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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Books I'm not reading

Ben Witherington is continuing to review Rob Bell's book, Love Wins, chapter by chapter. In his post about chapter five ... ‘FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS….’ CHAPTER FIVE: DYING TO LIVE .... Ben posts a neat quote from the book. Ben writes ....

I particularly like p. 134, which, among other things, stresses “When people say that Jesus came to die on the cross so that we can have a relationship with God, yes that is true. But that explanation puts us at the center. For the first Christians, the story was, first and foremost, bigger, grander. More massive. When Jesus is presented only as the answer that saves individuals from their sin and death, we run the risk of shrinking the Gospel down to something just for humans, when God has inaugurated a movement in Jesus’ resurrection to renew, restore, and reconcile everything ‘on earth or in heaven’ (Col. 1). Just as God originally intended it. The powers of death and destruction have been defeated on the most epic scale imaginable. Individuals are then invited to see their story in the context of a far larger story, one that includes all of creation.”

This is a good correction on an over-emphasis on the human benefits of the work of Christ, and particularly his death and resurrection ....


It's nice to be able to read such a thorough review of the book since I doubt I'll be reading the book itself.

Speaking of books I probably won't be reading, all around blogdom I've seen posts about Elizabeth Johnson's book, Quest for the Living God, due to its critique from the US Bishops (see Fr. Martin's post about this at America magazine's blog). Strange - I'm a feminist but I've not read a book on feminist theology.

I haven't looked for anything new that's theology-related lately. I still have a few books I bought some time ago that I feel I should try to finish first ..... Karl Rahner and Ignatian Spirituality by Philip Endean SJ, Radical Orthodoxy: A Critical Introduction by Steven Shakespeare, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God by Marilyn McCord Adams, and The Big Questions in Science and Religion by Keith Ward. I find this stuff pretty hard to understand so I end up just reading what seems to address my concerns, and so I miss a lot of books.

Which reminds me :) there's a a funny article at the Telegraph about books not read ... Not the 50 books you must read before you die.


7 Comments:

Anonymous Bridget said...

Endean's book is really QUITE good. I disagree with some of his conclusions on the relationship between Ignatius & Rahner, but it is without question one of the best books I've read in the past year.

9:36 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:47 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Bridget,

Interesting - I disagree with Fr. Endean's take on Rahner and Ignatius and "consolation without preceding cause" :) I do really like the book so far.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Yes, I agree -- that's the point at which I differ with Endean's interpretation as well... but I think the final chapter is really beautiful.

9:46 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Bridget, are you interested especially in Ignatian spirituality?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Well, it depends on what you mean by "especially." It's definitely the tradition of spirituality that has had the greatest impact in my own life.

I suppose I would say that I never really set out to become interested in Ignatian spirituality, but somewhere along the line Ignatian spirituality became interested in me. (I did my master's at Weston Jesuit, now part of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, which is one of two Jesuit theologates in the US, and that influenced me far more than I anticipated it would...)

One of the topics that I chose for my doctoral exams was Rahner and Ignatian spirituality, so I have some academic interest in the topic, but not a strong academic interest. But I do have a fairly strong personal interest in it -- if all that makes any sense! :-)

3:13 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Yes, that makes sense :)

I became interested in Ignatian spirituality after taking an online spiritual exercises retreat (19th annotation) offered by Creighton University. That so touched me that I've been reading stuff on the subject since then, and it probably helped that I had a Jesuit spiritual director. I don't understand theologians like Rahner or von Balthasar very well at all - I've read more in the area of practical spirituality, like things by William Barry, Jules Toner, or history of the Jesuits by John O'Malley and John Padberg - but I'm interested in learning more.

4:20 PM  

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