Saturday, November 02, 2013

Catholic Company Book Review: The Faith Understood

About the Book:
Discover the basic principles of authentic biblical interpretation. Learn why the Magisterium is the only way to correctly interpret the Bible and the writings of the Church fathers, doctors, and saints. Find out why Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium are the only three legs of the theological tripod that preserves the whole truth about God. See why faith and reason, science and theology, the natural and the supernatural are always agreeable. Explore the Incarnation and its primary Christological heresies that threatened the early Church. Unlock one of the most misunderstood areas of Catholic theology in the person of Mary. Unravel the mystery of eschatology—the "last things"—judgment, purgatory, hell, and heaven. Great for college students, adult faith formation programs, and motivated Catholics aspiring to learn more about their faith.

My Comments:
One thing I've never quite understood was theology.  I mean I attended a little over a year of Catholic school, eleven years of CCD classes and catechist formation classes.  I read a lot.  "Theology" is one of those words I keep seeing, but I've never quite figured out what it means to know or study theology.  It's not Bible study, it's not prayer.  What is it?  Well, according to The Faith Understood, theology is "a reasoning process about God and all He has made known to us through a process called divine Revelation.".  Ok, so now I know something,right?  Well,...

Topics in the book include the relationship between faith and reason, an introduction to Sacred Scriptures which reviews the contents of the official canon, and briefly discusses the deuterocanonical and apocryphal books, as well as examining the topic of inspiration as related to Scripture.  The next topic addressed is the interpretation of Scripture.  The section on Divine Revelation  covers revelation through Scripture, through Sacred Tradition, and through the Magesterium and Pope.  Papal Infallibility is also covered. The Trinity is addressed, as is sin.  A chapter I found especially interesting was on the Incarnation and Redemption, which covered a number of heresies and their erroneous beliefs. The book concludes with a chapter on Mary and one on Eschatology--the branch of theology that focuses on the "last things" that take place beginning with our bodily death.

The book is easy to read and reads more like a textbook than a devotional.  It is a book for people looking for "meat" -- what do we believe and why, without the messiness of feelings or personal experiences of the reader or author.

I'd like to thank the Catholic Company for providing a complimentary review copy.  Grade:  B+

About the Author:
Mark Zia, S.T.D., received a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, Italy. He is associate professor of Theology and director of Academic Enrichment Programs at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He and his wife Julia are the parents of six children.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Faith Understood. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for this excellent review. I may have to get this, having read only one book about theology myself.


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