Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/30/21

This upcoming Tuesday, November 2nd is All Souls’ Day on the Catholic liturgical calendar. On this day Catholics are encouraged to pray for the souls allegedly suffering in purgatory. In Europe, it is the custom of Catholics to visit cemeteries on this day to light candles and pray for deceased loved ones so that their purgatory sentence will be shortened (photo above).

Yesterday’s news headlines were dominated by the meeting between the world’s two “most powerful” Catholics, pope Francis and U.S. president, Joe Biden. Conservative American bishops want to bar abortion genocide supporter, Biden, from receiving the Jesus wafer, but pope Francis has stated he is against excommunicating Catholic pols who supports abortion. After the meeting, “Biden said Francis had told him he was pleased he was a ‘good Catholic,’ and that he should continue receiving communion, despite opposition from some conservative American bishops over his support for abortion.” Neither pope Francis or Joe Biden know the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

The LGBTQ+ steamroller has already made deep inroads at the University of Notre Dame, Roman Catholicism’s flagship university in the United States.

I imagine this new Catholic Information Center in Greenville, South Carolina won’t be making a huge impact, but some curious souls will be snared by Roman Catholicism’s false gospel.

We featured a news article on October 2nd, which reported that pope Francis referred to EWTN’s criticism’s of his papacy as “the work of the devil” (see here). In reaction, Charles Chaput, conservative former-archbishop of Philadelphia and former board member of EWTN stated that the pope’s claim was “simply vindictive and false.”

The number of Roman Catholics is declining in Europe and the United States, but growing throughout the rest of the world. These 1.3 billion people are following a false gospel and don’t know Jesus Christ as Savior.

The terms, “evangelical” and “born-again’ Christian have lost much of their meaning.

At my workplace, the productivity rate is about 50%. The young workers routinely come in late and leave early. When they are there, they’re often engaged in bull sessions or consulting their smart phone. Half-hour lunches are stretched into one hour. They stop working altogether two hours before quitting time. Supervision? Our supervisor is reluctant to confront the bad behaviors.

Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #14

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).


Claim #14: I am a Catholic because of what the church has not taught as well as because of what she has.

In this chapter, Kreeft extols Roman Catholicism for its positions on the relationship between the church and politics/state and the relationship between God’s grace and man’s free will. He writes, “Two things the Church has not taught are: (1) which political system is best and (2) how divine grace and human free will work together. She does not know or claim to know these things with clarity and certainty, and neither should we” (p.47).


My jaw dropped in amazement at the audacity of Kreeft’s lies regarding the Roman Catholic church’s historical position on government/politics. For 1500 years, the Roman church propagated a symbiotic relationship between church and state/monarchy, with the church insisting on its divinely-granted prerogatives over the state/monarchy. The papal tiara has three crowns that symbolize the alleged triple powers of the pope: “father of kings, governor of the world, and Vicar of Christ” (see here). As nations shifted towards democratic forms of government, the RCC sought to maintain its privileges as well as the attendant limitations of the rights of non-Catholics via negotiated concordats. Only in the late-20th Century did the RCC move toward a more neutral position regarding the state and politics, a change dictated more by shifting socio-political/religious realities than by choice. Peter Kreeft is not an ignorant man. He’s fully aware of the RCC’s symbiotic relationship with states/monarchies for a millennia and a half. His decision to present to the readers of this book the last sixty-years of relative Catholic political neutrality as being representative of the RCC’s overall historical position is shamelessly deceitful.

Christians have been debating the proper “relationship” between the seemingly contradictory truths of God’s sovereignty and grace and man’s free will for two millennia. The Bible teaches both. In the early 5th Century, Augustine and Pelagius famously opposed each other in debate over this theological question. While the RCC has always presented itself as anti-Pelagian, teaching that sacramental grace (baptismal regeneration) is a necessary first-step in its salvation process, it is actually bottom-line Pelagian in its insistence that its members must ultimately merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments and performing works of charity. Kreeft claims that the RCC does not know how God’s grace and human free will work together, but Rome has always taught a synergistic soteriology, with man and God allegedly “working together” towards the individual’s salvation.

Next week: Claim #15: “I am a Catholic because of one thing that that I know with certainty, that I do not need belief or faith for”

Throwback Thursday: The “Other” Reformer

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on June 14, 2016 and has been revised.


