Friday, September 30, 2011

Book #65

Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, by David B. Currie. Paperback.

I have read a number of similar books, relating the author's journey (or return) to Catholicism. As a hesitant Protestant, I find these books interesting. I confess that conversion stories have always intrigued me.

This book is less personal than similar memoirs, and is instead more theological in its approach. I prefer this approach. Currie covers the "big" issues he had to deal with as he felt drawn to the Roman Church, such as the Eucharist, salvation, and Mary. He also covers the canon of Scripture, authority, and moral theology. He covers all of these in a consistent, systematic way.

One of my quibbles with the book is the loose use of the word "Fundamentalist" in the title. The word is rarely used in the text of the book, where the more accurate "Evangelical" is regularly used. The book's is targeted at Catholics, for whom the differences between Fundamentalist and Evangelical are minor.

There are also numerous "straw man" arguments against Evangelicalism, where Currie puts words into the mouth of an unidentified "leading Protestant" or "Evangelical professor." Perhaps there were reasons for doing this, to keep the manuscript brief or perhaps even for legal reasons. Nevetheless, I found this annoying, and for an otherwise well-argued book, this does stand out as a weakness.

Those small issues aside, I was impressed with Currie's facility with complex and touchy theological questions. Generally speaking, he presents the standard Evangelical view of issues fairly, and shows that Protestants and Catholics do not disagree on many issues. His point is that they disagree on a few issues, and it is the logical implications of these few disagreements that create divisions on major issues.

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