Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 12:1 (Winter 2003)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

How Not To Share Your Faith: The Seven Deadly Sins Of Catholic Apologetics And Evangelization, Mark Brumley, San Diego, California: Catholic Answers, 2002, 124 pages, paper, $9.95

The Vatican II Council (1962–65) has been the catalyst of many discussions between Roman Catholics and Protestants.1 Upon the close of the Council a theological dialogue was begun between Lutherans and Roman Catholics in the United States.2 Readers of the Reformation & Revival Journal would be aware of the efforts of Chuck Colson, Richard John Neuhaus, and others in the “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” projects.3

During this time, there were a number of evangelicals who, for various reasons, converted to Roman Catholicism. This group would include Scott Hahn who received his training at Cordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and had served as a Presbyterian pastor.4

The author of the book under review is one such convert from evangelicalism. Mark Brumley came to faith in Christ in a Protestant fundamentalist setting. He joined the Catholic church in 1980. When I met Mark, he was working for Karl Keating at Catholic Answers, an apologetics ministry based in San Diego.5 He left Catholic Answers and went to work for the Catholic Diocese of San Diego. Brumley now serves at Ignatius Press and is general editor of a forthcoming work, The Ignatius Catholic Encyclopedia of Apologetics.

The book being reviewed has a preface by Avery Cardinal

Dulles, S. J., who, at age eighty-two, is perhaps the most formidable theological thinker in American Catholicism. In addition to commenting on the debilitating effect that liberalism had on the doctrines of the Christian faith, Dulles identifies neo-orthodoxy as a negative influence as well. This last point is often overlooked in Roman Catholic thinking.

In chapter 1, the First Deadly Sin of Catholic Apologetics is “Biting Off More than You Can Chew” (or trying to prove the unprovable). In order to negate “fideism” (the view that reason has little or no role in understanding the Christian faith), Catholic apologists (and some Protestants as well) have often gone too far. While faith is not “irrational,” before man can believe we “must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God.”

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