Conversion stories

James Tonkowich

How Not to Become a Catholic Part 4: Salvation, Justification, and the Bible

February 29, 2012

When stating their objections to the Catholic Church, most Protestant Christians have two impressions. First, the Catholic Church is thought to be somewhere on a scale from hating the Bible to ignoring the Bible. Second, the Church is said to be devoid of grace and preaching works righteousness. Neither of these impressions is true, but to avoid becoming a Catholic, it’s important to turn them into solid rules for thought and life. ... more
James Tonkowich

How Not to Become a Catholic Part 3: Unity & Schism

February 29, 2012

One thing many people can’t quite get their heads around is the Catholic Church’s claim that there is one Church founded by Jesus and that one this Church, according to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), “constituted and organized as a society in this present, world, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.” Or as Richard John Neuhaus liked to put it, “The Catholic Church is the Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through ... more
James Tonkowich

How Not to Become a Catholic Part 2: History, Tradition, Early Church Fathers

February 29, 2012

In the first installment of my advice as to how to avoid becoming a Catholic, I suggested two rules. First, assume that all Catholics are idiots. Second, get all your information about the Catholic Church second-hand. Steer clear of Catholic intellectuals, well-catechized laypeople, and young, zealous, orthodox priests and nuns. Look for leftover aging, hippy priests and nuns, poorly catechized Catholics, and ex-Catholics evangelicals who have it in for the Church. And above all, don’t read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ... more
James Tonkowich

How Not to Become a Catholic Part 1: Rules for Keeping the Dreaded Whore of Babylon at Bay

February 29, 2012

A little over a year before writing this my status changed. Having been a Presbyterian minister for over twenty years, I became a Catholic layman. How that happened is a long story. ... more