Ask a Catholic…

Transient

Although we have several Catholic readers at this blog, I would venture to say the majority of us are Protestants of some variety.Growing up in the evangelical Bible Belt culture, I received a lot of misinformation about Catholics that I’ve only recently begun to identify and correct. So for all of us, I thought it would be helpful to invite a Catholic to be our next guest in our interview series. 

Devin Rose is a longtime reader of the blog, who always brings an interesting perspective to our dialogs. A native Texan, Devin grew up in an atheistic home and achieved great success academically and in sports. But during college, he began suffering from a social anxiety disorder and panic attacks, leading him to question the foundation of his atheism. Ultimately this search brought him to God, and in the year 2000 he became a Southern Baptist. He dove into the Christian Faith and learned everything he could about the issues that divide Protestants and Catholics. This search led him tofull communion with the Catholic Church.

Quite the faith journey, right? 

Devin works as a software developer and in his free time writes articles on adoption, Catholic fatherhood, and apologetics. He and his wife live in the Southwest with their four children.

Devin blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard and recently released a book entitled If Protestantism Is True.

You know the drill. The point is not to debate or challenge, but to ask the sort of questions that will help us understand one another better. Please take advantage of the “like” feature so that we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to readers. We’ll pick the top seven or eight questions and post Devin’s responses to them on Tuesday. 

Ask away…

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Converting the Catholics?

So every now and then I get a letter in the mail requesting support for either a short-term mission trip or a full-time missions venture to Europe. Dan and I try to be generous when it comes to mission work, particularly for organizations that are active in third world countries, but I have to admit I experience some hesitancy when it comes to European missions, particularly those that focus on “ministering to Catholics.”

I know that secularism and Islam are powerful forces in Europe, and that there are a lot of organizations doing a lot of good in these countries. But when I write a check for a week-long high school youth group trip to Paris, I can’t help but wonder if I’m just funding some unappreciative teenager’s tour of The Louvre. (Yeah, so jealousy may be a contributing factor here.)

Furthermore, I’m simply not as convinced as many of my evangelical brothers and sisters that Catholics need to be converted.  To me, it’s a bit like taking a missions trip to Cleveland, Ohio to “minister among the Pentecostals.”

But I’m open to changing my mind about this, so feel free to try and talk me down, readers!

How do you decide which organizations to support, and which mission trips to fund? Do you ever feel conflicted when you write the check?

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Shamrocks and Sacraments - Your Thoughts on Catholicism

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about Catholicism.

I don’t know about you, but growing up as a Protestant, I was under the impression that all Catholics went to hell.Looking back, I feel really ashamed of this assumption.

The most common accusations directed at the Catholic Church were that its adherents were trying to earn their way to heaven through good works, that they worshipped Mary, and that they relied on the Pope/priests for salvation from sins. It took me a long time to realize that not only did these assumptions misrepresented the teachings of the Catholic Church, but they contributed to that common narrative  that plagues much of evangelicalism—that people are damned for having the “wrong” doctrine (and by “wrong,” I mean “not evangelical.”)

However, I get the idea that things have changed dramatically for my generation. Not only do I sense a higher level of respect for Catholics among my evangelical friends, I’ve known some to consider (and even convert) to Catholicism.

Although I still have enough differences with the Catholic Church to remain decidedly Protestant, I now operate under the assumption that Catholics are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long!

So here’s my question: How have your attitudes toward Catholicism changed over the years? What do you find appealing/not appealing about Catholic tradition?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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