Ulrich Zwingli
By William Boekestein
EP Books, 2015, 163 pages

As I related in an earlier post, my wife and I visited Zurich, Switzerland as a side trip during our stay in Germany in early April (2016). My wife had an interest in Zurich because her grandfather originated from there and I was interested in the city because it was the home of the Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli.

After returning to the U.S., I wanted to read about Zwingli, but I didn’t want to get bogged down in an academic tome. This short book from the “Bitsize Biographies” series was perfect.

When it comes to Reformation history, most people know about Luther and Calvin, but Zwingli is far less familiar. Ulrich Zwingli was born in 1484 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1506. Young Zwingli was strongly influenced by the priestly scholar, Erasmus, who was a critic of the thoroughly corrupt church. Zwingli was one of the first to obtain a copy of Erasmus’s New Testament translation in 1516. When Zwingli was appointed pastor of the most important church in Zurich, the Grossmünster (Great Minister), in 1518 at the age of thirty-four, he was already pushing for reforms that would return the church back to New Testament faith and practice. Zwingli preached against ritualistic liturgy and the mass, indulgences, obligatory Lenten fasting, worshiping statues, the intercession of Mary and the saints, and the enforced celibacy of priests. Zwingli taught that salvation was not by sacramental grace and merit as Catholicism taught, but by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone as revealed in the New Testament. The Reformer won over the support of the civil government of Zurich and most of its citizens.

Zwingli and Luther met in 1529 in an attempt to unite the Swiss and German Reformation movements, but the two could not reach agreement on the issue of the Lord’s Supper. Luther held to the real presence of Christ in the elements while Zwingli believed the bread and wine were only symbolic.

Zwingi believed in a strong alliance between church and government. Anabaptists pushed for reforms beyond what Zwingli could accommodate and he persecuted them via the city magistrates. Several of the Swiss cantons followed Zwingli’s Reformation while others remained Catholic. Civil war ensued and Zwingli died in battle in 1531 as a chaplain to the Zurich troops.

I learned quite a bit about Zwingli in this short book. His belief in an ordained, church-state alliance is disappointing, but understandable given his RC foundation. Perhaps the most unusual information I learned about Zwingli was his belief that God elected some “heathens” for salvation, those who would never hear the Gospel during their lifetime.

As this book makes clear, Zwingli was an imperfect man. But as flawed as he was, the Lord used him in a mighty way to return the church back to the Gospel of grace. In America, with all of its freedoms, it’s hard for us to imagine the amount of faith and courage needed by Zwingli, Luther, Calvin, and the other Reformers to stand up to Rome in the 16th century.

* An interesting (and even humorous) episode in Zwingli’s revolt against Catholic formalism and ritualism was the famous “Affair of the Sausages.” See here.

The Byrds’ Top 25 Songs: #21: “Jamaica Say You Will”

“Jamaica Say You Will” (3:27)
Written by Jackson Browne
Produced by Terry Melcher
From “Byrdmaniax,” Columbia, June 23, 1971

In the mid-1960s, Clarence White (above photo) was recognized as one of the most talented young guitarists in the Southern California county music scene. Clarence made the transition to rock ‘n’ roll/country-rock with his five-year stint with the Byrds from 1969 to 1973.

Clarence sang lead on only a handful of Byrds tunes. His nasally vocal style was a limitation, but he made it work on this poignant song about a relationship break-up written by up-and-coming LA songwriter and gifted lyricist, Jackson Browne, whose debut album would be released the following year.

Many Byrds aficionados consider “Byrdmaniax” to be the band’s worst album because of the weak material and producer Terry Melcher’s obtrusive orchestral and choral overdubs. Amidst the carnage, “Jamaica Say You Will” really stands out.

Trivia: Jackson Browne has said this break-up song was inspired by a former girlfriend who worked at an organic vegetable farm overlooking Zuma Beach in Malibu, California, who opted to end the relationship and move forward with her life.

Above: Zuma Beach in Malibu, California

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #107

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we have a new sermon from the brethren down under.

Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaches from Luke 15 on “God’s Lost & Found.” This sermon was delivered on Sunday, October 10th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – God’s Lost & Found – Sermon begins at 16:30 mark.

Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity: Same Words, Different Worlds

Same Words, Different Worlds: Do Roman Catholics and Evangelicals Believe the Same Gospel?
By Leonardo De Chirico
Inter-Varsity Press, 2021, 145 pp.

5 Stars

One week after receiving, reading, and reviewing Gregg Allison’s excellent new book, “40 Questions About Roman Catholicism,” came Leonardo De Chirico’s “Same Words, Different Worlds” in the mailbox.

I have said many, many times over the years that evangelicals need to be very, very cautious when it comes to Roman Catholicism. Catholics use many of the same terms as evangelicals – grace, faith, Savior, gospel, etc. – but what they mean by those terms is something entirely different from Gospel Christians. As just one example, when evangelicals speak about their “faith,” they’re generally referring to their belief and trust in God, encompassing their initial salvation in Christ Jesus and their continuing walk with Him. When Catholics refer to “faith” they’re largely referring to their trust in their institutional church and its sacramental salvation system to assist them in the possibility of meriting their salvation. In this book, De Chirico, one of evangelicalism’s most knowledgeable scholars on Roman Catholicism, fleshes out this idea of “same words, different worlds” much better than I could.

Throughout the book, De Chirico cite’s Allison’s hypotheses regarding Roman Catholicism’s two fundamental theological constructs, the nature-grace interdependence, whereby the RCC claims God uses nature/physical/material to confer grace (e.g., priests, water, oil, incantations, etc.) and the Christ-Church interconnection, whereby the RCC claims that it is the prolongation of the incarnation of Christ.

De Chirico examines both Catholic doctrine and church history to demonstrate that the RCC means something quite different from Gospel Christianity when it uses various Biblical terms. As the author points out, many unwary evangelicals have been duped into believing the common parlance represents shared beliefs. De Chirico comments on the current state of the RCC with pope Francis creating great confusion with his doctrine-bending, pragmatic progressivism.

This is such a good book, folks; a very accessible counterbalance to Allison’s more academic, theologically-focused book. I can’t recommend “Same Words, Different Worlds” highly enough. Order from Amazon here.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/23/21

Pope Francis has mandated that all Vatican employees, including the Swiss Guards, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and he’s not allowing any religious exemptions. In contrast, Timothy P. Broglio, Catholic archbishop for the Military Services USA, has issued a statement encouraging Catholic military personnel to claim a religious exemption if they are troubled that cell lines of pre-borns aborted decades ago were used in the development of the vaccines. I’m all for vaccine mandates. Vaccines don’t work if not enough people get them, as we saw with the C-19 surges this past summer. Vaccine mandates are nothing new. General George Washington issued an order in February 1777 requiring that the entire Continental Army be vaccinated for smallpox. Massachusetts set precedent in the 1850s by requiring all public school students be inoculated to slow the spread of smallpox. Since then, vaccinations for measles, meningitis, polio, chickenpox, whooping cough, and hepatitis have been required for students across the nation for decades. My employer, a military contractor, has mandated that all employees be vaccinated for C-19 by December 8th or they will be terminated. The majority of people in my department are saying they will forfeit their job rather than get vaccinated. A friend at work misguidedly believes the vaccines are the “mark of the beast” and is attempting to get a religious exemption.

In the diocese of Catania in Sicily, the birthplace of the “mafia,” the Catholic bishop has suspended the practice of including godparents at infant baptisms. Sicilian families often select the local mafia “dons” as godfathers in an attempt to ingratiate themselves with the mob bosses. As in all of Catholicism, religious ritualism and ceremonialism are highly revered, but there is no sign of the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Infant baptism is contrary to the Bible and the Catholic tradition of godparents is a sham (see here). Trivia note: The word “mafia” derives from the Sicilian adjective “mafiusu,” which, roughly translated, means swagger/boldness/bravado.

Although recent popes have specifically stated that women will never be allowed to be priests, social pressures are moving the RCC in that direction. The New Testament declares that sacerdotal priestcraft was ended by Jesus Christ (see here).

In contrast to the U.S. Catholic bishops, who are in the process of formulating policy to deny the Jesus wafer to Catholic politicians who support abortion genocide, pope Francis will be meeting privately with abortion supporter, President Joe Biden, on October 29th during his visit to Rome for the G20 Summit. The two will undoubtedly be discussing the advancement of progressive political initiatives.

