Monday, May 22, 2017

Let There Be No Divisions Among You (Sophia Institute Press)

Let There Be No Divisions Among You is an attempt by the Rev. John MacLaughlin to explain why all Christians should be Catholic or to be more specific Roman Catholic. The book is divided into two parts - There Can Be Only One Church and Marks of the One True Church. In the first part of the book, he speaks primarily of indifferentism, which in layman's terms says that all religions are equal if you lead a good/moral life. To dispute this ridiculous notions, he gives us five examples (in five chapters) that disprove it - Reason, Revelation, the Conversion of Cornelius (Acts 10), the Council of Jerusalem, and St. Paul. This was a solid argument that was well-reasoned and gave concrete examples of how you cannot just pick whatever religion/denomination you want.

Part Two is shorter in span and attempts to show the reader what criteria makes up the one true Church. The Church is normally known for its four marks - one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Oddly, Rev. MacLaughlin choose to reduce his criteria to two - unity and universality. He then focuses on The Church of England and "The Greek-Russian Church" (better known as the Orthodox Church) to explain how they have neither have unity nor universality, unlike the Roman Catholic Church. This was an unfortunate section to read. The author seems very militant in his approach and use of words, constantly using the term schismatic when referring to these two churches. To make matters worse, he is under the impression that the Orthodox Church does not do missionary work. All I need to do is reference Alaska and St. Herman of Alaska to easily dispute that. The author also seems to only reference the Roman Catholic Church, which is is the biggest rite in the Catholic Church, but certainly not the only one.

Overall, I have very mixed feelings about this book, and I honestly expected to when I saw the title. As good as the first half of the book is, the second half is equally disappointing. I believe the author's intentions were good, but his execution in his message left much to be desired and could instead turn people off from converting to the Catholic Church.

This book was provided to me for free by Sophia Institute Press in exchange for an honest review.