AD2000 - a journal of religious opinionAD Books
Ask a Question
View Cart
Search AD2000: author: full text:  
AD2000 - a journal of religious opinion
Find a Book:

AD2000 Home
Article Index
About AD2000
Contact Us
Email Updates


Add Me
Remove Me

Subscriber Access:

Enter the Internet Access Key from your mailing label here for full access!


Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating: essential reading in apologetics

Bookmark and Share

 Contents - Nov 2007AD2000 November 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: East Timorese to attend World Youth Day - Michael Gilchrist
Democracy: Religious leaders must have freedom to speak - Cardinal George Pell
Australia's Missionaries of God's Love congregation continues to grow - Mary Pidcock
News: The Church Around The World
Liturgical Abuse: Trinitarian language lost in Brisbane Scriptures - Michael Apthorp
Ora et labora: How monastic hospitality can strengthen one's faith - Br Barry Coldrey CFC
Latin is still the universal language of Liturgy - Bishop Arthur Serratelli
World Youth Day: Wagga Wagga priest's 'fly-a-thon' project to aid East Timor
Architecture: How a Sydney parish church was restored - John O'Brien
Poetry: A poem on the priesthood - Among the Apostles - John O'Neill
Letters: Bishop Robinson - Eric Carman
Letters: Teachings rejected by Bishop Robinson - Kevin McManus
Letters: Modern saints and traditional liturgy - Seamus Mahady
Letters: Petition
Letters: True Church? - John Frey
Letters: Clerical attire - Fr G.H. Duggan
Letters: Infallibility - Jerome Gonzalez
Prayer: John Paul II and the Rosary - Fr. M. Durham
Books: Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating: essential reading in apologetics - Valerie Renkema (reviewer)
Books: ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN by Dale O'Leary - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Internet 'Singing Catechism': catechesis for the 21st century - Fr James Tierney
Music: Cherished Hymns of the Forefathers - 2DVD and CD set - Peter Donald (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI on Sunday Mass: 'not a command, but an inner necessity' - Pope Benedict XVI

The Attack on Romanism by 'Bible Christians'
by Karl Keating

(Ignatius Press, 1988, 360pp, $29.95. Available from Freedom Publishing)

Karl Keating is the director of Catholic Answers in the US, a lay organisation which explains and defends the beliefs, history and practices of the Catholic Church. He engages in public debates with leading anti- Catholics and edits a monthly journal of apologetics.

In Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Keating defends the Catholic Church from fundamentalist attacks and explains why fundamentalism has been so successful in converting 'Romanists'. After showing the origins of fundamentalism, he examines representative anti-Catholic groups and presents their arguments in their own words. His rebuttals are clear, detailed and charitable. Special emphasis is given to the scriptural basis for Catholic doctrines and beliefs.

Personal experience

I found when reading this book that I could identify with and vouch for almost all that the author was saying, because of my own personal history.

When I was in my early teens I was 'converted' in a fundamentalist church. The experience was overwhelming and I felt the real and healing presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. After the euphoria had passed away I continued to attend this church seeking ongoing guidance on how to live my life. I eventually began to experience an emptiness and started to look elsewhere for fulfilment.

Karl Keating quotes the words of a fundamentalist, Benjamin Warfield, 'The supreme proof to every Christian of the deity of the Lord is in his own inner experience of the transforming power of the Lord upon his heart and life.'

However, as Keating points out, 'One consequence of this has become painfully clear to fundamentalists. When one falls into sin, or when the ardor that was present at conversion fades, the transforming power of Christ seems to go and so might one's belief in His deity. It is one thing to say that belief should so manifest itself in Christians that people will say, 'See how they love one another.'

'It is something else to posit the truth of Christ's divinity on the constancy of human holiness and spiritual consolations. This accounts for many defections from fundamentalism. The dark night of the soul, which visits many, results in jettisoning the fundamentalist position and often what is embraced is not another brand of Christianity, but a vague agnosticism.'

This was indeed what I had experienced.

After many years of searching, and some time spent in the Anglican Church, I became convinced that the Catholic Church had the answers I sought. It not only had strong moral and social teaching but the gospel was also being preached in the church I attended. I found there was an emphasis on marriage and family life, the sanctity of human life and works of charity, all of which are essential, along with a personal commitment to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

My first Eucharist in the Catholic Church was accompanied by the revealing thought that this at last was the real thing.

Keating discusses numerous aspects of Catholicism including the baptism of infants, the Eucharist, the infallibility of the Pope, the Inquisition, Marian beliefs, etc.

While much of the book explains what Catholics believe and why, Keating also draws attention to the deep hostility among some fundamentalist churches towards the Catholic Church.

He quotes a former TV Evangelist, who said, 'As I close I want to say ... that the Catholic organisation is not a Christian organisation; it is a false religion. It is not the Christian plan of salvation, nor the Christian way. Whoever follows its errant doctrines will be deceived and end up eternally lost.'

Keating further notes, 'One problem with fundamentalists is that they think that the points they bring up have never been considered by the Church. It does not occur to them to find out what informed Catholics understand by a particular passage of Scripture. They find it incomprehensible that someone could have a conclusion that differs from theirs. In this regard their minds lack subtlety.'


One aspect of the book which I found to be a real challenge was the chapter on 'Salvation.'

Since my 'conversion' in a fundamentalist church I have always believed that I have the assurance of salvation, while recognising that this can be negated if I were to deny Christ and continue to sin, e.g., 'If we go on sinning wilfully, when once the full knowledge of truth has been granted to us, we have no further sacrifice for sin to look forward to ...' (Hebrews 10:26).

As Keating explains, 'For Catholics, salvation depends on the state of the soul at death. Christ has already redeemed us, unlocked the gates of heaven as it were. Redemption is not the same as salvation but is a necessary prelude. Christ did His part and now we have to cooperate by doing ours.'

While this Catholic concept is still unresolved in my mind, I do believe that conversion is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the faithful.

Keating uses many references in the book with suggestions for further study. For those contemplating crossing to the Catholic Church, for new Catholics and indeed for those needing a refresher course on the Faith this book is an essential reference.

Valerie Renkema works with the Thomas More Centre.

Bookmark and Share

Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 10 (November 2007), p. 16

Page design and automation by
Umbria Associates Pty Ltd © 2001-2004