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Posted April 17, 2002
If you ask me, 'what's your favorite book in the world,' I will quickly tell you, '50 Years In The Church of Rome.' I absolutely loved this book! It is the story of Charles Chiniquy who spent 50 years in the Church of Rome before he came to a really impacting revelation of God's love, grace and being justified by faith. Charles tells the story of his life growing up in the Catholic Church and his 50 years of experience as a priest. This is a gripping story! My review pertains to the unabridged version of the book. I have not yet read the abridged version. Ok now, ladies, how many guys do you know that sit down to read a book and cry? ;) Well, this book did that to me. Two chapters in particular just messed me all up! :) I found myself ever more thankful for my relationship with Jesus and desiring to be closer to Him still. I also experienced a greater love for the Catholic people and an increased burden to pray. Contrary to what some people have commented on, saying that this book is against the Catholic people or that Charles' stories of what really has gone on in the Catholic Church throughout its history are just made-up lies, nothing could be further from the truth. I have personally studied enough to know that what I read in this book are things that have actually transpired in the Church of Rome in more places around the world than just in Charle's circle. The Catholic Encyclopedia, naturally, does not speak well of Chiniquy because of his opposition to the system. They aledge that Charles was also involved in scandelous behavior while serving as a priest in the Catholic Church. I almost want to say, 'duh,' at this point. This is a worthless argument the Catholic Church is trying to make (whether or not it's true) when you consider that Charles seeks to expose just this type of behavior in his book and confesses that he did little to stand against it while supporting the Church. Remember, this book is about Charles' conversion from religious subservience to the system of Catholicism to Christ alone. It seems typical that most prominent figures that have found Christ and denounced Catholicism are viewed as heretics and degenerates by the Roman Catholic Church. But as far this book being marked as being against Catholic people, this is also nonsense. Need I remind such critics that Charles spent near his entire life in the Church of Rome. Charles writes with such a compassion for those people who are a part of the Catholic Church. He does speak very boldly against the religious system of Catholicism and seeks to expose all of its evils (much of the things he mentions were considerably more prevalent in his day than they are today, but I've talked with enough Catholic people to know that a great deal of what Charles talks about is absolutely true even today). But even though this book is all about Catholicism, it is more so about a man who was so desperate to know Jesus personally and intimately and after years of his searching for Jesus, it is actually Jesus that finds him. This book is about the power of the Gospel and the desire to know God. I love the way this book keeps the reader in a perspective of grace. There were a number of times I found myself infuriated at the way the Catholic Church has wounded some of its people, but then, right at the point where I'd get steaming mad, it was as if Charles could anticipate the Protestant reader's fury and he almost rebukes the reader for allowing a bitter, angry attitude to have any place in their heart. He constantly directs the reader to God's mercy and points to the Gospel. This is a remarkable book that will make you laugh, cry, think, and want to pray. I absolutely loved it! This year I plan to read it again. Catholics and Protestants alike should read this book. If your a Catholic-hater, (first repent) expect to have your eyes opened to the grace of God and be moved to prayer for your brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church. If you're a Cath
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