Friday, March 10, 2006

The other day my wife surprised me by giving me the book Four Witnesses by Rod Bennett. The essential goal of the book is to examine Church writings from the second century to understand the shape of the early Church. In order to do this, Bennett uses excerpts from the writings of Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus of Lyons. I have added this title to my list of current books being read on the right panel of this page.

This is a great book for me because I always enjoy reading the early Church Fathers. Having been drawn to their writings a number of years ago, I was opened up to truth of what Bennett is seeking to illustrate, namely, that the early Church was the beginning of the Catholic Church. The practices of the early Church are the same practices which are found in the Catholic Church throughout history until this very day.

I am also looking forward to reading this because I have a very special place in my heart for Ignatius of Antioch. In particular, his letters to the various churches as a bishop who is preparing for his martyrdom have been powerful witnesses to me of the authority of the Church which Christ founded on His apostles. In his person, Ignatius combines the tremendous virtues of obedience and service. He is obedient to God to the point of giving up his own life. And he lives a life of service to those to whom have been entrusted to his care. Ignatius also has a way of calling things as they are without mincing words. This is refreshing to read from a shepherd of the people. In addition, I am connected to Ignatius of Antioch because my birthday is on his feast day (October 17). This fact only solidified my choice to select him as one of my two confirmation names which I took when I entered into the Church.

In other book news, I just recently finished reading a tremendous book on parenting. I now have the task of writing a review of the book. The reason that I am writing a review is because when I first discovered this book I so enthusiastic about the book that I wrote the publisher to ask for a free copy of the book on the promise of my writing a review of it. To my surprise, the publisher agreed, and I was sent a copy.

For some time now, I have been reading a chapter a night. It really is difficult to go beyond that because, although each chapter is only a few pages, the material is very challenging. The author calls each parent to take seriously the responsibility to be a good parent by being a good person. His advice is imminently practical, and it is clear that his counsel is based on the wisdom he has gained through his work in education and his being a parent himself.

I am looking forward to writing the review because I want to tell more people about the book. Already, a colleague of mine has begun reading the book, and she is telling friends of hers about it. It has fostered some good discussions with my colleague and I have enjoyed sharing with my wife some of what I have learned. My hope is to write the review in the next several weeks

Posted by David at 4:41 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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