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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Image Entertainment
Publication Date: 2012
Availability: In Stock
"Christopher West is to be commended for the courage and strength of conviction with which he proclaims, upholds, and defends the spousal vision of the Church, particularly as its articulated in John Paul IIs Theology of the Body. Its with great enthusiasm as his diocesan bishop that I endorse this magnificent book and recommend it to a wide, wide readership." - Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Bishop of Harrisburg, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Catholic Education
"Inspiring, compelling, faithful and compassionate At the Heart of the Gospel invites us to follow in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II as authentic witnesses of the truth and beauty of the Gospel amid the many challenges of contemporary culture. A must read for everyone involved in the new evangelization!" - Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
"Christopher West has gone to the desert … and come back stronger than ever. Those who may previously have thought his work was one-sided in its celebration of the body and sexuality will find here, brought out more clearly than ever, the deep balance and integration that has always been the foundation of his work." - Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of Saint Louis, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations
"As a former professor of Wests, I may be biased in his favor, but I can honestly say that he has taught me a great deal through this magnificently developed and theologically sound work. His balanced and insightful analyses make it clear that West has immersed himself in the great mystics, Fathers, and doctors of the Church. His treatment of a delicate question of foreplay by married couples is perhaps the finest I have ever read. In short, this is a magnificent theological work that ought to be widely read by all interested in the Theology of the Body and the new evangelization." - William E. May, Emeritus Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America.
"Wests highly anticipated work At the Heart of the Gospel is in keeping with the man I have come to know and respect since our close collaboration on the new English translation of TOB. In short, this balanced and judicious work demonstrates what I have long understood: West knows John Paul IIs TOB as few others do and he shows great theological skill in presenting, explaining, and upholding the late Popes teaching. He grasps its letter with remarkable completeness and is led faithfully by its spirit. He is to be commended for his courage in defending John Paul IIs teaching (and the theological tradition upon which its based) in the face of strong opposition." - Michael Waldstein, Max Seckler Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University
"The beatification of Pope John Paul II is more than the Churchs official recognition of his sanctity. John Paul IIs teaching is now bequeathed to the Church in a new way not only by his authority as Pope, but also by his personal experience of sanctity. Christopher West is an authentic witness to the transformative power of John Paul IIs teaching and this book accurately captures the meaning of his Theology of the Body and its critical importance for the new evangelization." - Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, Theologian, Author, and Founding Professor of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Washington D.C.
"Why should you read this book? Because Christopher West is the "translator" of Pope John Paul the Greats Theology of the Body into clear, simple, popular language; and the Theology of the Body is the Churchs answer to the great heresy of our time, the "Sexual Revolution"; and the Sexual Revolution is the main cause of the corruption and decline of marriage and the family; and the family is the primary key to the health of any civilization; and our civilization is already half way to "Brave New World." At the Heart of the Gospel provides the alternative." - Peter Kreeft,
Professor of Philosophy, Boston College
"If complacency in the Church is a sleeping lion, then one can expect many swipes of the paw at the work of Christopher West. At the Heart of the Gospel compellingly demonstrates the truth of the matter: West is bringing fresh grace to both the Church and the wider culture. With the wisdom born of trial and the humble acceptance of his own poverty, West targets our aching need and directs us to healing with surgical precision. His proclamation of the Gospel is joyous, contemporary, and contagious! Onward Christopher, we are listening!" - Anne, a lay apostle
Direction for Our Times; Author, Lessons in Love
"At the Heart of the Gospel presents the wisdom and knowledge of an evangelist whos been on the front lines for nearly twenty years. With great humility, clarity and charity, Christopher West unpacks the life-giving teachings of the Catholic Church on what Blessed John Paul II considered the most pressing issue of our day what it means to be a person made in Gods image as male and female and teaches us how to communicate this life-saving truth to a world starving for love." - Matthew Pinto, President, Ascension Press
"Christopher West is a pioneer in reaching todays culture with the Gospel." - Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.
Robbie PenateAge: 18-24Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Masterfully Written, Theologically SounedOctober 13, 2013Robbie PenateAge: 18-24Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Christopher West is a masterful author. His book, "At the Heart of the Gospel" reveals his ability to explain and defend his ideas, as well as his ability to develop his ideas more precisely in response to constructive criticism. This book is a result of the sabbatical that Christopher West took in 2010. In his introduction he explains: "I reflected prayerfully on the challenges my work has received, seeking to glean as much as possible from what various authors were saying.This book is the fruit of those reflections" (p. 3). West truly produced a masterpiece here.
His main premise in this book, at least, what I took to be the main premise (there are many things that you argue are a "main premise") is that without properly understanding human sexuality we cannot truly understand the Incarnation or the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church,which is so often portrayed in Sacred Scripture as a marriage. With this premise, West makes it easy for us to desire to study the Theology of the Body. If we understand this premise, we cannot help but desire to know more!
West does a great job discussing the 2 extremes that are often taken by people regarding human sexuality. The first, which many Good Christians inadvertently take, is that we should try to crush/repress our sexual desires in order to be "holy". West does a good job explaining that this "Wound of Puritanism," as he calls it, does violence to the human person. It also implies that the body is evil, which can't be true if the Word became incarnate. West also says that this extreme facilitates the other: that of understanding our sexuality apart from our desire for holy love. I love what West says: "When believers demand a holiness free from eros, the secular world, for its part, quite happily demands an eros free of holiness."
Perhaps my favorite part of West's book though, is not even directly related to human sexuality. West does a good job discussing one of the finer, more subtle points of Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body, the need to overcome concupiscence. West discusses the fact that avoiding sin is not virtue. Jesus gives us a "New Law" in the New Testament, that of living a life of virtue, not just of avoiding sin. There is a difference between not doing something that is wrong, and doing something that is right. As West says, "In effect, if all we've been given when it comes to Church teaching is a list of rules to follow, then we have yet to 'pass over' from the Old to the New Testaments" (page 81-82).
My only 'bone to pick' so to speak is not one of doctrine but one of style. West ends up quoting quite copiously from his previous books, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I thought that he would find new ways to explain himself after spending so much time reflecting on the criticisms of his work. Also, West spends a lot of time on some foundational principles. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but if you have a basic understanding of Theology of the Body, parts of this book will seem a little dull/slow.
That being said, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, regardless of your understanding of Theology of the Body. Christopher West has done an incredible job making the teachings of Blessed John Paul II both relevant and accessible.
I especially appreciated this book since I am a Theology teacher at a Catholic High School. It has really helped me in teaching Theology of the Body to my students! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!
*I received this book free from WaterBrooke Multnomah Publishing for this review.
At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the New EvangelizationChristopher WestImage Entertainment / 2012 / Trade Paperback$13.49 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
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