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Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church

, 1997
ISBN: 9780898705775
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Crossing the Tiber is an exhilarating conversion story of a devout Baptist who relates how he overcame his hostility to the Catholic Church by a combination of serious Bible study and vast research of the writings of the early Church Fathers. In addition to a moving account of their conversion that caused Ray and his wife to “cross the Tiber” to Rome, he offers an in-depth treatment of Baptism and the Eucharist in Scripture and the ancient Church.

Thoroughly documented with hundreds of footnotes, this contains perhaps the most complete compilation of biblical and patristic quotations and commentary available on Baptism and the Eucharist, as well as a detailed analysis of Sola Scriptura and Tradition.

In the Logos edition, Crossing the Tiber is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

  • Traces Steve and Janet Ray’s initial hostility toward the Catholic Church
  • Provides biblical and patristic quotations and commentary on the issues of Baptism and the Eucharist
  • Discusses Steve and Janet Ray’s research and discovery of the historical Church
  • Offers a thorough analysis of Sola Scriptura and Tradition
  • Part One: Crossing the Tiber
    • Our Conversion
    • Our Inherited Protestant Roots
    • Why We Chose Christianity
    • The Foundations of Our Evangelicalism
    • Our Thinking Begins to Shift
    • Our Evangelical Foundations Begin to Crumble
    • Sola Scriptura and Private Interpretation of the Bible Bring Disunity
    • Scripture, Tradition, and the Canon of Scripture
    • Our Struggle with Other “Catholic Issues”
    • We Begin to Discover the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
    • Should We Accept Church Authority?
    • The Next Important Crossroads: Catholic or Orthodox?
    • The Final Stages of Our Journey
    • Our First Move Is toward the Eastern Orthodox Churches
    • We Take the Plunge
    • The Dawn of a New Year
    • We Finally Come Home on Pentecost Sunday, 1994
  • Part Two: Baptism in the Scriptures and in the Ancient Church
    • Introduction: The Origins of Baptism
      • Baptism Was a Pagan and Religious Rite
      • Christ Redeems What Is Pagan and Makes It Holy
      • Scripture and the Church: A Unified Teaching
      • Baptism vs. Faith
      • What Does Baptism Do? Who Believes What?
      • As We Begin Our Journey into the Past
    • Baptism as Taught in Scripture
    • Baptism as Taught by the Fathers
    • Baptism as Taught in Current Church Teaching
    • Conclusion: A Few Comments and Observations
  • Part Three: The Eucharist in the Scriptures and in the Ancient Church
    • Introduction
    • The Eucharist as Taught in Scripture
    • The Eucharist as Taught by the Fathers
    • The Eucharist in Current Church Teaching
    • Summary
    • John Henry Cardinal Newman on the Eucharist
    • The Real Presence: A Short History of the Resistance
    • Conclusion: A Few Comments and Observations

Top Highlights

“Sola Scriptura is nowhere taught in Scripture, nowhere even implied! The very foundational principle of Protestantism, the doctrine upon which all others are built, is not found in the very book it supposedly builds a bulwark to support.” (Pages 29–30)

“Protestants are dependent upon the tradition of the Catholic Church for their current New Testament.80 It was not until the authoritative voice of the Church spoke that the New Testament was declared a canon with the current twenty-seven books. This was accomplished at the Council of Hippo and the Third Council of Carthage.” (Page 54)

“Gospel of Thomas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, the Epistle of Clement, the Acts of Peter, the Acts of John, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Secret Gospel of Mark, the Protoevangelium of James, and hundreds more. Who decided which ones were inspired and which were not? To say it was the Holy Spirit, not men, who chose the twenty-seven writings is to sidestep the real question—and is not an honest answer. The Holy Spirit also authored the Bible, but he used men to write it. Likewise, he used men, the Church, to collect and close the canon.” (Page 50)

“It was a fullness. Why the term fullness? Because the Catholic Church encompasses so much more than we had ever known in our Protestant past—the fullness of the faith carefully preserved and nurtured through endless centuries. We are not going from Christian to Catholic, as though we’re leaving the ‘Christian’ part behind. We are developing and experiencing the Christian faith more fully by becoming Catholic Christians. Catholicism is ancient, yet forever young; it is constant and firm, yet forever lively and robust; it is old, yet always new and vital. It is simple enough for a mouse to wade in, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim in.” (Pages 16–17)

This is really three books in one that offers not only a compelling conversion story, but documented facts that are likely to cinch many other conversions.

Karl Keating, founder and president, Catholic Answers

A very moving and astute story. I am enormously impressed with Ray’s candor, courage, and theological literacy.

—Thomas Howard, author, Dove Descending: A Journey Into T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets

  • Title: Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church
  • Author: Stephen K. Ray
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 284

Stephen K. Ray converted to the Catholic Church from a Baptist background in 1994, after an in-depth study of the writings of the Church Fathers. He is the host of the popular, award-winning film series on salvation history, The Footprints of God. Steve is the author of the bestselling books St. John’s Gospel and Upon This Rock. He is a popular conference and retreat speaker, has been a guest radio speaker, and made appearances EWTN.


4 ratings

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  1. Dave Crosby

    Dave Crosby


  2. L.A.



  3. Bill Shewmaker
  4. kentuckyliz



    I own this physical book and want it in my Logos! Very well suited for Logos because of all the footnotes and references.
  5. Lorraine Curtin

    Lorraine Curtin


    This is a very good apologetics book because every statement of Catholic teaching that Steve tried to argue against in his Baptist tradition is now explained clearly in light of Church teaching. Steve put so much work into his commentary and footnotes that it will become clear that Logos is really the best platform to read it. Before I purchased Verbum (Logos) it took me a long time to read the paper back because of taking the time to look up all of the scripture verses he referred to. I am looking forward to owning this in Verbum. A fantastic work for any apologetics collection. Definitely worth the price because all of the hyperlinks that will be incorporated into this volume.
  6. Unix



    Does this book skilfully refute the Baptist denomination? If so it would be interesting. A bit expensive though, pre-pub $11.95, as it doesn't go beyond Patristics.


Digital list price: $14.99
Save $3.00 (20%)