A Dialogue Between a Catholic Priest and a Protestant (Poole)

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Northampton Press

Matthew Poole is a highly-regarded Puritan scholar and preacher. This work of his has been out of print for nearly 200 years. It is a dialogue between a Roman Catholic priest and a Protestant, old friends who meet after many years and decide to discuss the differences between their various religions. Poole uses official Roman documents for the arguments of that faith, and the Protestant appeals to Scripture and logic in answering back.

There are many polemical books one can buy that present each side's case, but I've never seen or read one where it is an actual back-and-forth, where both sides are presented. It is like watching a debate. And Matthew Poole says in his introduction to the book that he has not set up the priest as a straw man with weak arguments, but has actually taken the Catholic position from official Romanist documents that have that Church's imprimatur. Some of the topics covered include transubstantiation, the authority of the church, praying to saints, justification by faith alone, the role of Mary, and many other key issues.


Table of Contents: 

The First Session: The Catholic Priest’s Objections to Protestantism

            The Greeting 

            The Issue of an Infallible Church

            The Issue of Protestantism Being a Novelty

            The Charge of Schism

            The Issue of Apostolic Succession 

            The Issue of Divisions among Protestants 

            The Issue of the Visibility of the Church 

            The Issue of When the Roman Church Fell 

            The Issue of Scripture Versus Tradition 

The Second Session: The Protestant’s Objections to Romanism

            The Roman Church Declines All Judgment But Her Own 

            Romanism Contradicts the Ends of the Christian Religion 

            The Desperate Measures Romanists Use to Defend Their Cause 

            Romanism’s Respect of Persons 

            The Uncertainty of Romanism 

            Romanism Destroys the Principles of Morality 

            The Sacrifice of the Mass


            Praying to Saints 

            The Worship of Images

            Praying for the Dead and of Purgatory 

            Confession to a Priest

            Absolutions and Indulgences 

            The Merit of Good Works