Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity: Same Words, Different Worlds

Same Words, Different Worlds: Do Roman Catholics and Evangelicals Believe the Same Gospel?
By Leonardo De Chirico
Inter-Varsity Press, 2021, 145 pp.

5 Stars

One week after receiving, reading, and reviewing Gregg Allison’s excellent new book, “40 Questions About Roman Catholicism,” came Leonardo De Chirico’s “Same Words, Different Worlds” in the mailbox.

I have said many, many times over the years that evangelicals need to be very, very cautious when it comes to Roman Catholicism. Catholics use many of the same terms as evangelicals – grace, faith, Savior, gospel, etc. – but what they mean by those terms is something entirely different from Gospel Christians. As just one example, when evangelicals speak about their “faith,” they’re generally referring to their belief and trust in God, encompassing their initial salvation in Christ Jesus and their continuing walk with Him. When Catholics refer to “faith” they’re largely referring to their trust in their institutional church and its sacramental salvation system to assist them in the possibility of meriting their salvation. In this book, De Chirico, one of evangelicalism’s most knowledgeable scholars on Roman Catholicism, fleshes out this idea of “same words, different worlds” much better than I could.

Throughout the book, De Chirico cite’s Allison’s hypotheses regarding Roman Catholicism’s two fundamental theological constructs, the nature-grace interdependence, whereby the RCC claims God uses nature/physical/material to confer grace (e.g., priests, water, oil, incantations, etc.) and the Christ-Church interconnection, whereby the RCC claims that it is the prolongation of the incarnation of Christ.

De Chirico examines both Catholic doctrine and church history to demonstrate that the RCC means something quite different from Gospel Christianity when it uses various Biblical terms. As the author points out, many unwary evangelicals have been duped into believing the common parlance represents shared beliefs. De Chirico comments on the current state of the RCC with pope Francis creating great confusion with his doctrine-bending, pragmatic progressivism.

This is such a good book, folks; a very accessible counterbalance to Allison’s more academic, theologically-focused book. I can’t recommend “Same Words, Different Worlds” highly enough. Order from Amazon here.

19 thoughts on “Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity: Same Words, Different Worlds

  1. Wow this is a double shock! 1. Its publish in 2021! 2. IVP as all over the place they are and supporting of works undermining the Gospel, would publish this!
    THe first principle of dealing with any false teaching is asking for definition of terms. So to see this book take this approach is refreshing…clarity instead of foggy slogans is what we need. I know you have reviewed other books by this author, I’m encouraged this is a new one and much needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, great to see a book such as this published in 2021 and, yes, very strange that it’s published by IVP, a long-time supporter of ecumenism.

      Very good tack taken by De Chirico by examining the contrasting understandings/definitions of common terms. I always cringe when I hear/read Catholics refer to the gospel because their “good news” is very bad news.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this post Tom! Roman Catholicism teaches a person is born again when they are water baptized, either as as infant or as an adult. So if a RC says they are born again they are talking about baptismal regeneration which is a very false doctrine.

    Liked by 1 person

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