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Great Links-Great Books!

A TEACHABLE MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!


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Page 11: Revised 05/142000

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On this Page: [Great Links][Book Reviews][Rabbit Hole]

Almost every home page that I visit has its list of favorite links. Well, I have my list too! I surmise that you got to this site because of an interest in Roman Catholicism in particular, or Christianity in general. So here goes! I am sure you will find some of these sites interesting, and even exciting!

I have read a lot of books as part of my research for this site. I plan to supply a review of the best of the lot for your information.

Great Links!

The following table contains links to sites I believe you will find most interesting. Most deal with the main topic of The Roman Catholic Observer, some with other topics I like to keep track of, such as Bible Prophecy, Biblical Archaeology, and so forth. {Caveat} Please note that just because a site is listed, I do not necessarily agree fully with everything you will find there. But if a site contains what I consider accurate and useful information about the Church of Rome and related topics such as ecumenism, I list it anyway. I trust that you can make up your own mind about what you read.

I must never forget what my daughter Lori reminds me of: "Pobody's Nerfect Pops!" She is right. Pobody's Nerfect, especially me! While I am doing my best to present a fair, accurate view, I may stumble and fail in places. I am open to suggestion and criticism, and will take your comments seriously. I just hope you don't reject the 'whole nine yards' because you find one mistake, or some statement you don't agree with. Better you should tell me about it and give me a shot at possible changes, right? So, if I expect others to cut me a little slack on the perfection issue, its only fair of me to do the same for them, right? Enough said. Enjoy!

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Link problem? Links change a lot. If you find any link here that does not work, please email me with the information so I can correct it. Thank you! Click here to go to the most recently added links.

LINK OF THE MONTH

The Antichrist Slideshow

[May 2000] Here's a site that focuses upon the Biblical Antichrist and how he can be identified. Does the Roman Catholic Church in general, and the Pope in particular play a role in the "end times" scenario? Find out here. Great graphics, too!



Link Description of the Site
Married Priests-1 Surf over to the C.I.T.I. (Celibacy Is The Issue) site for an eye-opening view of the many Roman Catholic priests who have gotten married and continue to practice their faith. The stated purpose of C.I.T.I. is to work for full use of married priests as priests. Do they have Biblical support? Find out here!
Married Priests-2 Want to find a local married priest? This is the place! Why would you want to? Maybe you too are a priest, and you want to find a priest who will marry you? Or maybe you just want to understand the issue? Or perhaps you are just looking for a married priest to counsel you in your own marriage!
Effects of a Celibate Priesthood-1 Rome denies that her enforced celibacy for priests has serious harmful effects. Rome also denies that the problem of priestly pedophiles and homosexuals is widespread. Find out why Rome is, today, spending millions of dollars to cover-up the truth.
Effects of a Celibate Priesthood-2
The Survivors of Clergy Abuse

03-03-2000

Site includes a "clergy crimes" page that gives information on many Roman Catholic priests involved in litigation for sex abuse. A real current events site that proves the pervasiveness of sex abuse by priests.
Survivor's Network for those Abused by Priests

02/09/2000

Seduction of women by priests, priestly pedophilia, and homosexual priests . . . things that the RCC plays-down and Catholic apologists try to minimize . . . come together at this site devoted to helping those who have been sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and bishops. The very existence of such a site suggests that the problem is a lot bigger than Rome is willing to admit.
Survivors of Clergy Abuse in Catholic Seminaries

03-03-2000

An activist center for survivors of sexual assault, rape, incest and child molestation. The now-infamous Fr. James R. Porter case is covered here. You can subscribe to their newsletter, The Survivor Activist and read related articles. This group also maintains a database of known sex offenders.
A Christian Family This is my daughter Lori's home page. I am so proud of her and her hubby (not to mention the grandchildren! Here you can discover that us 'born-agains' really do have interests such as crafts, sports, critters, and so forth.
Another Christian Family My friend Gerson's home page. He's a great guy, and a pastor at our church. Clap an eyeball on his wonderful family. You can read this page in Portugese and Spanish too!
Biblical Archaeology-1 Believe me when I say that recent discoveries in Israel will blow your sox off! Visit these sites to learn about the Ark of the Covenant, the Red Sea Crossing, and other discoveries that prove the accuracy of many Bible stories.
Biblical Archaeology-2
Insight for Living Visit this site to read and hear (via RealAudio) one of America's most popular Christian speakers, Chuck Swindoll.
The Vatican The Vatican's own web site. Keep up with events in Rome, read some encyclicals, get the latest word from the pope. This is one of many worldwide mirror sites from Rome.
Yahov Newsletter Surf in and sign-up to get your copy of the monthly e-zine that deals mostly with Biblical Prophecy and current events.
Christian Learning Center One of my favorite sites. Here at the Fair Oaks Learning Center, you can get a lot of information about New Age religions and cults, or take an on-line course in Christian doctrine or Christian living.
Catholic Documents A good, official Roman Catholic site where you can study documents on the Council of Trent, Vatican II, the 'Fathers of the Church' and so forth. Read Rome's own words about important spiritual topics!
Rome and the Bible An excellent comparison of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with the Holy Bible. Are they the same? Read it for yourself make up your own mind!
Christian Apologetics

