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Faith and the Future Hardcover – March 30, 2009
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I would especially recommend this book to be read along with Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe Salvi as well as his older book, The Yes of Jesus Christ. But all in all, this is a must-read for Catholics and Christians alike seeking a deeper understanding of the relevance of faith for modern life.
"We are now in a position to say that this faith is essentially related to the future, that it is a promise. It signifies the superordination of the future over the present, and the readiness to sacrifice the present for the sake of the future. It signifies life lived in the spirit of trust. It signifies the certainty that it is God who guarantees man his future. Thus it signifies a breaking out of the calculable, everyday world to make contact with what is eternal; it signifies man's interest in eternal things and in the Eternal. It signifies the bold realization that man can have dealings with the Eternal, and is not confined within a petty meanness of heart, that will not look beyond its immediate surroundings nor give itself credit for the greatness which sees that there might be more to human life than bread for tomorrow and money for the day after tomorrow."
I want to share one quote from the book because I think it serves as an excellent summary of the main thesis of the book:
"...I maintain that reflection upon history, properly understood, embraces both looking back into the past and, with that as the starting point, reflecting on the possibilities and tasks of the future, which can only become clear if we survey a fairly long stretch of the road and do not naively shut ourselves up in the present. Looking back into the past does not yield a prediction of the future, but it limits our illusion of complete uniqueness and shows us that while exactly the same did not happen before, something very similar did."
In the first chapter of the book "Faith and Knowledge", Pope Benedict XVI largely raises and acknowledges already asked questions of the faith. He doesn't really try to answer them in this chapter, but it's very helpful in that he asks a number of questions which I had never considered. I think it also demonstrates that great sense of care, thoroughness, and thoughtfulness of Pope Benedict XVI as a theologian and scholar.
The second chapter is titled "Faith and Existence" and it was extremely helpful in the treatment of Abraham as a model of faith for today. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I found this portion the book to be the most helpful and exciting to read.
The third chapter, "Faith and Philosophy", is largely a treatment of the major issues of philosophy that have shaped how we approach the faith.Read more ›
In the same year a German theologian gave a series of seemingly unremarkable radio addresses. If that German theologian hadn't become the 264th successor to St. Peter as Supreme Pontiff, these addresses would hardly have resurfaced as Faith and the Future. In the long run, will they have as much impact as the Cuyahoga river fire? Is it still too early to say?
Most quoted from the book: "From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge--a Church that has lost much. It will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. It will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices it built in its palmy days. As the number of its adherents diminishes, so will it lose many of its social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of its individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry, and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly." (p. 116)
Is the above overly Eurocentric? Does Pope Francis coincide with any of this?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the most powerful and concise books written on faith in the modern world.Published 5 days ago by Christine Basil
This book, assigned to me in class, has compelled me to write my very own first review.
It is a very good book by a very good writer. Read more
A very prophetic at what the Church will look like in the future. Words of wisdom from a future Doctor of the Church.Published 9 months ago by mkittykatherine
This is a so so book, but one that has been deceptively and cleverly marketed. Unfortunately thats bad news to the unsuspecting book buyer who assumes this is a 2009... Read morePublished on April 13, 2012 by 5thSealCatholic