For the rest of the book, Rose goes topic by topic, including issues such as the biblical canon, the sacraments, and Mary, explaining relevant biblical material and Church history. At the end of each section he asks his reader to consider, given what he has just explained, what the logical consequences of the claims of Protestantism must be.
For example, on the chapter on the biblical canon, Rose gives a quote from Protestant Reformer John Calvin in which Calvin disregards the role of the Church in settling the biblical canon and argues that a individual Christian who is truly indwelt with the Holy Spirit can know which books should and should not be included in the Bible - as easily as one can "distinguish light from darkness, white from black, sweet from bitter" - simply by reading the books themselves. John Calvin, of course, endorsed the new 66 book Protestant canon - a canon which, according to historical record, no Christian had ever thought was the canon in the 1500 years prior to the Reformation. Rose explains the logical conclusion of Calvin's claims:
"If Protestantism is true, then the canon is obvious to any true Christian bright enough to discern black from white. Therefore many (supposedly) holy men and women who gave their lives for Christ in the early centuries of the Church did not actually have the Holy Spirit, for they were not able to apprehend the true canon of Scripture. If the canon is known easily by the Spirit testifying to the Christian's heart, it must be concluded that not until Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the other Protestant Reformers in the sixteenth century did true Christian leaders exist who listed to the Holy Spirit on this topic." (pg. 77)
The book particularly takes off with the second apologetic chapter, "Reformation: Schism or Branches?", and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest. In example after example, Rose hits the nail on the head, forcing the reader to truly consider the logic or reasonableness of many Protestant claims in a very clear, engaging, and interesting manner. And the breadth of Rose's research is wide, taking into account the Bible, the Church Fathers, the Reformers, and modern historical analysis of the Reformation. Two subjects that were particularly interesting were Rose's defense of the Sacraments and his look into the lives and teachings of the Reformers themselves (e.g. Martin Luther taught that polygamy was morally permissible [pg. 55] and rejected the inspiration of several New Testament books [pg. 69]). Certain sections of the book were so informative and/or lucid that I found myself having to read aloud much of the book to my patient wife.
|Devin Rose, the author|
However, despite the clear polemical intent of the book, Rose does not personally attack Protestants nor suggest in some sort of sweeping way that all things Protestant are bad. Instead, when it is relevant, Rose gives Protestants credit where credit is due (e.g. "Protestants are seen today as great missionaries, and rightfully so, as thousands of Protestant Christians live as full-time missionaries..." pg 156).
Taken as a whole, Rose very clearly and succinctly presents a great number of very good arguments against Protestantism and for Catholicism. At a not-so-scary 150 pages long, If Protestantism Is True is a great book for Catholics wanting to be able to better understand and defend the Catholic faith in reference to Protestantism. Because of its polemical nature, the book would probably be most helpful for evangelicals who are already in the midst of investigations of the Catholic Church.
You can get a copy of If Protestantism Is True by Devin Rose at Amazon for a cheap $9.35, or $2.99 for the Kindle edition. Devin Rose also maintains the blog entitled 'St. Joseph's Vanguard'.