Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dog-paddling across the Tiber Pt 2

About the time I started reading all about Catholicism from a Protestant point of view, my family left the very reformed church we'd been attending. The church had sapped all our joy (this had something to do with the leadership, not just the doctrines), and we felt in need of healing. We started attending a local PCA church where we knew the pastor. He is a wonderful man who preaches a great sermon, but my family didn't seem to fit into the church. It was as much us as anything, I know, but we couldn't quite make it work. Out of 400-500 people, we were only one of four or five families to home school. Also, with five children, we were the largest family in the church.

About a year later, my oldest daughter wanted to go to a youth group at a non-denominational church called Grace Church. We had friends there, and my daughter knew at least 6 other teens going to the youth group. She didn't know any at the PCA church we were attending. The new youth group was a large, active one, pulling youth from several churches around the area, some too small to have their own groups. It had a nice balance of public, private, and home schooled teens.

One Sunday Will and I brought the family to Grace, mostly to see who was influencing our daughter and to let them know we were around and involved. The service was primarily divided into worship time (lots of singing) and sermon time, with communion in between. It was very different from the Presbyterian services we were used to, and that's probably one reason it appealed so much. We continued attending Grace Church after that, and, as a family, we're still there.

But I wasn't being idle in my research of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of the books I read about this time include:

Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites Us

Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians" by Karl Keating (The book that mainly prompted the email to John Holtzman. Keating is not a winsome writer.)

Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy
, At the Corner of East and Now, and The Illuminated Heart, all by Frederica Mathewes-Green.

I also read parts of Common Ground: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian by Jordan Bajis and a short biography of Pope John Paul II. Will read The Evidential Power of Beauty by Dubay, and we both read books on church history. But mainly I read articles and books by Protestants about what was wrong with Catholic (and EO) beliefs.

Next I'll talk about how the faith journey of a friend challenged me to give Catholicism an honest look.

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