Ulrich Lehner. God is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2017 (ISBN 978-1594717482) xii + 147 pp., Pb. $16.95. Available on Amazon HERE.
“This is a God who invites you on a great adventure that will change your life and who dares you to attempt great things. In the words of Mr. Beaver from The Chronicles of Narnia about Aslan, ‘He’s not safe, but good.'”
Ulrich Lehner’s book, God is not Nice, is a must read for everyone today interested in how we have exchanged the God of the Bible for a counterfeit.[^1] Lehner acutely points out that we have God has been made into a sweet sentimental grandpa figure who pats us on the head to assure us we are still good when we do something wrong but without demanding any change in our lives. This god is predictable, unchallenging, pleasant, and confortable; in a nutshell, this is a nice god. Lehner dispels the myth of the nice god by tracing these philosophical and theological influences on our conception of God, particularly those originating from the period of the Enlightenment. Continue reading
John Paul II. Catechesi Tradendae. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute, 2014 (ISBN 978-1-62282-238-6) x + 132 pp., Pb. $7.99. Available on Amazon HERE.
This first (Post-Synodal) Apostolic Exhortation of Pope St. John Paul II urges everyone to make the task of catechesis a high priority in the Church to spur a catechetical renewal strengthening the faith of Christians. This exhortation communicates the work of the fourth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 1977, during the reign of Pope Paul VI. Though this exhortation was given in 1979, much of its content is still relevant today and it contains important principles every catechist should follow in their work. Continue reading
My rating: 4 out of 5
Nijay Gupta. Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011 (ISBN 978-1-60899-769-5) viii + 156 pp., Pb. $21.00. Available on Amazon HERE.
Pursuing a Ph.D. in biblical studies can be a daunting and mystifying experience that leaves potential students confused about the process. Nijay Gupta’s book Prepare, Succeed, Advance provides an overview of the journey to a Ph.D. bringing encouragement and clarity to prospective students. Continue reading
Today marks the 420th anniversary of the twenty-six Japanese martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597 under the Tokugawa shogunate. Shūsaku Endō’s novel, Silence, takes place during the shogunate’s persecution of Christians in the 1640s when many Japanese Christians died for the faith. The controversial nature of the novel and the film has yielded negative reviews which claim the message of Endō’s work is the justification of apostasy and positive reviews which praise the moral ambiguity inherent in the novel devoid of clear black and white solutions. Both interpretations are valid for a surface level reading of Silence but there is a depth to the novel missed in many interpretations. Continue reading
Posted here from Catholic Books Review.
This document by the Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) is a response to Pope Benedict XVI’s desire, in Verbum Domini no. 19, to see more research into the inspiration and truth of Sacred Scripture. The PBC is currently structured to be a biblical research organization under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Catholic Church but it does not enjoy magisterial authority which means that this document does not officially define or establish any doctrine for the Catholic Church. Continue reading