Skins” came to town. Neither one had ever seen their team play in-person before. When my wife heard about it, she suggested we make it a family affair, so that’s how this thing was hatched. Our youngest son is in the Air Force and stationed down in Texas, so he put in for a leave in advance to come up for the game.

Our oldest really enjoys visiting the Big Apple. This was his fifth trip there in five years or something close to that. The last time I was in New York City was in 1971 on a high school trip, so it was nice to have someone along who is somewhat knowledgeable about the place helping us to navigate the trains, taxis, and hustle and bustle of a major metropolis. We left Rochester around 9:30 AM on Friday and parked the car in Jersey City, New Jersey around 4 PM and took the subway into New York. A taxi brought us to our Airbnb apartment (at 2nd Avenue and 50th Street) and we started out into the city immediately afterwards. Below is our itinerary as best as I can remember it:

Friday PM – Lower Manhattan Sites

  • World Trade Center Monument
  • Battery Park – We saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance.
  • Fraunces Tavern – This is where Washington said goodbye to his generals at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Only a history nerd like myself would enjoy seeing this.
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chinatown
  • Little Italy
  • Washington Square
  • Bleecker Street – Had a couple of slices at John’s Pizza, the best pizza in Manhattan. No, we didn’t get a chance to visit the Bitter End club where Dylan, McGuinn, and Crosby all started out.

Saturday – Fifth Avenue/Central Manhattan Sites (We didn’t let the rain and wind, and stop us)

  • Grand Central Station
  • Empire State Building
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Trump Tower – We spent a lot of time there, drying off, eating lunch, and visiting three shops selling Trump paraphernalia. If you knew my wife, you would be amazed that we visited Trump Tower at all.
  • Tiffany’s – I bought my bride a bracelet as a reminder of the occasion.
  • Central Park
  • The Dakota Apartments – Former-Beatle, John Lennon, was killed at the main entrance.
  • Madison Square Garden – Our youngest son and myself are New York Knicks fans.
  • Times Square

Sunday

  • We boarded the train at 10:30 AM to East Rutherford, New Jersey to see the Giants and Redskins play at the Meadowlands. Although the temperature was 52 F., it felt like 32 F. with a brisk wind blowing. Not a lot of excitement in this game. The Skins prevailed at the end, 20-13. This event took up the entire day. We took the train back to Manhattan, had dinner, and crashed.

Monday

  • We took the train back to New Jersey and retrieved our car about 10 AM. But before heading back to Rochester, we stopped at nearby Hoboken and checked out a few of the filming location sites from the classic movie, “On the Waterfront” (1954), directed by Elia Kazan. Pier C and the surrounding buildings featured in the movie were demolished long ago, but we took some photos of Willow Park and Stevens Park where a few important scenes were filmed.

I’ll have more to say about my impressions of New York City in a subsequent post.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/27/18

All Souls Day falls on Friday, November 2nd on the Catholic liturgical calendar this year. On All Souls Day, Catholics are instructed to pray for all of the souls who are allegedly suffering in purgatory (see photo above). All of these notions are un-Biblical.

Pope Francis’ accuser, archbishop Vigano, states the obvious; homosexuality is rife within the ranks of Catholic clerics and much of that is due to the mandatory rule of celibacy.

This rambling article from American Jesuits’ official magazine hopes the common dislike for the current POTUS will unite anti-Trump evangelicals and politically progressive Catholics.

The Catholic hierarchy always put its clerical abusers above their victims.

Pope Francis knows his church’s mandatory celibacy rule for its clergy is untenable. He’s going to rescind the rule in limited areas in order to “break the ice” and then roll it out everywhere.

For the last several years, Francis has been issuing thinly veiled criticisms of his conservative Catholic critics by referring to them as rigid, hypocrites, Pharisees, etc., etc.

Ray tells the blunt truth about Roman Catholicism and rightly identifies the biggest problem with the Catholic church is its false gospel. It’s rare to see such forthrightness these days in “mainstream” evangelical news sources such as The Christian Post web site.

