Monday, June 8, 2015

Why has this blog been so dead?

Well, I have been writing; it's just that none of it has made it onto my blog. I recently finished a book manuscript for Angelico Press, tentatively titled The Letter to the Hebrews and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics. I am proud to say that it is the "sibling" of a new book by my good friend Kevin Vost, The Porch & The Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christians.  Each can be read on its own; but together they seek to show how revelation and philosophy, faith and reason, prepared the world - Jew and Gentile - for Christ's appearance. I am honored to say that both books have been graced with Forewords by Jared Zimmerer and Introductions by Dr. Kenneth Howell. They should be released prior to Advent 2015.

Here is a sneak peek at my study of Hebrews:

James Tissot, It Is Finished
A People PersecutedAuthorship and CanonicityThe Present Work

1. The Trinity (Hebrews, Chapters 1-3)
In the BeginningThe Son, Superior to All Created MediatorsAnother AdvocateThe Revelation of Divine Relationships Sons and Daughters in the Son

2. The Incarnation (Hebrews, Chapters 2-5)
Jesus, Fully HumanSubject to TrialsAchieving His Goal

3. The Word of God (Hebrews, Chapters 4-6)
The Word in ScriptureInspiration and InerrancyThe SeptuagintThe Deuterocanonicals, or Apocrypha Authoritative Oral TraditionsChristian Tradition Conveys God’s RevelationThe Fullness of Truth

4. Christ’s Priesthood, Our Salvation (Hebrews, Chapters 7-11)
The Earthly Temple Gives Way to the HeavenlyThe Day of AtonementA Priest in the Order of Melchizedek The New CovenantNo Longer Under the Torah – The Plan of Salvation

5. The Communion of Saints (Hebrews, Chapters 11-12)
Past Champions of FaithFrom Sheol to the Heavenly JerusalemParticipants in Jesus’s Heavenly Intercession The Purgative WayThe Reality of PurgatoryMary in the Communion of Saints

6. The Eucharist (Hebrews, Chapter 13)
Partners in the AltarThe Todah of the Risen OneChrist, Our Passover LambThe Apostolic WitnessThe Ministerial PriesthoodThe Liturgy of Eternity

7. The Authority of the Church’s Leaders (Hebrews, Chapter 13)
A Matter of RevelationThe Master of the PalaceThe Elders/PresbytersBishops and DeaconsSuccessors to the ApostlesInfallibility: Its Necessity and Limits


Appendix – Formation of the New Testament’s Canon

I've got to tell you how this project came about because it definitely wasn't planned:
I had started work on a book about devotion to the Immaculate Heart, when a friend at work came to me with a question about the Letter to the Hebrews. After we worked through his question, I shared with him that I had developed a five-part study of Hebrews over a decade ago, and had sometimes thought about revisiting it as a book project. He thought it was a great idea and, when he returned the next week with another question, remarked, "Man, I sure hope you write that book."  

I found myself thinking about that future book project as I laid in bed. I realized that I would want it to focus on seven elements instead of the original five. Hmm...was this something the Lord wanted me to pursue?

Two days later I received this email from Kevin Vost (who knew nothing of what I had been thinking):
There is a little mistake I'd like to share with you - but neither mine, nor yours! In your last email you mentioned St. Thomas, and I seem to recall your special interest in Hebrews. Well, when I ordered the beautiful Latin and English Commentaries on the Letters of Saint Paul, they "accidentally" sent me two copies of St. Thomas's Commentary on Hebrews and did not request it back. I supposed the other was for you, so I've been holding this to give to you if you don't already have a copy.
That sealed the deal for me. Instead of pursuing a book about devotion to the Immaculate Heart, it seemed like my focus should switch to Hebrews. When I shared my thoughts with Kevin, he had the wonderful idea of writing "twin tomes." And so, that is what I found myself doing for the past nine months (instead of regularly posting to my blog).

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