Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Book Review: "Navigating the Tiber" by Devin Rose

Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith is a marvelous sequel to Devin Rose's The Protestant's Dilemma (see my review here). In his previous work he masterfully equipped readers with the Scriptural and logical reasons to embrace the fullness of Christian Faith in the Catholic Church. He now shares the fruits of his many years of conversing with friends and colleagues to help Catholics present those facts in the proper way, leading others to consider their positions critically, and (with God's grace) assist them to enter full, visible communion with the Church.

Rose begins his book with the needed reminder that Catholic evangelists are called to be fishers of men (not hunters). He presents a helpful summary of the many different strands of Protestantism from which conversational partners will hale. Rose then begins laying out a blueprint, a logical hierarchy of critical points, we should invite loved ones to consider. 

He directs us to begin with the means of salvation Catholics share with our separated brothers and sisters, Scripture - specifically, how we know, authoritatively, which books make up the Bible, and whether Scripture is the sole medium through which God communicates His Word to us. This of course leads to an investigation of Tradition and Apostolic Succession.

From there Rose moves to specific beliefs that will invariably arise in your conversations - justification and baptism - pointing out the way that both Catholics and Protestants marshal Scripture in support of their differing beliefs. This of course illustrates the fact that Scripture is not self-interpreting and necessitates a God-given means for arriving at its definitive teaching on a host of subjects - even one as essential as how we are saved! This leads directly back to the all-important topics of Tradition and Apostolic Succession and the further introduction of the Church Fathers (whose writings confirm both of the aforementioned elements) and witness to how those closest in time to Scripture's composition understood it.

The book bursts with personal examples, brilliant apologetic content, and equips readers with cut-to-the-chase argumentation stated as positively as you could ever hope to find. You will find chapters devoted to the papacy, Blessed Mother, divorce and contraception, the crusades and inquisition.

Rose offers a real world picture of lengthy process of helping loved ones come home to the fullness of their already burgeoning faith. He reminds us that it is a true dialogue, with its ups and downs, requiring sincere love and patience. I appreciated the way he concluded each chapter with a prayer with which you and those you are sharing the Faith with can bring your interraction to a close as well as boxes containing specific, nitty-gritty evangelization tips and reading suggestions.

Devin Rose is a gifted writer and Navigating the Tiber a valuable help to all desiring to become fishers of men.

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