Monday, February 16, 2015

A Serious Time Investment in the Gospel

The Joy of the Gospel was not what I was expecting. I was gearing up for a high level overview of the Gospel and the Joy it can bring to your life. Being a modern day citizen of the world, time is the most precious gift. My wife and I regularly attend Church and attempt to get the most of every mass. Sometimes I am tired and zone out during the homily. It's my fault - my mind might wander to what's bothering me with family, friends, or work (rarely work). My hope for this book was a way to reconnect with the Gospel.

That was not the case at all.

This book is written like Doctrine. For those who don't know exactly what that means let me borrow Wikipedia for a moment.

Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina or possibly from Sanskrit: dukrn) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or belief system. The Greek analogue is the etymology of catechism. Often doctrine specifically suggests a body of religious principles as it is promulgated by a church, but not necessarily; doctrine is also used to refer to a principle of law, in the common law traditions, established through a history of past decisions, such as the doctrine of self-defense, or the principle of fair use, or the more narrowly applicable first-sale doctrine. In some organizations, doctrine is simply defined as "that which is taught", in other words the basis for institutional teaching of its personnel internal ways of doing business.

To bring it down to a simple summary of points where I felt the book really lost me:
  • The book identifies paragraphs in roman numerals which reminds you of a text book
  • A very high level of vocabulary is used
  • Scripture is reference without much context
  • There is no story, plot, or engaging narrative - it is purely informational with very little structure. I had hoped for at least a dialogue based book where I was learning more about Pope Francis.
Bottom Line: I would only buy this book if you really wanted to dive into the Catholic Theology.

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