Catholicism: Abuse by priests is horrible, but its false gospel is eternally fatal

Over the last five months, the Catholic church has been overwhelmed by this latest wave of its ongoing pedophile priest abuse and cover-up scandal. With all due empathy and compassion for the victims of pedophile priest abuse, we must keep in mind that the gravest danger presented by the Catholic church is the propagation of its false gospel of salvation via sacramental grace and merit. The very relevant passage below recently caught my eye:

“The focus on the child abuse scandals (within the Catholic church) has meant that the fundamental and deep doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Protestantism have been pushed into the background. Perhaps they are regarded by many as of no great significance in this modern age, but, for us, they remain the key reasons for our continued opposition to the Pope and his church. As we seek to highlight these, it is vital that we do so in a spirit of humility and compassion. We have nothing to boast of in ourselves, for we are sinners saved by grace, and we must reach out to our Roman Catholic neighbors in love and proclaim to them the true Gospel message of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone.” – from “Reflections on the Papal Visit to Ireland,” The Ulster Bulwark, October-December 2018, p. 13.

 

Answering the alleged “95 Catholic Verses” – #s 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34: Salvation by Works? – Part 2

Today, we will continue with our response to Dave Armstrong and his book, “The Catholic Verses,” in which the Catholic apologist presents ninety-five Bible verses or passages that he alleges validate Catholicism and “confound” Protestants.

Last week, we rebutted Armstrong’s claim that James 2:24 teaches merited salvation (see here). In the same chapter, Armstrong continues with his argument that salvation is ultimately merited by presenting the following five Bible verses/passages. Since I already responded in length to Catholicism’s claim of merited salvation last week, I will address each of these passages only briefly.

#30) Luke 18:18-25: 18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have observed from my youth.” 22 And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. 24 Jesus looking at him said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Note: All of Armstrong’s Bible quotes are from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE).

Catholics interpret this passage to mean that the ruler had successfully obeyed the five commandments that Jesus had cited, and they therefore conclude that obeying the commandments as a means to merited salvation is not only possible, but required. In contrast, Bible Christians interpret the passage as follows: Jesus starts off by saying, “No one is good but God alone,” hence all are sinners and no one can justify themself. The ruler attempts to do exactly that by claiming he has obeyed the five commandments that Jesus cites, but Christ immediately cuts through all of his deceitful self-justification by exposing the ruler’s true heart; wealth was his idol.

After the four verses below, Armstrong writes, “These verses have to do with the controversy among Christians concerning human free will, and whether the belief in cooperation with God, entirely enabled by His grace, amount to works-salvation. Catholics accept this cooperation, as explicitly described in Holy Scripture.” – p.71.

#31) 1 Corinthians 3:8-9:  8 He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 

Catholics like Armstrong would interpret “wages” in this passage as rewards for works that contribute to merited salvation, which is certainly not the case. Catholicism quite often confuses the Bema/Judgement Seat of Christ, where believers will be rewarded for their service, with the Great White Throne Judgement where the unsaved will be judged by Christ according to their works.

#32) 1 Corinthians 15:10: But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me.

Paul stated that he worked harder than all of the other apostles, but he is not claiming that his work was meritorious towards salvation. Such an interpretation is patently false. Bible Christians believe that, yes, the fruit of good works come only through God’s grace, but that such works are the evidence of salvation in Christ, never the justification for salvation.

#33) 2 Corinthians 6:1: Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.

It’s obvious that Armstrong was attracted to this verse because “working” and “grace” appear together, but in no way can we construe from this verse that works are meritorious. Paul is stating that he is doing the work of the Lord in bringing the Gospel of grace to the Corinthians. Armstrong is also attracted to this verse because he suggests that it implies that salvation can be lost. Paul’s letter is written to all of the individuals in the church at Corinth, which undoubtedly included both saved and unsaved members. Paul is imploring all those who have not done so to choose Christ. It’s obvious why Armstrong omits the following verse, 2 Corinthians 6:2, which states, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” That verse exhorts the unsaved in the Corinthian church to accept Christ at that moment and be saved, contradicting the Catholic teaching that salvation is a lifelong process predicated on obedience and good works.

#34) 2 Peter 1:10: Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall.

Again, many people gather at Bible-preaching church fellowships and they include the saved and unsaved; the wheat and the tares. Peter exhorts each one to examine themself whether they have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. Those who eventually fall away had never genuinely accepted Christ.

While Armstrong points to the above five verses/passages as irrefutable “Catholic verses,” we find instead that Armstrong awkwardly attempts to distort the simple meaning of the passages and pull them out of their context to support his works-righteousness false gospel.

For more on the difference between Catholicism’s and Bible Christianity’s views on good works, see the article below:

What does it mean that good works are the result of salvation?

