Secrets of Romanism
By Joseph Zacchello
Loizeaux Brothers, 1989, 232 pages
“Secrets of Romanism” by ex-priest, Joseph Zacchello, was first published in 1948 and went through multiple printings with the last being in 1989. For decades, this book and Loraine Boettner’s “Roman Catholicism” were the most widely referenced resources on Catholicism from an evangelical viewpoint. Although “Secrets of Romanism” is provocatively titled most of the material was readily available to anyone willing to dig through the Catholic catechism.
Zacchello introduces some of the most important Roman doctrines – authority, tradition, the pope, the mass, purgatory, confession, Mary, praying to saints, indulgences – from a Catholic perspective followed by an evangelical rebuttal. However, the most important doctrinal difference between Catholics and evangelicals, their opposing views on justification, is not addressed directly. Catholics believe in salvation by its clergy-administered sacraments and obedience to religious law while evangelicals believe in salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. This book offers many convincing arguments in opposition to Rome’s doctrines but Zacchello’s failure to deal directly with the overarching issue of justification is a regrettable oversight. Boettner committed the same error in his book.
In our post-modernist era of pluralism, diversity, and ecumenism, fewer and fewer Christian books are published that expose the errors of Rome. See “The Gospel According to Rome” by James G. McCarthy and “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment” by Gregg R. Allison for more recent offerings. Books by James R. White and William Webster are also very good. For a list of over 300 books that compare Catholicism to God’s Word and Evangelicalism see my books tab here. Used copies of “Secrets of Romanism” are available from Amazon.com.
p.s. The forward to “Secrets of Romanism” was written by William Ward Ayer (1892-1985), the popular and influential former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, one of the very first Christian pastors to preach over the radio.