Paperback: 102 pages
Publisher: St. Anthony Messenger Press; 59062nd edition (January 2, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #225,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #380 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Faith #1967 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Catholicism #3665 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Denominations & Sects
As Rev. Michael Himes reflects in his introduction to this book, it is essentially a synopsis of a series of videotapes compiled as a "Mystery of Faith" lecture series.The book contains ten concise chapters covering the following topics: Trinity, Grace, Incarnation, Salvation, Church, Baptism, Eucharist, Sacraments of Vocation, Reconciliation and Tradition.Each of the ten chapters concludes with a series of insightful questions for reflection. Whether for use by a group or for personal study and reflection, this book contains many interesting insights. Although the subtitle indicates that the book is an "introduction to Catholicism", I would recommend the book to anyone interested in a further examination of the faith.
Michael Himes provides a very different approach to understanding the basics of Catholicism. A provocative and nontraditional approach yet faithful to the Tradition. The style is conversational which makes it easy to read. The author intertwines Scripture, classic literature and human experiences as he probes the mysteries of the Catholic faith. The reader is plunged into the meaning of the mystery of God, the Incarnation and Salvation,the Church,the Sacraments and Tradition. A stimulating resource for readers who would like to revisit these fundamental topics. And an interesting first look to introduce a reader to the basics of Catholicism.
Nothing I write will come close to the appropriate praise that this little book deserves. Michael Himes, a professor of theology at Boston College, known for his excellent video series from which this book was derived, does an amazing job at summarizing the essential elements of what it means to be part of the Catholic Christian community.This is as fun a book to read as it is informative. Having looked at many "Introductions to Catholicism" in order to better recommend particular books to inquirers, I would not hesitate to endorse this book.
Michael Himes writes just as he speaks, that is to say, in a deeply theological yet easy to read and clear style, avoiding theological jargon. The book is based on his excellent video series of the same title. The ten chapters of 7-9 pages each cover the essential foundations of Catholicism, including concise presentations on Trinity, Grace, Incarnation, Church and the sacraments. The book also includes a topical and scriptural index.
I have found this small book to provide a wonderful introduction to Catholicism for my RCIA group here at Cornell University. It offers a broad and easily understandable look at Catholicism and leaves our students hungry for more. The questions at the end of each chapter are particularly helpful.
Himes does a great job at putting some complicated religious terms in ways that anyone can read and understand. Anyone, whether they are christian or not can read this book and have a basic understanding of what Grace is or what Sin is etc. to a catholic. Each chapter is labeled with a single word and that is the topic that is going to be delved into in great detail for the next 10-15 pages. He uses down-to-earth language so nothing seems difficult or complex but you come away with a great knowledge of what it means to have faith.It's a wonderful book to introduce someone to writings of faith becuase it gives a backround for all the topics central to catholicism
I am only halfway through this book and I am so in love with it that I called it up on to purchase it for a few people I know would love it, too. It's a brief, concise discussion about some basic philosophical tenets which have grown to be included in the religion of Catholicism. As a recent student of Fr. Himes, I would like to address a previous reviewer who is made uncomfortable by language like "God emptied Godself." This is the way the man speaks. He uses all of the phrases written in that book. He says, in his lectures at Boston College, "I would suggest to you..." as if his point might be something you would like to consider. It is a wonderful, inclusive manner of speaking/writing. And, as a side note, if something philosophical/theological makes one feel initially uncomfortable, I would suggest that one give it a little more mulling over in the heart; perhaps there is growth and learning just around the corner...?
Clear, precise, practical, engaging, reflective, common sense language, accessible any level of learning and a refreshing approach to a rich historical and spiritual tradition. Granted written for those who are considering joining the Catholic community, it is worth reading for any Christian to make sense of profound concepts in a approachable manner. The chapter concluding reflective questions provide a pause to savor and consider the previous chapter alone or in conversation.
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