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Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  224 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
In recent years, some evangelical Protestant leaders have signed statements pledging themselves to joint social action with Roman Catholics. Others have refused to participate, declaring that, in their view, the statements went too far, touching on the gospel, which remains a point of disagreement between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Many evangelical Christians have ...more
Hardcover, 125 pages
Published July 30th 2012 by Reformation Trust Publishing
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On the issue of the misperception that Rome is unified and only Protestantism is fragmented, Doug Wilson has some excellent thoughts here.

Here's another one (in it, Wilson mentions Tim Challies's post about Catholics' understanding of Protestant justification by faith alone, and their damnation of it). Here's another post by Challies as he recounts a talk by Sproul: According to Rome, faith is a necessary condition for justification, but not the sufficient condition.

After "The Future of Protesta
Apr 28, 2014 Trisha rated it it was amazing
J. C. Ryle said there is a hatred that is downright charity and that is the hatred of false doctrine. Sproul demonstrates great charity in this book as he addresses the false teachings of the Catholic church while also addressing the misunderstandings that Protestants often have about Catholic theology. Sproul's tone is loving and firm and unapologetic. This book is essential reading, especially in an age when so many Protestants are casually dismissing the significance of justification by faith ...more
Mark Ward
Dec 06, 2012 Mark Ward rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Sproul begins his book with utter clarity: in the debate between Roman Catholicism and evangelical, Reformation Protestantism, the gospel itself is at stake. It takes him just a page and half to specify the fundamental difference between the two groups:

The fundamental difference was this. [The Roman Catholic council of] Trent said that God does not justify anyone until real righteousness inheres within the person. In other words, God does not declare a person righteous unless he or she is righte
Jacob Aitken
Dec 24, 2012 Jacob Aitken rated it really liked it
Excellent contrast between Rome and Protestantism. Short on analysis and critique. Offers some pointers towards a critique. What I picked up in this book:

1. Rome's viwe of justification is analytic: a man is right with God because God makes him right with God. Infused grace. Substance. Not too much to get excited about. ~1. Prot. holds synthetic view. God declares a man to be right. Imputes, by contrast. Further, Rome can't criticize Reformers for holding to imputation as legal fiction. Rome, to
Mar 02, 2016 Calvin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I'd imagine it might be difficult to find a more balanced book on the subject, Dr Sproul gives a very fair reading of the current literature on the Catholic church, and helps Protestants over some of their typical misreadings of the situation. At the same time he holds firm to the five solas, and brands the RC position as one that has departed from the gospel. Thoroughly recommended.
Jon Sedlak
May 08, 2013 Jon Sedlak rated it really liked it
R.C. Sproul has offered a very helpful contribution to the discussion of Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism. It is far from settling the debate though. And there are pros and cons to this book, but the pros outweigh the cons, which is why I gave it four stars.

PROS: It's brief and very easy to read. It covers six major concerns of the Roman Catholic Church, and all six of those concerns are modern concerns (not ancient or medieval concerns which aren't very relevant today). Sproul also presents
Jul 07, 2016 Dkovlak rated it really liked it
RC Sproul, a well-known and respected pastor and author, does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting the Protestant faith and the Catholic faith.

Although some people feel that some of these differences have been result over the years, many issues still remain differences.

This is in excellent read for anyone who wants to know the basic differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics.
Michael Harrison
Jan 02, 2013 Michael Harrison rated it really liked it
Short, informative, and clear. A look at the differences between Catholic and Protestant understandings of justification, Scripture, the church, sacraments, the Pope, and Mary.
Zach McDonald
Dec 07, 2016 Zach McDonald rated it really liked it
As always, R.C. Sproul somehow does the work of being both utterly truthful and gracious with his words. He avoids misrepresenting Catholicism, as many Protestants are prone to, but also points to the church's many faults that keep us from holding hands. This is a short book, very readable, and clear. The only complaint I have, and it is one which would have caused me to give the book 3.5 stars if possible, is that he does not dive deep enough into critiquing the RC positions. Each chapter is ...more
Nov 23, 2016 Sally rated it really liked it
Sproul goes through key beliefs of Catholicism, giving their historical background and then comparing them to Scripture and Protestant doctrine. Topics covered are Scripture, Justification, the Church, the Sacraments, the Papacy, and Mary. At a time when the tendency is to downplay doctrine in favor of unity, this book makes it clear that there are areas where compromise in unacceptable.
Justin Tapp
Dec 15, 2014 Justin Tapp rated it really liked it
Ligonier Ministries gave this book out for free in November, and I was glad to get it. This book sprang out of Sproul and other Presbyterians' concerns over a push toward ecumenicism in the 1990s. The Evangelical and Catholics Together movement produced a series of statements affirming certain common doctrines on both sides. Sproul and others may have agreed with 95% of the statements but found the other 5% to be essential doctrine on which they would not compromise, and felt no one else should ...more
David Steele
May 28, 2016 David Steele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
R.C. Sproul. Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism. Sanford: Reformation Trust, 2012. 126 pp. $14.73

There are at least 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world - a stunning number to the unsuspecting. It would be a massive understatement to confess that Rome has had and continues to have a titanic influence on Western thought and culture.