The missionaries abducted in Haiti are affiliated with Christian Aid Ministries run by the Amish and Mennonites. Let’s pray for their safe release.

Owning a business today means bending the knee to LGBTQ+ social engineering or being sued or fined.

Lol! We can laugh, but the LGBTQ+ crusaders are deadly serious.

Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #13

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).


Claim # 13: I am a Catholic because I want the strongest reason to believe the Bible

In this chapter, Kreeft claims the Catholic church is superior to the Bible because:

  1. The RCC wrote the Bible and defined it (canonized particular books).
  2. Jesus Christ endowed the RCC with infallible teaching authority that supercedes the Bible, because the RCC is needed to interpret the Bible correctly. The Protestant tenet of Sola scriptura has resulted in twenty thousand heretical Protestant denominations.
  3. “It is the Bible that calls not itself but the Church ‘the pillar and bulwark of the truth’ (1 Tim. 3:15).”
  4. The RCC not the Bible defined the dogmas of the Trinity and Purgatory.


  1. The Holy Spirit, not the Roman Catholic church, gave us the Bible. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The entire Old Testament was written before the church age. Regarding the New Testament, conciliar canonization rubber stamped what was already in place.
  2. Untethered from biblical authority, the RCC’s magisterium (teaching authority) has introduced thousands of “sacred traditions” that are un-biblical or even anti-biblical. Kreeft repeats the canard of 20,000 Protestant denominations in his argument that Sola scriptura has wrought “chaos.” Actually, the RCC’s spurious “sacred traditions” have wrought spiritual chaos. Gospel Christianity obeys the Bible (Luke 22:24-27) by not adhering to a centralized ecclesiastical authority. Kreeft guilefully implies the RCC is unified in its beliefs while currently many conservative Catholics consider progressive pope Francis to be a heretic because of his doctrine-bending reforms.
  3. RC apologists extrapolate outrageous claims from 1 Tim. 3:15, when the verse simply intends that the church supports the truth of God’s Word (see here for a more thorough exposition). The church is clearly NOT the foundation of truth, as the RCC contends.
  4. Although the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity is taught explicitly in Scripture (see here). It’s interesting that Kreeft implicitly appeals to the conciliar definition of the Trinity at the pre-Roman Catholic First Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The Roman Emperor, Constantine, presided over that council rather than the bishop of Rome. Kreeft is absolutely correct that purgatory is not taught in Scripture (unless one appeals to the apocryphal 2 Maccabees 12:42–45). The RCC first officially defined Purgatory as a dogma at the Second Council of Lyon in 1274. Purgatory is an excellent example of the how the RCC subverted Scripture with its “sacred traditions.”

By placing itself above Scripture, the RCC has introduced a plethora of heretical, anti-Biblical doctrines.

Next week: Claim #14: I am a Catholic because of what the church has not taught as well as because of what she has.

Throwback Thursday: Rules about “holy water.” Who knew?!?!

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on June 16, 2016 and has been slightly revised.


Today, I was listening to the April 8, 2016 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show on the Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, out of Buffalo, New York. This particular broadcast featured Catholic priest, Dave Baker, and moderator, Rick Paolini, taking questions from listeners.

During the show, Rick related how he and his wife often volunteered at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. According to Rick, visitors often bring empty receptacles and fill them with blessed “holy water” provided by the shrine from large dispensers kept outside. One winter day, a gentleman showed up with “14 or 15” plastic containers to fill up for his friends, but it was so cold outside that most of the holy water in the shrine’s dispensers had frozen. The gentleman improvised by filling each of his containers with just a little unfrozen holy water, saying he would return home and fill them to the brim with tap water before distributing them to his friends. Rick was troubled by this and asked priest Dave if it was copacetic to dilute holy water as the gentleman had done. Priest Dave answered that it was okay to dilute holy water, but the ratio of holy water to tap water had to be greater than 50 percent otherwise the holy water would lose its “holiness.”

Huh? Are you serious?

