Book Review: If Protestantism is True by Devin Rose

Aug 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Blog Posts

Called To Communion readers might already be familiar with Devin Rose, who is no stranger to the combox here; but if not, please visit Devin’s blog. Devin is a convert from atheism to Christianity first, and from Evangelical Christianity to Catholicism. He is now an up and coming Catholic author and apologist. Devin recently signed a contract with Catholic Answers to publish his new book, If Protestantism is True, and that’s pretty exciting!

Devin’s book is an attempt to show the implausibility, or even impossibility, of the various Protestant churches representing the faith that Christ intended. The tone is irenic, not overly polemical, and Rose intentionally highlights the many truths in Protestantism. He makes it clear throughout the book that we Catholics and Protestants truly share a great deal in common. But where Protestantism has veered from the ancient faith, Rose does not hesitate to explain, in simple terms and with concise logic, why these novelties cannot possibly stand. The book is easy to read; you do not have to be a theology geek to appreciate it. It also has a distinctly personal feel throughout the book, and not just when Rose is sharing an individual story.

Rose aims broadly with his audience and therefore it will not be perfectly suited to certain small niche groups like conservative Reformed Protestants who frequent Called To Communion. However, that should not deter even Reformed Protestants from reading the book as they too will find challenging arguments.


Devin Rose

Some of the arguments do not truly apply to conservative Reformed Christians, and Rose concedes this point, because they are aimed at theological errors arising from liberal tendencies. Many of the others actually do apply to them, although the well studied Reformed Christian may attempt to distance himself from such applications. For example, Rose addresses the issue of sola scriptura as presented in a broader, Evangelical context. However, as Bryan Cross and Neal Judisch have demonstrated, the position the Reformed believe themselves to hold lacks a principled distinction from the broader Evangelical position. I believe that the rest of the doctrinal errors which Rose addresses and from which Reformed Christians would likely try to distance themselves are of the same nature.

In my estimation the ideal candidate for reading this book, whether he is Catholic or Protestant, would be someone who has started exploring the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism and wants to dig deeper into the many issues that continue to divide us. Even those who have already studied the issues will benefit from this clear and concise presentation of the most important doctrinal divisions that continue to prevent full communion between baptized Christians. Devin’s book is available in paperback and on the Kindle.

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  1. […] admit that I was apprehensive about this one–the Called to Communion guys are really smart and know the arguments well. Several ideas in […]

  2. I look forward to reading this Devin as I always appreciate your insights in the combox. I hope and pray that this book finds its way into the hands of many evangelical brothers. Thank you for writing this.

    Peace in Christ, Jeremy

  3. This seems like a must read for me!

  4. Tim and CtC authors, thanks for this review.

    Paul, I hope you will enjoy it.

    Jeremy, thank you very much! I’ve received positive feedback on it from my Protestant friends, even ones who currently do not feel they are close to becoming Catholic, so I hope that our Evangelical brothers will discover it. As you know, there is a bit of a great divide between Catholics and Protestants, with each of us moving about only on our “side,” but I’ve gotten some cross-over with a big Protestant site and even a pastor checking it out. The low-price of the Kindle version has also helped lower the barrier for entry. In any event, I have followed your story and subsequent posts with great interest and your excitement about the book means a lot.

  5. Great review and very fair. I’ve got the book on Kindle and it’s very good. You are right, it’d be very hard to be able to go into specific arguments since it’s so broad, but I think that the majority of Protestants in America would fall into the group that would get a lot out of this book.

  6. Holy cow, Devin! You weren’t kidding when you said the Kindle price was low. I feel like I need to go to confession because I just stole something from you.

    I’m looking forward to reading it.

  7. Zeeehjee,

    Haha! Since I published the book through my own imprint (Unitatis Books), I had the freedom to set the price as I liked. When the book is revised and published as a new edition through Catholic Answers, the e-book price will likely go up, though I’m not sure by how much.

    The great thing is, the sales of the e-versions have been two to three times the print version. That really surprised me, but even people without a Kindle can download the Kindle app for their computer/iPad/smart-phone and read it, so many have done that.

    One Protestant friend of mine was also surprised at the low price and told me not to quit my day job. :) But the low price clears out a big obstacle to people getting it and reading it, which is the goal.

  8. Devin,

    Congratulations on the publication of your book, and the impending republication by Catholic Answers, brother! You (and the CTC writers here) played an important role in my returning to the Church last year, more so than you may know, so I’m pleased to see your work getting wide exposure.

    One question– will the the Catholic Answers version of your book have any substantial differences in comparison to the one that is currently on sale? If not, I will go ahead and buy the current version, as I haven’t yet bought it. (I will buy the print version, as I’m “old-school” in that way, and it will put a bit more money in your pocket!)

  9. Devin,

    I’d like to talk to you offline, if you don’t mind. If you’d email me at j(dot)stellman(at)comcast(dotnet) I’d appreciate it.

    Cheers,

    JJS

  10. Devin,

    Scratch my earlier question. I just saw your July 29th post on your blog about the revised edition of the book. Now, I just have to decide whether to buy your book now or to wait for the revised edition. Decisions, decisions! :-)

  11. Christopher,

    Thanks man! The Catholic Answers version will be revised, but mainly structurally, so much of the apologetics content will remain substantially the same. I would recommend buying the “limited edition” now and then the Catholic Answers edition later. :)

    Rev. Stellman, sounds great: I’ll email you.

  12. Devin,

    Given that you deserve it, for your work, and given that I’m impatient to wait for the revised edition, I may well buy both versions. :-)

  13. I think I’m going to wait until the new version comes out, so I can buy a used copy of the old version for cheaper than the current price for book brand new (as of right now, the book is such high demand that the used versions at Amazon are more expensive!)

    Bradley

  14. Yes I am going to get your book Devin sounds interesting. I have a question did anybody here read Not By Scripture Alone by Robert Sungenis? What do you think of that book?

  15. Bradley, that’s cool man!

    Jerry, yes I own that Sungenis book. It’s good, though Sungenis has developed some strange ideas in the past several years that unfortunately weaken his credibility now. The book itself has contributions for many different apologists and tackles the sola Scriptura issue from several angles.

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