Book Review: A Father Who Keeps His Promises

Scott Hahn’s A Father Who Keeps His Promises is a good introduction to Covenant Theology. For anyone familiar with the popular “Bible Timeline” series by Jeff Cavins, or the earlier “Our Father’s Plan”, Hahn’s book will sound very familiar. A Father Who Keeps His Promises goes through each of the six main covenants in Sacred Scripture: God’s covenants with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. The goal is to paint the “big picture” of salvation history as recorded in the Sacred Scriptures. Hahn hits the main characters and main events that “tell the story” of salvation so the reader can see a cohesive whole instead of a scattered and confusing book that seems to jump all over the place.

Hahn’s book is a simple introduction, written in very easy to understand language–very casual at times. This is why I say it’s a good introduction, since it will be easy for those who have little or no Scriptural background (especially lapsed and cradle Catholics unfamiliar with their faith) to see what he’s talking about and where he’s going. For the majority of  Catholics, navigating the Sacred Scriptures, much less retelling the big picture is next to impossible. Hahn’s book, A Father Who Keeps His Promises, is the solution  for their ignorance.

That said, Hahn’s book is not solely for beginners to reading the Sacred Scriptures. This book is also the introduction to the “kinship by Covenant” theme which Hahn introduces right away. Namely, that God establishes familial relationships through His covenants in Scripture. Covenant is not simply a mere legal contract, but establishing a familial relationship: God’s family. In His love, God incorporates us into His family through covenant. It’s personal. There is also more than thirty pages of notes which include a bibliography for those wanting to delve into deeper study of particular covenants or themes.

 

 

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of  A Father Who Keeps His Promises for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

 

Book Review: Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible is the long awaited single-volume edition of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (New Testament) series edited by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. Rest assured, this single-volume edition contains all the study notes from the individual volumes, this version is not an abridged single-volume… it has it all! Text size is roughly the same as a regular Bible, and the study notes are the size of typical footnotes. I find it to be very readable. The study notes are also accompanied by mini icons, each of which corresponds to a particular point of the Church’s criteria for Biblical interpretation: “content and unity”, “living tradition”, and “analogy of faith”. The Scriptures take up roughly the top half of the page, and the study notes fill up the remainder. It is a good balance that I found to be a bit more readable than some of the Navarre Study Bible series which occasionally fit only a few verses on one page; having a good balance makes it easier to read passages in context.

As a personal note, Aquinas & More was awesome enough to send me the leather bound version, and after also seeing the paperback Bible, I think the leather bound version is a better choice for two reasons. The first is because of the size. This Bible is big (nearly 10 ½ by 7 ½!), so it is a lot to handle when you are sifting through the pages. The leather binding is flexible enough to be comfortable and (my second reason for recommending the leather bound version:) it will be more durable than the paperback. The leather bound Bible also comes with two gold ribbons to help you mark your place—very handy! And has gold edges. While the gold edges make the Bible look pretty, it’s not what you’d expect from a Study Bible and personally I find it unnecessary. You want to mark up your Study Bibles (or at least I do), and yet here’s this nice pretty gold edging that makes you feel like it should be a coffee table Bible instead of your sturdy Study Bible. On that note, the margins are also a bit small to accommodate much writing. However, considering the size of the Bible and the readable text size, I do not think that the margins could have been made any larger without making the overall size of the Bible too cumbersome to lug around.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of  The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Storeonline. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Coming Soon…

I heard through the Internet grapevine that Pope Benedict XVI’s second installment of Jesus of Nazareth will be released in the Spring of next year (2011)! I’m looking forward to it, and you can be sure I’ll review it ASAP.

Meanwhile, check out the first volume if you haven’t already: Jesus of Nazareth !

Book Review: Queen Mother

Edward Sri’s Queen Mother is part of the Letter & Spirit Project run by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (founded by Scott Hahn). Thus, it focuses almost exclusively on the Sacred Scriptures. Though there have been criticisms regarding the lack of recourse to Sacred Tradition, I don’t think this is ultimately detrimental, nor am I surprised since the goal of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is biblical theology (hence the name). It does not deny or negate the importance of evidence from Sacred Tradition, or the Magisterium, but simply seeks to draw out a deeper understanding of the biblical evidence of certain themes and doctrines of the Catholic faith.

Dr. Sri’s book is an examination of the Theology of the Queenship of Mary from a solidly biblical perspective. This theology of Mary’s Queenship is important as it explains and identifies her role as Queen of Heaven and Advocate. Mary’s role in God’s plan of Salvation was not limited to her earthly life, and this book provides biblical evidence for Mary’s role in Heaven. She is the prime intercessor to her Son, the King of Heaven, and the spiritual Mother of the Church.

The book is divided into four parts: an introduction, evidence from the Old Testament, evidence from the New Testament, and then summary conclusions. It is a relatively small book, only about 100 pages, but the back half of the book is filled with copious notes, references, and a great bibliography for those inclined to deeper study of Marian doctrines.

I think Dr. Sri’s book will also be of value to those practicing apologetics. The Marian doctrines of the Church, and especially the acknowledging of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Church, have always been a concern of Protestants. Dr. Sri’s Queen Mother presents a biblical view of Mary that should provide an excellent response for apologists defending the biblical view of Mary.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of Queen Mother for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

1st Sunday of Lent

Psalm 90

He that dwelleth in the aid of the most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob.  He shall say to the Lord: Thou art my protector, and my refuge: my God, in him will I trust.  For he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word.  He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust.  His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night.

Of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil.  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee.  But thou shalt consider with thy eyes: and shalt see the reward of the wicked.  Because thou, O Lord, art my hope: thou hast made the most High thy refuge.  There shall no evil come to thee: nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling.

For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways.  In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.  Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon. Because he hoped in me I will deliver him: I will protect him because he hath known my name.  He shall cry to me, and I will hear him: I am with him in tribulation, I will deliver him, and I will glorify him.

I will fill him with length of days; and I will shew him my salvation.

Book Review: Jesus of Nazareth

Pope Benedict XVI writes a personal reflection on the life of Christ in Jesus of Nazareth, not a dogmatic treatise. That said there is nothing in Jesus of Nazareth that goes against his Catholic faith; instead, Pope Benedict XVI rescues Jesus from current (and sometimes popular) trends to view Jesus outside of His depiction in the Gospels. This book is a return to the Gospels to rediscover (and recover) the true identity of Jesus. It reads more like a meditation than a textbook.

Unlike some of the Holy Father’s other works which, though very good, are very rough reading for theological beginners, Jesus of Nazareth is accessible to the average reader. There are a few places where one with a more robust theological background could get more out of the reading (and there is a least one study guide to aide curious readers), but overall I think that the average person could read Jesus of Nazareth and gain something from it.

Jesus of Nazareth could be said to be Pope Benedict XVI’s personal response to the question “who is Jesus?”. In the forward, he makes it clear that he is writing from his own personal perspective (which is also why the book was published under Joseph Ratzinger and not merely Pope Benedict XVI).
You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.