I just finished reading R.C. Sproul’s Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie That Binds Evangelicals Together and now I’m wondering why I haven’t read R.C. Sproul before! What a fantastic book! I thought I had a good grasp of the differences between Protestants and Catholics before reading Getting the Gospel Right, but R.C. Sproul goes to a whole new level of depth, analysis and explanation on the history, views and issues in both groups. Seriously, if you have any questions about the differences between Protestants and Catholics, this book will give you the answers.
Now, technically, Getting the Gospel Right isn’t just about the differences between Protestants and Catholics. At its heart, this book provides an overview of the recent efforts in the past two decades by Protestants and Catholics to become more united, and it does this by specifically highlighting, explaining and analyzing three written documents that Christian leaders have written together: Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT; 1994), The Gift of Salvation (GOS; 1997) and The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration (GJC; 1999). Sproul’s book was originally published in 1999 during the height of this movement, and now in its republished edition of 2017 it seeks to build upon and reflect on the first edition.
R.C. Sproul is detailed and meticulous as he works through the latter two documents, GOS and GJC, respectively. He literally breaks apart each document into its individual paragraphs and then not only unpacks the meaning in each, but also tells you why the words are significant and how they relate to us today. It really is incredible!
What I appreciate about Sproul’s book is that it is in no way antagonistic to either Protestants or Catholics. Sproul certainly shares a passion for bringing these two groups together in greater unity, but he is also adamant that unity can only be achieved when both get the gospel right (hence the title of his book). There are key truths about the gospel, like faith alone (sola fide), that must be upheld by both parties if true unity is going to be achieved, and Sproul gives a lot of time and space in his book to outlining the particulars of these truths.
To be clear, though, I would not recommend this book for the average lay person. Getting the Gospel Right is (and rightly so) a very technical book. There are a lot of vocabulary terms mentioned in rapid fire – like forensic justification, works of satisfaction and congruous merit – and even the explanation of these terms can be quite dense. Nevertheless, for a Christian leader seeking to go deeper in his or her knowledge of the gospel, of Protestantism and Catholicism, and really of what it means to be evangelical, this is a must read!
Want to check it out? Click this link: Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie That Binds Evangelicals Together