Sunday 12 March 2017

20 Answers The Papacy - Jim Blackburn - 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers Book 10

20 Answers - The Papacy 
20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers Book 10
Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Press
ISBN 9781941663325
eISBN 9781941663349

This is the third book in the Catholic Answers Series that I have read this lent. To be honest these books are so good, it takes a great deal of restraint to not jump into the next volume right away. Instead I am forcing myself to think about it and write my review before I move on to another. I am still trying to get through all 20 books during lent but am currently a little behind schedule. But back to this specific book by Jim Blackburn.

The 20 Questions answered in this volume are:

What is the papacy?
Why does the Church need the papacy? Can't we just follow Jesus?
Where in the Bible is the papacy mentioned?
Did Christians in the early Church understand Peter to be the "rock" in the same way Catholics do today?
Catholics claim that Peter served his papacy as the first bishop of Rome. But doesn't the Bible say he was never there, since Paul, writing from Rome, says, "Only Luke is with me"
Did the early Christians say that Peter lived in Rome?
What other scriptural evidence is there that Peter was the head of the apostles?
Peter humbly referred to himself as only a "fellow elder" (1 Pet. 5:1). Doesn't this indicate that he didn't see himself as having any "primacy" in the Church?
Did Christians in the early Church recognize Peter as head of the apostles?
Are Peter's papal successors foretold in the Bible?
Did Christians in the early Church recognize the authority of St. Peter's papal successors in Rome?
Wasn't there more than one pope at times during the Middle Ages?
Is there any biblical or historical precedent for the papacy?
What is the charism of infallibility?
What are ex cathedra teachings? Are these the only doctrines Catholics must embrace?
Didn't Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council contradict previous popes regarding the doctrine of "no salvation outside the Church"?
Can the pope infallibly bind all future popes to a specific liturgical discipline?
What other challenges to papal infallibility are there?
Should the pope be called "Holy Father"? According to the Bible, only God is holy and only God is our Father.
Was there once a female pope named Joan?

Now I will state I have a religious studies University degree and a specialization in Roman Catholic Thought. And I loved this book and the whole series! Jim draws extensively from church history, early Christian writings and the bible itself to answer the 20 questions on the Papacy. The chapter I appreciated the most was the one on Pope Joan, or at least the legend around her. At the university I attended, at another church college the dead actually offered a whole course on Pope Joan. I think this book would be an excellent addition to the syllabus of that course even if only for this one chapter.

One of the greatest things about this series is their briefness. Each book is short and to the point. I am sure they could be combined into a single larger volume, but with each book being between 40-60 pages they are short succinct reads. Because of their size they can be reread again and again, to help remind us of these truths, or to help it sink in when we are struggling or doubting. But also because of the 20 Questions and Answer format they can be picked up and just refresh specific points that we need to remind ourselves of, or help another understand the teaching and truth from the Church. This was a wonderful read and is part of  an incredible series! I highly recommend both, the book and the series!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!
Note 2: Lent 2017 this is an amazing series of books is being offered at a 50% discount through the end of Lent 2017. But the challenge is to read the 20 books in the 20 Answers series over Lent. That is right you can get all 20 physical books or all 20 eBooks for just $34.95! If you want a way to go deeper this Lent give this series a try! #20AnswersChallenge

20 Answers Series:
20 Answers Abortion - Trent Horn
20 Answers Angels & Demons - Fr. Mike Driscoll
20 Answers Atheism - Matt Fradd
20 Answers Death & Judgement - Trent Horn
20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers End of Life - Jason Negri
20 Answers Faith & Science - Trent Horn
20 Answers God - Trent Horn
20 Answers Islam - Andrew Blezad
20 Answers Jehovah's Witnesses - Trent Horn
20 Answers Mary - Tim Staples
20 Answers Miracles - Karlo Broussard
20 Answers Mormonism - Trent Horn
20 Answers Salvation - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Scripture and Tradition - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Bible - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Eucharist - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Papacy - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Real Jesus - Trent Horn

20 Answers The Church - Trent Horn
20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult - Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Apparitions & Revelations - Michael O'Neill
20 Answers Bible Prophecy - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Homosexuality - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Reformation - Steve Weidenkopf
20 Answers The Sacraments - Fr. Mike Driscoll

20 Answers Bioethics - Stacy A. Trasancos
20 Answers Conversion - Shaun McAfee
20 Answers Faith and Works - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Anti-Catholic Myths - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers The End Times - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers The Rosary - Tom Nash
20 Answers Seasons & Feasts – Michelle Arnold
20 Answers New Age -  Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Catholic Social Teaching – Mark Brumley
20 Answers Prayer – Hugh Barbour O. Praem and Sebastian Walshe O. Praem
20 Answers Faith & Reason – Christopher Kaczor
20 Answers The New Testament – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Protestantism – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Marriage & Sex – Todd Aglialoro
20 Answers The Early Church – Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Old Testament – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Judaism – Michelle Arnold
20 Answers The Sacraments – Father Mike Driscoll

Other Books from Catholic Answers:
Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties - Trent Horn
A Daily Defense: Apologetics Lessons for Every Day - Jimmy Akin
The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church - Rod Bennett
Answering Atheism - How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity - Trent Horn
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk About Our Culture's Toughest Issue - Trent Horn and Fr Frank Pavone
The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism - Devin Rose
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines - Tim Staples
Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians - James L. Papandrea
Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World - Fr. Mike Driscoll
Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith - Devin Rose
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura - Dave Armstrong
The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Brings You to Eternal Life - Jimmy Akin
The Truth is Out There (Brendan and Erc in Exile Book 1 - Brother Amadeus and Amadeus
...Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory - Kevin Vost
Marching Orders: A Tactical Plan for Converting the World to Christ - Dan McGuire

The Fathers Know Best - Jimmy Akin
Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love - Trent Horn
The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did - Eric Sammons

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