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Apologetics Books Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Reviews Spiritual Growth

Navigating the Tiber: A Book Review

 

navigating the tiber

A few months back I saw Devin Rose post something on Facebook about his new book and I was intrigued. When I finally saw the title I knew this was a book I was going to have to read. I was so excited when I got the opportunity to do this book review and started reading it the day it arrived in my mailbox. It did not disappoint!

Navigating the Tiber: How to Help your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith by Devin Rose is, to my knowledge, the only book that is written specifically for Catholics with the intent of helping them to explain the faith and plant the seeds of conversion for their Protestant friends and family. As a cradle Catholic with plenty of Protestant friends and several family members who have fallen away from the Church, I found this book not only useful but also enlightening.

My understanding of the various Protestant faiths is fairly limited. I grew up in the Bible belt and the vast majority of Christians I knew were Protestants. But I rarely attended any of their church services and the differences in our faiths were never important enough to discuss. As I entered into college faith wasn’t at the top of my priority list and I fell away from the practice of my Catholic faith. I still attended Mass on occasion and if asked I would have told you I was Catholic. Beyond that, I was pretty much a CINO (Catholic in name only). I embraced my faith in my late-twenties and have never turned back. All this to say, one of the aspects of Devin’s book that I found particularly good was his break down of the various Protestant denominations and his brief explanations of their theology.

As a side note, when I was in college studying music I had an accompanist that I enjoyed playing with and he and I often got together in practice rooms just to read music together. He often joked with me about the Calvinist (him) and the Catholic (me) getting along so well. I must admit, I never really understood why that was funny. Thanks to Devin’s explanations I have a better understanding.

Navigating the Tiber is also a very useful book. I really enjoyed that Devin kept things simple. He knows that not everyone is an apologist and so he sets this book up to help keep you on track and not get too bogged down in deep theological discussions that might get out of hand. I’m no apologist, so I appreciated this very much. Devin sets out all the reasons why we have to have a canon of Scripture and why that’s important. Throughout the book, no matter what the topic, he often refers things back to the canon. Without a canon, there is no Bible; without the Bible, Protestants have nothing to stand on. I really liked this simple way of looking at pretty much any issue in our Catholic faith.

And Devon touches on many issues. He basically gives you a blueprint for how to set up a discussion, what topics to touch on when, and how to handle different avenues of disagreement. In all of this, he is great at continually reminding his readers that your friendship with the person is first and foremost. Not to mention also that charity and respect are critical to any conversation. Devon also lets you know when it is wise to step away from a conversation. Sometimes there is not much more you can do than to pray for a person and entrust them to God.

Devin has provided a great resource in Navigating the Tiber for Catholics who want their friends and family to find the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church. While there is no guarantee that our friends and family will convert and/or embrace the Catholic faith, we can help plant some seeds that may grow in the years to come. Either way, I believe Devin has outlined a roadmap that can lead to fruitful discussions regardless of whether a person converts or not.

This is a book well-worth reading!! Go to the Catholic Answers Shop to find it. Navigating the Tiber by Devin Rose is currently available as a paperback for $11.95 or as an eBook for $8.99 (looks like those are sale prices at this moment).

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are mine.

Categories
Apologetics Devin Rose Ecumenism Faith Formation Sacred Scripture Tiffany P

If Sola Scriptura Is True

In a popular apologetics book written by one Catholic Sistas’ guest contributors Devin Rose, entitled If Protestantism Is True, an approach is taken to addressing the contrast between Catholic and Protestant ideals by assuming that Protestantism is true and attempting to make sense of Church history and theology based on that assumption. Being that Sola Scriptura is one of my favorite apologetics topics, I often find myself speculating on the issue and the logic behind the line of thinking that states the Word of God is strictly present in the written form, and therefore the Scriptures are our sole source authority.  For this post, I decided to adopt the approach of Devin Rose, assuming that Sola Scriptura is true and how that would have changed the course of salvation history, Jesus’ ministry, and even the Sacred Scriptures themselves.

If Sola Scriptura Is True…

…Jesus would not have spent the entirety of his ministry orally teaching the faith to the apostles. If God willed for His Word to be present solely through inspired writings, He would have spent His ministry writing down all of His Teachings in the form of letters, perhaps similar to the format St. Paul used in his many letters.

