The Best Book On Roman Catholicism I Have Read

Is undoubtedly Leonardo De Chirico’s book entitled Evangelical Theological Perspectives on post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. The basic point of his book is that Roman Catholicism can only be rightly interpreted when seen as a system. This point has been made by some Roman Catholics, but very few Protestants have seen this. In Chirico’s research, only G.C. Berkouwer and Cornelius Van Til have really critiqued the RC faith as a system. Chirico does an especially good job at explaining how Vatican II fits in with the history of the RCC. For Chirico, the two basic categories for understanding RC are the understanding of the relationship of nature and grace; and the self-understanding of the church that the RC faith possesses. These are rebar, if you will, that penetrate and support the entire system of RC. I am going to blog all the way through this book in some detail, as I think it is such a tremendously important book (in fact, I intend to make it something of a baseline in my own research).

I have only two critiques of the book. The first is the rather unbelievable number of typos it contains. The second is that Chirico’s case for the nature/grace center is not quite as strong as the case he makes for the self-understanding of the church as an extension of the Incarnation of Christ. That being said, he has many penetrating insights into Catholicism, not to mention trenchant critiques of many Evangelical atomistic approaches to RC. That being said, I do not think that anyone researching RC can possibly afford to ignore this book. I wish it were more widely available (not to mention less expensive!).