What Must I Do?

Marcus Grodi’s Coming Home Network is an Catholic apostolate that works hard to inform, mentor, guide and pray for separated brothers and sisters as they make their journey to the Catholic faith. Marcus’ new book What Must I Do to Be Saved? meets Evangelicals on their own turf and explains the fullness of the Catholic faith from a Biblical perspective.

One of the seeming strengths of the Evangelical Protestant position is it’s stunning simplicity. With set Bible verses the typical Evangelical is taught to walk people through the ‘Romans Road’ to salvation. The ‘Romans Road’ is a collection of verses from St Paul’s epistle to the Romans which explain how we are sinners in need of salvation and that Jesus died to save us and all we need to do is accept him as our personal Lord and Savior.  John 3:16 is the most famous ‘one verse saves all’ that the Evangelicals like to use.

The Evangelical ‘sales pitch’ is pretty irresistible: 1. You’re a sinner right? Yup. 2. Sinners go to hell right? Yup. 3. You don’t want to go to hell do you? Nope. 3. Jesus will take you to heaven. You’d like that wouldn’t you? Yup. 4. Just say you’re sorry for your sins and say ‘yes’ to Jesus and you’re in! Deal’s done. Sign here. 5. Great! Here’s your ticket to heaven. See you in glory!

The strength of this approach is it’s simplicity, but that is also it’s weakness. Without being harsh or argumentative, Marcus Grodi critiques the super easy forms of evangelism and offers the fullness of the Catholic faith. Building from the Old Testament, Marcus shows that the fullness of the faith includes worship, prayer, sacrifice, priests, a community commitment and a disciplined spiritual life. He goes on to show how the life of faith in the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Covenant created and won by Jesus Christ. This is a step by step Biblical exposition which leads the reader to a fuller and complete understanding of Scripture which then leads them to a full and complete understanding of the Christian life as a fulfillment of the Jewish religion in the old dispensation.

This really is an important work. Marcus has gleaned from the work of his friend Scott Hahn, the theological and Biblical work of Pope Benedict and cutting edge Biblical scholarship–all of which brings together and harmonizes the Old and New Testaments. With his background as a Presbyterian pastor and an excellent knowledge of the language and culture of Evangelical Protestantism, Marcus Grodi has produced a tightly written little book that is perfect for sharing with Evangelicals.

I’ll be buying a boxful to hand out to the numerous pastors and preachers I meet while working in the Bible belt. So many of them are curious and longing to learn more about the Catholic faith. This book meets them where they are, speaks their language, is sympathetic to their culture and helps them first understand, and then be fair to the Catholic faith.

As G.K.Chesterton said, “Once a man starts being fair to the Catholic religion it is not long before he is attracted to it.” This book will help many go on their own journey home.

Learn more about What Must I Do to Be Saved?

  • Carole

    I will be looking forward to reading that, thanks!

    I suppose one could say that what the evangelicals are good at (and we Catholics are not so good at) is delivering the “kerygmatic proclamation”–a simple and clear message that we are loved and saved by God. JP 2 would have said that this proclamation is central and irreplaceable as it introduces man into the mystery of the love of God who invites him into a personal relationship with himself, and opens the way to conversion. (Mission of the Redeemer 46) But once we’ve got people to that point, they need more. We Catholics have “the more.” But we can learn a lot from Evangelicals about how to effectively deliver the kerygmatic proclamation.