A Brief Evaluation Of Roman Catholic Theology -- By: Fred Moritz

Journal: Maranatha Baptist Theological Journal
Volume: MBTJ 04:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: A Brief Evaluation Of Roman Catholic Theology
Author: Fred Moritz

A Brief Evaluation Of
Roman Catholic Theology

Fred Moritz1

Bible believers should study Roman Catholic theology for several reasons. Numerically, Rome claims a significant Catholic population. The Pontifical Yearbook states that Catholicism claimed 1 billion, 214 million communicants around the world in 2013.2 In 2010 there were 63.4 million Catholics in the United States.3

Theologically, Rome claims to be the true church, deriving her authority in a direct line from Christ and the apostles. The Pope makes his pronouncements based on his apostolic authority. In the Apostolic Constitution of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II stated: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.”4

It stands to reason that we must be familiar with the teachings of the Catholic Church as we minister to people who have embraced that teaching to one degree or another. We willingly assume several responsibilities as we undertake this evaluation.

We will study aspects of Catholic theology with which we strenuously disagree. We must be objective, biblical, compassionate, and non-pejorative as we seek to connect with Roman Catholics. Major differences exist between those who embrace the position of sola scriptura and those who do not. We must be objective and true to Scripture, and we must not approach our relationship with Roman Catholics with a bigoted attitude. It is incumbent upon us that we exhibit the spirit of Jude 22, 23. Because a person is Catholic does not mean he or she has accepted all Catholic teaching.

We must approach this study with some biblical and historical perspective. God communicated His Word to the world through the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles (Heb 2:1-4). False prophets arose in the Old Testament era, and God gave Israel the means by which they could be identified and rejected (Dt 13:1-5; 18:15-23). Fal...

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