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.
PART I: THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
2) The Papacy
3) Ecumenical Councils
4) The Four Marks of the Church
5) Protestantism’s View of the Catholic Church
6) Doctrinal Reliability
PART II: THE BIBLE AND TRADITION
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
PART III: THE SACRAMENTS AND SALVATION
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
26) Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession
PART IV: CHRISTIAN HISTORY AND PRACTICE
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