If you, like me, are looking forward to summer downtime. I have a few reading suggestions for you.
The Case for Jesus: the Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ by Brant Pitre.
Dr. Pitre is Professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, and has written several scholarly books, mainly about the Eucharist. This book is written for a wide audience, and is really a response to Bart Ehrman’s book How Jesus became God, and the scholarly belief that Jesus never said he was God; Christianity added that to him later.
The book is basically split into two parts. The first part looks at the accuracy of the Gospels, and if we can really believe what is written in them. The second part then looks at what Jesus says in the Gospels themselves, and the times that Jesus declared himself or acted like God, at least in a Jewish religious context. Although this book is highly accessible, Dr. Pitre includes extensive endnotes for anyone wanting to go more in depth on the topic.
Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History by Rodney Stark.
Rodney Stark is a professor at Baylor University and co-director of their Institute for Studies of Religion. As the title suggests, he wrote this book to help provide some truths to all of the anti-Catholic history that has permeated the culture. The book has 10 chapters, each one dedicated to a different topic, such as the Crusades, scientific heresies and the “conflict” between faith and religion, the “suppressed” Gnostic Gospels, the “Protestant work ethic,” and others. The final two sentences of his introduction lend credence to his writings: “Finally, I am not a Roman Catholic, and I did not write this book in defense of the Church. I wrote it in defense of history.” And defend it he does.
Fatal Rhythm: a Medical Thriller and Christian Mystery by R.B. O’Gorman.
To add a fictional book to the list, and a thriller to boot, we have Fatal Rhythm by R.B. O’Gorman. Here we have a good old fashioned Catholic, mystery novel. This mystery follows surgery resident Joe Morales through a two-month rotation in the ICU, where a number of suspicious deaths have been occurring. Joe needs to figure out why these are occurring to try to help save the career he has been dreaming about. One of our patrons, a doctor, was taken aback with how authentic a lot of the hospital scenes were. It helps that O’Gorman himself studied cardiovascular surgery, and so this novel has an air of authenticity to it.
These books can be found at the Salzmann Library, along with thousands of others to help with your reading. The Salzmann Library is open to the public during regular hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 12 — 8 p.m., and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. — 4 pm.
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