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Sympathetic Conversion
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Chris Castaldo
Holy Ground:  Walking with Jesus as a Former Catholic (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 2010.  236p.)

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Chris Castaldo presents an excellent personal commentary and comparative analysis of the historical and social characteristics of Roman Catholics and the prominent Protestant communions.  Castaldo presents a sympathetic review of similarities and differences with a strong emphasis on mutual respect and understanding.

Building and maintaining meaningful relationships are a basic value for Castaldo.  He rightly and rationally considers how you can communicate with someone you do not respect and how you can expect respect if you do not give it.  He has tried to develop an approach based on the interaction of Jesus with vrious eprsons as portrayed in the Gospels.

He is a convert who keeps contact and maintains communication.  And here his testimony and skilled scholarship enable others to clearly and positively share their own convictions while listening, honoring and understanding those of others.  It is common to see a convert from one tradition of Christian faith become an opponent, even a campaigner against, their former church.  Castaldo has reflectively developed a redemptive approach, expressing compassion for those who continue to express their faith and love for the Lord in their traditional Catholic setting.

This book can serve as a devotional guide on the topic, as well as a practical manual guide to a positive witness.  This author is very concerned to avoid the condescending attitude so common in programs of "witness" training, which commonly attack the target as a quarry or pressure the person into a decision, often through simplistic formulary procedures.

Castaldo provides a focus on the broad similarities among the different forms of Christian faith, a warm and welcome contrast to the traditional combative power-oriented approaches.

This will be helpful to gain historical awareness of how different cultural and social problems in medieval Europe were handled in what are now the Catholic and Protestant branches of the western form of Christianity.

He also mentions in passing the eastern forms of Christianity, but these do not come into primary play in his focus.  Castaldo looks at the continuum of attitudes and practices in the variant forms of western Christian faith and practice.

See related reviews and articles on this site:
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[review] Faith Discovery Quest
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[reviews] Rahner's Dynamic and Practical Thought: Some Reflections on the Dynamic of Relationship in Modern Theology
[review] What's the Good Word?

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Review Notes written 16 December 2010
Developed and reviewed on Amazon 31 January 2011
This version developed for OJTR and posted on 1 April 2011
Last edited 3 May 2011

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2011 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.

Email: orville@jenkins.nu
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