The Protestant’s Dilemma


The Protestant’s Dilemma: How the Reformation’s Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism, written by Devin Rose.

The short summary from the back cover of the book says this:

What if Protestantism were true? What if the Reformers really were heroes, the Bible the sole rule of faith, and Christ’s Church just an invisible collection of loosely united believers? As an Evangelical, Devin Rose used to believe all of it. Then one day the nagging questions began. He noticed things about Protestant belief and practice that didn’t add up. He began following the logic of Protestant claims to places he never expected it to go – leading to conclusions no Christians would ever admit to holding. In The Protestant’s Dilemma, Rose examines over thirty of those conclusions, showing with solid evidence, compelling reason, and gentle humor how the major tenets of Protestantism – if honestly pursued to their furthest extent – wind up in dead ends. The only escape? Catholic truth. Rose patiently unpacks each instance, and shows how Catholicism solves the Protestant’s dilemma through the witness of Scripture, Christian history, and the authority with which Christ himself undeniably vested his Church. The Protestant’s Dilemma is the perfect book for non-Catholics trying to work through their own nagging doubts, or for Catholics looking for a fresh way to deepen their understanding of the Faith.

After I had decided to give Catholicism a fair look, I eventually came across this book. Reading it removed any doubt that the Catholic way was the right one.

I’m going to do a post on each of the topics in this book (but maybe not necessarily in the same order as in the book). Each post will basically consist of a short summary of the chapter, any particularly convincing quotes from the chapter, and my own thoughts and realizations added in. Then, let the debate begin. This is meant to spark **friendly** conversation exploring the topics more deeply. Catholics, Protestants of whatever denomination, and Orthodox alike, are all welcome to participate. I only ask two things:

1) Please stick to the particular topic of the post. There will eventually be a post to cover each topic listed in the book’s Table of Contents (detailed below), and I’d like to keep them on the particular topic at hand. Not that I’m restricting it to only talking about specific details of the topic that I include in the posts – I just don’t want the post about Divine Authority to be derailed by focusing on Sola Scriptura (for example).

2) Please keep it respectful. No pointed jabs at individual people simply because of their chosen Faith. Tearing down arguments by making arguments of your own is one thing; tearing down people is another. I won’t hesitate to delete any comment that crosses the line there.

Here is the Table of Contents for the book. I’ll update each part with a link to it’s respective post as I post them. If you want me to skip to a particular chapter sooner rather than later, please feel free to let me know.


1) Divine Authority

2) The Papacy

3) Ecumenical Councils

4) The Four Marks of the Church

5) Protestantism’s View of the Catholic Church

6) Doctrinal Reliability


7) Martin Luther and the Canon

8) The Deuterocanonical Books

9) A Self-Authenticating Bible?

10) Identifying the Canon

11) Sola Scriptura and Christian Unity

12) The Principal of Individual Judgement

13) Interpretive Authority

14) Misinterpreting the Great Commission

15) The Closure of Public Revelation

16) The Role of History and Tradition

17) Doing What the Bible Says


18) The Communion of Saints

19) Baptismal Regeneration

20) Infant Baptism

21) Sanctification and Purgatory

22) Marriage as a Sacrament

23) Anointing of the Sick

24) The Eucharist

25) Confession

26) Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession


27) Sexual Morality

28) Other Moral Issues

29) The Disintegration of Mainline Protestantism

30) Pastoral Authority

31) The Missing Saints

32) Martin Luther’s Virtue

33) Ongoing Reform

34) The Corruption of Celibacy


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