Dave Gibson and Aldina Pasquin's Page

Another excellent site to visit. David Gibson also gives attention to the influence of modern psychology on the church today - a topic you need to learn more about. Surf over to this site to read interesting reviews of Promise Keepers, some current cults such as Jehovah's Witnesses. I don't fully agree with all of their observations, overall the site is chock-full of useful information for the informed Christian.
Mike Blume's Page Here's a 'link-swap' entry to Mike Blume's home page on the Pentecostal Oneness Faith. While I don't agree with all the theology there, you will find some very good, very interesting information.
Sister Charlotte's Story See what an ex-Roman Catholic nun had to say about convent life at the turn of the century. CAUTION: requires a strong constitution to read this story!
Freedom In Christ Matt and Jan Stefanac's place, and a good site to visit. Includes a refutation of the 'Trinity Exposed' site, some insightful views of Jehovah's Witnesses, and on 7th Day Adventism.
Catholic Tradition A site recommended by an email friend; contains official Roman Catholic material, including purgatory prayers and Mary worship material.
Way of Life Page Home page of David. W. Cloud. A visit here will prove very helpful and interesting. Includes Dave's personal testimony of Salvation, and examples of his Encyclopedia of the Bible and Christianity (very helpful item!). You should also check out Dave's "End Times Apostasy Online Database, and his reviews of current activities such as Promise Keepers, and the Toronto (Canada) 'Laughing Revival.'
EPSILON CRUX

Steve Jasper's site Down Under

A link exchange. Steve Jasper has done a LOT of homework, and his site is well worth a visit. Especially so if you seek links to Christian sites-He's got a lot of good ones! Here you will find info on the cults, the so-called "Toronto Blessing," and an interesting view of TV and the movies. I don't agree with Steve's position on everything, especially on the Pentecostal churches. But hey, we all have to make up our own minds, don't we!
Jesus Is Lord!

Tracy's site

A link exchange. Sister Tracy has done a great job of sharing her faith, and examining questionable areas of Christian practices and beliefs. Visit here for information on Messianic Prophecies, how to find eternal life, the resurrection, history of the Papacy, former Catholics and former priests, and so forth.
Answers to an Anti-Catholic

10/01/98

Never let it be said that I don't give time to the opposition! This Roman Catholic Apologetics site is something to behold! It purports to answer challenges to the Roman Catholic Church-and does almost everything but give answers. They start out telling you that those of us who challenge Rome are "bigots" who use "disinformation" and "willful misrepresentation," and that we "are all guilty of nearly complete lack of understanding." From the get-go this site attacks the individual and generally avoids the issues with long-winded repetitions of Rome's doctrines. Typical Roman Catholic tactic-ignore the message and shoot the messenger.

The site goes on to do the very thing it charges me with! Many of the so-called 'answers' quickly diverge from the issue into verbiage that makes me think of Bill Clinton! You know - the ivy and English league scholar who, on the witness stand, lies in his teeth and calls it 'truth' because he has his own private definitions for terms such as alone, the, sex, and so forth? For example, this webmaster defines 'penance' as 'forgiveness' (in contradiction to all the catechetical writings and doctrines of Rome by the way), and defines 'indulgences' as 'reparation,' (a reparation which God declared impossible save by Christ). If you are a thinking person, it will make your head spin.

Here's another interesting "answer" dealing with salvation: "A person who presumes to say that he has assurance of salvation judges himself worthy, but that is God's right, not ours." Excuse me? I know of no Christian or true Christian church that assumes self-judgement here. Do you? When I say that I have assurance of salvation, I merely state what the Gospel of Christ tells me. This is not my own judgement at all.

Surf over to this site and see for yourself a prime example of what I call Rome's "Word Magic."

It Is Finished! Ministries

10/15/1998

A link-swap site hosted by Rande Snyder. Its declared mission is "To lift up the name of Jesus and to promote the fact that when Jesus proclaimed on the cross, "It is finished" He meant what he said." "Our purpose is to help those who are searching for the truth to not only find it, but to understand it, making clear what the errors are in 'cultish' religions." Well worth a visit!
Dokimos Home Page

03/28/1999

Here is one of the most loving, non-confrontive sites addressed to Roman Catholics on the Internet. Dokimos presents the basic truths of Scripture and salvation, and leaves you to draw your own conclusions. Does Rome accurately reflect the Word of God or not? There are at least two approaches. You can start with specific Roman Catholic dogmas and doctrines, then search the Scriptures to see if they are true. Or, you can start with the Scriptures and let the chips fall where they may. For the Roman Catholic who would rather not deal directly with specific dogmas of Rome, I can't recommend a better place to start than this site.
Berean Press Ministries

11/07/1998

Richard Bennett, former Roman Catholic Priest

Want to read the first-hand story of a former Catholic priest? Want access to information about what life in a Catholic convent is really like? Want to hear from fifty former priests, and two dozen former nuns about why they left the Church of Rome? This is the site to check it out! Richard Bennett's testimony is an eye-opener for Catholic and Protestant alike. Learn 'from the horses' mouth' so to say, why the massive exodus of priests from Rome is happening, as more and more priests and nuns heed the Gospel's call to 'Come out of her my people' (Revelation 18:1-6). So who should know the inner workings of the Church of Rome than her own ordained priests and nuns? The Catholic apologists recently published a little book, Surprised by Truth. It included eleven stories of people who had crossed the bridge to Rome - implying that so great a number could not be wrong. Well, here you can find more than seventy stories of people who left Rome. If numbers matter, draw your own conclusions!
Fasinating Reading of the Holy Bible for Roman Catholics

