Not an exhaustive, academic treatment (it specifically does not claim to be such, and points readers to more comprehensive treatments), but an introduNot an exhaustive, academic treatment (it specifically does not claim to be such, and points readers to more comprehensive treatments), but an introduction informed by Church and Magisterial documents contemporary to the history discussed, and sensitive to that history. Reviewers elsewhere fault the author for not abiding the late modern colloquial use of the term "slavery", suggesting he plays antics with semantics when explicating *actual historical institutions of coerced and forced servitude* and distinguishing them from chattel slavery - because they were and are (in modern correlates), distinct institutions....more
Very enlightening read, and one I would share. I know the author doesn't intend that i leave the book feeling blanket skeptical of the value of Buddh Very enlightening read, and one I would share. I know the author doesn't intend that i leave the book feeling blanket skeptical of the value of Buddhism for more than a nice set of notions with no truth claim value that lead me to ethical, orthoprax behavior - and not simply (as he probably intended with the mind he may or may not 'have'...;-) ), cautious when engaging representations of "modern buddhisms" - but that's how I left it. A quick thought (since I would say more about the book but only a bit now) the only substantial comparison he makes between Buddhism and science to other "religion and science" conversations is a quick superficial quip about how the interaction between Christianity and science, specifically, has been represented as one of conflict; science was born in the West precisely because of Biblical and Christian presuppositions, and the Church was long a handmaid of science as it grew - however much over time people came to - as Lopez says - *present* the relationship as one of conflict. There were other opportunities for comparison to be made in the social sciences and others; to the degree manuscript evidence matters for historical, empirical questions about "what X-teacher really taught" to then think about 'scientifically' - it matters that most of the Gospels (the main sources of "what Jesus really taught"), are evidenced within one lifetime of Jesus' death [and Resurrection, etc - so far as is claimed by Christ and by extension, Christianity]. The same can't be said of the teachings of Buddha, which vastly post-date the life of the Buddha. That does not mean anything for the truth claim value of Jesus' teachings or The Buddha or the antiquity of the sources relied on to account their teachings, but when comparing "X-religion and science" - especially where Christian critics of Buddhism early on were responsible for the birth of the "scientific Buddha" - actual comparison matters....more
Nefariously titled for sales, does well at drawing you in (truly eye opening on the depth and nature of scientific engagement of the Church from the aNefariously titled for sales, does well at drawing you in (truly eye opening on the depth and nature of scientific engagement of the Church from the advent of sciency science to today, as well as Medjugorje , "seers", possession,etc), as authored by a long time Vaticanista. Like many books I give 4 stars, has 10 things to say but leads you through 9. Brilliant ending with Guy Consolmagno, now head of the Vatican Observatory (tell me *that* wasn't a conspiracy)....more
Though I'm not finished, I'm far enough into it to rate it - firme. No complaints I bought for mom, but started into it before I could give it for XmaThough I'm not finished, I'm far enough into it to rate it - firme. No complaints I bought for mom, but started into it before I could give it for Xmas and had to buy a copy for her. Really, really good. closes many of the emotive "arguments" [for me] over Blessed Pius XIIs "silence" during the Shoah amidst his accounted and localized Vatican efforts to save Rome's Jews (as real and substantiated as his efforts to save them in many other locals), there's to my mind too much converging data and accounted empathy collected herein for anyone to dismiss lack of ineffective media outrage as anti-Semitism. As per Hitler - not so much empathy; Pius was in the control room of effort to take Hitler's life, and Catholic lay people, hierarchy and institutions (terminally infecting the Abwehr), were coordinated with the effort to stop him, along with timidly-willing Lutherans et al enough that I am left wondering...how did Hitler keep his war/genocide effort going as well and as long as he did?...more
dense, comprehensive, partisan - but good! NOT a good introduction to the issues or the person of Pope Pius XII, but a decent picture from those who edense, comprehensive, partisan - but good! NOT a good introduction to the issues or the person of Pope Pius XII, but a decent picture from those who esteem him....more
