I recently read through the Q&A with Pope Benedict, an interview published as Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times. I highlighted several sections and would like to share them here (along with some corresponding thoughts of my own).
On the State of Our World
First, George Weigel prefaces the Q&A by reminding us of the world we live in. I think that his analysis of the world’s loss of a meta-narrative to be spot on:
What the Pope sees, and what he discusses with frankness, clarity, and compassion… is a world that has lost its story: a world in which the progress promised by the humanisms of the past three centuries is now gravely threatened by understandings of the human person that reduce our humanity to a congeries of cosmic chemical accidents: a humanity with not intentional origin, no noble destiny, and thus no path to take through history.
Truth, Judgment, and Love
Once the Q&A begins, there are plenty of noteworthy quotes from the pope. One of the key themes of this book is the need to hold together the idea of love and judgment. Recent scandals have forced this issue upon Catholics, but wee as evangelicals need to hear this truth just as badly, particularly in regards to church discipline:
The prevailing mentality was the the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather, a Church of love; she must not punish. Thus the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased …
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.
My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorned crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might for ever live.
I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the new year.
Until recently, aside from iTunes on my PC, I haven’t been much of an Apple-product user. A couple months ago, however, I was given an iPad as a gift. At the same time, I entered a new avenue of service and switched to a Mac desktop computer. The switch from PC to Mac has been great. Both the iPad and my desktop computer are designed to give me the best online experience possible. Thank you for your leadership of Apple and your desire to serve your customers.
Though I am a satisfied Apple customer, I must admit that I am perplexed by a recent decision of your company. Please know that I am not one to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to special causes, boycotts and protests. I’m so new to this kind of email that I’m not even sure what the standard protocol is for registering this sort of complaint.
But I feel compelled to respond to Apple’s recent decision to remove the Manhattan Declaration app from the iPad and iPhone. As you know, the Manhattan Declaration is a carefully articulated statement from a large group of Christian leaders who publicly affirm the historic Christian perspective on three hotly debated issues of our time, including the definition of marriage. I’ve joined the almost 500,000 other signers who have found this document to be a clear and compelling representation of Christianity’s witness concerning these issues.
Knowing that these …