Jesus then would have taken His completed set of writings—already compiled in a Book because there would be no authoritative, Holy Spirit guided Church to do so for Him—and presented it to His apostles prior to His ascension. He might have said, “You are Peter, and to this rock I give this Book…” (rather than, “You are Peter, and on this rock I build my Church). He then would have instructed Peter, along with His other apostles, to go forth and “make disciples, reading to them this book and Teaching them to do all that I have written within” (rather than “Teaching them to do all that I [orally] commanded you”).

It stands to reason that Jesus would do these things, because if Sola Scriptura is true, then God’s Word will only ever be preserved in the written form—we will not have had any other source of authority in which we can rely for Truth. Jesus, therefore, would not have ascended into Heaven leaving His followers to spend over three-hundred years waiting on their authoritative source. He would not have left Earth before leaving His people with something to sit in His seat and be His authority on Earth; since this authority will not be a Church, according to Sola Scriptura, then He would have left His book at some point before His departure.

History, however, confirms the opposite: for the first one-hundred years of Christianity there were no written accounts of Christ’s Teachings, as they were at this time in the process of being written. For the first three-hundred years (until the councils of Hippo and Carthrage) there was not a compiled collection of inspired Christian writings that were publicly known and recognized as the New Testament. Therefore, if Sola Scriptura is true, then our God is a God of disorder. He established a system in which His authority would be found only through written inspiration, leaving nearly twelve generations to attempt to worship and follow Christ without a final, authoritative source of Christian Truth.

God could further be classified as a God of chaos, confusion, and disorder, if sola scriptura is true, because there would be no accompanying, authoritative voice (such as a divinely guided Church, a central Teaching office) to infallibly interpret these writings. Christians who lived several centuries and even a millennia after Christ and the apostles would then have to read these writings and draw their own conclusions. Several different people, all feeling guided by the Holy Spirit in their convictions, would come to contradictory interpretations of the Scriptures. Those who were illiterate, a large group that encompasses most of our human history, would be forced to choose which man’s interpretation to follow. As a result, multiple Christian theologies would exist in complete disunion with one another. There would be no refuge of unity within the Body of Christ, as there would be no additional source of divinely guided authority to settle these disputes.

If Sola Scriptura is true, then the Bible would make it clear. All passages referring to the “Word of God” would not describe Jesus as the Word made flesh (John 1:14) or teachings that were “received” or “heard”. The “Word of God” in the Scriptures would be a phrase always accompanied by the words “written”, “read”, or “book”. In passages regarding the Scriptures infallibility and authoritative purposes, the word “alone” would be included to emphasize that the Scriptures alone are infallible and they alone hold the authority, the only pillar and foundation of truth. In reality, the Scriptures say or imply none of the aforementioned.  Therefore, if sola scriptura is true, then it fails by its own standards.

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. –I Thessalonians 2:15

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Giveaways

GIVEAWAY: Catholic Sistas Wants to Say Thanks a Million!

I knew I wanted to do something nice for our one year anniversary from the beginning. For the past two months, I’ve been asking around to see who would like to donate some goodies for our giveaway. And it grew and grew and grew and…well, you get the idea. What a collection we’ve got! Hold onto your hats. You haven’t seen a giveaway like this before.

It’s amazing what people will donate when you twist their arm – and wrestle them until they call “uncle.” But I digress.

The following donations are a collection by friends, IRL and online, who have helped support Catholic Sistas this past year, both directly and through prayer. I am a sucker for Catholic books and authors and want to see more Catholic fiction written, particularly for our young adults. Consider patronizing these authors by clicking through to purchase some of their other works, please and thank you. 

::BEFORE YOU READ THROUGH THE GIVEAWAY ITEMS – PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING::

HOW TO ENTER

READ THE DETAILS FOR **EACH** ITEM TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE TERMS FOR EACH PRIZE.

SHIPPING IS RESTRICTED TO CERTAIN STATES FOR THE WINE.

PLEASE DO YOUR PART BY READING EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU ENTER 

**ENTER USING THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW**

THE CONTEST WILL END 11:59 PM EST ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN AND ANNOUNCED ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 18.

READY? LET’S BEGIN!

ONE copy of Waking Rose {signed} by author Regina Doman

Our family has been a fan of Regina’s for quite some time. We have almost all her books and my teenaged daughter has enjoyed all of the fairy tale series. She was even excited to get a signed copy of Black as Night from Grandma who met Regina at a book signing a couple of years ago. Waking Rose is a great book choice not just for young adults, but the young at heart, too. You will become an instant fan of Regina Doman and no doubt want to collect the rest of the books in this great series.