Rough sledding but worth it. A real lesson in history versus communal memory; the majority of Jews in Spain in 1492 willingly converted, the majorityRough sledding but worth it. A real lesson in history versus communal memory; the majority of Jews in Spain in 1492 willingly converted, the majority of them remained as faithful to their new faith as other Spaniards, rabbinic contemporaries condemned the converts as apostates - while modern Jewish memory celebrate them as martyrs and 'anusim', 'coerced ones' (though Jewish Law at the time stipulated martyrdom as THE ONLY alternative to exile or apostasy - they're apostatized, plain and simple). Persecution of 'Conversos' was not a universal phenomena (the great many simply intermarried, and a good number of converts became clerics), nor was it experienced by Jews alone - even non-Jews were accused. Much more....more
I cannot speak as a Muslim reader, but as someone who shared many of the deeply-ingrained and self-defining presuppositions about Christianity that NaI cannot speak as a Muslim reader, but as someone who shared many of the deeply-ingrained and self-defining presuppositions about Christianity that Nabeel did on his path to Christ, and shared them in the many inter-related ways they're held - so I cannot comment to his criticism of Islam as presented herein. He was not a scholar per se, of the "reasons he was Muslim" as someone in Dawa might be - but the book focuses mostly on the arguments against Christianity, not so much related and also important matters of "Islam invented science", or "Islam is key to all true civilization", as many du'ahl du'at and lay-Muslims argue. It would be a stronger book if he also detailed his wrestling with those "criticisms of the West" that are no less a lifeblood of Dawa, which he was to a measure 'catechized' in....more
MUCH good and much poor Protestant anti-Catholic rhetoric against the Catholic/Orthodox Canons and bitterness over Christian Smith's recent conversionMUCH good and much poor Protestant anti-Catholic rhetoric against the Catholic/Orthodox Canons and bitterness over Christian Smith's recent conversion to Catholicism (in criticizing "biblicism" as common among Evangelicals), Barnes and Noble reviewer "artsippo" does an OK job of clarifying, also Daniel B. Wallace on his blog does a good Protestant review (following is 'artsippo's' review);
I was reading Dr. Blomberg's book "Can We Still Believe the Bible?" and I was very disappointed in the section on the Old Testament canon. I have enjoyed his books in the past and I was very sad to see him reiterate several falsehoods that have been used by Protestants to deny the canonicity of the Deuterocanonical books. These falsehoods have been refuted over the last 40 years as scholarship has advanced and it is inexcusable that a man with Dr. Blomberg's reputation should try to perpetuate them.
I will note few of these errors:
1) The Apocrypha was "not even put forward for canonization within Judaism." (p. 47)
This is false. In the opening pages of the Babylonian Talmud, there is a description of the process of discernment for determining which books should be included in the Jewish Bible. Both Sirach and Wisdom were considered for inclusion though ultimately rejects because of their late date. Nevertheless, the Talmud quotes from Sirach as Scripture and the copy of Hebrew Sirach found in the Cairo Genizah was written using all of the conventions that the Jews reserved only for biblical books. We now know that there were several different Biblical Canons extant among the Jews in the Diaspora and many of them included the Deuterocanonical bookss, especially those of Greek speaking Jews who used the Septuagint (LXX) as their primary Bible.
2)"Despite their widespread usage...no ecumenical (i.e., empire wide) council officially declared them canonical until the Council of Trent in 1546." (p. 48)
This is false. In the late 4th and early 5th Centuries there were 16 Councils held in North Africa to deal with the Pelagian and Donatist problems. The Council of HIPPO in 393 AD gave a list of the Canon of Scripture which was IDENTICAL to the list reaffirmed at Trent. It referred its canon on this to the "Transmarine Church" (i.e. Rome) for confirmation which was indeed granted. (NB: No distinction was made to an Old or New Testament. The Canon of Scripture was promulgated as a single list.) Two Popes in the next 25 years reaffirmed the Biblical Canon from Hippo upon request from other bishops for clarification on the Biblical Canon. The policy of the 16 Councils was to reaffirm the list of canons from previous councils in the series before adding new ones. A large list of canons were produced which were considered the definitive response to the errors of the Pelagians and Donatists. In 418 AD, the Pope declared all the canons from the 16 Councils to represent official Church teaching and they were treated as such from that point forward. The 7th Ecumenical Council (Nicea II) reaffirmed a list of 85 previous sources, treatises, and canons of local councils as representing official teaching. The canons from the North African Councils were on that list.
It should also be noted that the Latin Vulgate which became the official Bible of the Latin Church from the date of its publication contained the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture despite St Jerome's misgivings. Furthermore EVERY major Church Father (St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory the Great, St. John Chrysostom, and EVEN St. Jerome himself!) unambiguously quoted from the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture.
