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By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition Paperback – September 23, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An important service for Catholics, Evangelicals and all those seeking a firm grounding for Faith. Shea argues powerfully for the extra-biblical authority of Sacred Tradition as a depository and source of revelation side by side with the Bible, to which it testifies and which it interprets with authority. --Russell Shaw, Author, American Church

This is not just another book of Catholic apologetics. It is not only a good think; it's also a good read. Concrete, clear, compelling arguments. --Peter Kreeft, Author, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics

A crystal clear and compelling case for Sacred Tradition, on the basis of logic, history and Scripture. It is simply the best I have found. --Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home

This is not just another book of Catholic apologetics. It is not only a good think; it's also a good read. Concrete, clear, compelling arguments. --Peter Kreeft, Author, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics

A crystal clear and compelling case for Sacred Tradition, on the basis of logic, history and Scripture. It is simply the best I have found. --Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home

About the Author

Mark Shea is an award-winning columnist for the National Catholic Register, and a frequent contributor to Our Sunday Visitor and other Catholic publications. He is a popular blogger, and frequent guest on radio and television.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Second edition (September 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586177826
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586177829
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Before reading Mark Shea’s sprightful little book, ByWhat Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition, I was not a Catholic. But now, having read it… Well, I’m still not a Catholic.

But, I do think Shea still accomplished a noble task. As is clear, it was not necessarily persuasive as an apologia for Rome, but it was certainly helpful as a window into Rome. For Protestants who have never questioned the Solas of the Reformation, or can’t conceive why anyone would ever want to “worship Mary” or “pray to dead guys”, this book is in some ways a necessary read. Simply for the sake of gaining understanding.

I hope it’s no surprise that I have a great concern for ecumenism. Having read Robert Webber and Thomas Oden, and then having acquired a great appreciation for the Church Fathers and the creeds, I have jumped on board with the vision of a revived Classical Christianity. A Christendom in which unity is a strived for reality, not just a pious chimera.

Thus, as I read Shea, I sought to better understand this particular strand within the Christian tradition. A strand which, perhaps in contrast to many of my Confessional kin, I think deserves and demands to be considered. So, when I say I approached this book rather openly, I do mean it.

All that said, I was unconvinced of Shea’s defense of the Catholic Tradition. In many ways, I think it was because I am not the kind of ‘evanglical’ that Shea is writing to.

The approach that Shea takes is a simple and potentially effective one. He begins by offering his heart-felt thanks and appreciation to the Evangelical tradition through which He began following Jesus.
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Too right. The author uses actual evidence, never insults the intelligence of Protestants, uses logic and reasoning to make his points. Very convincing. I fully accept that Catholics are Christians and not cultists or heretics. I even ordered a collection of the early church fathers to do more research.
However, while he may convince me to accept the deuterocanon as a secondary canon of books that are good to read and may actually have sections that are inspired by the Holy Spirit, I will not accept the book of Judith as anything but bad historical fiction. I will even go so far as to admit that the writer of it may have invented historical fiction, and since he was the first, got so many things wrong. For it has way too many historical and geographic mistakes to be taken seriously as anything but a pious attempt to build up hope in a nasty era for the Jews. And succeeded, as witness how many girls have been named Judy and Judith since.
As to his big T vs. small t traditions, I fully agree, and also agree that Protestants do have many capital T traditions in common with Catholics. And do indulge in having small t traditions, varying from denomination to denomination. And often confuse microscopic t's for Mount Everest T's.
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Format: Paperback
This is an update edition. The previous edition has over forty reviews. Go there for more info.
Other sources are positive. Will buy as soon as I pay off my credit card :)
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While the writing seems a bit muddled at times, Shea gives exceptional insight and reasons for accepting Tradition, as understood for over twenty centuries by Christ's Church. Highly recommended not only for Evangelicals but for Catholics who want to know the roots of Sacred Tradition as well.
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One of the best accounts of the Catholic Church and its beginning. Anyone who reads it cannot hold the same views they hold before they read it, unless they already know the history.
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I simply want to thank Mark Shea for writing this book. I am a convert of a year and a half now. If I had found this book during the early years of my studying the faith, it may not have taken me 7 years to cross the Tiber. I think the best way to describe my heart and mind in completing the last page, is that I am thankful that I really wasn't alone all of those years reading and studying (skeptically at first) about this faith to disprove Catholic doctrine. I appreciated Mr. Shea's logical and systematic approach. Thanks again!
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