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ONE copy of  Sex, Style & Substance {signed} by book contributor Jennifer Fulwiler 

Description: Who is to say who the authentic Catholic woman is?

And how do the perils and pitfalls of modern society impact that vision?

Here is a fresh look at life from the perspective of ten Catholic women who live in the spotlight of the Internet — ten bloggers who keep it real every day with their personal posts relating their triumphs, trials, and temptations for all to see.

In the same way, nothing is off limits in Style, Sex, & Substance. Each of these women brings a refreshingly open and humorous perspective to growing in faith and improving their relationship with Christ.

Enjoy real stories, real struggles, and best of all, real faith and trust that God will bring out the best in all circumstances — whether in the family room, the bedroom, or at work.

Contributors include:
Hallie Lord, editor
Jennifer Fulwiler
Danielle Bean
Rachel Balducci
Simcha Fisher
Anna Mitchell
Barbara Nicolosi
Rebecca Teti
Elizabeth Duffy
Karen Edmisten

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ONE copy of If Protestantism is True {signed} by author and contributor Devin Rose

Description: What if Protestantism were true?

That’s the question Rose takes up and explores. Each argument assumes Protestantism is true and then attempts to make sense of Christian history and theology based on that assumption. In this way, he presents a series of intelligible and compelling arguments for the Catholic Church’s claim to be the Church that Christ founded.

Catholics will learn to defend their faith, and Protestants will be challenged to answer the toughest questions about the roots of their beliefs.

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ONE copy of Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids {signed} by author Susie Lloyd

Description: 

The uninterrupted life is not worth living

Got questions about Catholic family life? You’ve come to the right place! As a lifelong Catholic, devoted wife, diligent homeschooler, and mother of seven, Susie Lloyd knows lots of people who just might have the answers for you. Susie herself is too busy to give advice: busy giving home haircuts and finding missing socks; busy teaching her teen girls to drive, cook, and diagram sentences; busy praying for divine protection while she races off to church (late) in her full-size van. But every so often, Susie finds a few moments to share the wit and wisdom she’s gleaned from:

Teaching her kids about the Facts of Life Somewhere there must be a book which can aid me in my duty. In it there would be many pages devoted to birds, bees, and flowers. None involving kegs and station wagons.

Quelling her teen girls’ phobias Top of the list is frumpophobia: fear of being seen in a skirt when every other teen at the party, except the statue of Mary, will be in jeans. It gets worse if your dad thinks it would be lovely not only to wear the skirt but a veil as well.

Handing on Catholic customs When I was small, my mother taught me to say a Hail Mary whenever I heard an ambulance. It’s really a beautiful habit and habit is the word — I don’t know how many people I’ve prayed for whose car alarm was going off.

Getting older Some people tell me I could be my teen’s older sister. These people are usually 103 years old and wear their glasses hanging from a chain. But I’ll take it.

Strangers who question the size of her family What’s funny is, the people who call you nuts really expect you to act sane, and not like this: Nuts? Children, would one of you be a good girl and get the gun out of Mommy’s diaper bag?

Enduring her children’s music lessons Piano recitals are a time-honored way of gaining a plenary indulgence, provided we hold no attachment to murdering the piano teacher.

Joing a homeschool co-op None of us wanted to quit homeschooling; we just wanted somebody else to do it for us.

As she did in her beloved first book, Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water, in these pages Susie Lloyd will charm and edify you with her offbeat — but always pitch-perfect — take on the joys and challenges of raising a Catholic family in today’s world.

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ONE copy of Stealing Jenny {signed} by author Ellen Gable

Description: After three heartbreaking miscarriages, Tom and Jenny Callahan are happily anticipating the birth of their sixth child. A neighbor, however, is secretly hatching a sinister plot which will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives.

“Stealing Jenny is a gripping novel filled with engaging characters, a compelling mystery and a message which underscores the precious dignity of life. I literally couldn’t put it down and give Stealing Jenny my highest recommendation.”

-Lisa M. Hendey, author of “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms”

“Ellen Gable is a masterful storyteller.Stealing Jenny is a smoothly written, chilling tale of gripping suspense. There are terrifying moments and heart-wrenching moments. Catholic faith and hope are tested. Above all, the sacredness and privilege of precious new life is made indisputably evident I never wanted it to end!”

