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Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Church Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church Paperback – March 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
I have been in many churches that preach the worst about Catholic Christianity from the pulpit. My late father was a non-practicing Catholic and I learned a little from his testimony about his experiences. Needless to say, I grew up with a skewed view of Catholicism. In working with several devout, intelligent and scholarly Catholics in my ministry, I have found that my initial views were wrong. While I do disagree with several Catholic theologies, I have grown to respect Catholicism and disregard that skewed reasoning with which I was initiated. This book does a superb job of doing this. Few Protestants are going to read through the Catholic Church Catechisms. But, this book does a pretty good job of explaining the general beliefs of the Catholic Church while referencing the CCC and Scripture.
Peter Kreeft begins with 10 chapters (154 pages) of what Catholics believe. He then devotes 10 chapters (126 pages) to how Catholics live and 10 chapters on the Sacraments and prayer (143 pages). The "Contents" page does a good job of pointing one in the general direction regarding the topic, and then at the beginning of each chapter, he gives a detailed and numbered topic list for the chapter. For instance, Chapter 5 is titled "Jesus Christ" in the Contents and the beginning of the chapter lists 27 topics including: 1: The Centrality of Christ through 27: Christ the conqueror of the world. This layout is unique and helps point the reader in the general direction.Read more ›
Particularly useful are his explanatory analogies and defenses of Church teachings from misinformed and hostile critics. For instance, he uses the analogy of a flower to describe the three theological virtues, likening faith to the root, hope to the stem, and love to the flower or bloom.
His chapters on the Liturgy introduce readers to a solidity and "vertical" dimension missing from the guitar-strumming, irreverent exercises in self-worship that many Catholics experience at Mass.
In a section on the universality of Christ and the salvation of non-Christians, Kreeft correctly identifies the Church's "Christocentric" view: one must have faith in Christ to be saved, but that faith may be implicit or unclear or unaware of itself, as is the case with a good, God-seeking pagan who is unaware of the Gospel. He contrasts that with the conservative "ecclesiocentric" view of some within the Church who claim explicit membership is required for salvation and with the equally-wrong (and liberal) "theocentric" belief that all who seek God in any way are saved.
Similarly, "Catholic Christianity" is a corrective to revisionist presentations of the Gospel. In the section on the meaning of the names "Jesus" and "Christ", Kreeft cites paragraph 549 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, but to free men from the greatest slavery, sin.Read more ›
I enjoyed reading this book because it makes references to the catechism, which in turns makes references to sacred scripture and the writings of the earliest Christians. Peter Kreeft, though at times a bit dry and verbose, does an outstanding job of putting the pieces together. I highly recommend this book if you are a Catholic who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the faith.
To respond to some of the other reviews, it is important to remember that we are all in search of truth. The author's references to Protesantism are made to illuminate the similarities and contrasts of the two modes of Christianity. What is termed "Protestant Bashing" should refer to a situation where someone deliberately says malicious things about a faith. Defending someone's beliefs against those of another belief system is not bashing, but rather argumentative discourse.
The book is highly accurate, but if you are looking for responses to any of the typical and commonly-addressed anti-Catholic arguments, look at some of the apologetics books on the authors aforementioned.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really great summary of Catholic teaching. Concise and memorable. Sometimes the cadence of delivery for so much concise and memorable bulletpoints is easy to tune out so take it a... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Allan Edwards
Amazingly clear and relevant. Easy to read and digest. A must read for every Catholic Christian.Published 1 month ago by Hobby Man Pete
Peter Kreeft makes note at the beginning of "Catholic Christianity" that his book is not a substitute for Catechism of the Catholic Church. But it sure comes close. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Charles Lewis
Prof. Kreeft takes one of the world's greatest reference books and adds context and depth to the hundreds of topics covered in the Catechism. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joe Schuck
Great author, wonderfully readable and understandable follows the catechism of the Catholic Church .Published 7 months ago by Roger