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My Review of Von Balthasar Reader

Originally submitted at Aquinas and More

Hans Urs von Balthasar was one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century. This easy-to-use, one-volume reader contains his essentials writings, on everything from the miracle of human existence to the nature of God. Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88) was a Swiss theologian,…

The Von Balthasar Reader

By Eli the Practical Catholic from http://www.practicalcatholic. wordpress.com on 6/21/2011
5out of 5

Pros: Broad, Deserves Multiple Readings, Informative, Well Written

Cons: Not for Beginners

Best Uses: Reference, Gift, Theology Students, Older Readers

Describe Yourself: Bookworm

The Von Balthasar Reader is a seminal text full of breadth, depth and insight into many different areas of modern theology. The selection edited and compiled into this volume represent a wide-ranging yet deeply committed compilation by editors who took the time to understand the original author’s intent and vision.

For those who seek to understand Catholic theology, or are looking for daring yet Orthodox ways of implementing theology into everyday life, this book offers that knowledge and insight.

With piercing words, and a daring interpretation of the Fathers that challenges modern complacency, Von Balthasar speaks with authority on the human condition, theology, and the Church.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Von Balthasar is his ability to adapt the theological vision of Karl Barth into something that works within the Catholic sphere to revitalize theological enterprise, not only for students of theology, but for pastors and laypersons looking for a greater ionsight into how the Christ impacts our lives together, today.

Balthasar’s main points of doctrinal strength include his ability to take history and turn it into something meaningful for modern man. He writes with unapologetic finesse about how God’s entering into history changes the center of our theological reflection.

Balthasar’s Theodramatik: the idea that we are the ones who receive love in the unfolding history of God’s offering Himself to us and for us is one of Balthasar’s central ways of looking at the world. All going back to the incarnation and how this singular event, the Christ-among-us phenomenon really shatters our pre-conceived notions of reality and offers them to us anew, from within the life of the Trinity.

This book is not for newcomers to theology, but nevertheless is a good read. If you are a newcomer, having this book and a dictionary of theological terms might be handy. For anyone seeking to renew, deepen or discover a theological vision that speaks with an authority like unto the original theologians of the Church, this book is essential.

I was given this book in exchange for a review, but it was exciting to see that this book was included in a market that desperately needs theological vision. I was satisfied with the compilation, with the delivery, and with the service from Aquinas and More. They provided speedy delivery, the book arrived in immaculate condition, and was everything they said it would be.

(legalese)

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The Practical Catholic’s Library Vol. 1

I love books, they are tools to knowledge and wisdom, and friendship. Here at the Practical Catholic I am hoping to branch out of my niche a little bit, and books is the way to go.

The most enjoyable thing about books is the way they can shape and reshape our worldview. They’re a consolation and a forum for ideas. The following list is 4 books I am working through and one I’d like to read.

1: Most Recent Start:
Most Recently, I have picked up Covenant and Communion, by Scott Hahn on the Biblical basis of Pope Benedict XVI. It’s. Great read and I highly recommend it. It provides a well thought out and highly readable introduction to biblical Catholicism.

2: Still Want to Finish:
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. This book and its moving prose have been echoing around the nogging for weeks, and I’m dying to get my hands on a copy so that I can re-read the Grand Inquisitor chapter. I have very fond mempries of spiritual formation and meditation with this book.

3: Trying to Get Into:
I am really trying to get into finishing blogging through the Theology of the Body. I haven’t touched the project in a bit, and I miss it. Things have been busy, but that’s no excuse. I can’t wait to get back into the writings of Bl. John Paul II so that I can continue my moral and spiritual formation in every realm of life.

4: Lament Not Having.
I very much lament not having Systematic Theology Vol. 1-2 by Robert W. Jenson. I find myself wanting Jenson’s great and prolific writing and wishing I could browse his masterful work. What’s most interesting about Jenson to me is his defense of Orthodoxy and Tradition, especially his defense of the existence of a papacy. I really wish I had this book around to read and browse for the continual challenge and hope it presents.

5: On my Radar
10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, 4 Not to Miss and One Impostor.

I remembered seeing this book a few months ago and it caught my attention. It was the author recommendations that I remember being particularly insightful. This review caught my attention, and inspired me to put it back on the radar. Notably, Wiker discounts Ayn Rand in the book and I am very curious as to why.

In any case, that’s the library. I want to do some more of these, and maybe discuss these books with you in the future.

Be well my friends.