Also the Glossa Ordinaria which were quoted in the margins of the Vulgate Bible as the standard instructional notes on the Biblical text during the Medieval Period included the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture.
At the Ecumenical Council of Florence in 1473 AD, Pope Eugenius wrote an extended letter which included among other things the reiteration of the Traditional Long Canon from Hippo. This letter is considered part of the official output from that Council.
As a result it was not an "irate" Catholic Church (Dr. Blomberg's words) that reaffirmed the Deuterocanonical books at Trent but a well informed and historical educated one. In fact this is exactly what the Council of Trent said about it in the opening section of the Fourth Session:
"...(the Synod) following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament--seeing that one God is the author of both --as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. And it has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below: (THE LIST FOLLOWS)
"But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema."
As you can see the Council did not make up a new canonical list but merely reaffirmed the one that it had received from Tradition. The Canon of Scripture had been settled as far as the Catholic Church was concerned over 1000 years earlier.
3) "The New Testament never quotes from the Apocrypha."
This is false. There are several places where extensive use is made of the Deuterocanonical books. St. Paul uses large portions of the Book of Wisdom (esp. Chapter 13) in the early chapters of Romans. The letter to the Hebrews refers to the Story of the Maccabean Martyrs. And there is extensive correspondence between the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount/Plain and Wisdom, Sirach, and Tobit. The same is true for the Epistle of St. James. In fact, the recent translation of Tobit in the NRSV makes it plain that there are several parallels between that book and the NT.
4) "The Protestants asserted not that the Church Fathers did not use the Apocrypha but only that no Jews did."
This is false as I have shown above, but it is endemic of the ignorant, Anti-Catholic and unhistorical attitude that Protestants take towards the Early Church. WHO CARES WHAT THE JEWS THOUGHT? They rejected Christ so why are we holding them up as experts on revelation for Christians? Besides, the consensus of scholarship at this time (e.g., Frank Moore Cross, James VanderKam, John Barton, Lee Martin MacDonald, James A. Sanders, and A. C. Sundberg to name a few) is that the Jewish canon of the Bible was not closed until after the time of Christ. There was no clear consensus of Rabbinical schools on this matter until the late 4th Century. By the time the Jews tried to discern their canon, the Holy Spirit had descended on the Church at Pentecost and the Jews no longer had any authority to speak definitively on this matter. Why do Protestants insist on giving more authority to non-Christian Rabbis than they do to Catholic Ministers about whom Jesus said "He who hears you hears me"(Luke 10:16)?
In short, everything he used to claim that the Deuterocanonical material is not Scripture were lies. The real reason that Protestants rejected them is that the Deuterocanonical books CONTRADICTED the innovative religious systems invented by the Protestant heresiarchs. The emphasis on wisdom literature in the Deuteros contradicted the anti-nomian assertions of the early Protestants. The Deuteros agreed with St. James about the meaning of the Aqedah and Abraham's righteousness before God which undermines the Protestant theory of imputation. The Deuteros reaffirmed the perennial teachings about prayers for the dead and the intercession of the saints which the Church had inherited from Judaism but which the man-made Protestant systems of the 16th Century could not accommodate. The strong ethical message of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount/Plain have always been difficult for Protestants to assimilate since it contradicts their views on "justification by faith alone." Jesus reiterated much of what was taught in Tobit, Sirach, and Wisdom. There has always been a strong affinity between Jesus' Sermon, the Deuteros, and the Epistle of St. James which was another reason (other than James 2:24) that Luther wanted to throw St. James' Epistle out of the canon.
I had high expectations that Dr. Blomberg would deal honestly with the debate over the Canon. Instead he has perpetuated much of the misinformation that Protestants have come up with on the subject. Meanwhile he has not dealt honestly with the reception of the Patristic Church of the Deueros as Scripture but instead chose to exclude evidence contrary to his prejudices with the deliberate intention of deceiving his readers.
What Dr. Blomberg has done is morally reprehensible and he needs to repent of his misrepresentations....more
No footnotes, no sources, no citations of what seem to be quotes or statements from documents...precisely where and when it needed them; apologists anNo footnotes, no sources, no citations of what seem to be quotes or statements from documents...precisely where and when it needed them; apologists and those clarifying Doctrine really need to get past the frankly stupid notion that popular-level readers are bogged down or 'intimidated' by...footnotes. Jeez, it's just a number. Put the source and or note in the back of the chapter. Simple as pie....more