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Love Alone Is Credible Paperback – June 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Edition Unstated edition (June 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898708818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898708813
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Read and reread and reread the passages.
A. Doug Floyd
It is a brief introduction to von Balthasar's overall project, especially his magnum opus, the multi-volume The Glory of the Lord.
Clint A. Schnekloth
I will be forever changed by its unwavering commitment to divine love and our need for it.
Stephen J. Segner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 98 people found the following review helpful By wvano on August 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This small book, first published in 1963, can serve as an entry point to von Balthasar's vast and sometimes intimidating oeuvre.

Its first two chapters critique the cosmological and anthropological arguments for God's existence. Because the author presumes a more than passing familiarity with European philosophy, this section may be tough sledding for some. But keep reading. The bulk of the book is an accessible exploration of the primacy of love in Christian faith and life.

Essentially, Von Balthasar seeks to remind modern Christians that God's absolute love in Jesus Christ is the source, center, means, and goal of the Christian faith. In light of this love, the dogmas of Christian orthodoxy are seen not as distant and restrictive abstractions but as liberating preconditions for human fulfillment.

There is inspiration as well as intellectual challenge here. Love Alone is Credible asks its readers to contemplate anew the heart of the Christian faith, and to venture forth transformed.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A. Doug Floyd VINE VOICE on October 24, 2007
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Von Balthasar's writings are like good wine. They require time. Don't try and plow through this little book trying to extract the key points. Rather, soak in it. Read and reread and reread the passages.

Almost like a liturgy, the rythmn of his thought gradually begins to weave around into the rythmn of your own thoughts. The goal of the book is simple and in the title: love alone is credible. Not thought, not subjective experience, not service, not great theology, but love fully expressed in the absolute kenosis (self-emptying/self-giving) love of the Son.

I hate to write too much about the content except to say that it is worthy for reading multiple times. As I was reading this book, I realized in a deeper sense why that it is better to read a few book over and over instead of reading many books on a superficial/intellectual level.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Clint A. Schnekloth on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
It is difficult to know where to begin in von Balthasar. Until recently, I had usually recommended Mysterium Paschale, because the topic (Holy Saturday) is seldom written about in depth, and because the book is simply beautiful.

But now this is the volume I will recommend. It is a brief introduction to von Balthasar's overall project, especially his magnum opus, the multi-volume The Glory of the Lord. It is an unusual kind of apologetic work, yet it is compelling.

It may be especially helpful because it charts a course between the Scylla and Charybdis of the "credible" options- the Roman Catholic tradition or Protestant sola scriptura, and posits a third way, the love itself, Trinitarian and therefore encompassing of us as well.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By theairburns on January 22, 2013
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Christianity in the Western World had its first great theological centripetal force in the writings of Augustine, which lasted 800 years until the arrival of Aquinas, who would be the great theological centripetal force for the next 800 years. And now we have Hans Urs von Balthasar who will be that force for at least the next 800 years (theologians are just beginning to get a handle on his writings). His sixteen-volume opus is an investigation into three central themes: The Glory of the Lord, Theo-Drama, and Theo-Logic.

There is of course no way to sum up what Balthasar had set out to accomplish other than to say that his three main concerns encompass soteriology, Christology, and eschatology. But, among many absolutely amazing accomplishments in his opus is his standing Kant on his head. Keep in mind that turning Christianity into a realm of high abstraction begins with the father of modern philosophy, Rene Descartes (not what he intended) and is completed by Kant (not what he intended). And as Hannah Arendt made clear in her writings, no theologian or philosopher had been able to exit this closed system of high abstraction—not until Balthasar arrives, reversing Kant's three critiques: Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, and Critique of Judgment (aesthetics). Kant, of course places Reason first and Aesthetics (the Glory of God) last, devoting little space in his explication of the latter, whereas Balthasar places Aesthetics first and convincingly argues that any other starting place will always end in cyclical confusion, including in the realm of ethics/morality.

After reading Love Alone is Credible, I am convinced that if one wants to get a taste of what is contained in Balthasar's opus, then this is the book that best accomplishes this, and why if one chooses to read only one of the many books Balthasar has penned, this is the one.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J. Segner on February 15, 2010
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I was entranced during the entire reading of Balthasar's book. I never was able to break free from the amazing awe I had both at the amazing learning that Balthasar demonstrated in his writing, but, more importantly, I could sense his unrelenting passion to see the world transformed through the redeeming power of God's absolute love made concrete in the God-Man Jesus Christ. His drive to escape both the 'cosmological' and 'anthropological' reductionistic strategies that have plagued Western reflection for the past few thousand years is quite inspiring. The thing, beyond all of these points above that really made me fall in love with this book can be summed up in this quote,

"But it is equally impossible to expect something like a new cosmic harmony from New Testament love. The principle, as we have repeatedly shown, cannot be reduced to man as a governing center. God remains the center, and man is drawn beyond himself toward the absolute as it manifests itself. He "possesses" love only insofar as love possesses him, which means that he never possesses love in such a way that he could describe it as one of his powers, which lies at his own disposal. To be sure, this does not mean that love remains external to him , but if it does not, it is only because love itself takes possession of him in his innermost heart... Love "organizes" him, not the other way around; it makes man, who puts up constant resistance, into its own instrument. If he ever becomes acquainted with love, he will be careful not to say that he has it. He will at most dare to repeat John's word, as the Church as Bride herself does: "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14).

To say the least, I can not recommend this book strongly enough. I will be forever changed by its unwavering commitment to divine love and our need for it.

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