11/25/98

A link-swap to a really great site! Here you will find some interesting discussion of key Roman Catholic doctrines, such as baptismal regeneration, the meaning of Mary's sin offering, communion, traditions vs Scripture, who, really, is a saint? Who is the true head of the church? What was the authority of Peter-if any? What is the relationship between church membership and salvation? A must-visit site!
Mission to Catholics

11/28/98

A fundamental /evangelical ministry reaching Roman Catholics with the Biblical message of salvation. Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Hosted by a former Roman Catholic priest; well worth the visit!
Former Catholics for Christ

11/28/98

A really insightful newsletter-format site with some riveting articles on the Roman Catholic religion, its history and its practices. You can also find a pretty good list of the marks of a true Christian church at this site.
The Global Church, Apostasy, and the year 2000

07/08/1999

Here's a site with lots of evidence that the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate church, and how Pope John Paul II plans to become the leader of the coming one-world religion. Among other thing, you will find here:

Papal Agenda for control of all religions.

The "laughing revival", aka the "Toronto blessing."

False ecumenism

Modern "appearances" of "Mary."

Bent cross of paganism adopted by Pope John Paul II.

New image of "Mary" with stigmata (marks of the crucified Christ).

Well worth the visit!

More links will be added. Check back later.










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STUDY THE WORD OF GOD MOST OF ALL!

Book Reviews

Under construction. I have lots of excellent books to commend to you, but it's going to take a while for me to prepare all the reviews. I shall add reviews as time permits. Please stop by again for the latest!

Book Reviews in this section: [A] Along The Way -[C] Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholicism and Fundamentalism |Catholicism at the Dawn of the Third Millennium| The Catholic Myth | | Counterfeit Revival -|D| Dogmatic Cannons and Decrees -[E] Epiphany: A Theological Introduction to Catholicism | Escape from Purgatory -[F] Far From Rome, Near to God | Fifty Years in the Church of Rome | Formidable Truth | From Catholicism to Christ | -[I] Immaculate Misconceptions| -[M] A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church | Mouth of the Lion | Myth of Mary | -[N] New Jerome Bible Commentary | -[Q] Quite Contrary | The Q+A Catholic Catechism [-R] Roman Catholicism | Reckless Faith | -[S]| Seduced By Error | St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism| Surprised by Truth |-[T]| The Two Babylons | -|[V] A View of Rome | Vicars of Christ: the Dark Side of the Papacy | -[W]| Windswept House |

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A view of Rome, Copyright 1995 by John Armstrong. ISBN: 0-8024-9146-4

An excellent review of the current discussion about unity between the Roman Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestantism. While a scholarly volume, it is presented in easy-to-understand terms. Armstrong ask, then answers the question, "Does it still make a difference why we differ, or should we just sweep the Reformation and its doctrinal debates aside and get on with building a new coalition for unity?"

Armstrong accurately portrays Roman Catholic dogma and doctrine vis-a-vis the Bible. He traces the historical development of the Church of Rome in light of Rome's self-definition as being the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church. He takes us through the period known as 'the dark ages' and into the medieval world, and shows us how the Roman Catholic Church gradually changed from pure faith in Christ to pure faith in her own sacramental system.

A View of Rome graciously avoids emphasis on the incredible parallels between the Roman Catholic Church of today and the ancient pagan mystery religions. For a detailed review of that topic, check out my review of The Two Babylons. (To be supplied).

Armstrong also makes a vivid case for the Evangelical doctrines of 'sola scriptura' (the Bible as the final authority for doctrine) and 'sola fides' (justification by faith in Christ alone). Several Roman Catholic email friends have hurled these two precepts at me as if they were plague-ridden rodents! This is the attitude of all of the Catholic apologists I have studied, and one would think that to have faith in Christ alone was some sort of aberration, and not the position called for by the entire Bible!

If you are a Protestant, A View of Rome will give you a clear understanding of how your Roman Catholic friends think, and what they are told to believe. If you are a Catholic, A View of Rome will give you a clear understanding of how your Evangelical Protestant friends think, and what they choose to believe.

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Reckless Faith, Copyright 1994 by John F. MacArthur, Jr.; ISBN 0-89107-793-6

Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will To Discern reveals how many American Evangelical churches have abandoned the legacy of Martin Luther and the Reformation, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and reason itself in favor of 'feel-good' religion. The concept of absolute truth in religion has been traded for the politically correct 'truth is relative' belief. MacArthur shows how a number of popular American Evangelicals have sold-out the Christian's directive to contend for the Faith, and to accept no other Gospel but that of Jesus Christ - in the name of 'Christian Unity' with the Roman Catholic Church.

The five-hundred year legacy in which Protestants in general have views the Roman Catholic Church as an un-biblical, and an extra-biblical church long since departed from Gospel Truth has been relegated to an almost unimportant corner by these Evangelical sell-outs. All of the 'giving' in this contract with Romism is on the part of the Evangelicals; Rome has given nothing at all, save for a little of her sleight-of-words designed to make one think she has changed.

