Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Do Catholics Know the Gospel? Part 1

I was recently on a blog written by an ex-Catholic who has a ministry that attempts to share the gospel with Catholics. He is giving a series of lectures entitled "Relating to Roman Catholics With the Gospel."  Perhaps I could be misunderstanding him but I think he is suggesting that Catholics don't know the gospel. If that is the case, I would like to give objective evidence to the contrary. The gospel is presented to the Catholic in every Mass. If you go to daily Mass, you are confronted with the claims of the gospel perhaps 7 days a week X 365 days a year X 50 years= 127,750 times. That's a whole lotta' hearing the gospel if you ask me.
If you are unfortunate and don't have the opportunity to go to Mass more than once a week, you will have heard the gospel taught, preached and prayed a mere 52 X 50 years = 2600 times. 
   Based on this evidence here, it would be very disingenuous to convey the idea that Catholics need to hear the gospel, or that they don't have the gospel presented to them in Mass.  Do Catholics need to respond to what they hear? Absolutely and I hope and pray more will, and I hope and pray the same for the many protestants who hear the gospel but don't respond to it, or live it out. Jesus told us that the difference between the sheep and the goats is what they did and didn't do.  Sheer complacency with a clear understanding of the gospel just isn't going to get you into heaven, but I digress.
     I will finish with Part 2 on  "Do Catholics Know the Gospel?"


OpenID lovebeingcatholic said...

My husband's Presbyterian pastor is fond of saying that faith without works is the gospel. He'll go through the whole explanation of how we have to stop trusting in ourselves and trust in the finished work of Christ alone and conclude with "That's the gospel, folks!" I want to scream every time I hear it. To me it feels that the good news of our Lord's gift of Himself to us is reduced to a theological hobby horse. Bleh. /rant

June 25, 2011 8:11 PM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

"Catholics don't know the gospel"

Christians who never crack a Bible the other 6 days of the week are not very likely to know the Gospel as well as those who do.

June 25, 2011 8:15 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

"faith without works is the gospel?"
Where's that found in the bible? I thought faith without works is dead, not the gospel!

June 25, 2011 10:30 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Amen Kkoll. Or what happens is they believe a construct or paradigm that they call "the gospel", but it turns out, it's 4 little sentences that a fundamentalist pastor in the 1960's came up with, which was his personal idea of what the gospel is.

June 25, 2011 10:33 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

What is even more sad is the fact that the menaing and definition of what is truly gospel cannot be agreed upon in the many sects. Bill bright the evangelical minister who I mentioned in the above comment who wrote the 4 spiritual laws also was a signer of Catholics and Evangelicals Together 1994 statement. That action alone has caused many reformed Christians to believe that Bill Bright does not know the "true gospel", though most of the evangelical protestant world accepted his 4 spiritual laws as a distillation of what the gospel was.

June 25, 2011 10:39 PM  
Blogger lindsaypace said...

I always ask "what is the gospel"? This gospel (good news)is clearly defined by St. Paul in 1st Corth 15 "1Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand;By which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures:And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures:And that he was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven." Sound kinda of like "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again"
Check this post out:

June 26, 2011 7:20 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

thanks linsaypace. your commnet gave me just what I was looking for to write my next post.

June 26, 2011 10:56 AM  
Blogger Owen said...

I think some Catholics don't know the Gospel well. Indeed I've met some and some of them are regular weekend Mass attenders.

When I was a Protestant minister I knew Christians who didn't know the Gospel that well but they were fewer and farer inbetween. That said what they knew of it, how it was interpreted to them or how they interpreted is sometimes, in hindsight, makes it seem like nearly another gospel but that's a different issue.

Of course, sharing the Gospel with Catholics who don't know it well is admirable and would be great if that's all it was but the statement is loaded with implied -get them Catholics truly saved- meaning and comes with all the requisite ignorance of what the Church actually teaches and sola scriptura interpretation.

And that's really about as far as it goes. Reminds me of Phil and the letter he wrote me to tell me about *truth*

June 27, 2011 10:58 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Thanks O!
I would like to elaborate further in an upcoming post on what the gospel is according to the Catholic Church and compare it and contrast it to what we thought it meant as devout protestants. Often when the word gospel is used by our protestant brethren in the context of a discussion about Catholics, "the gospel" takes on a meaning that may be beyond tje actual scriptural definition St Paul gives in 1 cor 15.

June 27, 2011 11:07 PM  

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