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Evangelical Theological Perspectives on post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism


Leonardo De Chirico

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) has forced Evangelical theology to rethink its own perception and analysis of Roman Catholicism. Many Evangelical theologians have attempted to grapple with the new Roman Catholic outlook and the ecumenical challenges it brings. After describing the theological contours of Evangelicalism, the book critically surveys the works on Roman Catholicism by Gerrit Berkouwer, Cornelius Van Til, David Wells, Donald Bloesch, Herbert Carson, John Stott, and two on-going international dialogues between Evangelicals and Catholics. The Evangelical appraisal of Roman Catholicism has in general suffered from a lack of systemic awareness in dealing with it. The prevailing approach has been marked by an interpretative atomism, and the last two chapters propose the formulation of an Evangelical systemic analysis. First, by supporting the feasibility of the category of system as applied to Roman Catholicism, thus developing the basic theological hermeneutics proposed by Abraham Kuyper. Second, by indicating in the Roman Catholic articulations of the relationship between nature and grace and in the ecclesiological self-understanding of the Roman Church the two main theological foci of the system.

«This is an essential resource for an Evangelical understanding of contemporary Roman Catholicism.» (David McKay, Reformed Theological Journal)
«...the book is an excellent contribution to the process of constructive evangelical-Roman Catholic dialogue and critique but also to all those interested in applied Neo-Calvinist thinking.» (Jason Zuidema, Calvin Theological Journal)
«It is a good, informative and worthwhile reading.» (PG Pandimakil, Mission)
«This book deserves to be widely read and circulated, for it makes a genuine and fresh contribution to current ecumenical affairs.» (Gerald Bray, Churchman)
«Man kann dem Autor für diese wichtige Dissertation über den römischen Katholizismus nur dankbar sein. Auf deutscher Seite gibt es augenscheinlich kein vergleichbares umfassendes Werk. [...] Die Anschaffung der Arbeit von De Chirico ist jedem evangelikalen theologischen Seminar und allen an römisch-katholischer Theologie interessierten Christen sehr zu empfehlen.» (Jochen Eber, Jahrbuch für evangelikale Theologie)