In recent years, some evangelicals have taken steps to bridge the divide between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism. Evangelicals a
Steve Hazell
Sep 23, 2016 Steve Hazell rated it liked it
Nice succinct critique of the Roman Catholic Church. Sproul uses grace as he shows the divide between Protestantism and Catholicism, but he makes it clear that the divide is serious and massive. The book bogged down at times when he would deal with the councils and what not, and Sproul tends to talk over your head, but that is inevitable in some way. He mainly makes the distinctions but withholds the insults that some resort to. However, he does make it clear that he views the Catholic Church as ...more
Todd Wilhelm
Nov 21, 2012 Todd Wilhelm rated it it was amazing
"I have written in STRONG terms in this book because I believe the errors of the Roman Catholic Church are deep and significant. As I noted in the introduction, I am happy to make common cause with Roman Catholics on social issues, but we have no common cause in the gospel. Rome has compromised the gospel with her unbiblical doctrines. I firmly believe that she is "teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:9).

How then should we proceed? How should we relate to Roman Catholics?

I be
Randall Hartman
Sep 24, 2015 Randall Hartman rated it really liked it
I was prompted to read this book by the attention surrounding the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to the United States. Historically, Protestants have been able to cooperate with Catholics on common social and moral issues, such as the sanctity of life, the definition and permanence of marriage, and aid and assistance to those who cannot help themselves. But does this mean we are also in agreement on key spiritual matters? Unfortunately, it does not, and for protestants it would be impossible to ...more
Scott Roper
Feb 17, 2014 Scott Roper rated it really liked it
Conspicuously absent from Are We Together?'s dust jacket is a blurb from that prolific endorser of reformed and evangelical books, JI Packer. The reason is clear; RC Sproul takes aim at the doctrinal compromise at the center of Evangelicals and Catholics Together which Packer was a part of. This book is not a strong defense of the Protestant faith in the face of Roman Catholic claims. Rather, it succeeds in demonstrating the sharp differences between two faiths; differences that necessitate sepa ...more
Brian Algie
Sep 15, 2016 Brian Algie rated it really liked it
RC Sproul does an excellent job introducing you to much of the differences that exist between Protestants and the RCC. This is a good primer to introduce you to those areas especially if our understanding at present is limited about Rome's teachings. One thing is abundantly clear the Reformation is not over. May we proclaim that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Soli Deo Gloria.
Joel Mitchell
Jan 16, 2016 Joel Mitchell rated it it was amazing
In this short book, R. C. Sproul provides a concise summary of the most important differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism (in its classic form, not the theologically liberal form now common in many mainline denominations). In other words: What are Protestants protesting? Are there really irreconcilable differences or was the Protestant Reformation/Revolt "a tempest in a teapot"?

This book does not spend a lot of time trying to make a case that [insert Bible passage] means [insert
Kyle Houlton
Apr 22, 2016 Kyle Houlton rated it it was amazing
As Protestant Christians, we have the charge and privilege of proclaiming the Gospel to those who haven't placed their faith in Christ alone. But nobody will ever gain a listening audience if he confronts or corrects an error that doesn't exist. RC Sproul sets out to identify clearly, not out of bias, but by the bearing out of historical evidence, that Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are most definitely not together. It would be inappropriate to categorize Protestants and Catholics as having ...more
Nick Mason
Jan 03, 2014 Nick Mason rated it really liked it
As a former Catholic, I appreciate the effort Sproul makes in helping define clearly what Catholics believe and the distinctions that are different than what Protestants believe. As a Protestant, Lutheran, in my personal opinion, there has been so many Protestants who are confused on what Catholics believe. Understandable since many have not learned what Catholics believe in both Catholic circles and Protestant circles. Compounded by recent news of some Protestant churches including a Lutheran ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
This is a simple introduction to Roman Catholicism from a Reformation prospective. Sproul does a good job analyzing the Roman church from about 10,000 feet giving specific doctrinal difference the feel of an overview. He doesn't pull any punches and doesn't caricaturize.

