Dogma & Preaching: Applying Christian Teaching to Everyday Life
This volume is an unabridged edition of Dogma and Preaching, a work that appeared in a much-reduced form in English, in 1985. The new book contains twice as much material as first English edition.
"Dogma", for many people, is a bad word. For the well-informed believer, it shouldn't be. Dogmas are truths revealed by God, which should enlighten the minds, guide the choices, and gladden the hearts of Jesus' disciples, including pastors, deacons, and lay teachers. But, as Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), notes in the foreword to this book, "The path from dogma to proclamation or preaching has become very troublesome." Finding ways to relate the content of the Church's dogmas to everyday life can be challenging for today's preachers and teachers. Some people find the task so daunting that they leave dogma out. As a result, they wind up presenting something other than the Church's faith and speak in their own name, offering perhaps unwittingly merely their own, subjective ideas, rather than the Word of God.
In Dogma and Preaching, the theologian and priest Joseph Ratzinger provides (1) a theory of preaching for today; (2) application of this theory to some themes for preaching drawn from the Church's dogmas; (3) meditations and sermons based on the liturgical year and the communion of saints; and (4) some thoughts regarding the decade after the Second Vatican and Christianity's seeming irrelevance. Ratzinger insists that sound preaching should rest on three pillars-Dogma, Scripture, and the Church Today, the contemporary situation in which the Church finds herself. He shows that the proper understanding of the Church, her dogmas, the nature of faith, and the contemporary world allow the proclaimer-believer to remain faithful to the Church's mission and life-changing message.