I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Roman Catholic Theology and Practice by Gregg Allison. This is an extremely important book, and I think will be a valuable addition to the ongoing discussion between Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians.
Prior to this book, my go to work when interacting with Roman Catholic theology has been Are We Together? by RC Sproul. Like Sproul’s work, Allison seeks to give a fair comparison and critique of Roman Catholic theology, and to demonstrate both the similarities and dissimilarities between Protestant and Roman beliefs. However, unlike Sproul, Allison structures his work as a sort of commentary on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This approach gives it both a validity and gravity that Sproul’s work does not have. Allison begins each section by explaining a given section of the Catechism, and then assessing it from the framework of an Evangelical belief system.
In addition to using the Catechism extensively, Allison has also spent years working with and ministering to Roman Catholics. He is fair and charitable, and has a deep concern for those within the Papal see.
While this wasn’t the most enjoyable read due to its detailed analysis, it is never-the-less a vital addition to the library of anyone who interacts with Rome. It makes a great reference work to add to your shelf. For most people, I would not suggest trying to read it cover to cover, rather when confronted by a Roman Catholic who challenges your understanding as a reference (along with a copy of the Catechism itself) from which to draw clarification and understanding.
Please note: Crossway has provided me with an electronic version of this book for review purposes. They do not require positive reviews, nor have they edited or modified this review in any way.