Catholic radio apologist advises listeners to ignore pope Francis

I listen to Catholic talk-radio for about one hour each work day. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but it helps me to stay abreast of what’s going on in the RCC. Last week, I was listening to the 10/10/18 podcast of the EWTN “Called to Communion” Catholic talk-radio show (see far below) featuring moderator, Tom Price, and host, David Anders (above photo), and some controversial subject matter was broached, which doesn’t happen all that often on this show, which openly aims to convert Protestants.

At the 8:54 mark, Jerry, a Roman Catholic from St. Louis, called into the show and in his remarks he expressed that he was quite disturbed about the current pedophile priest and cover-up scandal and also made mention of archbishop Carlo Vigano’s highly publicized accusation that, in 2013 against Vigano’s advice, pope Francis had overturned restrictions previously placed upon pedophile cardinal, Ted McCarrick, by pope Benedict XVI, thus making himself complicit in McCarrick’s crimes. Jerry also claimed that Francis’ censure of conservative cardinal, Raymond Burke, was part of the pope’s campaign to “liberalize the church.” As would be expected, show moderator, Tom Price, became increasingly agitated by Jerry’s remarks and interrupted him twice. Show host, David Anders, then responded to Jerry’s concerns, in effect saying that Catholics need to focus on the church overall as a historic and consistent witness to the (Catholic) gospel rather than reacting to a passing scandal or the controversial teachings of Francis or any other individual prelate. Anders’ obsfucation is the standard public response these days by conservative Catholics to concerns about the scandal and Francis’ heterodoxy. The real question is, why is the pope still claimed to be infallible in matters of faith and morals when conservative spokespersons advise the laity to ignore him?

The above segment featuring Anders’ obligatory non-response to Jerry’s concerns was certainly interesting and was worthy of a post by itself, but as I continued to listen to the podcast I came across another noteworthy segment. At the 27:29 mark, Mike, a Catholic living in Dallas, called in with questions about Francis’ change to the Catholic catechism regarding capital punishment. The catechism had previously stated that the death penalty was allowable in rare circumstances, but on August 2nd, Francis changed the text to read that the death penalty is  “inadmissible under any circumstances.”  Mike wanted to know if Texas governor and Roman Catholic, Gregory Abbott, could morally uphold the death penalty as he had done previous to Francis’ August 2nd announcement? Anders had stumbled about with a stutter-laced response to a similar question two months ago (see here), but this time he was much more resolute. Anders opined that the allowance of the death penalty had been the licit teaching of the church for two thousand years, therefore Francis’ ban could only be his personal, prudential judgement rather than a dogmatic ruling on faith and that Catholics were therefore free to ignore it. As is standard practice throughout conservative Catholicism these days, the advice is to ignore the pope when he deviates from conservative and traditional teaching. Again I ask, why is the pope still claimed to be infallible in matters of faith and morals when he contradicts the teaching of previously infallible popes and conservative spokespersons advise the laity to ignore him?

 

Mega Million’s $1.6 Billion Jackpot

In case you haven’t heard the news around the water cooler the past couple of days, the jackpot for the Mega Million Lottery has risen to a record $1.6 billion and the drawing is tonight.

Despite the daunting 1-in-302-million odds of winning, people will be queueing up at their favorite lottery outlet today to buy a ticket. Afterwards, they’ll be kibitzing enthusiastically with their friends, family, co-workers, and even total strangers about all of the things they are going to do and buy with that $1.6 billion (actually only $904 million after Uncle Sam takes his share).

I have a few thoughts:

  • Jesus Christ offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone. There’s no comparison between eternal life in Christ and $904 million dollars. So why do people line up for a microscopic chance at winning the lottery, but reject Jesus Christ who offers so much more? Unlike the lottery’s microscopic odds, every single person who accepts Christ is sure of a place at God’s table.
  • Researchers report that 70% of big ticket lottery winners declare bankruptcy within five years. Why is that? They’re not able to discipline their spending habits after the sudden, huge windfall and they’re not able to say no to their suddenly-huge circle of family and “friends.” Also, many lottery winners end up with costly addictions such as drugs or gambling. Rather than solving all of their problems, the vast majority of lottery winners find that the prize money creates bigger problems for them than they ever had.
  • The Bible says it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to Heaven. What is meant by that? Wealthy people become self-reliant and confident in themselves. With all of that “success,” it’s very difficult for them to see themselves as lowly, desperate sinners in need of the Savior.

I won’t be joining the line to buy a Mega ticket today. Don’t want one. Don’t need one. I’m not rich according to the standards of this world, but I have a Father who owns every hill and every valley. Thank you, Jesus!

“Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” – Proverbs 30:7-9

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/20/18

Ecumenist, Nick Hall (photo left), is staging another “Together” happening this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Fort Worth. The last Together event, in Washington D.C. in 2016, featured a video from pope Francis. Will there be a video from Francis this time? I’m not sure, but there will be plenty of ecumenists and theologically aberrant speakers and performers including Hillsong Worship, Francis Chan, Jesus Culture, Bethel Music, and Brian Houston.

In last weekend’s roundup, I had posted that the number of states that had opened investigations into the pedophile priests and cover-up scandal had grown to thirteen. It was just revealed yesterday that the U.S. Justice Department has now decided to launch its own investigation into the scandal, beginning with dioceses in Pennsylvania and New York. For the Catholic church, the chickens have finally come home to roost and there’s no end in sight.

The Catholic church kept the Bible from the laity for as long as possible, but eventually capitulated to the pressures of the Protestant Reformation by publishing the Douay–Rheims English translation in 1582. There’s been several additional Catholic translations since then, but the church never really encouraged its members to read it. My five sisters and I grew up without ever reading the Bible and I don’t recall there ever being a Bible in the house. Ours wasn’t an atypical Catholic family in that respect. I applaud efforts to encourage Catholics to read the Bible. Some will discover, as I did, that a plethora of Catholic doctrines are incompatible with God’s Word and will be drawn to Christ instead.

The notions of inclusiveness, tolerance, plurality, and relativism are spreading in the church as witnessed by the popularity of “The Shack” book and movie with their blatant message of universal redemption.

Pope Paul VI (d. 1978) was canonized as a saint yesterday. Most older Catholics remember Paul VI as a painfully shy man who tried to keep the Catholic boat afloat after the numerous window dressing changes of Vatican II. He is easily most famous for his 1968 “Humanae vitae” papal encyclical, which forbade Catholics from using any form of contraception. The controversial document spurred millions to leave the church and the millions who remained to question their church’s teachings on other matters. However, it’s beneficial for the church to canonize well-known figures so even a “mediocre” pope makes the grade. If you search the Bible for this canonization process and Rome’s notion of super-holy “sainthood,” you won’t find them.

The majority of young Roman Catholics are pushed through the church’s sacramental system (baptism, first confession, first communion, confirmation) with little or no genuine personal interest in their religion. This article reports that in a 4000-person sample of 19-year-olds Catholics, only 20 percent said their “faith” was important to them. Even those who do have a degree of piety are trusting in Catholicism’s false gospel system of sacramental grace and merit rather than in Jesus Christ by faith alone. The article equates meaningful personal religiosity as “encountering Jesus as Lord and Savior,” but the bottom line for Catholics is they don’t genuinely recognize Jesus as their Savior. They are taught they must, in essence, save themselves by receiving the sacraments and obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules.

Conservative Catholics continue to plot and scheme against pope Francis and his progressive allies. When will they have the fortitude to demonstrate the courage of their convictions and break away?

Most believers didn’t even take notice of the news this week of the politically-motivated schism between the Russian Orthodox church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. I can understand why jousting tournaments between religious unbelievers wouldn’t interest many, but this is a HUGE deal within Eastern Orthodoxy. Might conservative Catholic observers get some ideas?

I wonder what ecumenical evangelicals would think about this article from a conservative Catholic source that honors those who “helped stem the tide of Protestantism”?

It’s very interesting how society is impossibly two-faced when it comes to desired and unwanted pregnancy.

 

Walter Montaño: “Martin Luther of the Americas”

The Monk Who Lived Again
By B.H. Pearson
Cowman Publications, 1954, 178 pages

Few American evangelicals know the name of Walter M. Montaño these days, but 70 years ago he was widely known as the ex-priest who did tremendous missionary work among Roman Catholics throughout Central and South America. I was blessed to read this thirteenth printing of his biography.

Walter was born to an aristocratic family in Cuzco, Peru in 1903. His mother died when he was very young and his father remarried shortly thereafter, but the second wife had no affection for the boy and he was sent away to be raised by his uncle, a Roman Catholic priest. Young Walter eventually aspired to the priesthood himself and entered the Dominican seminary in Lima in 1920 at the age of 17. He was ordained as a friar and earned a doctorate degree in philosophy.

Walter had assumed that his membership in the “elite” Dominicans would quell his spiritual restlessness, but such was not the case. The legalism and ritualism of the order’s daily religious routines brought no spiritual satisfaction. The blatant hypocrisy and scoffing of his mendicant brothers was unexpected, disappointing, and unnerving. Because of his continuing academic pursuits, Walter came to the attention of the superiors of the Peruvian Dominicans and he was chosen to write the biography of Martin de Porres as a part of the campaign for his canonization. It distressed Walter that he was ordered to include several fabricated miraculous events in the book.

