Holy Ground: Walking With Jesus as a Former Catholic – Book Review
Review Author: Tim Augustyn, Director of Ministry Resources for Unlocking the Bible
Book Author: Chris Castaldo (Want to hear more from Chris? Come here him speak at the Barrington Campus on Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m. More Information)
Written for Evangelicals by a former Catholic, Chris Castaldo writes as a seasoned pastor who knows his Bible, holds firmly to evangelical theology, and intends to minister to real people—including real Catholics.
Holy Ground’s approach is refreshingly respectful and gracious toward Catholics, without sacrificing conviction, truth, or humor. Is Holy Ground worth skimming? Browsing a chapter or two? Reading from cover to cover? Yes. Yes. And yes.
Let’s cut to the chase. What sets Holy Ground apart from other books about Catholics and Evangelicals is the nearly 60 pages on Relating to Catholics. This section alone is worth the price of the book. And it is at its very best when it helps us see that there are different kinds of Catholics—traditional, evangelical and cultural—and how to relate to each.
If you skip right to the practical stuff, what would you be missing? For starters, the top five reasons Catholics are leaving the church (he calls the #1 reason: Motivated by Grace Rather Than Guilt). Not only is this section fascinating, but by the end of it you’ll begin to see what makes a Catholic a Catholic and what makes an Evangelical an Evangelical—really!
Holy Ground gets very practical when it comes to sharing the Gospel with Catholics, using the imagery of a stoplight—red light (habits that must stop), yellow light (areas of caution) and green light (good regular practices). It reminds, encourages, and warns us about the emotional, relational, and practical opportunities and pitfalls of sharing the Gospel with Catholics.
If you’re looking for something that will minister to you and encourage you to live more graciously and truthfully with your Catholic mom or dad, brother or sister, boss or employee, childhood friend or neighbor—then I commend to you this very good and godly book.