Item description for Evangelical Is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament by Thomas Howard...
Overview In this deeply moving narrative, Thomas Howard describes his pilgrimage from Evangelicalism (which he loves and reveres as the religion of his youth) to liturgical Christianity. He soon afterward became a Roman Catholic. He describes Evangelicalism with great sympathy and then examines more formal, liturgical worship with the freshness of someone discovering for the first time what his soul had always hungered for. This is a book of apologetics without polemics. Non-Catholics will gain an appreciation of the formal and liturgical side of Catholicism. Catholics will see with fresh eyes the beauty of their tradition. Worship, prayer, the Blessed Virgin, the Mass, and the liturgical year are taken one after the other, and what may have seemed routine and repetitive suddenly comes to life under the enchanting wand of Howard's beautiful prose.
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More About Thomas Howard
Thomas Howard was a Professor of English and Literature for over 30 years. He is the author of numerous popular books including Chance or the Dance, Dove Descending: T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, On Being Catholic, Lead Kindly Light and Evangelical is Not Enough.
Thomas Howard currently resides in Boston, in the state of Massachusetts. Thomas Howard was born in 1934.
Reviews - What do customers think about Evangelical Is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament?
Liturgy and Sacraments brilliantly defended Apr 19, 2008
Mr. Howard explains to us, in a quasi poetic way, the importance and relevance of Liturgy and Sacraments. This is a beautifully written book in which sentences give the impression of having been carefully crafted.
Rites and ceremonies (the backbone of Liturgy) convey a significance of things from Above and enact events of the Church in an accessible way for all types of worshipers.
Rites and ceremonies do not follow the old dictum of form to the detriment of substance as them, having their inspiration on the Bible and in the Church traditions, embody both (substance and form simultaneously).
Sacraments are rooted in the Gospel and have been given their due importance sice Apostolic times. This book is food for the soul.
Classic call to unity and fulfillment Jan 16, 2008
In this classic and moving testimony of Mr. Howard's conversion from devout Evangelical to what he calls, "Catholic Evangelical," we see the philosophical and emotional challenges that underly the begging questions of Christendom. With a linguistic style and pathos reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, Mr. Howard gives us insight in what it is that attracts so many to the ancient faith. In the end, he offers practical suggestions for Evangelicals to obtain some of those attractions while affirming that nothing short of uniting with the Catholic church will grant the fulfillment of their inner man. Mr. Howard's approach is non-threatening and non-polemic. It is a simple description of what great treasures he feels Evangelicals lost in the Reformation. Perhaps it is best summed up in his closing statement: "Yes-I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the Ancient Church. I accept its claims. I believe that here one finds fullness ("catholicity") of the Faith. Hence, I mourn the splintering in Christendom. I pray daily for the reunion of Christ's Church. "
This is perhaps the best of the flood of conversion stories available in the quality of pros and the deep understanding of liturgy, ceremony, and sacraments. It is also a great work toward helping Protestants and Catholics understand one another. Indeed, the Reformation is not an event for celebration but for sorrow. We would do well to better understand the depths of that great wound and our need for healing.
Foretaste of the Feast to Come Oct 4, 2006
Linkage with our ancestors. The ancient liturgy which Howard discovers was lacking in his evangelical roots and found in liturgical world of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Lutheran and Anglican confessions, fills this void with ritual/ceremony which proclaims the fullness of the gospel in all ages to all generations.
Worthy is this effort to dispel some of the evangelical objections to such formalized, structured worship tied to the ancient past of the NT church. Howard explains the disconnect that evangelicals have made with is past and centering on individual devotion coming together in meeting sense to worship. While not bemoaning much at all any doctrinal differences (he seems to be consistent in saying there are none that are of essential nature) he found liturgical worship to be a necessary historical engine to run his spiritual life.
While finding much to admire and concur with, several things prevent the fifth star from being awarded. He places great deal of emphasis on worshipper acting out in the gospel drama at times to at the expense of sacramental nature of Word & Sacraments. Here, called and ordained Servants of the Word enter to do the giving and working of faith through the holy means of grace. Second, find that his literary style (which some have attributed closeness to C.S. Lewis) began to wear on me and stifled his thrust. Theological talk at times is stretched by literary means which is understandable from one of his training and profession. Yet this theologian prefers more theology talk when this occurs.
