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Posted June 14, 2006

Book: Catholic Answers to Fundamentalists' Questions
Author: Philip St. Romain
Liguori Press. Liguori, Missouri. 2005. Pp. 87

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Catholic Answers to Fundamentalists' Questions provides a basic resource for Catholics who are being pressured to account for their beliefs with respect to fundamentalism. It offers clear, accurate, and easy-to-read answers to many questions that sincere Christians ask about the Catholic faith. This new edition has been updated in light of recent scholarship - including references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church - and it accounts for the changing social, political and religious landscape of Christianity.

Among the basic areas of faith and practice covered in the book are Scripture and Tradition; teaching authority and papacy; salvation; Mass and holy Communion; devotion to Mary and the saints; creation, evolution, and original sin; and the Second Coming and Last Judgment. A new section provides practical guidelines for getting along.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Q. Surely Catholic doctrines have changed through the ages. Doesn't this mean that the Catholics have changed the meaning of Scripture to suit their traditions:

Human culture has changed many times in the nearly two thousand years during which Christianity has been handed on. The sacred task of preaching the Gospel to every generation has made it necessary to spell out the unchangeable content of revelation anew in the changeable thought-forms and languages of people in every new era and culture.

In this process of preaching and explaining the Gospel news, ecumenical councils play a key role. An ecumenical council - from the Greek Oecumenon meaning "the whole inhabited world" - is an official meeting by bishops and other ecclesiastical leaders of the world for the purpose of decision-making on matters of faith, morals, worship, and discipline. Ecumenical decisions are considered binding for the entire Church. The most recent ecumenical council, Vatican II, did what the teaching Church has always done: bring forward the unchangeable content of revelation, translating it into thought-forms of people in today's culture. Revelation has not changed, but our understanding of it has indeed changed and deepened. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church continues to experience "growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on."

Table of Contents:

1. What is biblical fundamentalism?
2. Catholics and the bible
3. Teaching authority and the papacy
4. Salvation
5. The mass and Holy Communion
6. Devotion to Mary and the saints
7. Creation, evolution, and original sin
8. Second coming and last judgment
9. Guidelines for getting along