A CHRISTIAN’S POCKET GUIDE TO PAPACY
Leonardo De Chirico
(Christian Focus, 2015, 128pp, pocket p/b, £4.99)
This is a truly excellent addition to CFP’s pocket guide series and one that is a “must read”. Many books have been written about the papacy, some more readable and reliable than others, but this pocket-sized book provides us with one of the best and most succinct summaries of the origins, claims and modern-day role of the Roman Catholic Church I have read. I totally agree with Rev Geoff Thomas who says of it, ”How readable! How fascinating! How important!”
We live in days when attitudes to Romanism are softening right across the board. The ecumenical movement within the Protestant churches has long been intent on forging ever closer links with the Vatican, but it is sad to note that some within evangelical circles have dropped their guard. Perhaps it is the charms of pope Francis or the feeling that there are bigger and more dangerous enemies out there such as secularism or ISIS or whatever, but evangelicals need to be reminded of the very real threat from Rome.
Leonardo De Chirico has been involved in a church planting project in Rome and is now pastor of the church Breccia di Roma, lecturer of Historical Theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione, and vice-chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. He has a vast historical and contemporary knowledge of the papacy and has been able to distil that knowledge into this little book. He addresses all the key issues and controversies and provides us with all the information we need to be able to engage in meaningful debate and witnessing. The author bases his assessment on authoritative Roman Catholic documents, and reminds us that, although Rome projects a softer image to the world, little really has changed. Papal titles and symbols are listed and scrutinised, as is the papal claim of apostolic succession to Peter. The chapter entitled “Is the Pope the Antichrist?” considers the origins of this claim and the way in which it was advanced by the Reformers and others, such as the 17th century Reformed theologian Francis Turretin. The author says that the claims were built around “a highly sophisticated Biblical and theological argument and were not driven by resentment alone”. Other chapters look at present day popes and the future of the papacy. Buy it! Editor