For many Christians, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, the words ‘Catholic’ and ‘Bible’ are difficult to conceive as belonging in the same sentence. Catholics might be characterized in various ways; but rarely, it seems, are they referred to as Bible Christians, or at least as the real Bible Christians. Both sides can justify their reservations on the matter, many of which, on charitable and self-critical reflection, turn out to be profound misunderstandings and flawed perceptions.
In my two-part article, “Can Catholics Be Bible Christians?: Debunking Some Popular Myths, Part One,” I share some of my own surprise discoveries in connection with this question. I then proceed to explore some of the misgivings Protestants often have about Catholics and their apparent biblical deficiencies. I attempt to expose some unhelpful caricatures and faulty conclusions as well as five lurking dangers with which Protestants are advised to reckon. I conclude by appealing to the exemplary humility of a veteran missionary friend who, like me, came to see things in a different light from the presuppositions with which he began.
Both here and in part two to follow, where I will consider some of the myths Catholics are themselves guilty of believing and perpetuating, I welcome further engagement toward a mutually edifying end.