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The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism
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The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
by Rev. Louis Bouyer Rev. Bouyer shows the principles such as free and unmerited salvation, the sovereignty of God, justification by faith, and the sovereignty of Holy Scripture that inspired many 16th century Protestant reformers. He also discusses the weakening elements, such as denial of objective value of the sacraments, as well as opposition between scripture and apos ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published December 31st 2004 by Scepter Publishers (first published 1956)
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Lucie Cavaroc
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have heard that the reading level of Americans has gradually declined and is now at about a fourth grade level. I am embarrassed to say that this book made that premise abundantly clear to me. There was so much I didn't understand. I'd like to say that it was because of the Latin terms I didn't know and the background facts I was obviously supposed to know but didn't, but I'm afraid that mostly it is because it was published in 1955 and the material was beyond me. The parts I understood were e ...more
This book is well organized and displays a detailed knowledge of the history of the Protestant churches, including many quotes from original documents. Its scholarship is well beyond me, but it appears to be quite authoritative. The argument sounds familiar but is fleshed out with such clarity that the revealed message is far more subtle than I anticipated.

Bouyer starts by describing the two core tenets of Protestantism. Luther starts the Reformation when he defines sola gratia, the idea that we
Mar 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is most certainly a worthwhile book to read for a Protestant like myself who feels there is something to be gained from a greater understanding of Catholic theology. The book has two main sections. In the first section Bouyer praises the fundamental principles of the Reformation that addressed some of what was failed in Catholic practice in the Middle Ages. He then goes on to show how these principles, rather than opposing authentic Catholic instruction, actually have support from a number ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative and thorough.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Louis Bouyer was a French Lutheran priest who converted to Catholicism in the 1930s. This book, published in 1939, made a novel and profound contribution to the comparative study of Protestantism and Catholicism. Bouyer discusses a variety of doctrinal and spiritual matters on which Protestants and Catholics have commonly diverged: whether grace is imputed or infused, whether the Word of God is totally detached from human interpretation or bound to the Church, whether God's sovereignty overwhelm ...more
Scott Barber
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This book is a clear affirmation of the spirit which inspired the Reformation, and a measured critique of the philosophical nominalism into which that spirit was flung. This is essential reading on the development of Protestantism, and its relationship to its Catholic roots.
Jed Park
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Looks at the positive principals of Protestantism along with what went wrong after the Reformation.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Magisterial, erudite, definitive. Indispensable.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bouyer unveils the beauty found in the core desires of Protestant Christianity, and how those desires are consummated in understanding Catholicism accurately. Great book.
Tim Grimes
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Jan 27, 2016
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Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A model book for Catholic-Protestant dialog.
Robert Sweeney
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Aug 26, 2015
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Rev. Louis Bouyer (1913-2004) was a member of the French Oratory and one of the most respected and versatile Catholic scholars and theologians of the twentieth century.

A friend of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger, and J.R.R. Tolkien, and a co-founder of the international review Communio, Bouyer was a former Lutheran minister who entered the Catholic Church in 1939.

He became a leading figur
More about Louis Bouyer
“Is anything more needed to convince Catholics that the sola gratia, as generally understood among Protestants, in the sense we have seen that they give it, is perfectly in accord with Catholic tradition? And those Protestants who see, in the passage we first quoted, the very heart of their faith and life as Christians, can they seriously question that the Church does justice to all that is essential and positive in their "protestation," once they have read these other texts?

-The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, 1956”
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