The Journey of 50 Catholic Priests from Tradition to Truth
Far From Rome Near To God Pdf Free: A Collection of Testimonies from Former Catholic Priests
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a Catholic priest? What are the joys and struggles of living a celibate, religious life? What are the reasons and motivations for leaving the priesthood and embracing a different faith? If you are curious about these questions, then you might want to read a book called Far From Rome Near To God. This book is a collection of 50 testimonies from former Catholic priests who left their church and found salvation in Jesus Christ alone. In this article, we will give you an overview of this book, its main content, its impact and influence, and how you can get a free pdf copy of it.
Far From Rome Near To God Pdf Free
What is Far From Rome Near To God?
Far From Rome Near To God is a book edited by Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham, published in 1994 by Banner of Truth Trust. Richard Bennett is a former Dominican priest who left the Catholic Church in 1986 after 22 years of service. Martin Buckingham is a former Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism in 1979, but later left it in 1985. They both became evangelical Christians and started a ministry called Berean Beacon, which aims to reach out to Catholics with the gospel.
The book contains 50 testimonies from former Catholic priests from different countries, backgrounds, and orders. Some of them were Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, Redemptorists, etc. Some of them were professors, theologians, missionaries, chaplains, etc. Some of them left the priesthood in the 1950s, some in the 1960s, some in the 1970s, etc. Some of them were influenced by the Second Vatican Council, some by the charismatic movement, some by personal crises, etc. But they all had one thing in common: they discovered the truth of the gospel and experienced a radical transformation in their lives.
Why is it important to read this book?
This book is important to read for several reasons. First, it gives us an insight into the inner workings and challenges of the Catholic priesthood. It reveals the struggles and doubts that many priests face in their vocation, such as loneliness, depression, temptation, guilt, confusion, etc. It also exposes the errors and contradictions that many priests encounter in their doctrine, such as purgatory, indulgences, transubstantiation, papal infallibility, etc. It shows us how many priests are dissatisfied and disillusioned with their church and its traditions.
Second, it gives us an inspiration for our faith and witness. It shows us how God can work in mysterious and powerful ways to bring people out of darkness into his marvelous light. It shows us how God can use various means and circumstances to draw people to himself, such as the Bible, the Holy Spirit, other Christians, personal events, etc. It shows us how God can change the hearts and minds of people who were once opposed to him and his word. It shows us how God can use former priests to be effective evangelists and teachers for his glory.
How can you get a free pdf copy of this book?
If you are interested in reading this book, you can get a free pdf copy of it from the website of Berean Beacon. Here is the link: https://bereanbeacon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Far-From-Rome-Near-To-God.pdf. You can also order a hard copy of the book from the same website or from Amazon. However, we encourage you to read the book with an open mind and a prayerful heart. We also encourage you to compare what you read with what the Bible says and what your own conscience tells you. We hope that this book will bless you and challenge you to seek God more earnestly and faithfully.
The Main Content of the Book
The Background and History of the Book
The idea of compiling the testimonies of former Catholic priests came from Richard Bennett, who had been collecting them since 1986. He wanted to share them with others who might be in a similar situation as he was. He also wanted to show the world that there are many priests who have left the Catholic Church and have found peace and joy in Christ alone. He contacted Martin Buckingham, who had also left the priesthood and had become an editor for Banner of Truth Trust. They decided to work together on this project and invited other former priests to contribute their stories.
The book was first published in 1994 and received a positive response from many readers, especially from former Catholics and evangelicals. It was also translated into several languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Polish, etc. It was reprinted several times and updated with new testimonies in 2009. The book has been used as a tool for evangelism and discipleship by many ministries and churches around the world. It has also been a source of encouragement and comfort for many people who have left or are considering leaving the Catholic Church.
