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Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life Hardcover – April 16, 2014
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About the Author
Walter Kasper is a German cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, having served as its president from 2001 to 2010.
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Cardinal Kasper explains in detail the study, in systematic theology, of justice and a punitive God. By doing so the reader comes to understand why European Protestants and now American fundamentalist Catholics obsess about retributive justice as opposed to merciful justice. It stems from Martin Luther's inner conflict of reconciling a merciful God to one who was just.
This book is worth every penny. I bought the Kindle version and will be holding a book discussion at our parish. The Rector and DRE are on board.
"The best known example and the one with the greatest consequences in church history is young Martin Luther, for whom the question—“ How do I get a gracious God?”—caused a frightening turmoil of conscience for a long time until he came to know that, according to the Bible, God’s justice is not God’s punitive justice, but rather God’s justifying justice, which includes his mercy. The church became divided over this issue in the sixteenth century. The relation of justice and mercy thus became the fateful question of Western theology."
"Go and learn the meaning of the words, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'" (Matt. 9:13) .
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I intend to read much of this book again and again.