Swear to God

I’ve decided to be lame and stay at home on this Saturday night.  Instead, I’m going to start reading a book I finally got from Amazon.  It is called “Swear to God: The Promise and Power of the Sacraments” by Scott Hahn.  Scott Hahn is a relatively popular American Catholic author, who converted to Catholicism from Presbyterianism (he was actually a Presbyterian minister).  He seems to write very approachable books on various topics of Catholic theology.   According to his website, Hahn is a Professor of Theology and Scripture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio.  He is the founder and director of the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and is the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at Saint Vincent Seminary in Pennsylvania.  He holds a PhD in Biblical Theology from Marquette University.  So what does all of that resume copy and paste mean?  Well, I hope it means that he knows a lot about the Bible and Catholicism!

“Swear to God” looks into the history, symbols, and ritual of the sacraments of the Catholic Church.  Hahn emphasizes the covenant nature of the sacraments, and that God has always interacted with His people through covenants, from Adam all the way to the Catholic Church.  I find this concept interesting, since in reading Jeff Lindsay (a Mormon apologist)’s website, he emphasized the role of covenants in the LDS Church (such as in the temple ordinances and non-temple ordinances), and that the importance of covenants isn’t found in any modern church except the LDS Church (you can read about that in his Latter-day Saints and the Covenant Framework of the Gospel article).  Not only is this false, but the covenant relationship is important to the very efficacy of the sacraments.  My favorite example is in infant baptism.  Neither the LDS Church nor many Protestant churches practice infant baptism.  Catholics baptize people of all ages.  In the Old Testament times, we see that circumcision was the sign of introduction into the covenant.  There was no choice in this matter, which is what the Mormons and others accuse Catholic and Orthodox Christians (among others) of.  However, as circumcision is the sign of entrance into the OT covenant, so too is baptism the new entrance into the NT covenant.  Of course there are other reasons why we practice infant baptism, but that is one relationship between OT and NT that I see.

I should finish this book within a few days, and I’ll post a review of it, as I will with all theological books and articles that I find worthy of such a review (meaning, I won’t write a review of a 3 paragraph article for example).

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~ by onecatholic on September 6, 2009.

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