Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Theologian-Pope

I'm currently reading "Jesus of Nazareth," a look at the Jesus of the Gospels that Pope Benedict XVI began writing when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. I recently heard one priest say that reading this book is like "reading the New Testament for the first time."

A few years ago, I probably never would have bought anything written by Cardinal Ratzinger, who I thought was too doctrinaire. But, B16 is really growing on me. His writings are brilliant. And, at the core, he seems to simply want all of us to have a more-informed knowledge of God. He really is the "Theologian-Pope."

So far, these two quotes from "Jesus of Nazareth" have struck me (highlights are mine):

Neither the individual books of Holy Scripture nor the Scripture as a whole are simply a piece of literature. The Scripture emerged from within the heart of a living subject – the pilgrim People of God – and lives within this same subject. One could say that the books of Scripture involve three interacting subjects. First of all, there is the individual author or groups of authors to whom we owe a particular scriptural text. But these authors are not autonomous writers in the modern sense; they form part of a collective subject, the “People of God,” from within whose heart and to whom they speak. Hence, this subject is actually the deeper “author” of the Scriptures. And yet likewise, this people does not exist alone; rather, it knows that is led, and spoken to, by God himself, who – through men and their humanity – is at the deepest level the one speaking.

and ...

Religions do not aim merely to answer the question about our provenance; all religions try in one way or another to life the veil of the future. They seem important precisely because they impart knowledge about what is to come, and so show man the path he has to take to avoid coming to grief. This explains why practically all religions have developed ways of looking into the future.

1 comment:

Jay said...

you are such a nerd dude. you know where you can release all this nerdiness? dinner...this sunday. reply to the email.