When Jesus and the Apostles spoke, it was in absolute terms. The real Gospel is intended to divide the believer from the unbeliever, not unite them! Peace at any price was not the Gospel message! Jesus Himself said that He came to set people against each other in the name of Truth. (Matthew 10:34-40).

In Reckless Faith, MacArthur also makes a good presentation of the need for discernment, and he reviews the fundamentals of Christianity. He shows us how to decide which doctrines are truly fundamental, or essential as declared by the Bible. MacArthur also tells us about the 'laughing revival' that began in 1994 at the Airport Vineyard church in Canada. He reveals its lack of Biblical support, and shows how it is making itself felt in many Evangelical and Pentecostal churches across America. If you have wondered if a church service that features laughing, barking like dogs, squealing like pigs and the like are of God, you should read MacArthur's analysis.

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

Along The Way Copyright 1996 by Robert F. O'Donnell.

Along The Way describes one man's journey from false religion, through the occult to final salvation in Christ. Laughter and tears will accompany you as you share his joys and pains 'along the way.' You can agonize with Bob as he struggles to leave the church of his youth - a church he came to recognize as false to its core. After a painful parting from that church, Bob was an initiate in both the Saraswati and Giri orders of Yoga, and was heavily involved in the Edgar Cayce 'Search for God' program. Later, he spent several years as a disciple of Swami Nityananda Saraswati, ever seeking the truth, ever encountering deception and pain. It was during a visit with the Swami at his Texas ashram (retreat house) that Robert first met Jesus Christ - in a most unusual way! You may weep with him as he struggles to hold onto a marriage gone sour, or ponder the wisdom and mercy of God as Bob unexpectedly ministers to a dying stranger. From dancing to doctrine, this book can challenge your most dearly held notions. Copies available only from the author.

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

WHO BETTER KNOWS ROME THAN HER PRIESTS?!A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church by James Kavanaugh, 25th Anniversary Edition. Copyright 1967, 1992 by Father James Kavanaugh. ISBN 1-878995-16-2, Steven J. Nash Publishing.

When, in 1968, I first read this amazing book by a Roman Catholic priest, I was almost petrified as I faced one of the most critical decisions of my life: should I leave the Roman Catholic Church - or check my brains at the door and remain a Catholic? Kavanaugh's book was like having a window flung open - a brilliant light to my spiritual melancholy. Before reading A Modern Priest I was under the illusion that priests, to a man, were all cut from the same bolt of cloth: somberly-dressed, sexually repressed, unapproachable, arrogant dispensers of a party line more suited to medieval days of kings, knights and dungeons than to the world I inhabited.

What a surprise to find a priest who was also a man! A man most aware of me, of my wife and children, and my milieu. Unlike the pedantic dogmatists pretending to be 'other Christs' (sic. Alter Christos - what Rome claims for her priests) who seemed totally out-of-touch with real life, here was a priest, a man, who was "touched by the spirit of our infirmities." (Hebrews 4:15) How refreshing!

So popular was this book, so filled with heart-wrenching honesty, and accurate Biblical perspective, that Mr. Kavanaugh was asked to re-publish it twenty-five years later, in 1992. This anniversary edition reveals that Kavanaugh's unflattering picture of the Roman Catholic Church is as accurate today as ever it was. Kavanaugh shows how the so-called 'fresh air' let into the church by Vatican II is, in fact, merely stale, recycled five-hundred year old musings of long-dead ivory tower scholars. Here are a few words from A Modern Priest to whet your appetite:

"I had taken leave from my priesthood because I knew that my Church
was not a reflection of what Jesus had taught. I watched our bishops
return from the II Vatican Council and saw them still too untrusting
and terrified to make changes of real substance. Latin was changed to
English, Gregorian chant gave way to hymns, and the altar faced the
People.
"But the control of human minds remained unchanged.  The secret
screams of spiritually battered men and women were not addressed! My
Church still was invading bedrooms, abusing consciences, distorting
sex, manufacturing sin, patronizing other sects, dishonoring women,
turning custom to law and loving myths to angry dogmas. Sincere souls
were condemned or threatened with a hell that never was. But most of
all, it continued to discredit the voice of God that speaks to each
of us in private revelation." (Page v).

Who better knows the inner workings of the Roman Catholic Church than her own priests? Since my first encounter with the Rev. Kavanaugh back in 1968, I have learned that he was only one of the first to 'come out' about his leaving Rome. Actually, he was in the middle of a tidal wave - disillusioned Roman Catholic priests leaving their titular position behind to find and worship the God of the Bible rather than the cannon laws of a pharisaical Rome. Back then it was almost unheard of that a priest should resign and seek spiritual life elsewhere - thus my compliment on his courage to go public.

Today, according to figures found at several internet sites, there are approximately 110,000 priest who have followed Kavanaugh's brave lead. At least half of them left Rome after the close of Vatican Council II! Thus the others must have left before or during that church council. Why did we never hear of disenfranchised ex-priests years ago? First because Rome suppressed the statistics, and second because those men were perhaps too honorable, or too afraid to speak out.

It is not so today, thank God. Ex-priests no longer fear the condemnation of the church, nor of their relatives, neighbors and friends. Indeed, such censure from the community is but a shadow of its former self. The anathemas (curses) placed by Rome on her renegade priests and those who love and support them fall on too many deaf ears. Rome is losing control. Fear, her trump card, today motivates only the docile who prefer to let others do their thinking for them when it comes to spiritual matters.

