Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 22, 1951

Adventures In Good Reading

(All books intended for review in this column should be sent to Earl West, 25 N. Layman, Indianapolis, Indiana.)

George Salmon, THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE CHURCH, (James D. Bales, Searcy, Ark.) 497 pages, $2.50 All friends of the truth owe brother James D. Bales a debt of gratitude for his recent job of reprinting George Salmon's great book, "The Infallibility of the Church," which the Catholic Encyclopaedia admits is the "cleverest attack" against their position in print. This book should be studied seriously—not just read superficially—by every serious student. Its indictments against Roman Catholicism are simply unanswerable.

Now, as never before in history, Roman Catholicism is making a strong and broad frontal attack to win converts in America. They are constantly applying pressure in legislative circles to pass laws favorable to their religious beliefs. Members of Roman Catholic churches are more and more running for political offices to maneuver into positions of effectiveness for their church. Added to this is the increasing pressure applied in the fields of radio, television, movies, and newspapers where favorable publicity, and smooth propagandizing constantly occur, and this of course, favorable to Romanism. These facts simply mean that Romanism is one of the darkest threats now facing the American way of life.

The success of the Roman Catholic frontal attack is largely attributed to the decadence of Protestantism in America. Mr. Maynard Kniskern, editor of the Springfield (Ohio) Daily News recently took a blast at Protestantism, contrasting the aggressive devotion of the Roman Catholic to the "lukewarmly apologetic attitude" of the Protestants. Protestantism is spending its time trying to piously minimize their differences and woo all churches behind their ecumenical movements, while Romanism goes on its merry way converting Protestants by the scores.

Obviously the only effective way to combat error is by teaching the truth, and so the only method that can stop Romanism is to flood the nation with tracts, books, and other literature calculated to teach the errors of Romanism. THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE CHURCH therefore, fulfills a needed place in this needed field of material.

The author very correctly shows that the Roman Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the church properly under girds the whole system. Any prospective candidate for conversion to Romanism must first agree to submit wholeheartedly to the authority of the church, and let the church decide all things for him. This encourages intellectual lethargy on the part of the prospect. The Catholics insist that the Bible plus tradition is their authority, but even beneath this is the doctrine of the infallibility of the church. The Bible is their authority only as the Bible is interpreted by the church, and the poor Roman Catholic must not question this interpretation without running the risk of an ecclesiastical anathema. Tradition, likewise, is their authority, but only that tradition which is passed upon the "infallible church." Actually, the one tradition of all that is most reliable is that the early church leaders insisted upon following the Bible to the exclusion of all else. This is the one tradition of all rejected by the Roman Church.

"The Infallibility of the Church" is objectionable only on the point of style. Naturally, the style of speech and writing of a century ago differs from today, and because of its unfamiliarity would be a little tedious at times.

The person who takes the time to study this material will find it highly valuable.