You cannot present your heart to God as a gift-offering on the altar of sacrifice (θυσιαστήϱιον) if that heart is turned against God’s other children. The way to union with God in worship cannot lead away from your brother. It is impossible for me to be a child of God without being a brother of all those others for whom Christ died. I cannot love and adore God and at the same time hate and exclude God’s children from my life. I cannot at once love and hate Christ. Christ’s Incarnation, death, and Resurrection mean that he has become inseparable from those he came to redeem. (Erasmo Leiva)
I can’t believe that this is the first Mark Shea book that I have ever read. I’ve read a lot of apologetics books over the last 10 years. This one has always been on my radar but I never got around to reading it. Now I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Shea’s blog for as long as I remember. It is one of few blogs that I follow daily.
Perhaps I was over saturated with apologetics. Each new book pretty much outlined the same arguments in doctrine by doctrine basis. This got tired for a while.
Another reason in the recent years was my lack of space at home and my preference for ebooks. Mark’s books have not been converted to ebook format for some reason, so I did not pick them up. “By What Authority?” is finally an ebook and now I have no excuses.
This book is amazing. I don’t remember reading a clearer explanation and reasons for Sacred Tradition. Mark reasons his way out of an evangelical understanding of Bible alone to the Catholic understanding of Sacred Tradition and Scriptures. He throws every argument that an evangelical may raise at each step of the journey. The journey that he himself has completed. The objections that he himself has worked through.
It is always more refreshing to hear Catholic doctrine described by a former non Catholic. We Catholics tend to take so much for granted. Our doctrine seems so obvious to us that sometimes it boggles the mind that others can’t see it. Converts have this ability to point out things that Catholics would not readily think about.
I am sorry that I didn’t read this book sooner. Mark is a great writer. Now I want to read every other book he has ever written.