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Re-Evaluating Rich wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a hard core Protestant since birth but am disgusted about what's going on among Protestant denominations, (especially the Reformed and Anglican), regarding the approval of homosexuality. I've read one Protestant story on your site from someone who decided to re-evaluate Catholicism. In the process he mentioned that they have remained faithful to the Christian moral values since the days of the early Church Fathers. I wish to do the same.

  • Can you send me a Free Catechism of the Catholic Church?

I'm in the process of ordering the Early Church Fathers — a 38-volume set from christianbook.com.

I'm also reading:

  • Martin Luther's sermons, a 7-volume set, then after that I plan to read
  • Calvin's Institute of Christian Religion, and then
  • the Church Fathers.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church will be helpful so I can compare it with the writings of the reformers.

Rich

  { I too would like to re-assess Catholicism, so as I read the Fathers, can you send me a Catechism? }

Mike replied:

Dear Rich,

I use to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

If you, or any visitor, has been helped by our work at AskACatholic.com, consider financially supporting us today.

Another good read is By What Authority, by Mark P. Shea.

I think it's great that you are going to start reading the Early Church Fathers.

I have only one concern. Their are Protestant and Catholic versions of the Early Church Fathers.

Either one you bought is OK, but just remember a Protestant publisher who only carries books by Protestant authors are not going to give you quotes from the Early Church Fathers that back up Catholic beliefs. I don't doubt their quotes. I doubt what is missing from their version of the
Early Church Fathers.

It's my understanding that these are Protestant publishers:

  • Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Hendrickson Publishers

Unlike the 3 Volume Set by William Jurgen's, published by Liturgical Press, Eerdmans and Hendricks probably won't share with you the quotes that affirm the Authority of the Pope or the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, though historically, those quotes exist and can by found in Jurgen's 3-Volume set.

I personally, would look for a similar 38 volume set of the Early Church Fathers from a Catholic publisher.

I respect your approach to reading other religious sources first then comparing them with what the Catechism and Early Church:

  • thought
  • taught, and
  • died for.
I developed another web site to assist faith-seekers like you at BibleBeltCatholics.com.
I break the patristic age into three sections:

  1. Pre-Christian to through the second century
  2. the third through the fourth century, and
  3. the fifth through the eighth century

and I list quotes from various Church Fathers, the very first Christians, in each century. I have a final category showing you want the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches.

This way, you can decide for yourself and ask the question:

  • Is what the Early Church taught what the Catechism of the Catholic Church generally teaching today?

I leave it for you to decide! But let's say you have a friend who is a skeptic about the quotes
I have put on this site — no problem. I allow any skeptic to download all three PDF files which were the source of most of my quotes.

Hope this helps,

We always welcome new visitors to our web site!

Mike

John replied:

Mike,

Comparing Jurgen's to other volumes of the Church fathers is not really possible. Jurgen's is
a 3-volume set of books containing a handful of quotes designed to provide proof texts.

Hendrickson published the complete works of the Father in 36 volumes. These volumes include all the major works of the:

  • pre-Nicene
  • Nicene, and
  • post-Nicene Fathers.

They are two different tools used for different tasks.

  • If one wants to read the Fathers to understand their approach and their insight, one needs to read their works and not just a book of quotes.
  • If one wants a quick reference tool than Jurgen's is a fine little tool.

Hendrickson's and Eerdman's translations, like every translation of ancient texts, are not perfect, then again, look at some Catholic translations of the Scriptures.

Yes, I've heard a handful of complaints about translation bias in a very few instances, but I'd like to see two Catholic translators agree on every verse in a 36-volume set!

My personal suggestion to Anonymous, is to take it slow with the Church Fathers. I'd start with the Apostolic Fathers, the earliest writings.

I'd also recommend the Greek Orthodox Study Bible. It is a New Testament with Patristic study notes. It will obviously have an Orthodox bias, but the Eastern Christian thinking in the notes will help Anonymous shift paradigms from a juridical one to a mystical one.

John

Mike replied:

Hi John,

I would just recommend a similar 38 volume set of the Early Church Fathers from a Catholic publisher.

I'm sure there is one out there.

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.