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Is the Reformation Over?: An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism - eBook
Baker Academic / 2008 / ePub
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For the last few decades, Catholics and Protestants have been working to heal the wounds caused by centuries of mistrust. This book, a Christianity Today 2006 Book Award winner, provides an evaluation of contemporary Roman Catholicism and the changing relationship between Catholics and evangelicals.
The authors examine past tensions, post-Vatican II ecumenical dialogues, and social/political issues that have brought Catholics and evangelicals together. While not ignoring significant differences that remain, the authors call evangelicals to gain a new appreciation for the current character of the Catholic Church.
Written by Mark Noll, one of the premier church historians of our day, and Carolyn Nystrom, this book will appeal to those interested in the relationship between evangelicals and the Catholic Church.
Carolyn Nystrom, a freelance writer, is based in St. Charles, Illinois.
Carolyn Nystrom, a freelance writer, is based in St. Charles, Illinois. She has written more than seventy-five books and Bible study guides including recent titles Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight and Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life's Decisions with J. I. Packer.
Mark A. Noll (PhD,Vanderbilt University) is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of many books including A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Turning Points, and Is the Reformation Over?
"Most evangelicals affirm that we believe in 'one holy, catholic, and apostolic church.' We also want to make good on the prayer of Jesus found in John 17, 'that all of them may be one, Father, . . . so that the world may believe.' We long for the unity of the church--the catholicity of the church. To be sure, not many of us are ready to join the Roman Catholic Church. But in the West, at least, we are fooling ourselves if we think we can be catholic without engaging in earnest dialogue with Roman Catholics. If you agree but feel you need to do a lot of catching up before you can join the conversation, then this book by Noll and Nystrom is for you. It offers a charitable, easy-to-read introduction to the progress of the dialogue since the days of the Reformation." -Douglas Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author of The American Evangelical Story
"Here is superb theological journalism. The authors review Roman Catholic alterations of posture, if not of position, during the past half century; assess the overall shift as irreversible and transformational; and speculate provocatively on the significance of current Catholic/evangelical interaction in today's divided Christendom. Their thorough historical analysis will be a landmark resource for exploring the theological questions that Roman Catholic reconfiguration raises. This is an important book." -J. I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College
"Noll and Nystrom have been studying the relationship between evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics for twenty years, and this book is a lively digest of their discoveries. Things are not the way they used to be between evangelicals and Catholics, and the authors show us why--citing the Second Vatican Council's reforms, the charismatic movement, worldwide church growth and renewal, decades of theological dialogue, and a common opposition to secular relativism. The authors are careful to point out both the convergences and the continuing disagreements in doctrine, church order, and witness that evangelicals and Catholics encounter. In the end, however, Noll and Nystrom give us a hopeful and appreciative book. It is the mature reflection of evangelicals who understand their own tradition's strengths and weaknesses and who have come to know a great deal about contemporary Catholicism as well. This is a book for evangelicals about Catholics, and there is no better guide of its kind. I suspect that Catholics would also profit from reading it." -Joel A. Carpenter, provost and professor of history, Calvin College
"Twenty years ago, this book could not have been written. Since then, much has happened between evangelicals and Catholics--much that few observers of American religious history would ever have predicted. Noll and Nystrom provide us with a fact-filled chronicle, especially of the exchanges, convergences, conflicts, and even agreements of the past two decades. As critical of evangelicals as they are of Catholics, the authors provide an overall assessment of the current dialogue that is hopeful but not without a number of challenges in the form of real differences, articulated with candor and genuine Christian conviction. Reading this book makes me, as a Catholic committed to the ecumenical imperative, want to jump right in with the hope that even more progress can be made." -James L. Heft, SM, professor of faith and culture and chancellor, University of Dayton
"The Reformation is over only in the sense that to some extent it has succeeded. This book examines, with scholarly care and sensitivity, recent evangelical-Roman Catholic developments that lend credence to this possibility. This book will help all of us who are committed to exploring the common heritage, as well as the differences that still remain, between the two largest faith communities in the Christian world." -Timothy George, dean, Beeson Divinity School; executive editor of Christianity Today
"This book offers a superbly researched, documented, and engagingly argued case that a new era in Catholic/evangelical relations is dawning. Less clear is why this has happened. Is it because of diminished Catholic identity, disintegrating evangelical theology, or the intrusions of (post)modernity that inclines people to be neither Protestant nor Catholic but simply religious? It is hard to know." -David F. Wells, Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology,Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"The constructive relationship between American Catholics and conservative evangelicals is little more than a decade old. It is now public and promising yet still highly problematic and tenuous. Especially on the evangelical side, to talk collegially with and about Catholics is often to risk public attack and professional harm. Noll and Nystrom have taken the risk and produced a volume remarkable for its intellectual maturity and depth. Not since Berkouwer's great works on Catholicism have we seen anything like this. Written with utter clarity and directness, undergirded by immense historical and theological scholarship, this volume is the best available statement of the relationship and by itself is a vital step in making informed conversation between the parties possible." -William M. Shea, director, Center for Religion, Ethics, and Culture, College of the Holy Cross; author, The Lion and the Lamb: Evangelicals and Catholics in America
For the last few decades, Catholics and Protestants have been working to heal the wounds caused by centuries of mistrust. In this work, premier Christian historian Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom provide a critical evaluation of post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism and its relationship to the evangelical church. While not ignoring significant differences that remain, the authors provide a clarion call for a new appreciation among evangelicals of the current character of the Catholic Church.
This landmark book will appeal to those interested in the ongoing dialogue between Catholicism and evangelicalism, students of church history and/or contemporary theology, and pastors and church leaders.
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