-Therese Heckenkamp, author, Past Suspicion

“This is a novel that should come with a warning label! Stealing Jenny will keep you on the edge of your seat and probably destroy your sleep pattern as you stay up to find out what happens.”

-Sarah Reinhard, author, “Welcome Baby Jesus: Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families”

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ONE bundled book The Princess and The Kiss with audio CD & Life Lessons {signed} by author Jennie Bishop

Description of The Princess and The Kiss: A loving king and queen present their daughter with a gift from God – her first kiss – to keep or to give away. The wise girl waits for the man who is worthy of her precious gift. Where is he and how will she ever find him? The surprising answer in this marvelous parable will touch the heart of parent and child alike.The Princess and the Kiss beautifully portrays the ageless message that “love… comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5)

Description of Life Lessons: Picking up where “Princess and the Kiss” left off, this easy-to-use devotional covers biblical teaching on purity, relationships and God’s plans for marriage (or singleness) with your child in a non-threatening and age-appropriate way.

You and your daughter can build a godly heritage with these short, practical, life-changing studies and activities.

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ONE Catholic Mom shopping bag that consists of two books, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and and brand new release O Radiant Dawn: 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath, both {signed} by author Lisa Hendey 

Lisa M. Hendey of Catholic Mom congratulates Catholic Sistas!

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ONE bundled soft CD case and 5 audio CDs: 5 Virtues All Catholic Parents Should Pass On To Their  Children, Marriage Insurance, The Holy Eucharist, Catholic 5 – Non-negotiable Issues: Defending the Catholic Conscience ::includes bonus disc on the HHS Mandate, and Your Catholic Faith: Learn It, Live It, Love It (…and you’ll never Leave IT!) {signed} by Father Rocky of Relevant Radio

Father Rocky is the Executive Director of Relevant Radio and host of the popular program, Go Ask Your Father.

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ONE Large Black Soft Tulle Triangle Mantilla by Veils by Lily

New Soft Tulle Collection

We are happy to introduce the new Soft Tulle Collection, made with one of the finest laces available.
Currently available in white and black, each veil has a delightful softness and drapes beautifully.

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ONE Medium White Soft Tulle Almondine Mantilla by Veils by Lily

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ONE – one year subscription to Radiant Magazine

Relatively new to the magazine world, this amazing magazine offers a wonderful and refreshing change to the secular magazine choices for our Catholic teen girls. From the Radiant Magazine website – Radiant is a chic, classy Catholic magazine distributed nationally to women ages 15-27. It features Catholic news & articles on issues affection young women today: health, beauty, politics, love, style and difficult life circumstances. If you haven’t heard of them before, have a look at some of their previous issues and consider a subscription for yourself or those awesome formidable teen gals and young adults in your life.

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TWO Knit crochet baby hats by Nat’s Niche

newborn size

(can be used for daily wear but can also be used as photo-props)

Girl {right} – knitted pixie cap with venetian lace and leather

Boys {left} – crochet cap with leather and wooden buttons

Both made with wool/acrylic yarn.

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THREE Custom pro-life rosaries and rosary holders

Seen here are only two of the rosary holders and two of the rosaries above.

This giveaway prize involves THREE SETS of one pro-life rosary and one clay rosary holder. In other words, there will be three winners who will each win one rosary and a rosary holder.

The pro-life rosaries are made by Chee Hart of Unique Rosaries for Mary and they are hand strung crystal and bead rosaries.  The ones donated for the giveaway are a special pro-life design.

You can find Chee on Etsy, her Facebook fan page, or her blog.

The clay rosary holders are handmade pottery by Donna of Donnabelle on Etsy. You can also find her on her Facebook fan page.

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 TWO custom Catholic Sistas bottles of wine courtesy of founder Martina and our friends at Personal Wine

 

**PLEASE READ THE DETAILS VERY CAREFULLY – SHIPPING IS RESTRICTED TO CERTAIN STATES**

::SHIPPING NOT AVAILABLE INMA, PA, KY, TN, AR, MS, AL, OK, SD, UT, MT::

 

 

 

This giveaway includes:

ONE bottle of 2010 Viva de los Andes Cabernet AND ONE bottle of 2010 Viva de los Andes Sauvignon Blanc.

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