A friend of mine, a Protestant minister I got to know when I did a summer program in Fort Wayne as a seminarian, emailed me a request: could I recommend a good author for Catholic systematic theology?
He said he'd heard of Ott, McBrien and Fiorenza.
I told him I didn't know Ott, he was a little old (well, in fact, I'm pretty sure he's dead; I mean, his work is old); and to flee McBrien and anyone named Fiorenza, taking nothing with you when you go!
But as to recommending Catholic systematic texts? I said that's hard, because I think he wants something compact -- not von Balthasar's...um, how many volumes did he get to, anyway?
Plus, Catholic theology tends to specialize.
I recommended the Catechism--nothing shabby about that, and a great summary with depth and plenty of further resources suggested. I didn't recommend Aquinas, only because I didn't think that would be helpful for my Methodist friend.
What would you recommend?
He also asked me about any resources to counter Calvinism. Other than reviving the Inquisition, I was stumped for an answer. I referred him to some Catholic apologetical sites. Would you care to recommend anything?