MORE CHRISTIANITY

Dwight Longenecker, Author, Thomas Howard, Foreword by, C. S. Lewis, Introduction by
Dwight Longenecker, Author, Thomas Howard, Foreword by, C. S. Lewis, Introduction by . Our Sunday Visitor $12.95 (265p) ISBN 978-1-931709-35-4
Reviewed on: 07/22/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-1-58617-342-5
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One of a growing number of former evangelical Protestants who have converted to Catholicism, Longenecker takes a fresh approach to defending his chosen home in the church of Rome. Using C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity as a starting point, he challenges readers to look beyond the simple faith that Lewis described to discover "more Christianity." Although his expressed intent is not so much to convert as to help non-Catholic Christians understand the modern Catholic Church, Longenecker clearly believes that what Lewis called "mere Christianity" is most fully found in the Catholic Church. He asks for a new look at Catholicism and particularly its authority structure, which he says can defend core beliefs while still allowing cultural change, adaptation and growth. Lewis, he says, found such a bulwark in the Anglicanism of his day and Longenecker believes this is why the writer never left it for Catholicism, despite the influence of fellow author J.R.R. Tolkien. Longenecker, who was attracted to and embraced Anglicanism while an undergraduate at Bob Jones University, goes on to explain the facets of Catholic belief that are most troublesome to evangelicals, including the place of tradition, the role of the pope, the Virgin Mary and the relationship of works to salvation. Although this book will be of primary interest to Catholics, Longenecker's use of Lewis's signature work on Christianity provides an engaging point of reference that could be useful in ecumenical discussions with Protestants. It also will be helpful to Catholics seeking to understand evangelicals and their brand of Christianity. (Sept.)

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