Purpose for writing Holy Ground
“Irritation,” “contention,” “fear,” “exasperation.” These are a few of the words that former Catholics who are now evangelical Protestants use to describe religious conversation among Catholic family and friends. Reasons for this tension are numerous. Holy Ground explores these reasons and provides tools for Christ-honoring engagement.
Message of Holy Ground
We have free floating guilt, can identify the Ave Maria within three notes, and likely have rosary beads somewhere in the attic. We also own at least one study Bible, listen to sermons in the car, and know that a ‘quiet time’ is different from a nap.
We are followers of Christ who grew up Roman Catholic and are now Evangelical Protestants.
We wrestle with a series of challenges. Religious guilt still nips at our heels, and Christmas dinner at your brother Philip’s house is more than a little awkward (the one who is the Grand Poo-bah of the Knights of Columbus). I was simply trying to give thanks before eating our meal, and for some reason Aunt Louise is now compelled to recite the Hail Mary. It’s going to be a long night.
Some of us have walked with Jesus as Catholics before we moved in an Evangelical direction. Others of us were converted to Christ as we made the move. Either way, our ambition is simple. We now want to live for Jesus Christ by embodying his grace and winsomely share it with Catholic friends and loved ones. And this is precisely where the challenge begins.
Through an extended narrative describing his personal journey as a devout Catholic who worked with bishops and priests before eventually becoming an Evangelical pastor, Chris Castaldo helps readers to understand the following:
- Priorities which drive Catholic faith and practice
- Where lines of continuity and discontinuity fall between Catholicism and Evangelicalism
- Delicate dynamics that make up our relationships
- Principles for lovingly sharing the gospel of salvation by faith alone
- Historical overview from the Reformation to the present
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with former Catholics who are now Evangelical Protestants, Chris has spent the last two years uncovering their most burning questions and concerns. In Holy Ground he walks the reader through these issues with personal warmth and pastoral sensitivity.
If you are tired of scratching your head in confusion about how your Catholic background relates to your current faith and why on earth your Catholic family believes you’ve gone off the deep end, you need this book. More than providing historical perspective, theological reflection, and practical lessons,Holy Ground is a dynamic exploration of how to emulate the grace and truth balance of the Lord Jesus Christ in relation to the Catholic people we love.
Features that make Holy Ground unique:
Holy Ground differs from other books on this subject in two ways:
First, books by Evangelicals which address Catholicism often convey an unkind attitude. The doctrinal emphasis of these works is commendable, but the irritable tone rings hollow and fails to exhibit the loving character of Jesus. It’s the tone that my seminary professor warned against when he said, “Don’t preach and write as though you have just swallowed embalming fluid. As Christ imparts redemptive life, so should his followers.” This life is communicated in the content of God’s message and also in its manner of presentation. Therefore, we seek to express genuine courtesy toward Catholics, even in disagreement.
Second, most books on Roman Catholicism and Evangelicalism emphasize doctrinal tenets without exploring the practical dimensions of personal faith. However, there’s often a vast difference between the content of catechisms and the beliefs of folks who fill our pews. This book is concerned with understanding the common ideas and experiences of real-life people.