Twisted Unto Destruction: How "Bible Alone" Theology Made the World a Worse Place

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“There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.”—2 Peter 3:16

Martin Luther and his fellow “Reformers” turned Christendom upside-down by rejecting the authority of the Church that Jesus founded and claiming instead that personal interpretation of Scripture is to be our rule of faith. This infamous principle of sola scriptura—the “Bible alone”—created 500 years of doctrinal chaos and sectarian division.

But that awful aftermath is not the only legacy of sola scriptura.

In Twisted Unto Destruction, Donald J. Johnson (Convinced, Unprotected) shows how ditching the Church in favor of private Bible interpretation has also enabled some of the modern world’s worst crimes and vices.

Once an Evangelical Protestant who took sola scriptura for granted, Johnson came to realize that setting ourselves up as little Magisteriums—whose opinions on the Bible’s meaning have to be as valid as anyone else’s—not only leads to endless splintering, but makes it possible to use Scripture to justify anything.

Like puppeteers, Christians could make the words of the Bible dance on command, inventing “biblical” endorsements of violence, greed, racism, abortion, sexual depravity, and more. Without an authoritative Church to hold the line, and long removed from a practical consensus, Protestantism has been unable to resist the tide of modern errors.

In fact, as Johnson shows, in many cases, it has endorsed and expanded those errors. Read Twisted Unto Destruction to learn how we can fight this abuse of the Bible and reverse the damage it has caused.

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Donald J. Johnson
Softcover, 154 pgs
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3 Reviews

  • 5
    One of the best books I've read!

    Posted by Holly Allen on Nov 9th 2022

    Over of the best books I've read. I've read it too my husband (non catholic) as we drive. I've bought several in digital and print. I've recommended it to many, mostly anti or non catholic. It's so incredibly good with morality most of us agree on, with a different perspective than bemoaning the "other" who doesn't believe like we do. It gives a very different perspective on being Christian and using the Bible. As a convert, 23 years ago (from evangelical seminary), I already knew Bible alone didn't work. This book made it simple and clear, while covering the very real divide on so many issues. It seems crystal clear to me that Bible Alone has caused tremendous boys and in the Civil War as well as most of the divided moral thinking now. Yet it is a book I can recommend to all, especially non catholic without being too offensive. It is hard hitting without belittling. I don't see how anyone can read it and not be affected. I will be buying more, and giving them to people. It's short enough to ask folks to read. Awesome book. It needs to be available at every church.

  • 5
    Twisted Unto the "Bible Alone" theology made the world a worse place

    Posted by Denise on Oct 19th 2022

    This is an excellent book and very helpful.

  • 5
    Couldn’t put it down! Shocking and heartbreaking truths revealed.

    Posted by Anna on Oct 5th 2022

    I’m not a Catholic, yet. I’ve been studying the Church and comparing its teachings to the Protestant teachings I’ve adhered to as a Christian. Sola scriptura/Bible alone is *the* hallmark teaching in most evangelical Protestant churches, so I was curious what the author had to say about this teaching and its impact on the world. To say the effects of it are devastating is an understatement. Don Johnson gives a fair, well-reasoned argument, or indictment really, against Sola Scriptura. I was shocked by what he wrote about the use of “Bible alone “ theology to both support and fight slavery, endorse and malign materialism, encourage and discourage the use of contraception/having children. How could the Bible be used to support opposing positions on these issues? Many times I had to stop reading to process the information because I couldn’t believe it. Yet I knew what Johnson wrote was true. I wept while reading the chapter on contraception and abortion. Sola scriptura has been a plague on Christianity. I’m thankful that the Catholic Church has stood firm against the evils of slavery, greed, and contraception/abortion. I pray that Catholics would recognize the absolute truths their Church is maintaining and not abandon these truths for the progressive lies being pushed all over the world. I appreciated Don Johnson’s heartfelt honesty, and I found the book engaging and persuasive, especially since he is a convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism. This book is definitely worth reading whether one is Catholic or Protestant or holds any other belief. I think it’s time for Protestant adherents to Sola Scriptura (“where is that in the Bible?”) teaching to take a hard, honest look at this teaching and the utter devastation it has had on the world at the hands of both well-meaning Christians and those who implement it for harm or power.

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