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Evangelical is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament
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Evangelical is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  258 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In this deeply moving narrative, Thomas Howard describes his pilgrimage from Evangelicalism (which he loves and reveres as the religion of his youth) to liturgical Christianity. He soon afterwards became a Roman Catholic. He describes Evangelicalism with great sympathy and then examines more formal, liturgical worship with the freshness of someone discovering for the first ...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Ignatius Press (first published 1984)
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Ben De Bono
Aug 01, 2011 Ben De Bono rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Evangelical Is Not Enough is the most powerful, challenging and thought provoking read I've come across in a very long time. The premise is fairly straightforward: for all of evangelicalism's many wonderful qualities, it's approach to things such as worship, prayer, sacrament and church structure is shallow and incomplete when compared to what's found in a liturgical tradition.

Howard points out that evangelicals have an inherit mistrust of anything too ritualistic or liturgical in worship. In t
Michael Poteet
Oct 07, 2011 Michael Poteet rated it liked it
Howard presents a warm and engaging "walk-through" of Christian worship in the historic, traditional liturgical way. While I don't hail from the same strong evangelical background that Howard does, I recognized some elements from the southern Presbyterian congregations in which I was raised, particularly the emphasis on personal Bible reading and prayer and the distrust of liturgy, ritual, and "pomp" (a word Howard here reclaims and defends in wonderful fashion). I would think many Protestants, ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I read this a few years ago, when I first began exploring high church tradition. I remember liking it the first time, but upon re-reading it this week, I have to say it was even better than I remembered. Great explanations, very helpful in answering the common objections raised by evangelicals. I wish all my evangelical friends would read this book and learn more about the liturgy and church traditions. I was taught to fear and/or despise these traditions in my youth; in adulthood I have discove ...more
Aug 23, 2015 Nate rated it it was amazing
"It is in the physical world that the intangible meets us. A kiss seals a courtship. The sexual act seals a marriage. A ring betokens the marriage. A diploma crowns years of schooling. A doctoral robe bespeaks intellectual achievement. A uniform and stripes announce a recruit's training. A crown girds the brow that rules England. This symbolism bespeaks the sort of creature we are. To excise all of this from piety and worship is to suggest that the gospel beckons us away from our humanity into a ...more
Aug 13, 2009 §-- rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I was pleasantly surprised with this one; I had heard that it wasn't very good, but found that Dr. Howard writes a lot like his hero C.S. Lewis. The style is clear, straight to the point, and conversational without sounding dumbed-down or condescending. Dr. Howard makes some pretty good arguments in defense of liturgy and honoring the saints, so well in fact that you wonder how anyone could disagree with him. Every evangelical should read this book. I, for one, now more fully appreciate liturgy.
Jul 01, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-loan
I really enjoyed reading this book. He explains his move from Protestantism to Catholicism without any negative attitudes. He appreciates the gifts of his former faith and gently explains to the reader why he found an increase of appreciation for the faith in the Catholic Church. His explanation of the liturgy and other Catholic practices is both clear and, at times, poetically profound.
Dec 29, 2010 Nate rated it it was amazing
This is what it's all about. This is why liturgy, history, and comprehensive spirituality are so vitally important. Thomas Howard is a former evangelical who converted to liturgical Christianity. He's now Catholic, but his main aim isn't to get you join his team. This is a great complement to Robbert Webber's work. Highly recommended.
Jul 27, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
Excellent irenic and polemical argument for the (Western) liturgical heritage. Thomas Howard, in his graceful style, writes about the beauty of "liturgical worship". As a former evangelical, this book was a shining light when I first read it.
Richard Jones
Jan 25, 2014 Richard Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. The book that, years ago, spoke to my Evangelical soul and started my Journey Home.
Bill Mech
Jul 30, 2011 Bill Mech rated it really liked it
He said, with good words and good humor, what I strain to communicate to those who've known my journey. Well done, Dr. Howard.
Peter Davids
Mar 01, 2014 Peter Davids rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book, even if I already knew some of what he was talking about. The book is part autobiography, part explanation, part apology. We follow Howard's journey from a typical evangelical church through the Plymouth Brethren to Anglicanism and beyond. The work is written in a type of C. S. Lewis prose style, although it is more simply written than On Being Catholic. He makes his point that the Eucharist is central and that liturgy is not a bad word. He reveals his own awakening. But whi ...more
May 17, 2012 Cody rated it liked it
I found it extremely interesting, but could not really relate to all that he talked about. I attend a non-denom, but I would guess evangelical is closest, and felt like I agreed with what he was saying, just I hadnt seen much of that. He shares examples and I found myself thinking, "Yup, Id have an issue with that too." Then realizing that I didn't necessarily see that in my own church, even though its evangelical.