Catholics believe water blessed by a priest can bring great spiritual and temporal benefits to people and objects that come in contact with it. Catholics dip their fingers in holy water fonts at church and make the sign of the cross on their forehead, chest, and shoulders. Zealously pious Catholics often have holy water fonts in their homes. At Catholic religious services and events you can often see the officiating cleric blessing the crowd by sprinkling holy water on them.

Holy water has its roots in pagan amulets and talismans. There’s nothing in the Bible that hints at anything like Catholic holy water.* The Bible reader can’t imagine the apostles or disciples of the early church using pagan holy water. Priest Dave says holy water can’t be diluted by more than 49 percent tap water. Really? Where do Catholics come up with these exacting ecclesiastical rubrics? The poor, deluded gentleman and his fifteen friends were unknowingly blessing themselves with holy water that had no holiness. Not that the results were ANY different either way.

Friends, none of this scrupulous and superstitious ritualism saves. Salvation is as simple as the story of the thief on the cross. Repent of your sin. Turn to Jesus Christ. Accept Him as your Savior by faith alone. Then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that teaches His Word without compromise. You’ll never need another drop of holy water ever again. Jesus is all you need!

“I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, a people who continually provoke Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks.” – Isaiah 65:2-3

Nope, we’re not done with holy water rules quite yet. How do Catholics correctly dispose of holy water? Since holy water is a blessed sacramental, you can’t just flush it down the toilet like a bad clam. Excess holy water or holy water that’s become foul must be poured directly onto the ground or on plants growing outside.

*The “holy water” in Numbers 5:16-28 is referred to nowhere else in the Bible. Commentators suggest the water used to make the bitter potion that was to be given to the suspected adulteress was either to be drawn from the Tabernacle laver (and thus consecrated/set apart/holy for ceremonial use) or that it was to be “pure” (i.e. holy) running water as the Septuagint translates it. I’m partial to the latter interpretation. Either way, there are no similarities between the water used to make the potion with the holy water of Roman Catholicism.

Postscript from 2021: This “rules about holy water” post from 2016 is the sixth-most-viewed post ever published by this blog, with close to 2600 views in five years. Why? I assume many scrupulous Catholics came across this post precisely because they were attempting to find the RCC’s rules regarding diluting or disposing of holy water. Sad.

The Byrds’ Top 25 Songs: #22: “Lover of the Bayou”

“Lover of the Bayou” (3:39)
Written by Roger McGuinn and Jacques Levy
Produced by Jim Dickson
From “Untitled,” Columbia, September 14, 1970

The Byrds started out by creating the “folk-rock” genre, a hybrid of Bob Dylan folk and Beatles rock ‘n’ roll. They quickly explored other musical styles, pioneering jazz-rock, raga-rock, psychedelic rock, and finally settling into country-rock. But the latter-day Byrds lineup could also straight-up rock ‘n’ roll as they did with song #22 in our Byrds’ Top 25 Songs countdown, “Lover of the Bayou.”

Whereas the original incarnation of the Byrds (1965-1968) was well-known for its indifference to rehearsing and the resulting poor quality of its live performances, the latter-day lineup of Roger McGuinn (guitar), Clarence White (guitar), Skip Battin (bass), and Gene Parsons (drums) earned a reputation as a hard working, audience pleasing, quality touring band.

McGuinn had co-written a number of songs with Broadway impresario, Jaques Levy, that were intended for a musical that never materialized. With the fresh material, the Byrds decided to release a double-album comprised of a studio disc and a live disc to show off the band’s in-concert chops.

The opener to the live disc, “Lover of the Bayou,” was one of the McGuinn-Levy tunes. It’s a pretty good rocker with Clarence putting his Telecaster through the paces, augmented by Battin’s bass lines, Parsons’ awkward overfills, and McGuinn providing inconspicuous rhythm on his twelve-string Rick. Some wondered if McGuinn had been listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival before writing this “gumbo rock” tune with its nonsensical lyrics. McGuinn later stated his inspiration was Malcolm “Dr. John” Rebennack. “Lover of the Bayou” was recorded at the Felt Forum in New York City on March 1st, 1970 and the hard-drivin’ rocker served as the opener to many a Byrds concert.

The “Untitled” album was easily the best of the five post-Sweetheart, McGuinn-White Byrds LPs and we’ll be visiting the album once more in our Top 25 countdown.