Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 04:1 (Spring 2005)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The Lion and the Lamb: Evangelicals and Catholics in America. William M. Shea. Oxford University Press, 2004. 402 pp., (hardback), $35.00, ISBN 0–19-513986–0.

This volume consists of three parts, fourteen chapters, endnotes, and an index. Concerning the book’s title, William Shea states, “I choose the image as a title because each one of these two communities has for four centuries regarded itself as the lamb and looked on the other as the lion as a matter of historical. .. fact” (4).

In chapter 1, Shea states his agenda — the history and theology of the relationship between evangelicals and Roman Catholics: “What have American evangelicals and Roman Catholics been saying about one another, what are they saying now, and how might they learn to speak differently in the future?” (7). Shea notes that while “conspiratorial and erotic fantasies” (10). from Tony Alamo and Jack Chick’s comic books are still available, more measured critiques appeared. Respected evangelical and Reformed authorities such as G. C. Berkouwer (The Conflict with Rome and The Second Vatican Council

and The New Catholicism) and David F. Wells (Revolution in Rome), while still critical, were “less negative and suspicious than one would expect from the heirs of Calvin and Luther” (10).

Shea does an adequate job covering the meaning of the term “evangelicalism” as it developed historically and the distinction between “fundamentalism” and “evangelicalism.” Shea also discusses the different understandings that come to mind when using the term “Roman Catholicism.” He is confused with the term “evangelical” Catholics, which is used “to distinguish the sort of Catholics with whom an evangelical may converse without evangelizing” (15). [I became aware of his perplexity when we met at the Wheaton Conference on Evangelicals and Catholics (April 11-13, 2002) in which we both participated.]

In chapter 2, “The Perils of Modernity,” Shea directs his attention to the effect that modernism has had on evangelicalism and Catholicism. Discussed is the battle between liberals, such as Harry Emerson Fosdick and J. Gresham Machen (Christianity and Liberalism), the conservative scholar from Princeton Seminary (then still an orthodox institution). The Scopes “Monkey” Trial is noted and the fact that three million copies of The Fundamentals were distributed for the purpose of offering a rationale for rejecting Darwinism and biblical criticism.

Shea next addresses Modernism and Roman Catholics: “The bishops and Rome were confronted by a problem in Europe similar to th...

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