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Tom Smith wrote:

Hi guys,

I have a friend who's wife is a neo-pagan and she believes in the craft (which laughably denies the existence of satan and demons). She has made claims to me (predictably) that the Catholic Church is based on paganism.

  • Do you have any books available to refute any of her charges?

To make it worse, my friend's daughter is attending Truman college here in Missouri and is majoring in Religious Philosophy which I'm finding is just a euphemism for calumny against the Catholic Church.

My point is that the information needs to be specific, in-depth, and with a lot of verifiable sources.

Thanks in advance and God Bless.

Tom Smith
St. Peters, Missouri

  { Do you know a book that will refute the claims that the Catholic Church is based on paganism? }

Mike replied:

Hi Tom,

I don't know of any book that would refute the absurd claims that the Catholic Church is based on paganism but one of our replies below may help.

Mike

Terry replied:

Hi Tom,

Try "A Handbook of Heresies" by M.L. Cozens

Sheed and Ward, of London, first published it in 1928 and possibly beyond.

Terry

Richard replied:

Hi Tom,

Since some Protestant critics of the Catholic Church have — at least, in the past — argued that Catholic worship contains pagan elements, it might make sense to look at the responses Catholics have made to such arguments. Since I haven't studied that area of disputation, I can't suggest any particular reading. Maybe someone else can.

It's undeniable that people can draw parallels between elements of pagan religion and elements of the Christian faith but this isn't altogether a bad thing: it shows how the desires of the human heart, expressed in pagan worship, were fulfilled by what God did for us in Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, Christ is different from the reborn corn-gods of paganism: His Life, Death, and Resurrection, unlike theirs, comes with dates and witnesses. It's embedded in human history, not set in the mist of some imagined primordial age or eternal cycle. It happened in flesh and bone and blood, not in mere tales. It's a one-time event that changed man and the created world forever.

Another angle: maybe Thomas Howard's book Chance or the Dance would be helpful. It contrasts the dead, meaningless, mechanical world posited by atheism with the living world known to Christians, one in which created things — yes, even things! — give praise to the glory of God.
I imagine that his vision of the world would have some appeal to people attracted by
neo-paganism. It's probably easy to find a used copy via Amazon.

  • By the way, are your neo-pagan friends really interested in and moved by logical arguments and clear sourcing?

I'll be surprised if you say yes: the ones I've known are attracted to paganism because it appeals to their imagination and emotion; whatever arguments they make are more or less mere rationalizations but that's just my experience.

God bless!

— RC

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