October 29, 2010
The Salvation Controversy
The Salvation Controversy, by James Akin, is a theologically heavy book that really maximizes every one of its 154 pages. Akin, a convert and former Protestant, fearlessly takes on of the most important (and contentious) topics among Christians of all denominations.
Akin relies heavily on Scripture to make a solid Catholic defense of beliefs and practices such as indulgences, purgatory, penance, and faith versus works. Because of the Protestant rejection of sacred Tradition, it's vital to provide a clear scriptural foundation for these, and Akin does so without seeming forced or grasping. However, he does draw on Tradition and the Church Fathers to make his arguments as well, and while he is unapologetic in his defense of the Catholic position on salvation, he also concedes to the Protestant objections when appropriate. Because of this, it's a great read for Catholics looking for a more advanced explanation of the salvation controversy, as well as Protestants looking for a thorough and honest Catholic perspective.
Although, I have to admit that I didn't care for the chapter "A Tiptoe through TULIP." Not because it wasn't well written; it was. But I really, REALLY don't like Calvinism, and the last thing I wanted to read was that there was anything about it that Catholics could feasibly support! But Akin is nothing if not intellectually honest.
The Salvation Controversy is a great, theologically meaty read for anyone wanting to a more thorough and advanced look at the issue.
This review was written as a part of the Catholic Review program from The Catholic Company.