Being familiar with Reformed theology on the issues he addresses I felt the book was a little repetitive and I would have appreciated more detail on Roman theology. One of the key issues for me was that the doctrine of Papal infa
Mar 06, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it
Sproul does a great job of succinctly and charitably identifying the primary divergences between fundamental Protestant and Roman Catholic doctrines. Clocking in at under a hundred pages, it is hardly more than a brochure but is rich, full, fair, and thorough.

This would be a great text to use in a group comprised of Protestants and Roman Catholics interested in thoughtful and charitable dialogue and study or with someone migrating to a Protestant/Reformed church from the Roman Catholic church.
Seth Holler
Dec 04, 2012 Seth Holler rated it liked it
Reading with a friend.

Happy to report that this book avoid the anti-Catholic caricatures that bedevil the genre. He is short on arguments; it's only 100 pages or so long, and his purpose is to document real differences, not convince us to take one side or the other. Naturally on occasion he asserts that his position is the true one, and in the Justification chapter he mounts a few small arguments.

Other highlights: he rightly uses official Church documents and explains terminology that is foreign
Brent Rosendal
Jul 21, 2013 Brent Rosendal rated it really liked it
A good, informative little book detailing some of the major doctrinal difference between Catholics and Protestants. I've always heard stuff about Catholics beliefs but had never really investigated it for myself. The book confirmed some things that I had heard, showed that some of the things I heard were not true and showed me a number of things that I had never heard before. I think Sproul gives an apt conclusion - 'When our involvement in social issues brings us into contact and camaraderie ...more
Joshua Harp
May 17, 2013 Joshua Harp rated it really liked it
In this book, Sproul very clearly articulates the doctrinal differences dividing Roman Catholicism from Protestant Christianity. In an age of pluralistic thinking, many opt for peace over truth on this issue, seeking to reconcile the chasm between these two belief structures. I appreciate the loving and gentle way that Sproul discusses this issue. He gives Christians a great example of how to communicate the truth of the Gospel to those of differing beliefs concerning the good news in a way that ...more
Nov 18, 2012 JJ added it
Great introduction to the issues on the table. As more and more Protestants are defecting to the Roman Catholic Church, attracted to its liturgy and reverence, and its seeming irenic doctrinal unity, pastor especially must be well-informed and prepared to dialogue and plead with their people to understand the substance of what prompted the Reformation in the first place. The ultimate question of the Reformation, and it remains the ultimate question for discussion between Protestants and ...more
Feb 17, 2014 Nickvisel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Short, concise, and helpfully expositional critique of the differences between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Sproul uses official Roman Catholic documentation to explain RC views as opposed to Protestantism, and makes a strong effort to graciously and objectively assess views of the Church of Rome. Very helpful if you are a Protestant wanting to understand the deep roots of theological separation between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Oonkean Lin
Feb 22, 2014 Oonkean Lin rated it really liked it
R.C Sproul gave a clear and concise understanding on why Roman Catholicism and Protestantism remains at odds with each other despite recent developments that gave the impression that it is possible for both to come together. Dr. Sproul goes through some history on the development of some of the contentious Roman Catholic dogmas and why Protestants do not accept these dogmas. As usual, Dr. Sproul communicates very clearly in this book.
Scott Guillory
Dec 19, 2015 Scott Guillory rated it really liked it
I must admit, I didn't know very much about Roman Catholicism (being that I didn't grow up Roman Catholic) before reading this book. Many Protestants and Roman Catholics say that when all is said and done, we believe and practice the same faith. To those who say that, lovingly loan them this book. Very informative. As usual, Sproul does a fantastic job of explaining the hard truths in a very understandable way. Highly recommend the book.
Paul Wichert
Jul 15, 2013 Paul Wichert rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
An interesting short book describing some of the history and statements of RC dogma compared to (evangelical) Protestantism. It is very brief (the hardcover was as thick as the contents), but a good dip into the specifics of RC belief: Scripture, justification, Church, sacraments, papacy, and Mary (nothing on the saints, priesthood, monasticism, and only a little on purgatory and Aquinas). It whet my appetite for something more substantial, perhaps Boettner's Roman Catholicism.
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Dr. R.C. Sproul was born in 1939 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He is president of Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies and the founder and chairman of the ministry that began in 1971 as the Ligonier Valley Study Center in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. In an effort to respond more effectively to the growing demand for Dr. Sproul’s teachings and the ministry’s other educational resources, ...more
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“I do not believe that the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches are preaching the same gospel that evangelicals preach.” 0 likes
“We do well to remember that only one Man has ever spoken infallibly—our Lord Jesus, who alone is Head of His church. Let us receive His Word—the Scriptures—as the only infallible communication from God.” 0 likes
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