Doug Wilson on Roman Catholicism

  1. If the daughter of one of your parishioners desired to marry a committed Roman
    Catholic, would she be marrying “in the Lord?”
    She would be marrying inside the
    covenant. She would also be marrying unwisely and sinfully.
  2. John Calvin recognized a distinction between the individual and the institution;
    would you say that the Roman Catholic Church is a true church? (elaborate).
    the same way that an adulterous husband is a “true” husband, I would say that Rome is
    a “true” church. But in the same way that this same husband is being untrue, I would
    say that Rome is being untrue. Rome is still covenantally bound to Jesus Christ, and
    consequently she needs to stop cheating on Him. And incidentally, to acknowledge that
    a lying, cheating husband is still legally married is not to approve of the lying and
  3. Would you list some areas of deficiency within the Roman Catholic Church? Let me state it more strongly. These are not areas of deficiency—they are areas of
    covenantal rebellion. I would include on this list the idolatry of the Mass, Mariolatry, the
    worship of images, the papacy, their system of works/righteousness, purgatory, and
    much more.

This is strong language, I know, but I found it particularly helpful in dealing with the dilemma that Roman Catholicism is to Protestants. On the one hand, I think it is impossible to say with a former pastor of mine that the RCC is a “false religion.” A false religion knows nothing of Jesus Christ, or faith, or repentance. A false religion can’t sign on to the apostle’s creed, let alone the Nicene creed. yet the RCC happily does all of these and goes on to beckon protestants to return come in out of the rain. At the same time, Roman Catholicism partakes in all these creepy systems that seem to be totally at odds with the glorious lightness of the gospel. What do you call this thing? Covenantal rebellion might just be a good fit.

Author: KB French

Formerly many things, including theology student, mime, jr. high Latin teacher, and Army logistics officer. Currently in the National Guard, and employed as a civilian... somewhere

3 thoughts on “Doug Wilson on Roman Catholicism”

  1. Greetings! Saw your post in Google Blogsearch and came to read.

    “At the same time, Roman Catholicism partakes in all these creepy systems that seem to be totally at odds with the glorious lightness of the gospel. What do you call this thing? ”

    First, I’d be curious as to what you are defining as “creepy systems”.

    Second, Have you ever considered the idea that perhaps the “gospel” you have interpreted it for yourself or been taught might be in error?

    Catholic doctrine is found 100% in scripture , either explicitly or implicitly. The fact that the Church at Rome agrees with the other 21 Eastern Catholic Churches and dozens of Orthodox Churches should be a strong indicator as to what is and isn’t authentic Christian doctrine.

    I note that you have linked to CCEL. Consider reading their Ante-Nicean Fathers collection, including:

    The Didache
    Ignatius of Antioch’s Epistle To the Smyrnaeans
    Justin the Martyr’s First Apology
    Cyril of Jerusalem’s catechetical lecture series
    – Of Baptism
    – On Chrism
    – On the Eucharist
    – On Sacred Liturgy

    If your interpretation of the NT is correct and true, then it should agree with the interpretations held by the early 2nd and 3rd Century Christians, should it not? Should you not always seek the truth? Do you know what the “pillar and ground of the truth” is? What does the Bible say is the “pillar and ground of the Truth?” Answer: 1 Timothy 3:15

    “Covenantal rebellion might just be a good fit.”

    That fairly well describes how Catholics view the Reformation and the heretical Christian sects that it birthed.

    God bless…


    BTW, great choice of a WordPress template. I chose the same template for the . I note that you kept the original photo and haven’t swapped it for one more personal.


  2. First of all, thanks timothy for commenting irenically. It’s frustrating when people, hearing positions they oppose, immediately jump into attack mode. It’s much easier to have a civil discussion this way.

    As for your questions:
    1. “Creepy systems” would be roughly synonymous with what Wilson describes above.
    2. I have often considered that my understanding of the nature of the gospel might be in error, and I may yet be open to correction. But as it stands, I am comfortable where I am. I would be inclined to disagree with you that Catholic doctrine is 100% found in scripture, but I have not been a diligent student of Roman Catholicism. I’m much more attracted to the Orthodox churches, but even they have too many things that strike me as creepy and antithetical to the gospel. Again, I may be wrong, but I cannot repent until I have been so persuaded.

    I have been reading through the church fathers, but my going has been very slow. I’m currently reading through the Shepherd of Hermas, where I’m stuck until I find some time to blog about what I’ve found there.

    It is true that the church is supposed to be the “pillar and ground of truth.” How much more tragic then when she is unfaithful to it! Clearly the Roman church or the Protestant church is in grave error and it is appropriate for each to use grave words such as “rebellion” and “heresy.” Nevertheless, I think it’s worthwhile to note that both still agree to the Nicene creed and can be considered, in the broadest sense, “Christian.” It’s a great pity that we couldn’t have had these debates while we were all unified under a single Christian government.


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