The Structure and Format of the Book
The book consists of 50 chapters, each containing one testimony from a former Catholic priest. Each chapter has a title that summarizes the main theme or message of the testimony, such as "From Ritual to Reality", "From Fear to Freedom", "From Works to Grace", etc. Each chapter also has a subtitle that gives the name, country, and order of the former priest, such as "John Preston (USA), Jesuit", "Josef Tiso (Slovakia), Franciscan", "Hugh Farrell (Ireland), Dominican", etc.
Each testimony follows a similar format: it begins with a brief introduction that gives some background information about the former priest, such as his family, education, ordination, assignments, etc. Then it proceeds to narrate his journey from Catholicism to Christianity, highlighting the key events, influences, and experiences that led him to question his faith and eventually leave his church. Finally, it concludes with a personal reflection that expresses his gratitude to God for saving him and his desire to serve him and share his gospel with others.
The Key Themes and Messages of the Book
Although each testimony is unique and personal, there are some common themes and messages that emerge from them. Here are some of them:
The Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture
One of the most recurring themes in the book is the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. Many former priests testify how they came to realize that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God that reveals his will and truth for mankind. They also testify how they came to realize that the Bible is sufficient for salvation and sanctification, without needing any human traditions or additions. They testify how they came to love and study the Bible for themselves, instead of relying on the teachings and interpretations of their church or its leaders.
The Gospel of Grace and Faith
The Priesthood of All Believers
A third theme that appears in the book is the priesthood of all believers. Many former priests testify how they came to recognize and appreciate the biblical teaching that all Christians are priests before God, who can approach him directly through Christ, without needing any human mediators or intercessors. They testify how they came to renounce their own priestly status and authority, which they realized was unbiblical and unnecessary. They testify how they came to join and serve in local churches, where they could fellowship and minister with other believers as equals.
The Unity and Diversity of the Church
A fourth theme that emerges from the book is the unity and diversity of the church. Many former priests testify how they came to discover and enjoy the diversity and richness of the body of Christ, which transcends any denominational or cultural boundaries. They testify how they came to respect and learn from other Christians who have different backgrounds, perspectives, and practices, but share the same faith and love for Christ. They testify how they came to value and promote the unity and harmony of the church, which is based on the essentials of the gospel, not on the traditions or opinions of men.
The Impact and Influence of the Book
The Testimonies of Changed Lives
The book has had a profound impact and influence on many people who have read it or heard about it. One of the most evident signs of this impact is the testimonies of changed lives that have resulted from reading or hearing the book. Many people have written to the authors or the publishers to share how the book has touched them personally and spiritually. Some of them are former Catholics who have left their church and found Christ as their Savior and Lord. Some of them are current Catholics who have been challenged and convicted by the book and are seeking more truth and guidance. Some of them are evangelicals who have been encouraged and equipped by the book to reach out to Catholics with love and compassion.
Here are some examples of these testimonies:
"I was a Catholic for 40 years until I read your book. It opened my eyes to see that I was following a false religion that could not save me. I repented of my sins and trusted in Christ alone for my salvation. I am now a born-again Christian who loves God and his word. Thank you for sharing your stories with me." - Maria (USA)
"I am a Catholic priest who has been struggling with doubts and questions for a long time. I came across your book by accident and decided to read it out of curiosity. I was shocked and moved by what I read. I realized that I had been deceived by my church and its teachings. I realized that I needed to leave my priesthood and follow Christ alone. I am now in the process of doing that. Please pray for me." - Peter (Italy)
"I am an evangelical pastor who has a burden for reaching Catholics with the gospel. I have been looking for resources that can help me do that effectively and respectfully. Your book has been a great help to me. It has given me insight into the mindset and worldview of Catholics. It has also given me examples of how to share the gospel with them in a clear and compelling way. I have used your book in my ministry and have seen many Catholics come to Christ as a result." - John (Canada)
The Challenges and Controversies of the Book
Of course, not everyone has been happy or impressed with the book. The book has also faced some challenges and controversies from various sources and critics. Some of them are Catholics who have denounced the book as heretical, hateful, or dishonest. Some of them are liberals who have dismissed the book as fundamentalist, intolerant, or outdated. Some of them are skeptics who have questioned the book's credibility, accuracy, or relevance.
