Wednesday, 9 July 2008

A Quote from the Pope: What has Jesus brought?

My wife kindly bought me an interesting gift recently, Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus on CD (14 hours long!). Reactions to the book depend on where one stands in the theological spectrum. The pastor of my Free Evangelical Church loves it ("wir haben einen evengelikalen Papst!" he's cried from the pulpit). Those of a more critical bent, such as the professors in the Catholic faculty here in Bonn, can't stand it (they interestingly compare his approach with Childs' canonical approach). I'm sure, in that case, I'll love it. Either way, it'll help me survive the hours of sitting on a beach which the second part of our holiday will entail.

Here's a great excerpt from the book, printed on the CD cover:

... the great question that will be with us throughout this entire [audio]book: But what has Jesus really brought, then, if he has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God! He has brought the God who once gradually unveiled his countenance first to Abraham, then to Moses and the prophets, and then in the wisdom literature - the God who showed his face only in Israel, even though he was also honored among the pagans in various shadowy guises. It is this God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the true God, whom he has brought to the peoples of the earth. He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about where we are going and where we come from: faith, hope, and love.


Esteban Vázquez said...

I, for one, am of the opinion that it is a phenomenal book, and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I think the parallels between the respective approaches of Child and the Pope of Rome Mr Benedict are striking, but unlike the Bonn faculty, I find this to be very exciting. :-)

Phil Sumpter said...

Thanks Esteban. I've finally started listening to it and I think it's absolutely briliant! He mentions "canonical exegesis" in the forward, starts his description of the historical Jesus from Deuteronomy and immediately talks about his divinity as an integral part of his identity. Is there a better way to start?