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

AN AVERAGE MAN CONFOUNDS AN ARROGANT CHURCH!From Catholicism to Christ by Ralph Filicchia. Copyright 1991 by Ralph Filicchia, Revival Literature, P.O. Box 6068 Asheville, NC 28816: ISBN 1-56632-000-3.

Ralph Filicchia is a man just like me. He was raised a nominal Roman Catholic, just like me. He attended a retreat at St. Gabriel's Monastery in a Boston suburb, just like me. And just like me, at that retreat he submitted a question to be answered by the resident priest who conducted the retreats for Catholic men. His question, a very serious one about salvation, was tossed aside and ignored. That's where our experiences vary. When I submitted my very serious question, it was answered - with a joke! In my case the retreat master ducked the issue by mocking the questioner - me!

Mr. Filicchia visited a number of priests in his effort to find the truth. After one such visit, he recounts that, "I left, shaking my head. The moment you displayed even a meager knowledge of the Bible, the average Catholic priest would turn you right off. But why were they so unfamiliar with what I said? Surely they must have read these things for themselves, or at least debated them in seminary. Or did they?" (Page 36).

Because I, too, sought the help of a number of priests, and even a Roman Catholic theologian, I can confirm Mr. Filicchia's experiences and observations. The typical priest displays an extremely limited awareness of Scripture. Don't you find this amazing? Should not the priest, above all others, be intimately familiar with the Word of God? Sadly, most are not.

Some of you will easily identify with Mr.Filicchia's life. Certainly you will find in these pages the importance of sharing your faith in Christ, and in the Word of God. This author, like so many others, proves beyond doubt the power in that Word, the power in Christ, and the sad ignorance of so many spiritually dysfunctional robots created by the Church of Rome.

You will find Mr. Filicchia's testimony more or less follows the pattern of many Catholics who search for spiritual truth, and end up departing from Rome. Click here to read some similar stories of 'recovering Catholics.'

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

AN AVERAGE MAN CONFOUNDS AN ARROGANT CHURCH!Escape From Purgatory By Joseph R. Schofield, Jr. Copyright 1994 ISBN: 0-9639271-1-6

An outstanding feature of Escape From Purgatory is its synoptic table of contents, a rare but very useful tool that gives you a thematic outline of the book with a synopsis of each covered topic. The author starts by establishing the credibility of the Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of God. This he does by appealing to fulfilled prophecy, archaeological evidence and scientific discoveries.

Escape From Purgatory exposes Rome's lies about her traditions and papal succession, and demonstrates how beguiled Roman Catholics are unwitting prisoners of the laws of the worlds biggest cult. The book evaluates the cult of Mary worship, showing how it switches attention from Christ to Mary as one's hope of salvation. It concludes with a review of Bible prophecy on the return (sic., second coming) of Christ. Schofield suggests that Jesus will return very soon, perhaps in our own generation. Since his primary focus is on the church of Rome, Schofield's treatment of this prophetic scenario is understandably light.

Schofield's book suggests that we make sure of our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. This is the Biblical way, not the way of Rome. In the final analysis, you must choose whom you will serve - the Jesus of the Bible or the Cannon lawyers of the Roman Catholic Church. Your eternal salvation depends on your choice!

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

THE REAL SURPRISE IS SOMETHING ELSE!Surprised by Truth Edited by Patrick Madrid; Copyright 1994, Basilica Press, P.O. Box 85152, San Diego, CA 92186 ISBN 0-9642610-8-1. Forward by Scott Hann.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Surprised by Truth is the discovery that eleven (11) men and women from very different backgrounds, and with different educational levels, all write with exactly the same precision! As I review this book I am almost forced to violate one of my dearly-held principles, draw my colt .45 and take a shot at the messenger! I hate doing it, but this case deserves it.

You see, I have been a professional writer, editor and publisher for many years. I have been the manager of such people as well. While Patrick Madrid's name embellishes the title page as editor of Surprised by Truth, by the time you have digested the first two or three 'testimonies' it becomes evident that he functioned not so much as the editor but as the writer!

If any of the editors I worked with had done what Mr. Madrid has done with his source material, I would have fired him or her for professional incompetence. Its not that Mr. Madrid is a poor writer, he isn't. His writing is steady, concentrated, clear, concise, direct and easy to understand. The entire book carries the hallmark of a single person. The sentence structures, use of terms, arguments, and so forth are those of one person, not of the eleven contributors. Its as if the editor simply used his source material as a base from which to launch his personal agenda.

This fact alone made me very suspicious as I read Surprised by Truth through to the end. And, sure enough, other markers appeared. For example, you will notice that eight of the eleven contributors came from, out of, or through Calvin's offspring, the Presbyterian Church, one was a non-observant Jew, one a former Baptist, and one seems to be a former Catholic who later returned to the Catholic Church. I can't help but wonder why this is true!

I have no argument with the individual stories of struggle and painful decisions. But you could select any eleven people and you would find their testimonies very different in writing style, language, and theological arguments. Certainly you would expect to find a certain amount of common ground - but not eleven people who share similar religious backgrounds, theological arguments, and writing styles. I should know. This site contains the testimonies of a number of former Roman Catholics. I did the editing. I left their personalities and writing styles alone, save to correct misspelling and punctuation, and to add paragraph headings. You can see their individualism as well as their common points. Not so with Surprised by Truth.

