Noll and Nystrom's analysis of Catholic-Evangelical relations is one of the best such works currently available, in that it is both scholarly and charitable. (Other authors on this subject could stand to learn a good deal from Noll and Nystrom's advice about incorporating the three theological virtues in study of Catholic-Protestant differences.) The tone is balanced and fair. The authors are not afraid to offer criticism of Roman Catholicism, but they are strong enough to point out problems within Evangelicalism as well. At times they take quite literally the Biblical injunction to remove the log from one's own eye before pointing out the specks in others.
One caveat to the readers who may be looking for something different: the subtitle may be something of a misnomer. The authors are not so much assessing Roman Catholicism as they are assessing the relationship between Catholics and Evangelicals. This is not a book focused on theological analysis of the remaining doctrinal differences, and it may disappoint readers who are looking for such analysis. Some such analysis does occur in chapters 5 and 9, but as it is brief, it doesn't do justice to many of the issues. (Catholics, for example, will be confused to find so much emphasis put on clerical celibacy, which is not even a matter of doctrine, while the description of the Catholic view of sacraments seems inadequate in several respects. Evangelicals, for their part, may wonder why issues that seem serious are simply passed over briefly.)
What the book does best is offer a history of the changing relationship between the two religious campus and a thorough analysis of how the situation now stands. Noll and Nystrom are also interested in how political views have shaped Evangelical responses to Catholicism, and they do a good job of gesturing towards some of the past history which may be unknown to today's Christians. The book is focused largely on American history and American strands of religion. On the one hand, this allows Noll and Nystrom to be very specific about the historical forces which have shaped Catholic-Protestant relations; on the other, it may leave readers wondering what the situation looks like outside of the United States.
On the positive side of the ledger, one of the greatest strengths of the book is the authors' awareness that Evangelicalism itself is not a uniform whole. Whereas many Evangelicals critique Catholicism solely from the vantage point of their own tradition, Noll and Nystrom indicate the breadth of different Evangelical opinions on such subjects as the nature of the church, the role of sacraments, and soteriology. As they astutely point out, the truth is that different groups of Evangelicals will find themselves in agreement with different aspects of Catholicism. Arminian Evangelicals will not react to the Catholic view of salvation in the same way that Calvinists would, for example. This may seem obvious, but I suspect that there are many Catholics out there who are not aware of the degree to which Evangelicals themselves disagree about many of the issues which divide Protestants and Catholics. This aspect of the book is one which may be very helpful to Catholic readers.
Catholic readers may also be intrigued by the chapter outlining recent ecumenical dialogues. The results of these dialogues, while limited, are still impressive, and I suspect that the average Catholic reader may be ignorant of much of this progress. Noll and Nystrom deserve credit for bringing concise but thorough summaries of official dialogues to a wider range of readers.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to either Catholic or Protestant readers interested in learning about the current state of Catholic-Evangelical affairs. Readers who are interested in doctrinal issues will likely want to read more, but fortunately, Noll and Nystrom include a strong guide to further reading from both Protestant and Catholic perspectives.