I bought this book on a whim one day while browsing books, and I was very pleased with what I found. I had previously read Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating, as well as some books by Scott Hahn, Stephen Ray, among others. Reading those works, I became familiar with the arguments, and subsequently, the critiques of less than fair polemic works.
The positive comments from Catholics on the back cover (no less a figure than James Akin praised the work for its fairness) made me give in and buy it. The first section was wonderful, presenting the great amount of agreement we have in very charitable terms. The second section, where differences are discussed, the authors seem to go out of their way to "get it right." Most Catholic arguments for a given position are presented, and then refuted in generally kind, charitable terms. There are some exceptions though, where they leave out the most convincing arguments for the Catholic position. One glowing example is the chapter on justification. On page 227, some Catholic Scriptural arguments for their position are presented, and they cite such things as Matthew 5:12, 25:34, Romans 2:6, among others. Curiously missing from this, and hence never discussed, is James 2. One has to wonder why they would decline to interact with the one verse in the whole Bible that contains the clause "faith alone", and condemns it (James 2:24).
While I think that many of their arguments are very inadequate, and at times they seem to apply a double standard when quoting the fathers (depending on if the fathers seem to support or refute their positions), others are very well presented. In fact, their chapter on baptism got me thinking very, very hard. Wonderful stuff indeed.
This work stands miles apart from other works that are often used to refute Catholicism. In general, other books written in opposition to Catholicism lack scholarship, as if the authors don't want their readers to check the sources, but rather just accept what they're presented as fact (oftentimes fabricated out of thin air). Further, some authors show no interest in presenting the Catholic defense of a given doctrine. Geisler and MacKenzie go out of their way to footnote everything, present facts fairly, and make a genuine effort to initiate REAL discussion about the issues, and that is something that is greatly needed. Readers who are truly interested can easily identify and consult the source documents in their own time.
This is the book I give to my staunch Protestant friends who need to learn what the Church really teaches, but won't trust Catholic sources.
The actual arguments and methodology contained within only merit 4 stars from a scholarly and logically consistent point of view, however, given that this book sets a new standard in dialogue, I have to give it 5. I truly hope this sets an example for the future of dialogue between Catholics and Evangelicals.