Saturday, September 29, 2007
I read this book for the first time about six years ago, but I decided to try it again. The title doesn't really fit the content. I think it might be better described with the title "Why Ecumenism Will Never Work." It doesn't explain/defend the normal Catholic beliefs. What it does is pick out about three of the big issues that separate Catholics from Protestants. The first three chapters explain why the Catholic church will not compromise on anything, concluding with the third chapter on papal authority. Chapter four, "Faith and Reason," argues against some New Age type ideas and Humanism, and seven of the eight questions presented are common to all of Christianity, such as "should we be changing with the changing times as far as doctrine is concerned," "can we know God from nature," and "how can we maintain a belief in God's absolute sovereignty amidst all of the suffering in the world." We can keep that chapter. Chapter five deals with sexuality. It presents the Catholic position very firmly and completely, but it does not give the proper back-up for their position. Some scripture is noted but not nearly enough in my opinion. This chapter can be kept, too. The final chapter is pretty much like the first three, hitting on the topics of transubstantiation, celibate priests and women in the priesthood. The whole book is aimed mostly at the Anglican church and their beliefs, and I guess it was intended for Anglican readers. I don't even know a single member of the Anglican church. Episcopalians are about as close as you can get, but not really. When organizations get "Americanized," it's really hard to judge the original from looking at the new version. Anyways, it's not the best book, but, if I was in the Anglican church, maybe it would be helpful.