I did like the discussion on symbolism and tradition and how much that now meant
Alex Stroshine
Jan 25, 2015 Alex Stroshine rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Thomas Howard's "Evangelical Is Not Enough", is an introspective look at the author's spiritual pilgrimage from a sparse evangelical (and I think one could also detect hints of fundamentalism) background to one that has been richly rewarded through liturgy.

Howard makes a compelling case for liturgy. He explains how we are "embodied beings" (a term very vociferously bandied about these days, as if it's taken us thousands of years to realize we are phyiscal) and that we depend upon and are enrich
John Andrew Seymour
Feb 27, 2014 John Andrew Seymour rated it really liked it
Thomas Howard makes a lot of good points that I was able to identify with as a convert to Catholicism, but his writing became quite dense in several places. For that reason, this may not be the best book to recommend to your evangelical friends who are interested in traditional/sacramental/liturgical Christianity. I would give it 5/5 stars on quality of writing and 3/5 stars on readability.
Dec 02, 2015 Hunter rated it really liked it
An excellent defense of the trend, beginning in the 1980s, of evangelical Christians departing for apostolic, historically liturgical bodies. Howard provides a well thought out and convincing argument for the need of sacramentalism and the great benefits of following the model the Church has been following for 2000 years in polity, calendar, and community. A must read for all Christians seeking to understand the draw of the historical, apostolic churches.
Jan 21, 2012 Steven rated it really liked it
Howard writes this book as an Anglican, a year or so before entering the Catholic Church. Overall I thought this was a great book. He teaches a lesson from a historical and spiritual point of view that we all need to hear. Liturgy is so important. We all need to learn how to pray; to worship God in liturgy and Sacrament. I do think he tends to brush over a few topics, coming at them with emotional arguments when a bit of historical theology is needed, but perhaps his intent is not to recruit peo ...more
Jacob Aitken
It is an important historical document because it is the first to definitively note a new moment in Evangelical theology. Instead of defaulting to the original Romanist polemics, Howard (and others) argue for something like Romanism on the lines that "God created stuff good; therefore, we need an embodied, sensory liturgy and faith." The first premise is true enough, but the latter either doesn't follow, or it needs to be explicated more.

