My new friend Julia has suggested that I read a book called The Roman Catholic Controversy, by James R. White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. As chance would have it (or as God would have it, since I’m not so sure I believe in random chance anymore), I picked up this book a few months ago on a thrifting run, and have been meaning to read it anyway. It seemed, flipping through it, to be a reasonably fair and balanced examination of a number of issues that divide Protestants and Catholics. The reviews on Amazon seem to agree — though the book’s bias and conclusions are very clear. For Roman Catholicism is a “controversy,” and the blurb on the back cover divulges that “evangelicals and Catholics share common ground on some points, yet there are crucial differences that remain regarding the Christian life — and the heart of the Gospel itself — that cannot be ignored.”
No, they cannot be ignored, and shouldn’t be. But I maintain — and assert again — that Catholics and Protestants teach the same Gospel. The subtitle of the book is “Catholics and Protestants — Do the Differences Still Matter?” My hypothesis, going into this book, is that yes, they do matter — but not as much as some would like to make them.
For the next little while, I’ll read this book with you, and let you know what I think of the arguments. If there are valid points, I will award them; if there are inaccuracies, I will correct them; if I come to see the error of my ways, you’ll be the first to know about it. I hope this review will be a critical resource to whomever should follow after me asking these questions. I pray Dr. White’s pardon, and will do my best to be fair to him, especially if he has been fair to the Catholic faith. And Julia, I do hope you’ll follow along with me and share your thoughts with me, too.