Book Review: Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism

Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism 51ag-eEcuOL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

Ignatius Press, 1993, 182 pages

This memoir from Catholic apologist, Scott Hahn, and his wife records a spiritual train wreck.

Hahn describes accepting Christ as a teen, going to seminary, marrying, and becoming a Presbyterian minister. Although Hahn boasts that he started off fiercely anti-Catholic, both he and his wife admired and shared Rome’s strong stand against all forms of birth control. Hahn then slowly became enamored with formal liturgical worship. While studying the Bible he became transfixed with “covenant” theology (referenced ad nauseum throughout), leading him to believe that sacraments and obedience to religious law were essential to salvation and remaining in God’s family. Hahn joined the Catholic church and pestered his wife until she did as well.

Hahn’s journey from a “born-again” believer, supposedly trusting only in Jesus Christ as Savior, to a works-righteousness Catholic is unfathomable. Did he ever genuinely grasp that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone? Obviously not. For Hahn it was just head knowledge; words on paper. Like the emancipated Hebrews who wished to return to Egypt, Hahn desired the “security” of legalism, ritualism, and chains over God’s free gift of grace.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:21

Now Hahn and his family are “happily” attempting to earn their way to heaven. Oh boy! They look around at the glum faces surrounding them at mass and can’t fathom why others aren’t as bubbly as they are about the stultifying legalism of the “one true church.” Recent research shows that only 25% of Catholics attend obligatory mass on Sunday. The other 75% would rather sleep in and pick up another “mortal” sin every week. After all, pope Francis said even atheists will go to Heaven if they lead “good” lives so who needs all that dreary liturgical hocus pocus? But God says there are none who are good and all must accept Jesus Christ. Only 12% of Catholics go to confession at least once a year which means the other 88% put no stock in their sacramental salvation-by-merit system.

Hahn has built quite a career as a Catholic apologist but I feel sorry for him and his family and anyone who gives heed to his gospel of chains. Reading about Hahn enthusiastically carrying around a “relic” of a “saint” in his pants pocket every day saddened me terribly.

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism

  1. sdcharg,

    Were you able to make sense of any of what Scott Hahn was actually saying? Did he say anything at all that you could agree with? If I were to review a book written by someone I strongly disagree with, I know it’s good to find a couple good things to say, otherwise people might just assume that I’m too biased for my review to be credible. But I try to avoid writing negative reviews in general, because I don’t like my view of things to be based on protest. It would imply a nervousness about my position that I prefer to avoid when I have every reason to be confident and happy instead.

    Scott Hahn is one of the most gracious and kind apologists I know (of any theological camp). Theology aside, I think we can all learn from Scott and Kimberly about how to engage in loving Christian dialog.

    I think it took a lot of courage for Scott and Kimberly to share their story, including their hardships, knowing that there would be some people who would just shrug it off… or worse.

    -Ben

    Like

    1. I love Scott and Kimberly Hahn and I am so sad for them that they have chosen chains over grace. However, I must admit that I am also angry with the Hahns because they are leading others from the Gospel to religious legalism.

      Catholicism is certainly a bit of a dichotomy, isn’t it? On the one hand we have the Hahns embracing the Catholic gospel of ritual, self-righteousness, and legalism. On the other hand we have the pope saying everyone will go to Heaven…even atheists….if they follow their consciences as best they can and lead “good” lives. But you and I know that no one, the Hahns and the pope included, can ever be good in the eyes of a Holy God.

      ““Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” Mark 10-18

      Liked by 1 person

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