Surprised by Truth is also surprising in its apparent lack of understanding of Protestant theology. Given eight former Presbyterians, you would expect to see a fairly accurate representation of Calvinism. It isn't there. The contributors who passed-through an Evangelical church display remarkable ignorance of the basic principles of Evangelicalism too. What is displayed, however, is the stereotypical, Rome-defined straw men in their places. This is a typical Roman Catholic approach to apologetics - put forth an erroneous definition and attack it. Since it is wrong to begin with, such a straw man is easy to debunk.

This little book seems to presume that when ten - count them - ten former Protestants convert to Roman Catholicism, the very number itself is evidence of the validity of such conversion. I don't really believe that numbers prove anything more than, well, numbers. If a significant number of people do or change something such as religions belief, it is sufficient evidence that something is happening, not that what is happening is right. To such an assumption, let me counter with another book, Far From Rome, Near to God. Here we have not ten, not eleven, but fifty former Roman Catholic priests who left the Church of Rome. If numbers lend credence, guess in which direction the greatest number are moving! Click here for more info on this book.

I must say that I did enjoy reading the book. I always enjoy personal testimonies, especially when they contain elements of drama and human struggle. The stories themselves are most interesting from that point of view. Just don't rely on the 'theology' you find between the covers. For a review of a Christian counterpart of this volume, check out Far From Rome, Near to God, which documents the lives of fifty former Roman Catholic priests. Also see Seduced By Error for an in-depth analysis of "Surprised."

THE REAL SURPRISE IS SOMETHING ELSE!Surprised By Truth Exposed by Seduced By Error

A writer named Greg Loren Durand took the trouble to prepare a practical and theological analysis (which is also a rebuttal) of Surprised By Truth. Entitled Seduced By Error: A Protestant Response to Surprised By Truth. Durand does a good job of revealing Surprised By Truth for what it really is - an inaccurate portrayal of Protestant, Evangelical, Biblical theology that can only fool someone totally unfamiliar with that theology - or who does not care to weigh the evidence. Durand demolishes a number of arguments by "Surprised's" contributors. Seduced By Truth can be read on the Internet by surfing over to http://www.ametro.net/crownrights/Seduced/. [Many thanks to Greg Durand for permission to post this review and to link to his book site.]

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

THE REAL SURPRISE IS SOMETHING ELSE!Far From Rome, Near to God, Compiled by Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham, copyright 1994, Published by Associated Publishers & Authors, Inc., P.O. Box 4998, Lafayette, IN 47903; ISBN 1-878422-72-4

Here is are fifty, often heart-rending accounts of former Roman Catholic priests who have exchanged the bondage of Rome for the freedom of Christ. The compilers have done an admirable job of letting each former priest give his own story in his own words. While this makes for some occasionally difficult text, the adherence to each author's original manuscript lends a sense of life and reality to each story. Who should best know the inner workings of the Roman Catholic Church than her own, very well educated priests? Hear, from their own lips the horrors of monastic life, where priests-to-be are required to whip themselves daily, clean the floor with their tongues, or lay across a doorway so that others will walk on them. Yes, this stuff is still going on!

Thrill with each one as they encounter the wide gulf between the 'salvation-by-works' gospel of Rome and the 'salvation-by-grace' Gospel of the Bible. Struggle with them as they are forced to choose between the security and prestige of the priesthood and a potential future with no job, no clothing, no place to live. Be encouraged as you see the hand of God bless them for their faith in Christ, and Him alone.

Here are the testimonies of fifty former priests to compare with the handful of 'new' Catholics who crossed the bridge in the other direction. You will find no editorial license in Far From Rome, Near to God as you find in Patrick Madrid's Surprised by Truth.. The compilers (not editors), Richard Bennett, former Dominican priest, and Martin Buckingham, simply present these testimonies as written. You will also find a list of resources available to Roman Catholics who may be considering following in the footsteps of these brave men.

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AN OPEN MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING!

THE REAL SURPRISE IS SOMETHING ELSE!Quite Contrary: A Biblical Reconsideration of the Apparitions of Mary, by Timothy F. Kauffman. Copyright 1997 ISBN 0-9637141-8-X

Ever wonder how the many 'apparitions' of Mary stack up against the Word of God? Here is a well-researched analysis for your reading pleasure. Starting with the Scriptural premise that we are to 'test the spirits' ( 1 John 4: 2-4) to be sure they are of God, the author examines many supposed apparitions of Mary. Amazingly, he found that Roman Catholics never apply this God-given test. They prefer, instead, to go with their 'feelings' that the apparitions must be of God because they 'sound so holy' and often refer to God and Christ.

Quite Contrary traces the Roman Catholic doctrines of the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and Papal Infallibility to their true source - the many 'apparitions' of Mary! He then shows how the 'infallible' Pope uses his 'infallible' authority to support those same apparitions! Truly a self-serving circular argument if ever there was one! In only one case was an apparition challenged with the test of 1 John 4: 2-4. And in that case the apparition changed the subject and immediately disappeared! That should tell you something!

