Presbyterians Turning Roman Catholic

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Jeff_Bartel, Mar 23, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    On the recent thread VII and Roman Catholic Apologetics? I was reminded of Scott Hahn's and
    Gerry Matatics' conversion from Presbyterianism to Roman Catholicism.

    Scott Hahn did his internship here in Wichita at one of the local PCUSA churches, so I know of people who had interaction with some of the controversy. After being reminded of these guys, I decided to listen to a lecture or two by Hahn, and to be honest, it made me a little sick to my stomach.

    How in the world can someone as "smart" as these guys make a switch like that?

    Where in the world did they go wrong?
  2. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Obviously, it's not smarts that matter. They were given over, sad to say.

    Roman Catholicism is strangely seductive. For awhile, before I was abruptly grabbed by the Holy Spirit, I was intrigued by the tradition, pomp, mystery, and old chants. I was a substitute organist in several Catholic churches and longed to hear a Latin mass.

    But, after spending some time in a Catholic bookstore, I could not stand it. The superstition and foolishness jumped out at me at every turn.

    Then I started reading Spurgeon, then Calvin, and there was no turning back.

    In retrospect, however, I can still sense the siren call of the Roman Church. It's a call to put away your mind, your responsibilities to God, let super saints help you out, and submit to secret mysteries. The old Puritans who equated it with the whore of Babylon had it right. She seduces.

  3. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    I don't know anything about those two gentlemen, but my mother has a membership in a PCUSA church and still considers herself to be Roman Catholic, a position with which the PCUSA church has no quarrel. :banghead:
  4. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    Hahn's book Rome Sweet Home was not very good. It as very stream of consciousness. It sounded like something someone would dictate in a recorder for a secretary to type up so that the author could revise, except that it seems like it was never revised.

    Anyway, he cited the usual suspects with Catholic converts, such as authority, the sacraments, apostolic succession, and the like. He also seemed to have held a Zwinglian view of the sacraments and when confronted with biblical texts that the sacraments actually do something, he seemed to see only two options (Catholicism or they do nothing). He did not seem famliar with reformed or Lutheran views. I am reminded of when Luther said, "I would rather drink blood with the papists than wine with the Zwinglians." This dichotomy seems to have nudged him over.

    Also, at one point he recounts a discussion with John Gerstner where he depicts Gerstner as being at a loss to answer his questions. Of course, Gerstner is not around to defend himself any more.

    Anyway, the whole thing is pretty sad. Sadder still is Matatics who has gone over to the traditionalist camp.
  5. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

  6. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Obviously these guys were given over to the whore, but I am really wondering, for guys who knew the arguments, who studied the Westminster Confession etc., what kind of arguments would convince the likes of these guys?

    Were they inticed by the devotion, the mystery, or where they convinced that sola scriptura really wasn't the way to go? :candle:

    It's a sad story.
  7. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

  8. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    I see what you are saying, but it does not really answer the heart of Jeff's question. The Roman Catholics could quote the same scripture when asked why one of theirs converted to Protestantism.

    What could convince a person who is educated in the reformed doctrines, that the synergistic, mystic, papal church is the true church?
  9. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Exactly Chris.

    FYI, I found that James White has debated Gerry Matatics several times. I plan to download some of the debates and see exactly what these guys "think" they learned. :um:
  10. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    I would imagine what convinced them is the same thing that convinces any unregenerate reprobate. Intellectual knowledge of a system of theology does nothing without a circumcised heart. Unbelievers cannot hold fast to a God they don't know. So, in this case, he went to the Whore along with the rest of the world.

    It is pretty obvious why some are lured to Rome...they are unbelievers and that is a place that they congregate.
  11. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    That is good to know, I am curious.
  12. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    Goodness. Are you in for a laugh? Dr. White uses his kid gloves and absolutely demolishes Matatics. At several points, I was sincerely embarrassed FOR Matatics.
  13. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I think there is a real spiritual force behind this - although we Presbyterians don't like to talk about it, makes us sound like Pentecostals
  14. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

  15. rmwilliamsjr

    rmwilliamsjr Puritan Board Freshman

    i have a note that 12 PCA Teaching Elders have publically converted to Roman catholism over the last 25 years, but have never found confirming evidence. has anyone else seen numbers of this magnitude for the problem?
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Gerstner made it very clear that Hahn had no idea what the Reformed camp taught.
    A lot of times switches like these are psychological.
  17. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    I'm not familiar with these guys. At one time, were they well known in the reformed community? Were they pastors or seminary professors or something along those lines?
  18. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Here Greg Bahnsen's The Road to Rome. It is him at his rhetorical and analytical best.

    [Edited on 3--23-06 by Draught Horse]
  19. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Thanks for the link Jacob. I will listen to it ASAP.
  20. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Be forewarned. It is ugly. It is a massacre. For that reason, it is just plain awesome.
  21. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    I can't confirm your list. But if Scott Hahn is on it, you can strike his name off your list. Contrary to what Romanists claim, Hahn was never ordained as a PCA teaching elder.

  22. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    Well said Vic !

  23. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Didn't Scott Hahn credit to Norman Shepherd for being instrumental in his conversion to Catholicism. I read something (sort of a autobiography) written by Hahn about the process and I think he mentioned Shepherd as being pivotal to it.


    I found it here:
  24. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Normally that would carry wait but remember, it is coming from Scott Hahn. Plus, whatever Shepherd's faults, he attacks the heart of the roman system: human merit
  25. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate


    You are correct. While I don't know Shepard's views all that well, his views were obviously bad enough to get him kicked out of Westminster.

    Even if from a bad source (Hahn), it should definately be taken into account that he attributes at least part of his "conversion" to his Shepardian view of the covenant.

    Even more relevant to us, is that if this IS the case, it makes church action on FV even more vital to the survival of the reformed church in America In my humble opinion.
  26. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    That Bahnsen lecture is great.
  27. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Gerry Matatics is an interesting character. When he apostatized he was warmly received by Romish apologists such as Keating. Now guess what, he's a hyper- traditional Tridentinist and a sedevacantists, that is, he believes the Papal chair is vacant because VII was heretical.
  28. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It was funny when Mattatics and Manning debated Greg Bahnsen. Mattatic's views on Mary were so weird that not only Bahnsen took him to task, Fr. Manning did as well! Manning was weakening Mattatics case!

    Mattatics is the most annoying of Roman apologists.
  29. Laura

    Laura Puritan Board Junior

    I'm listening to Bahnsen's lecture now--thanks, Jacob. My church is dealing with this presently, actually with a college student. Whoever said it was typically a psychological thing has my full agreement.
  30. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Yep, I'm sure some of the worst torments in hell await Mattatics a la 2 Pe 2:20-22, and Heb 6.

    I remember that debate remotely. Didn't Bahnsen keep saying that Mattatics argued like a Presbyterian Catholic b/c Mattatics wattered down popish doctrine to make it more palatable? Quite the opposite now, Mattatics is a foam at the mouth traditionalist.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page