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Saint Paul Hardcover – March 27, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
As far as the content of the book, quite simply another volume of rich, and insightful reflections by Pope Benedict. He fleshes out the person of St. Paul, his conversion, his ministry, and his theology. St. Paul is an important figure not only because he is a great example of the transformation which can occur in the life of a person after encountering God, but also because his mission and his theology give great witness to the person of Jesus. The Pauline year ends June 29, 2009, but the reflections in this book are timeless.
One of the left-handed compliments in vogue in the secular world is to label Paul as the "founder of the Church." Beware of people who propagate this myth; they'll use the bible as a reliable, historical source when they wish to document Paul's travels - and travel he did - he truly was the apostle to the Gentiles, and evangelized much of the Mediterranean.
Yet these same people suddenly adopt a skeptical approach to the bible when you try to point out that Paul actually met Christ on the road to Damascus, or the years he spent in learning the teaching of Christ from the twelve in Jerusalem. The goal of such people is to separate Christ from his Church, to say that the Church is a human creation and not the mystical body of the Son of God. Pope Benedict carefully and lovingly presents Paul as very much a pillar of Christ's Church, but not its founder.
Pope Benedict also explains Paul's message of justification by faith, pointing out the places of agreement with Protestants, but also very gently distinguishing the place of charity (manifested in works) as the ultimate fruit of faith. Faith without works is indeed a dead faith.
Some of the topics covered are the sacraments (especially Baptism, the Eucharist and Marriage), Paul's Christology, the Cross and the Resurrection (and why the two can't be separated and make up one Paschal mystery), and the Parousia.
This is excellent teaching for all believers; it is deep in meaning without being technical or difficult to understand.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book and quite easy to read. It arrived earlier than expected, that's quite good.Published 1 day ago by Richard Ayoade Omolade
I have never been a St. Paul fan. His" woman go home and do what your husband wants" speech was a real turn off, but I found out he didn't write it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Megan
Written by Pope Benedict XVI. This is actually a series of catechisms focusing on the intent of St. Paul after his "redirection" on the road to Damascus.Published 10 months ago by jpard2357
Just not what I expected. I wanted more about Paul's teaching, and I am getting every single history of St. Paul. Just weird.Published 12 months ago by Retro
Ratzinger is an inspired and insightful writer. One will always learn from this book. Scholars however should be aware that source-criticism is absent in this study.Published 24 months ago by Ralph Bisschops