Saturday, January 22, 2011

To Live Is Christ: A 40-Day Journey with Saint Paul

Compiled by Peter Celano, 168 pages, Paraclete Press..

While St. Paul is often a favorite of Protestants, used by Martin Luther and others for the core Protestant theology of justification by faith, To Live Is Christ shows how St. Paul is so deeply embedded in Catholic theology and practice.

As this book shows, justification is a deep part of Catholic theology as well. Passages from Paul, or from Acts that depict his evangelizing, are mixed with thoughts from Christian thinkers such as Pope John XXIII, whose selection concerns natural and revealed truth.

The late pope taught that humans can attain natural truth "by virtue of our intellects. But all cannot do this easily; often their efforts will result in a mixture of truth and errors." Obviously regarding those truths that are above our intellects, we need revealed truth. This is why, the pontiff teaches, "All men, therefore, are bound to accept the teaching of the gospel."

He warns that the "very foundations of truth, goodness, and civilization" depend on the gospel.

To Live Is Christ is a good introduction to basic Catholic theology. It shows how the Church uses selections from the Bible as a core, along with tradition, to preach the truth forcefully.

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