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If we are to witness effectively to fundamentalists like Hunt, we must point out the incongruity of their position.

And in order to do that, we must take a look at the historical and personal origins of Hunt's opinions.

If we are to be effective in bringing them back to the Catholic fold, we have to distinguish the authentic Christian content of their Christ-centered conversion from its anti-Catholic accretions and misinterpretations.

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(No less a convert than John Henry Newman acknowledged, in his Apologia, that the old apocalyptic Protestant propaganda continued to exert a poisonous influence on his religious imagination long after he had ceased to credit it intellectually.) Because of secular humanist and feminist challenges to our faith, many of us have not taken seriously enough the persistence and vehemence of the fundamentalist belief that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon — i.e., not simply a competing denomination, not indeed a Christian church at all, but an apostate institution, a counterfeit, a positive evil.

Catholics who experience an evangelical conversion typically view their experience through the lens of Hunt's type of fundamentalism — and are therefore lost to the Church precisely when they are most inclined to take religious commitment seriously.

The better we get to know Hunt, the more confidently we will remain in Rome, waiting to welcome him when he eventually reaches us.

Dave Hunt is the author most recently of A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days, which expounds the classically Protestant thesis that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon portrayed in Revelation 17, something we've been hearing for over four centuries.

Catholics and Reformed Christians acknowledge that some of these represent stages in salvation history, but to call them unique "dispensations" is to break up the story.

Last modified 14-Nov-2020 23:28