Again, it's an interesting read and he tries to buttress h
Dec 07, 2012 Zach rated it did not like it
As a person's curiosity of traditional liturgies grow, one seems to be persuaded more and more by experience, not formal arguments. (If one does not agree with formal arguments why are you looking to begin with?) What I was hoping for in this book was details of the moments and experiences that revealed the beauty of traditional liturgy for Howard. Sadly, the only chapter that satisfied in this way was chapter 4 (on prayer) in which he illustrates the specific instances in which his love for str ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Howard articulates so many of my experiences and observations in my own journey from evangelical to liturgical. But he says it so much better than I ever could. Wonderful, enriching read.
Sep 11, 2011 JM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglo-catholic
Howard's ability to take an issue in Christianity (Historical/Liturgical church vs. Free form, exporaneous church) and explain it via narrative is impressive. He wrote this piece in 1984, and its sad that this issue still reigns in Christianity. The notion of liturgy is the "right way" or exporaneous worship is "spirit-filled" is somewhat irrelevant. Howard asserts that in the end, some liturgy is needed in evangelical churches and some exporaneous, charismatic elements should be desired in litu ...more
Aug 25, 2009 Briannaheldt rated it really liked it
LOVED this book!!! Thomas Howard (incidentally, Elisabeth Elliott's brother) shares about his journey from evangelicalism to the Roman Catholic Church, and about how evangelicals have really lost something in ditching liturgy and traditional church teachings on the sacraments. It really opened my eyes to some things (some of which I'd been thinking for awhile). I think this book is really important for evangelical Christians to read!!!!!
Aug 28, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
A very thoughtful and well written explanation about the importance of liturgy in worship. Though the title of the book might be taken offensively by some Evangelicals, the tone of the book could not be more respectful in discussing this topic. As a former Evangelical I think he hits it right on the head. You can tell that he takes much inspiration from For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann.
Sam Chamelin
Thomas Howard is thoughtful and conversational as he considers a more robust evangelical understanding of the gospel - one that takes him to the catholic Church.
John Compton
Jan 30, 2013 John Compton rated it it was amazing
This book gives a fair critique of typical modern evangelical worship. While it's a little too anglican/catholic at points for my taste. I think those who are tired of squeezing their eyes tightly during worship hoping that God will magically appear, will find this book as a breath of fresh air.
Dec 26, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. The author kindly, gently, and pleasantly reveals/describes a world which many in the Protestant world have no knowledge of. This book changed my life, up to a point.
Chip Atkinson
Aug 18, 2012 Chip Atkinson rated it it was amazing
Howard's conversion to Roman Catholicism surprised the academic world. This book presents an argument for the Church that is thorough, logical, historical and reasonable. It was a major influence in my own conversion.
Kevin Heldt
Jul 13, 2009 Kevin Heldt rated it really liked it
Awesome. Explains what I've felt and thought for a long time but could never successfully put into words. A great antidote to the "peer pressure" of modern evangelicalism.
Nov 15, 2011 Josh rated it it was amazing
I found the book difficult to put down - delightful reading. Howard is very convincing and I would highly recommend this book to any Christian.
Aug 29, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
This is one of a handful of books that led me from my Baptist roots to the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Oct 11, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it
Great read!
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  • Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic
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  • Return To Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic
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  • Catholicism and Fundamentalism
  • Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
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  • Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God
  • The Spirit of the Liturgy
  • Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism
  • The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers
  • Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body
  • Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality Through the Christian Year
  • The Spirit of Catholicism
Thomas Howard (b. 1935) is a highly acclaimed writer and scholar.

He was raised in a prominent Evangelical home (his sister is well-known author and former missionary Elisabeth Elliot), became Episcopalian in his mid-twenties, then entered the Catholic Church in 1985, at the age of fifty. At the time, his conversion shocked many in evangelical circles, and was the subject of a feature article in th
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“But evil is always illusion. It insists on the lie that we can have something for ourselves. This is the sole principle at work in hell. Lucifer chose to believe it; or, since it is unimaginable that he actually could have believed it, then we may say that he chose to pretend it might be. Very well, says Truth, you may pretend this. But the pretense will be, literally, your undoing. It will unmake you. You will have opted for something that is not, namely, a lie. Hell is built of lies.” 4 likes
“The flesh,' as Saint Paul used the term, refers, ironically, not to our bodies but to fallen human nature. The 'carnal' spirit is the one that devours things for itself and refuses to make them an oblation to God. The carnal spirit is cruel, egocentric, avaricious, gluttonous, and lecherous, and as such us fevered, restless, and divided. The spiritual man, on the other hand, is alone the man who both knows what flesh is for and can enter into its amplitude. The lecher, for example, supposes that he knows more about love than the virgin or the continent man. He knows nothing. Only the virgin and the faithful spouse knows what love is about. The glutton supposes that he knows the pleasures of food, but the true knowledge of food is unavailable to his dribbling and surfeited jowls. The difference between the carnal man and the spiritual man is not physical. They may look alike and weigh the same. The different lies, rather, between one's being divided, snatching and grabbing at things, even nonphysical things like fame and power, or being whole and receiving all things as Adam was meant to receive them, in order to offer them as an oblation to their Giver.” 4 likes
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