- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Scepter Pubs (January 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1889334316
- ISBN-13: 978-1889334318
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism
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Top Customer Reviews
Whether Protestant or Catholic, you should read this book. It is absolutely crucial to understanding what unites & divides Protestants and Catholics, and how to preserve untainted the truths we hold most dear.
Bouyer, beginning his spiritual service as a French Lutheran Cleric, knew Protestant thought from the inside out. He is careful to outline all the good Reform teaching contains and quick to point out how Church practice at the time of the Reformation had come to deemphasize much the Reformers championed. His issues are not with the orthodox doctrines but with the negative elements that mysteriously appear with them in Reform thought. Bouyer insist that these elements, not rooted in orthodox doctrine but in the poison of Occamist Nominalism, weaken and dilute the orthodox doctrines and prevent them from bearing fruit. They also create endless division and doctrinal chaos and confusion.
The book is divided into three large sections. In the first he outlines the positive principles of the Reformation, with numerous quotes from the writings of the Reformers.Read more ›
Thus, it seemed to me that protestantism was simply a new Tower of Babel, an example of man againing becoming alienated from man by being trapped in his own ego and own privated "spirit filled" illuminations.
Bouyer brilliantly shows in the first half of the book what the genius of protestantism was and is: a complete an utter realisation that my salvation is utterly the work of grace, that when I convert, it is the grace of God drawing me to him. Thus, I do not earn salvation as every impulse in me towards the divine including accepting Christ, as the Kyrios, is down to the grace of God.
Bouyer shows that this is totally catholic and fully consistent with the teaching of the church from the beginning (see the 6th century Council of Orange and latterly of Trent). However, Luther was not satisfied with proclaiming this truth, which, at that time, needed to be proclaimed again from the rooftops.Read more ›
However, nothing could be further from the truth regarding "The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism" by Fr. Louis Bouyer. Originally written in 1956, Bouyer's book is a masterful treatment, from a Catholic perspective, of exactly where the original Reformers were wrong - and where they were right. The tone of the book is clearly that of a convert (which Bouyer was) who desires nothing more than the reconciliation of his former Protestant brethren with the Catholic Church, and who sees the Catholic Church as the fulfillment, not the rejection, of the best impulses of the original Reformers. Bouyer takes pains to present Protestantism in the most favorable light, always assuming sincerity and good intentions on the part of those who developed Protestant theology.
The book is divided roughly in two parts - in the first section (the greater part of the book) he discusses all the correct (from a Catholic perspective) desires and doctrines of the Reformers, and in the second part he details where they fell short of the fullness of the truth found in Catholicism. In both sections he maintains an even, fair treatment of the decisive differences that separated Western Christendom in the 16th century.
This book is eminently useful to both the Catholic and the Protestant. The Catholic can better understand the reasons behind the beliefs of our "separated brethren," while appreciating many of the impulses behind them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a truly wonderful book by a convert to the Catholic Church who became a priest and a scholar. I find the first part of the book fascinating. Read morePublished 15 months ago by poodleskirt
This book was recommended to me by a mentor as I was coming back into the church from Protestantism. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ryan Burke
This is a unique book (at least to me) in the fact that the author manages to give Catholocism its rightful place while still being charitable to the committed Protestants of the... Read morePublished on August 25, 2011 by Agb451
The divide between Protestants and Catholics since the Reformation has been expressed often in petty polemical writings attacking a caricature of reality. Read morePublished on November 14, 2010 by ecclesial hypostasis
A former French Lutheran Pastor who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Catholic priest, Bouyer provides what I have found to be one of the most deeply charitable and... Read morePublished on June 29, 2010 by Scophocles
The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, by Louis Bouyer, is hailed by many in Romanist circles as a fair but devastating critique of Protestant theology. Read morePublished on January 27, 2010 by Geoffrey B. McGuire