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Catholics & Evangelicals: Do They Share a Common Future? Paperback – Nov 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809139863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809139866
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #924,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In recent years, a slow revolution has been afoot in the Christian worldDa rapprochement between Catholics and evangelical Protestants, two groups that even 30 years ago had little to do with one another. This volume, jointly published by a leading Catholic and a leading evangelical press, attests to that revolution, even as it asks whether the two groups share "a common future." (The volume's answer is a cautiously optimistic yes.) The meat of the book is four essays on theology: a Catholic and a Protestant each on salvation and ecclesiology, two issues that have long separated the churches. Indeed, the most intriguing essay is Timothy George's attempt to envision a new evangelical ecclesiology. But the book avoids entirely another issue dividing the churches: women's roles. There is neither an essay by a woman, nor an essay about women. Even those who do not usually hop on the affirmative action bandwagon will agree that a book hoping to bring Catholics and evangelicals together must address the women who comprise half the rank-and-file members in their pews. This collection pulls together a number of luminaries, including Fuller Theological Seminary president Richard Mouw and Fordham University religion professor Avery Dulles. But it could have benefited from an essay (or two or three) by any of the under-35 Christians for whom at least some expressions of ecumenism are taken for granted. While the volume pursues a noble goal, it falls short. (Dec.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Thomas P. Rausch is the T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology and chair of the department of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He is an active participant in Catholic-evangelical dialogue. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
This book was truly the result of what happens when people take their blinders off and look at each other objectively. Having a shared Catholic/Evangelical authorship made the book very interesting indeed, especially for someone like myself who has deep personal ties in both of these camps.
The first part of this book discussed ECT, the Evangelicals and Catholics together pact, being careful to point out what it does NOT say, so that people don't get the idea that its false ecumenism. It does however go at lengths to explain the areas in which we do fully agree, and therefore can be said to have a common evangel.
The middle parts were interesting to me, as they explained sotierology from early and modern viewpoints. It didn't get too heavy, but it may not be of extreme interest to some readers. Next, church structure is discussed in a way that should help both Catholics and Evangelicals understand what each mean by "church" and the historical and Biblical reasons them.
Lastly was an essay by a man named David E. Bjork, an evangelical who tells of his experience evangelizing Catholics in France. What is so special about that? He encourages them to become better Catholics, rather than rip them away from a perfectly valid church, their roots, and their heritage! This was very heartening for me, as I've thought for some time now that this is how evangelism should be done in Central America and Western Europe. Further, his efforts seem to be having a good effect.
This is an encouraging book that I recommend all Catholics and Evangelicals read. For those endowed with open mind and a spirit of charity, there is much to be learned from the authors. I pray that all future cooperation and dialogue is as charitable as this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A true work of understanding and charity April 6 2001
By Chris in Maine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was truly the result of what happens when people take their blinders off and look at each other objectively. Having a shared Catholic/Evangelical authorship made the book very interesting indeed, especially for someone like myself who has deep personal ties in both of these camps.
The first part of this book discussed ECT, the Evangelicals and Catholics together pact, being careful to point out what it does NOT say, so that people don't get the idea that its false ecumenism. It does however go at lengths to explain the areas in which we do fully agree, and therefore can be said to have a common evangel.
The middle parts were interesting to me, as they explained sotierology from early and modern viewpoints. It didn't get too heavy, but it may not be of extreme interest to some readers. Next, church structure is discussed in a way that should help both Catholics and Evangelicals understand what each mean by "church" and the historical and Biblical reasons them.
Lastly was an essay by a man named David E. Bjork, an evangelical who tells of his experience evangelizing Catholics in France. What is so special about that? He encourages them to become better Catholics, rather than rip them away from a perfectly valid church, their roots, and their heritage! This was very heartening for me, as I've thought for some time now that this is how evangelism should be done in Central America and Western Europe. Further, his efforts seem to be having a good effect.
This is an encouraging book that I recommend all Catholics and Evangelicals read. For those endowed with open mind and a spirit of charity, there is much to be learned from the authors. I pray that all future cooperation and dialogue is as charitable as this.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very gracious and refreshing Jan. 21 2007
By Keith R. Wasser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have seen this book a number of times in my local Catholic bookstore and I have thumbed through it a number of times. So last week I chose to pick it up and purchase it and read it. Wow what a pleasent surprise. I am Catholic and my spouse is an Evangelical Protestant. This book is really a beautiful expression of what Christians can do when they stop focusing on their differences for a moment. It is really too bad that there was only one review of this book on amazon. I wish that every Christian would read this book and understand that even though there are differences between Evangelicals and Catholics in a lot of theological and biblical areas that there is much that we can agree on. If we put our differences aside for just a moment we could bring city blocks to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. What bothers me is a book like this is a work that really matters, and as Protestants and Catholics we could make a huge difference in this crazy world for Christ. It really bothers me to know that the top best sellers in the Christian book world are "the Left Behind series." Every one of these articles are great and well thought out. I especially like the last story in the book about the couple who do missionary work in France within the context of the Catholic Church and both of them are Evangelical Protestants. They both have basically had a ministry for 25 years of helphing Catholics understand their faith better and to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Talk about being obedient to God. I hope if I ever am faced with such a choice that I would obey the Lord like these folks did with such humility. I hope someday I can shake both their hands and say thank you for bringing unity.

