Saturday, August 2, 2008

ISI Mailbox

Here are highlights from a letter written to Chris Arnzen, host of Iron Sharpens Iron, and his response:

I've seen your name on various websites and the reason I am writing is that I read an answer you gave on "Iron Sharpens Iron." The question related to high profile Protestants that have gone "home to Rome" on the EWTN program "coming home" (I've watched it a few times....). In short, your answer stated that the few high profile, highly educated Protestants going "home to Rome" does not compare to the many who are leaving Rome for Christ. My question (I have not been able to find the answer to this one): Just how many people are leaving the RCC as compared to those leaving Biblical Christianity (or the Protestant Church in general) for Rome? I briefly attended RCIA and they made it seem like there is a tidal wave of Christians going "home to Rome."

Chris Responds:

I don't have any cold, hard statistics about the percentages of Roman Catholics converting to Evangelical Christianity vs. Evangelicals converting to Roman Catholicism, but perhaps one of my apologist friends may know the data.

I can say, however, that here in a largely Roman Catholic area like New York, it is not uncommon to visit Evangelical congregations that are made up entirely (or nearly entirely) of former Roman Catholics, which often includes the pastoral staff itself. The vast majority of Evangelicals I have personally met from America's Northeast are former Roman Catholics. I seriously doubt the reverse is true in the Bible Belt (I'm quite certain we all would have heard by now if there were Roman Catholic congregations springing up in areas heavily populated by Evangelicals where the priests and parishioners were predominantly former Evangelicals).

Having said that, if conversions from Evangelical Christianity to Rome ever do dwarf conversions from Rome to Evangelicalism in their numbers, it proves nothing. Mass appeal for any religion, group or thing doe not signify its true worth. "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it" (Matthew 17:13).

In addition to Richard Bennett's and Joe Mizzi's wonderful ministries, I highly recommend the ministry of Dr. James R. White, which is "Alpha & Omega Ministries," the ministry of William Webster, which is "Christian Resources," the ministry of Eric Svendsen, which is "New Testament Research Ministries," the ministry of Rob Zins, which "A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics," the ministry of Mike Gendron, which is "Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries," the ministry of Ken Silva, which is "Apprising Ministries," and the blog of James Swan . I pray their invaluable resources are a blessing to you during your current trial.I hope to hear you call in sometime soon during a live broadcast of "Iron Sharpens Iron"!

Grace & peace, my brother!

In His grip,

Chris Arnzen

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