Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: Are We Together? By R.C. Sproul

Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman CatholicismAre We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

R.C. Sproul has offered a very helpful contribution to the discussion of Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism. It is far from settling the debate though. And there are pros and cons to this book, but the pros outweigh the cons, which is why I gave it four stars.

PROS: It's brief and very easy to read. It covers six major concerns of the Roman Catholic Church, and all six of those concerns are modern concerns (not ancient or medieval concerns which aren't very relevant today). Sproul also presents a very optimistic view of that tradition as well. He doesn't bash Roman Catholicism anywhere in the book, which was very refreshing. The last chapter on "Mary" is worth the price of the book alone. In fact, I consider the evidence presented in chapter 6 on Mary to be a very clear expose of mariolatry which pervades some, if not most of Roman Catholicism.

CONS: The major downside to this book is found in his closing thoughts. R.C. Sproul concludes that Roman Catholics could possibly be considered Christian brethren, but protestants should not presume to do so. Moreover, Sproul contends that protestants should evangelize Roman Catholics as though they cannot be saved unless they embrace the "protestant" doctrine of justification by faith alone and stop venerating Mary. Even though the Roman Catholic doctrines about Mary are so obviously contrary to Scripture to protestants, and their view of Justification is also contrived and compounded with man-made contradictory traditions, I don't personally conclude that Roman Catholics should not be considered Christians right from the outset, especially if they've been baptized and profess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I also don't personally think that Roman Catholics should be singled out as targets for evangelism. Many protestants need evangelization too, but I wouldn't presume that they weren't christians either because they hold to man-made contradictory and unbiblical protestant traditions.

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