Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical

by Fr. John R. Waiss and James G. McCarthy

Reviewed by Susan Jones

Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical by Fr. John R. Waiss and James G .McCarthy was a pleasant surprise for me as I really didn’t know what to expect when I jumped into reading it.

Fr. John and James, Jim as he is referred to in the text, met in the 1990’s through a mutual friend and struck up a friendship.  Through the course of their friendship they broached the subjects of their faiths and the differences between them and this is how the idea of this book came to fruition. 

They began corresponding for this project in February 2000 and stated “Neither of us realized the time and the direction our discussions would take us.  This much we did know:  Each of us was going to try to convert the other – in a friendly way of course.”

Through a series of letters (60 to be exact) and several conversations, they delved into the very differences of being Catholic and an Evangelical. They address six topic areas that are key differences to Catholics and Evangelicals. They are: God’s Word; Teaching and Ruling Authority; Initial Salvation; Worship; Mary, Angels and Saints and Final Salvation.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I really never knew of the differences that divide our faiths and how each represented their faith with a strong conviction. 

Reading this book has help me gain new insight into my faith. While in at Sunday Mass listening to scripture reading and the priests homily, I found myself thinking back to Fr. John and Jim’s very conversations of their interpretations of Scripture and the areas where which they differ.  This book is a really great dialogue to understanding the variations and how they fit into your faith.

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