Great book, excellent work and good articles. I will pray that as Catholics and Evangelicals that we can turn our attention to the needs of this world and wait for the answers to our differences when we all meet the Blessed Trinity in Heaven.

Finally, although there is much that we can work together on these authors do not compromise the truth that there are serious differences. Both Catholic and Protestant authors point out that there are serious theological differences that are not going to be resolved with one book. They are definately not putting on blinders and saying everything is just fine and dandy. The views are optimistic but realistic.

Pax Christi!
Building Bridges!? Dec 8 2008
By Crazy Horse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This remarkable book should be better known by Latter-day Saints.

Thomas P. Rausch, S.J., explains that Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, "was one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Catholic/Evangelical Committee (1987), the first local Catholic/Evangelical dialogue in the United States" (p. vii). (As is now rather well-known, Mouw has also been for some time sponsoring informal conversations between his evangelical friends and groups of LDS scholars assembled by Robert Millet.)

In his foreword to Catholics and Evangelicals, Mouw indicates that it is time for Protestants to cease being stridently anti-Catholic, to stop seeing the Pope as an antichrist, and Catholicism as "uniformly a religion of 'pagan darkness'" (p. 2).

This is not to say that there are no significant disagreements, but the fact is that both "evangelicals and Roman Catholics have found common cause on a number of issues" (p. 2). And it is appropriate for those who speak for these two communities to cease "talking past each other," especially when both are confronted with the same "culture of unbelief" (p. 3).

Every essay in this collection should be of interest to the Saints. One example is the treatment of theosis or sharing in God's life (pp. 70--72) offered by Robert L. Wilken in his chapter on "Salvation in Early Christian Thought" (pp. 56--76). Wilken argues that, even in the West, for example, in some of Augustine's writings, there are signs of a deep commitment to deification as the ultimate promise of the sanctification that must follow justification. Neither the evangelicals nor Roman Catholics whose essays are included in this volume manifest the kind of certainty or ecclesiastical triumphalism that one sometimes finds in the literature produced by both camps, especially when they are in an adversarial mode.
A BOOK OF ESSAYS BY BOTH CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS ON THE "ECT" DOCUMENT, AND CURRENT ISSUES Nov. 8 2013
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Editor Thomas Rausch is a Jesuit who is professor of Catholic Theology and department chair at Loyola Marymount University. HE wrote in the Foreword to this 2000 book, "The Evangelicals and Catholics Together documents... received the endorsement of no ecclesial bodies. The new patterns of cooperation between Catholics and evangelicals have been largely local and ad hoc... It would be irresponsible ... simply to ignore the theological discussion in all this. Doctrinal concerns are too important to both of our communities. This is why this book of essays is an important gift to both Catholics and evangelical Protestants. The authors have been intensely involved in Catholic-evangelical dialogue, and they take on the 'big' topics on which the two communities have significant disagreements: salvation, ecclesiology, authority, the sacraments, evangelism. There are no attempts here at an easy consensus. But there are serious... efforts to get past the long-standing pattern of talking past each other." (Pg. 2-3)

One essayist notes, "The Second Vatican Council brought with it a new way of doing business... And Evangelicals were watching. When the bishops wrote in the 'Dogmatic Constitution on the Church' that as they looked beyond the confines of the Roman Catholic Church they had identified in other places 'many elements of sanctification and of truth,' Evangelicals were pleased. When the bishops penned the 'Decree on Ecumenism' and admitted, perhaps for the first time, that 'men on both sides were to blame' for the separation which had occurred at the time of the Reformation, and that it was inappropriate to view those persons who were outside the Roman Catholic Church as in some way necessarily guilty of the sins of their forebears, Evangelicals were surprised. When... the bishops suggested that the appropriate title for believers who were not Roman Catholic was 'brothers'... Evangelicals decided that they needed to look more carefully at what was going on." (Pg. 23)

Rausch admits in an essay, "Catholics have often tended to stereotype Evangelicals and Pentecostals... they have tended to dismiss all Evangelicals as fundamentalists... Many ... were deeply offended when John Paul II in his remarks at the Fourth General Conference of Latin American Bishops... held at Santo Domingo in 1992, implicitly included them among the 'sects' which he characterized as acting like 'rapacious wolves,' devouring Latin American Catholics and 'causing division and discord' in Catholic communities." (Pg. 39) He also notes that "College campus ministers have objected that groups like Inter-Varsity Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ have often tended to work in competition with the historic churches and in fact are often anti-ecclesial, setting up independent fellowships, sometimes with non-denomination sacramental rituals." (Pg. 41)

Rausch observes about the ECT document, "Though theologically quite sophisticated, it tends to focus on those moral and social concerns shared by Catholic neo-conservatives and the religious right, among them opposition to abortion, euthanasia, pornography, and the idea that in areas of marriage, parenthood, and family, tolerance 'requires the promotion of moral equivalance between the normative and the deviant.'" (Pg. 47-48)

Another essayist points out, "Most Evangelicals... would not hesitate to claim Martin Luther (1483-1546) as their spiritual ancestor, and even as their spiritual prototype, although Luther himself would not have recognized their theology and would probably have rejected large parts of it. But Evangelicals are one with Luther on the question of justification by faith, and for them that is all that really matters. His sacramental theology... is simply overlooked or dismissed as a secondary matter." (Pg. 80)

This book will be of great interest to anyone studying Catholic/Protestant issues and dialogue.


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