Many years ago, Ralph Woodrow made a serious mistake. In his earnest desire to root out paganism in the Body of Christ, he took extremely seriously the work of the late Alexander Hislop "The Two Babylons". Mr. Woodrow took this work so seriously that he wrote his own work "Babylon Mystery Religion". Being that Mr. Woodrow is a 20th century American, rather than a 19th century Englishman, many American readers found his work more accessible than Rev. Hislop's.
Then, something happened. Mr. Woodrow discovered, through a long process of prayer and historical research, that Rev. Hislop's book was inaccurate -- inaccurate to the point of being fraudulant. Mr. Woodrow COULD have taken the easy way out. After all, anti-Catholic books sell like hotcakes in certain sectors.
But Mr. Woodrow has the true integrity of a Christian gentleman. When he discovered -- beyond a shadow of a doubt -- that the information in his earlier work was incorrect, he withdrew that book from publication (at some personal expense) and wrote this volume to explain the whys and wherefores.
The result was predictable. Many of Mr. Woodrow's "friends" turned on him. (Just take a look at the tenor of some of the other reviews, and you'll see what I mean!) But other Christians, recognizing integrity in a man (whom they still disagree with on other issues -- like myself) choose to give credit where credit is due.
Now I am not a Roman Catholic -- and never have been. But as a trained historian, I have been shocked and saddened at much of what purports to be research directed against the Catholic Church. I'm glad to see one man willing to say "I was wrong".
God bless you, Mr. Woodrow. May you increase in faith and godly wisdom.
. . .especially publically, and especially when such an admission costs money.
"Babylon Mystery Religion" is an Americanized, 20th century work based largely on the much more difficult "The Two Babylons" by Rev. Alexander Hislop. The basic thrust of the book is that the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church are based on the pagan religion practiced by Nimrod and ancient Babylon.
Upon being challenged by a friend familiar with ancient history, Woodrow went back, searched for facts, checked references, and came to the conclusion that Rev. Hislop's book -- and therefore his own earlier work -- was just plain unsupportable.
Mr. Woodrow's reaction was twofold. He withdrew his earlier book from publication and he wrote a rather in-depth retraction, pointing out exactly where he had done wrong in his earlier writings.
Like Augustine, in his "Retractions", Woodrow has come to realize that certain opinions held in his younger days needed to be corrected. Like Augustine, he corrected them. While one may still not agree with all of Mr. Woodrow's positions (this reviewer certainly does not) one must give him high marks for integrity.