Please join me as I interview Dave Armstrong, a Catholic apologist. Dave is well-known in the Catholic apologetics community. In this interview, we’ll talk about campus missions, Sola Fide and the Catholic faith. Whether you’re a devout Catholic or simply curious about the faith, this interview is sure to offer new insights and perspectives. So sit back, relax, and join me as I delve into the mind of one of the most respected Catholic apologists of our time. Originally published on GADEL.info, my personal website.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Who is Dave Armstrong?
Dave Armstrong: Catholic, Catholic apologist, author, family man, and fun-loving guy!
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What were your experiences as a Campus missionary?
Dave Armstrong: I shared the gospel (as an evangelical Protestant) and tried to demonstrate that Christianity was compatible with reason. I didn’t seem to accomplish much in that period (1985-1989), and it ended up as a failure (or so I thought at the time), but you never know who may be affected in some way.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: As an Evangelical Christian, what was your understanding of Sola Fide?
Dave Armstrong: I believed that one was saved and justified by faith alone, and that works are what one does in gratification for the salvation already supposedly obtained once and for all (formal separation of sanctification from justification): standard evangelical (Arminian) soteriology . . .
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Why is Sola Fide so popular among Protestants?
Dave Armstrong: I think it’s because they wrongly believe that we teach salvation by works, and they are reacting against that. But in practical “everyday life” terms, the two belief-systems work out the same way: both hold to salvation by grace alone, and the notion that works are absolutely necessary in the Christian life (over against the heresies of antinomianism and Pelagianism)
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Is Sola Fide the Gospel?
Dave Armstrong: No. According to the Bible, the gospel is the life, atoning death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ: the “good news”. He died for us so that we can obtain eternal life through His blood, by grace through faith (yet not excluding works in the overall equation, since :”faith without works is dead”)
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What was your view on Catholicism in your Evangelical days?
Dave Armstrong: I accepted it as Christian (was never anti-Catholic) but with a lot of flaws and nominalism, and far inferior to evangelicalism. I came to respect its moral teaching more and more as time went on.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Why did you become a Roman Catholic?
Dave Armstrong: 1) Because only the Catholic Church upheld the prohibition of contraception as mortal sin, which was believed by all Christians of all sorts until 1930. This was the first issue where I changed my mind.
2) Studying Cardinal Newman’s development of doctrine convinced me that Catholicism alone could make sense of the course of Christian history and history of Christian doctrine. It demonstrated historical continuity and fully explained why the Church looks different today in many respects, compared to the early Church.
3) My study of the 16th century conflicts from both sides showed me that the Catholic arguments were superior. The so-called “Protestant reformation” was actually a revolt and a revolution, and it was on altogether inadequate grounds.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: You are an author and Catholic apologist. What inspires you?
Dave Armstrong: Great Catholic saints and minds through the centuries, and the thought that sharing the message of the gospel and fullness of Catholicism actually plays a role in transforming people’s lives, through God’s grace (always): leading to happier, more fulfilled and rewarding lives in service to God.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What books would you like to recommend for both Catholics and non-Catholics?
Dave Armstrong: Lots there. See my several lists of recommendations on this page:
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Why should anyone become a Catholic?
Dave Armstrong: Because it’s true. That’s the bottom line. What is true is also good and is the best route to go, in all respects.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Your final thought.
Dave Armstrong: All glory to God! I’m humbled that he uses anything I do to try to influence another human being. It’s an unspeakable privilege and honor to pass along His message, through His Church. God is good! He loves us! He has a plan for all of us!
Dave Armstrong became a Catholic in 1991; conversion story in Surprised by Truth (1994). Articles: The Catholic Answer, This Rock, Envoy, & others. Many radio appearances incl. Catholic Answers Live, Faith & Family Live, and Catholic Connection. Website since February 1997: nearly 2,500 papers (including 50+ “index” pages). Sophia Institute Press has published five of my 39 books: A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (2003), The Catholic Verses (2004), The One-Minute Apologist (2007), Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths (2009), & The Quotable Newman (editor: 2012). Co-author (w Dr. Paul Thigpen) of The New Catholic Answer Bible (Our Sunday Visitor: 2005), editor for The Wisdom of Mr. Chesterton (Saint Benedict Press: 2009) & author of 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura (Catholic Answers, 2012). The Quotable Wesley will be published by Beacon Hill Press in Fall 2013. Happily married to Judy (Oct. 1984) with 4 children. Residence: metro Detroit (Michigan). His website is Biblical Evidence for Catholicism.