Book Review: If Protestantism is True by Devin RoseAug 9th, 2011 | By Tim A. Troutman | 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.
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.