Walter was then assigned to oversee his monastery’s library, which included a restricted collection of Protestant literature to which access was granted solely by the order’s superior. Walter was curious and secretly brought a book, “Nights with the Romanists” by M.H. Seymour, back to his small, personal quarters, which caused him great spiritual distress. Walter then borrowed a second forbidden book, but was caught by his prior (superior) and punished. However, Walter’s inner spiritual turmoil could not be quelled and he escaped the monastery one January morning in 1927.

Walter made his way to a nearby Protestant mission and after talking and praying all day with one of the pastors, he repented of his sin and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Shortly afterwards, he began assisting the ministers and eventually began going out on preaching assignments by himself. The Catholic people of Peru were curious to hear this ex-priest who had become a Protestant, but the notoriety also drew the attention of the Catholic hierarchy, who regularly dispatched the civil authorities to harass Walter. Attempts were made on his life. His father and the rest of his family cut all ties.

Walter Montaño married an American missionary and spent his life criss-crossing the Americas in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Grateful converts to Christ bestowed upon him with affection the moniker of “Martin Luther of the Americas.” He would serve as executive director of Christ’s Mission, a former outreach to Roman Catholics that is of special interest to me, from 1951 to 1960. Walter went home to the Lord in 1981.

I really enjoyed this biography, even with its flowery, 1940s-era prose. Praise God for Walter Montaño and others who reached out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel. Where are the Walter Montaños of today?

Three years ago, I reviewed an excellent book written by Montaño titled, “Behind the Purple Curtain,” in which the missionary described the longstanding Catholic persecution of Protestants throughout Latin America. See here.

Bookworm tidbits and toxic TV

I’ve been a bookworm since my grammar school days. One of my simple pleasures used to be frequenting the many independent bookshops in Rochester. They’ve all gone out of business over the years, victims of the large chains like B. Dalton, Borders, and Barnes and Noble. But the predators became the prey and the last of the giants, B&N, is fighting to stay alive as Amazon continues to tighten its stranglehold. The latest news is that B&N is attempting to sell itself, but who would buy a failing company with no apparent future? See the article below.

Barnes & Noble could soon be putting itself up for sale

We have a B&N near us and I stop in every 2-4 weeks to check out the new offerings, but I rarely purchase anything. I’d much rather get my reading material for free fromCapture71 the library or by purchasing an inexpensive used copy from an Amazon third-party seller. Kindle is always another less-expensive option (Is it me or are those Kindle prices creeping higher and higher?). In my excursion to B&N last week, I did see a new book on the shelf, “Escaped Nuns: True Womanhood and the Campaign Against Convents in Antebellum America.” As you can imagine, that’s a “must read” for me (even though the book examines the topic from a pro-Catholic perspective). I drove home and checked the local library’s on-line catalog (I don’t have a smart phone), but they didn’t have a copy. I checked Amazon and found that it was actually cheaper to buy the book from B&N with my 10% membership discount than it was to order it from Amazon with free Prime shipping. So I drove back to B&N and bought a copy. Review to follow in a few weeks.

We also have a (c)hristian bookstore close to us, but I rarely visit anymore. I have all of the Bible study aids I need and just about all of the rest of the books they stock are written by TBN prosperity gospelers.

I recently ordered John MacArthur’s latest book, “Christ’s Call to Reform the Church: Timeless Demands From the Lord to His People” directly from Grace to You. It’s based on the seven churches in Revelation. Review to follow.

Capture72

Television notes: I had thought about reviewing each episode of CBS’s new comedy, “God Friended Me,” but changed my mind after watching the pilot episode because I could see the nebulous deity of the show had no connection to the God of the Bible. One of the main messages of last Sunday’s show was the promotion of same-sex relationships. In other television news, this past Tuesday at 8PM I began to watch “The Connors,” which is the “Roseanne” show without Roseanne. In one scene, 10-year-old Mark, who prefers to go to school dressed in skirts rather than pants, asks his grandfather, Dan, for his opinion on who the best choice would be between two candidates for a boyfriend. Dan is initially uncomfortable with the question, but gradually overcomes his “ignorant prejudices” and tries to help Mark make a good choice. Argh! That’s what’s on TV at 8PM, primetime family viewing? This is a good example of where the world is headed.