Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Review: Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures by, Pope Benedict XVI

Continuing with our discussion of sin and its clash with culture today, I’d like to share one of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject with you, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures by, Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI. In his book, Pope Benedict discusses in depth the role morality must play in our culture. “In today’s pluralistic societies, where various religious, cultural, and ideological orientations coexist, it is becoming ever more difficult to guarantee a common basis of ethical values shared by all and capable of providing a sufficient foundation for democracy itself. (Chapter 2, pg. 61)

While it is true that societal values have changed over the years, it is also true that the survival of human dignity depends upon our willingness to defend the significance and importance of our Christian faith. “The moral drama, the decision for good or evil, begins with our eyes, when we choose whether or not to look at the face of the other. Why is infanticide almost unanimously rejected today, whereas we have become virtually inured to abortion? Perhaps the only reason is that in the case of abortion, one does not see the face of the one condemned never to see the light of day.” (Chapter 3, pg. 65)

Spirituality must be renewed, according to Pope Benedict XVI, if we are to divert the tragic circumstances meant to collapse our culture in the name of freedom. Freedom is not the absence of God, but the recognition of Him that allows us to remain at peace in the world, regardless of suffering and hardship in our lives. True freedom denies the power of sin, refutes the efforts of Satan, and relies on the glory of God. I highly recommend Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures to everyone. It is a message for our times, one that will continue to have an impact for many generations to come.