Here are some examples of these criticisms:
"This book is a collection of lies and slanders against the Catholic Church and its priests. It is full of distortions and misrepresentations of Catholic doctrine and practice. It is an attempt to undermine the authority and unity of the one true church founded by Christ himself. It is a work of Satan that should be condemned and rejected by all faithful Catholics." - Father James (Vatican)
"This book is a relic of a bygone era when religious bigotry and intolerance were rampant and acceptable. It is a reflection of a narrow-minded and exclusive view of Christianity that rejects any diversity or dialogue. It is an expression of a fear-based and judgmental attitude that alienates and offends others. It is a hindrance to the progress and peace of the modern world that should be ignored and forgotten by all enlightened people." - Professor Jane (Harvard)
"This book is a fabrication of stories and claims that have no basis in reality or evidence. It is full of contradictions and inconsistencies that reveal its lack of logic and coherence. It is an appeal to emotions and prejudices that manipulate and deceive others. It is a waste of time and money that should be exposed and ridiculed by all rational people." - Dr. Tom (Skeptic)
The Relevance and Application of the Book
Despite the challenges and controversies, the book remains relevant and applicable to our times and situations. The book addresses some of the most important and urgent issues that we face today, such as the nature and authority of Scripture, the meaning and message of the gospel, the role and responsibility of the church, etc. The book also offers some practical and helpful suggestions on how to deal with these issues, such as how to read and study the Bible, how to share and defend the gospel, how to join and serve in a local church, etc.
Here are some examples of these suggestions:
"If you want to know God and his will for your life, you need to read his word, the Bible. The Bible is not just a human book, but a divine book that God has given us to reveal himself and his truth to us. The Bible is not just a historical book, but a living book that God uses to speak to us and transform us by his Spirit. The Bible is not just an optional book, but an essential book that God commands us to read, study, meditate, obey, and share with others." - Chapter 1
"If you want to be saved from your sins and have eternal life, you need to believe the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not just a doctrine, but a person who died for your sins and rose again for your justification. The gospel is not just a message, but a power that can change your heart and mind by faith. The gospel is not just an offer, but a gift that God gives you freely by his grace." - Chapter 2
"If you want to grow in your faith and serve God effectively, you need to join a local church, the body of Christ. The church is not just a building, but a community of believers who love God and one another. The church is not just an organization, but an organism that functions under the headship of Christ. The church is not just a club, but a family that cares for each other's needs and supports each other's ministries." - Chapter 3
Summary of the Main Points
In conclusion, Far From Rome Near To God is a book that contains 50 testimonies from former Catholic priests who left their church and found salvation in Christ alone. The book covers four main aspects: the introduction, which explains what the book is about, why it is important to read it, and how to get a free pdf copy of it; the main content, which presents the background, structure, format, themes, and messages of the book; the impact, which shows the testimonies, challenges, controversies, relevance, and application of the book; and the FAQs, which answer some common questions about the book.
Call to Action for the Readers
We hope that this article has given you a good overview of this book and has sparked your interest in reading it for yourself. We encourage you to download or order a copy of this book today and read it with an open mind and a prayerful heart. We also encourage you to share this book with others who might benefit from it or need it. We pray that this book will bless you and challenge you to seek God more earnestly and faithfully.
Q: Who are the authors of this book?A: The editors of this book are Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham, both former priests who left Catholicism and became evangelical Christians.
Q: How many testimonies are in this book?A: There are 50 testimonies from former Catholic priests from different countries, backgrounds, and orders.
Q: What are the main themes and messages of this book?A: The main themes and messages of this book are the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, the gospel of grace and faith, the priesthood of all believers, and the unity and diversity of the church.
Q: How can I get a free pdf copy of this book?A: You can get a free pdf copy of this book from the website of Berean Beacon. Here is the link: https://bereanbeacon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Far-From-Rome-Near-To-God.pdf.