These apparitions fall under the umbrella of 'paranormal experience.' It is here that we need to understand that God is not the only one able to cause things to happen in this world, and in our minds. Satan has the same ability. Thus, when confronted with an apparition that claims to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, we must test it according to God's Word. The warm fuzzies is no test at all. Thus does Kauffman examine appearances at Lourdes France, Fatima Portugal, Guadalupe Mexico, Garrision, NY, Mt. Carmel Italy, Medjugorje Bosnia, and dozens of others. He evaluates the messages from each apparition and shows us how those messages directly contradict the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

After tracing the historical development of several major Roman Catholic dogmas, the author suggests that still more major dogma's are about to emerge from Rome at the prompting of the 'apparitions.' In particular, he postulates that the next major doctrinal change to come from Rome will have to do with the position of Mary as the 'Mediatrix of all Grace.' While this is actually being promoted today, it has yet to reach the level of 'infallible dogma.' But with the apparitions pushing Rome to elevate Mary to a place in the Trinity, it probably won't be too long before the Trinity is no longer a trinity, but a quadrinity! Rome is quickly heading toward an official, 'ex-cathedra" (and therefore 'infallible') dogma presenting Mary as the only way Grace is passed out, and as our true 'high priestess' for salvation.

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Fifty years in the Church of Rome, by Charles Chinquy, a former Roman Catholic priest. Despite having been written during the time of Abraham Lincoln, this book is still available, and still accurate in every respect. Available from your internet book dealer. Reprinted in 1981 by Chick Publications, P.O. Box 662 Chino, CA 91710

Roman Catholicism, by Lorraine Boettner. Some Roman Catholic apologists refer to Roman Catholicism as 'the Protestants bible on Roman Catholicism.' That is a fair evaluation! Here in one volume you can find a detailed and accurate presentation of the Roman Catholic Church and its many extra-Biblical, non-Biblical, and at times anti-Biblical dogmas and doctrines. If I had only one book to commend, this is it. Available from your online book dealer. Copyright 1962 by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. ISBN: 0-87552-130-4.

Windswept House, by Fr. Malachi Martin. Although written as a novel, one can readily see that Rev. Martin, a former Jesuit priest with intimate Vatican knowledge, bases his story on factual events and very real people-some of whom are very easy to recognize. I think you will be enthralled by the journey of a lone Catholic Priest, dedicated to the traditional Catholic Church, through the darkness of Vatican intrigue and connections with the occult. A very well written book.

Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, by Peter DeRosa. Here is perhaps the best portrayal of the papacy ever written, if not the most complimentary. Guaranteed to make Catholic apologists sputter and complain (but not to offer any noteworthy arguments against its content, for there seems to be little of that to draw upon). Strangely, this volume is out of print in the United States, and you'll have to use one of the book search internet sites to find a used copy. But the search is will worth the effort!

Formidable Truth: A Vindication of Lorraine Boettner, by Robert M. Zins, Th.M. This excellent paperback is a response to the efforts of Roman Catholic apologist Karl Keating to debunk Mr. Boettner's monumental work, Roman Catholicism. In his book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Keating mounts a scathing attack on both Boettner and his work. If you harbor any doubts, I suggest that you first read Boettner's Roman Catholicism, then Keating's work, and then the present volume. Zins does an excellent job of revealing shallowness and and stereotypical Roman Catholic 'logic' which is at best, illogical, and at worst, downright deception. Zins responds lucidly to each of Keating's charges against Boettner, and brilliantly proves Boettner to be right on each point. Zins sheds much light on that favorite Roman Catholic apologists' methods: pull something out of context, make a straw-man of it, demolish the straw-man, and then proclaim that the Evangelicals' position has been proven wrong. One expects such machinations from politicians or businesspeople, but from the religious quarter too? Shame on you, Mr. Keating. Copyright 1997 by Robert M. Zins, Th.M. ISBN 0-09637141-5-5. Available from White Horse Publications, P.O. Box 2398 Huntsville, AL 35804-2398, or by calling toll free: 800-867-2398.

This volume is a replication of Appendix II of Zin's Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by Robert M. Zins, Th.M. which is available either from the above source, or from AMAZON.COM, the online bookstore at www.amazon.com.

The Two Babylons, by Rev. Alexander Hislop. This is a great book of Christian apologetics, written in a classical style that many modern readers may have difficulty with. If you can overcome some initial impatience with the lengthy and colorful writing style, you will find an incredibly detailed description of the true source of many Roman Catholic dogmas, doctrines, Traditions and customs.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism, The Attack on Romanism by "Bible Christians", by Karl Keating, one of today's best-known Roman Catholic apologists. In a home page such as this, it is only fair to present both sides, right? Since Keating is so well known, and this work is considered one of the best Rome has to offer, I will recommend it to you. At the same time, I suggest that you get a copy of Robert M. Zins' Th.M. paperback entitled Formidable Truth, which analyzes Keatings' attack on Lorraine Boettner's Roman Catholicism. Copyright 1988 by Ignatius Press, San Fransisco. ISBN 0-89870-177-5(SB)/0-89870-195-3(HB).

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Immaculate Misconceptions, a Self-help Book for former Catholics, by Sherry Bishop. Here is a serious book by a psychotherapist, teacher and consultant who considers herself a 'recovering Catholic.' The author deals extensively with the psychological ramifications of leaving the Roman Catholic Church.