I would be slow to recommend this read to certain individuals who could not relate to such a literary style, and his tendency to ignore Lutheran contributions which he seems to conveniently pile away into misunderstood and misapplied category of "Protestant." Certainly this is biased, as is Howard's. Those interested will find many of same themes explained more clearly and theologically in excellent "Lutheran Worship: History and Practice."
For more sophisticated readers, this book will aid many in seeing richness of ancient liturgical past and seek their individual connection of Howard did.
Lex orandi, lex credendi!
A perfect read for those who wonder and a perfect example those who are sure... Jul 11, 2006
One rarely finds any Christian dealing so gently with the dichotomy between Evangelicalism and the Liturgical tradition. Moving from his Evangelical upbringing with a slow, thoughtful conversion, Thomas Howard respectfully describes why he believes that being Evangelical Is, simply, Not Enough.
Howard describes how he came to be reconciled with the more controversial issues of the liturgy - set prayers, the routine of the Church Calendar, priestly garb, prayer for the dead, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the incessant reminder that we are flesh and blood creatures, not pure intellects. Describing the Good Friday liturgy, where the faithful kiss a replica of the cross, Howard days, "I had never before done anything other than try my best to think about the cross. Here I was obliged to carry these sentiments into actual physical gestures. The act not only expresses something real, it gives force and clarity to it" (144). Howard constantly presses his reader to consider both spirit and flesh; his argument rests in the simple fact of the Incarnation: God became flesh and redeemed it thus (pg. 36, especially). Any reading of the Old Testament illustrates the incredible, visceral way God deals with his people: through sacrifice and blood, through incense, smoke, and physical posture, through meals and clothing. Few Christians realize just how important our bodies are, and Howard gently presses this, constantly reminding his reader that the Liturgy actually frees the believer to worship and refrain from being caught up in his own emotion.
As a convert to Catholicism from Evangelicalism, I was encouraged by the way Howard deals with controversy and challenged to keep the faith in my own routines - not just to genuflect, but to bow with my whole heart, not just to recite prayers at Mass, but to mean them. I often tend towards "apologetics with an axe," and I found the dignity of Howard's book inspiring. He is so courteous I wouldn't hesitate to hand this book to the most fervent opposer of the Liturgy, or the most timid searcher.
Perhaps most happily, Howard's writing is beautiful. I was first transfixed by his articles in "Touchstone" magazine - where he pointed out the overwhelming use of the word "just" in Protestant prayer, much to my amusement - and am simply charmed by his adept handling of the art of composition.
Brilliantly written, well-considered, and endlessly courteous, Howard's book deserves a place on all our shelves. As for me, I can't wait to get my hands on his follow-up book, "On Being Catholic."
A brief, but compelling, apologia for the liturgy Jan 27, 2004
Recently, several Evangelical Christians have converted to more traditional and sacramentally oriented churches. The big headlines were that most of these converts were going over to Catholicism and to a lesser extent Eastern Orthodoxy and the Anglican Communion. But, few seemed to notice that one of the main threads through all of these conversions was a strong desire for more meaningful worship after a rush by many conservative Evangelicals to make their services more contemporary. Thomas Howard's book "Evangelical Is Not Enough" speaks perfectly to those longings and shows how the liturgy satisfies them.
Growing up in a conservative Protestant background, Howard felt that more sensual and liturgical brands of worship weren't "spiritual" or were nothing but a "dead ritual." Through a journey that spanned several years, Howard explains how the liturgical worship he used to view as a "famine" became a feast to the eyes, ears and touch.
Given the title, one would think that this is a fierce polemic on the inadequacy of Evangelicalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. While making sure to praise the Evangelicalism that nurtured him in the faith, he also critiques its deficiencies as someone who loves his fathers in faith so much that he must point them out because of that great love. Howard anticipates virtually every objection that people from his background can make against liturgical worship and answers them briefly, but in a cogent manner.
While this is a topic that can be extremely dry, Howard packages his views and spiritual journey in such magnificent prose that the reader is awakened to the drama that takes place at the seemingly hum-drum Mass, Divine Liturgy or Anglican services. This book isn't a complete and thorough apologetic for liturgical worship that goes through every possible objection and answers them with copious footnotes and greek grammar. It does provide for a breezy read that is guaranteed to get you excited about worship, no matter what communion you hail from!