From Publishers Weekly
The eminent evangelical historian Noll and journalist Nystrom offer a lucid and charitable account of the current state of evangelical-Catholic relations. Only scant decades ago, they point out, Protestants inveighed against "the formalism, the anthropocentric worship, the power mongering, and the egotism" of Rome. But now, they wryly observe, all those qualities "flourish on every hand within Protestant evangelicalism." This willingness to see the proverbial beam in one's own eye is one of the great strengths of this book, which has as much to say about the authors' own Christian tradition as about Rome. Surveying the changes in Catholicism since Vatican II, and documenting the numerous encounters that have ensued between Catholics and Protestants, Noll and Nystrom find "a dramatically altered terrain" that offers hope for further rapprochement. Catholics will appreciate the authors' focus on official teaching, especially their appreciative, though not uncritical, survey of the Church's Catechism. Not all readers will agree that on the crucial Reformation-era topic of justification, "Catholics and evangelicals now believe approximately the same thing," and Noll and Nystrom barely mention popular practices, like the cult of Guadalupe and the late Pope John Paul II's reinstatement of indulgences, that trouble evangelicals. Still, even if they never quite answer the question posed in their title, Noll and Nystrom certainly make the case that that question's time has come. (July)
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From the Back Cover
2006 Book Award Winner
"Here is superb theological journalism. The authors review Roman Catholic alterations of posture, if not of position, during the past half century; assess the overall shift as irreversible and transformational; and speculate provocatively on the significance of current Catholic/evangelical interaction in today's divided Christendom. Their thorough historical analysis will be a landmark resource for exploring the theological questions that Roman Catholic reconfiguration raises. This is an important book."--J. I. Packer
, Regent College
"Noll and Nystrom have produced a volume remarkable for its intellectual maturity and depth. Not since Berkouwer's great works on Catholicism have we seen anything like this. Written with utter clarity and directness, undergirded by immense historical and theological scholarship, this volume is the best available statement of the relationship and by itself is a vital step in making informed conversation between the parties possible."--William M. Shea
, College of the Holy Cross; author, The Lion and the Lamb: Evangelicals and Catholics in America
"To their credit, [the authors] examine deep and difficult matters with care and moderation. . . . Is the Reformation Over?
is most successful as a systematic, historical documentation of a complicated and often contentious relationship. This is to be expected of Noll, whose outstanding works of church history are marked by careful research and well-measured opinions."--Carl E. Olson
"The Reformation is over only in the sense that to some extent it has succeeded. This book examines, with scholarly care and sensitivity, recent evangelical-Roman Catholic developments that lend credence to this possibility. This book will help all of us who are committed to exploring the common heritage, as well as the differences that still remain, between the two largest faith communities in the Christian world."--Timothy George
, Beeson Divinity School; executive editor of Christianity Today