The Myth of Mary, by Cesar Vidal, Chick Publications. A very good analysis of two Mary's: the Mary of the Bible vs the Mary of the Roman Catholic Church. Read how Rome bases much of her teaching about her Mary on known-false "gospels," and how those teachings contradict the very "Fathers of the Church" and Scripture. The author also shows the amazing parallels between the Roman Catholic "Mary" and pagan goddesses such as Isis, Peresphone, Demeter, Cybele Astarte, and Athena to name a few.

The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism, by John A. Hardon, S.J. Here is an official Roman Catholic catechism that will remind you of the old Saint Joseph Catechism in its style of presentation. For the cash-short Protestant who wants a good overview of what Catholics believe, this paperback will fit the bill. Be sure to examine the presentation of God's Ten Commandments; see if you can find the Second Commandment therein!

The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, Official Revised Edition, by Father Bennet, C.P. A revival of the old-time favorite!

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Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, English Translation. This is really the most comprehensive catechism available, and the one I quote most frequently at this site. Copyright 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Available from St. Paul Books&Media, and almost any Roman Catholic book store.

The New Jerome Bible Commentary, by Raymond Brown, S.S., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., and Roland E. Murphy, O. Carm. A hefty, useful Roman Catholic commentary on the Holy Bible. This is the kind of book you keep on hand as a reference, along with your concordances, lexicons, and so forth. Roman Catholics don't know much about lexicons and concordances simply because they are not really encouraged to do a serious study of Scripture.

Dogmatic Cannons and Decrees,of the Council of Trent, and Vatican I, plus the Decree on the Immaculate Conception and the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX. Another official Catholic publication, in a low-cost paperback. A concise presentations of key Roman Catholic doctrines, and the curses that the Church places on all who disagree with Rome. Very interesting reading. Copyright 1977 by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 424 Rockford, IL 61105. Bears Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. Available from your online book dealer.

Epiphany: A Theological Introduction to Catholicism, by the Dominican Friar Aidan Nichols, O.P. From the Liturgical Press, copyright by the Order of St. Benedict, Inc. An 'insiders' view of the Catholic Church in modern times.

Catholicism at the Dawn of the Third Millennium, by Thomas, P. Rausch, S.J., professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University. Copyright by the Order of St. Benedict, Inc. A Jesuit's view of the modern Catholic Church. Some of his facts and opinions might well surprise you.

Counterfeit Revival, by Hank Hanegraaff. An analysis of the numerous, but false 'revival movements' in today's America. This book has nothing to do with Roman Catholicism, but can prove very helpful to any Christian interested in the subjects of worship and healing.

The Catholic Myth: the Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics, by Andrew M. Greely, Roman Catholic Priest. This volume presents an insightful analysis of what Roman Catholics in America really believe and do - and it bears faint resemblance to the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Get an insider's view of such issues as church attendance, sexuality, ordination of women, election of bishops, Catholic schools, Catholic contributions (very low per capita), moral crisis in the priesthood and others.

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Reckless Faith: When The Church Loses Its Will To discern, by John F. MacArthur. An analysis of current agreements between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics, and an evaluation of the 'laughing revival' that began in the Airport Vineyard church in Canada in 1994.

The Mouth of the Lion, by Dr. David Allen White. If you like biographies of interesting people, don't miss this one! Dr. White, in one of the most masterful pieces of writing I have ever had the pleasure to read, portrays the life of Roman Catholic Bishop De Castro Mayer, of the diocese of Campos, Brazil. By taking an heroic stance in support of the traditional Roman Catholic Mass (also called the Tridentine Mass), Bishop Mayer came under an incredible attack by his fellow bishops and officials in the Vatican itself. All that Bishop Mayer wished to do was to fulfill the vows he made to God when he was ordained by one of those selfsame attackers. Like all priests of his time, Mayer had vowed to never say any Mass but the traditional, Tridentine Mass, and to stand firmly against 'modernism' as defined by Pius X's Syllabus of Errors. That vow was required by the same church that persecuted him for obeying it!

Enter now a world of political machinations and intrigue; of physical assaults and public challenges, as proponents of the 'new order of the Mass' (also called Novus Ordo) seek to humiliate and destroy a man who refuses to roll over and play dead. Thrill as you see this obscure and humble man finally bring numberless adversaries to ultimate confusion and failure. The good news is that the good guy wins in the end! The bad news is that in the winning, the Roman Catholic Church entered another major schism (split). Today there are seemingly two different Roman Catholic churches one based on the Tridentine Mass and Catholic Tradition, the other based on changes from Vatican Council II. Each group has its own bishops and priests, its own seminaries, its own convents and nuns. Each claims the other to be false. Rome does her customary best to hide this split by publically ignoring it, but I predict that this particular dilemma is not going to go away. Time will tell. Meanwhile, The Mouth of the Lion makes great reading, and gives a very good background into the modern Roman Catholic Church - by a dyed-in-the-wool Roman Catholic author. Copyright 1993 by Angelus Press. ISBN 0-935952-88-8. Available from your Internet book supplier.

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Still under construction. Please visit again as we add to this list of book reviews!

SCRIPTURE (FACT) OR ROME (FICTION): CHOOSE!

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