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"Narrative catechesis," that's what you've picked up. Sounds intimidating?
It shouldn't. All it means is that it teaches the Christian Faith in the phases that I came to hold it as a teenager and young adult. Now I hope that a more mature reader won't stop here. For whatever reason - maybe you're the reason - God gave me an incredible hunger to know Him while I was still quite young. Not only did He give the desire, but He sent the people, materials, and experiences to satisfy it. I write because I know that God hasn't done anything for me that He doesn't want to do for you too.
My hope is to explain, in detail, the Truth that moved me from a crisis of belief, through a series of intermediate steps, to full-fledge participation in the Catholic Church. Along the way we'll immerse ourselves in Scripture and Christian history. We'll open our minds and hearts to the possibility that God can act in us exactly as He did in times past. We want to get beyond the caricatures of Christianity so prevalent today and come to Jesus' vision on matters like marriage, sex, authority, forgiveness, and freedom. We are going to find out how God wants to bring us into unending union with Him, and the tools He's given to make it happen. I want this to be an experience of theological "one stop shopping!"
My dream would be that when you finish this book you'll find yourself breathless at the thought of what God has for you - but not too breathless to say, "Come Lord Jesus, do what You so want to do in me. Love Your Father, love your brothers and sisters, through me." And then hold on my friend, the ride will have just begun!
1 - Are You There?
Beginning with a visit to a synagogue, readers learn of God's initial intervention in the author's life.
2 - Discovering the "New" in the "Old"
One God in Three Persons? * Trinity as key to understanding Christianity * Humanity's creation and fall * God's plan of salvation enfolded in Israel's history, religious rites, poetry, and prophecy.
3 - Jesus, Through the Eyes of Faith
Jesus' life as the fulfillment of Israel's hopes, and window into the inner dynamics of the Trinity * Complete God, and complete man * Relationship with the Law of Moses * Fulfillment of prophecies * Passover and crucifixion * Resurrection and ascension * How He achieved humanity's salvation * Personal union with Jesus effected through Baptism
4- Sharing His Anointing
"Baptism in the Spirit?" * A Sacrament of Confirmation? * Attending a "non-denominational church * Catholicism's authoritarianism and unbiblical elements
5 - Every Boy Needs His Mother (and Brothers and Sisters too)
Brief sharing of how God used events, but primarily Scipture, to overcome the author's misgivings regarding Catholic and Orthodox teaching on the Virgin Mary: her immaculate conception * life-long virginity * model discipleship * assumption into heaven * motherhood of all Christians * intercessory prayer * The Christian's relation to the whole "communion of saints."
6 - Confession and the Ongoing Nature of Salvation
Salvation, a life-long process * Faith or Works? * Salvation can be lost * But regained through a confession of sin *This practice in Scripture and the early Church * Purgatory?
7 - Putting the Word in Context
Interpreting the Bible: inspiration * freedom from error? * historical-critical method * different literary genres must be taken into account * the four "senses" of Scripture
8 - The End of Some Things
Correctly interpreting the Book of Revelation - is it really about the end of the world? * Millenium * Rapture * Suffering and persecution of Church * Public vs. private revelation * What signs will precede Jesus' return? * An infallible book cries out for an infallible interpreter
9 - Sharing Jesus' Passion in Our Dating and Marriage
Marriage as a sacrament and image of Trinity * John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" * Prevalent errors: contraption * non-marital sex * homosexual behavior * divorce * Annulments
10 - College: Friendships Inside and "Outside" the Church
Church as Christ's Mystical Body * Working for unity among Christians * Salvation of non-Christians?
11 - Loose Ends Finally Tied
Strong Catholic teachers opened author's eyes to the authority of the Church in matters of not just doctrine, but discipline.
12 - The Church and the Word of God
Scripture and early Church writings illustrate: Apostles as foundations for a renewed Israel * Simon-Peter's function as Rock / Primeminister * Apostles' sharing of authority with those ordained to succeed them * God-given Tradition * Church authority determined contents of the New Testament * Loving the Church amidst scandals
13 - Who Are My Brothers and Sisters?
Strong Catholic convictions do not negate the bonds shared with other Christians - the Catholic vision increases them!
14 - The Eucharist: Source and Summit
Scriptural and early Church teaching regarding the Eucharist: our point of entrance into Jesus' sacrifice * His continuing "Real Presence" within the Church * The change of the bread and wine * Sequence of the Mass
15 - Parting Thoughts
Appendix I - The Logic of Belief in God
No conflict between science and faith * Aquinas' Five Proofs * Cosmology's revelation: a universe fine-tuned for life * Big Bang * Anthropic principle * No threat from evolution * Moral order demands a source
Appendix II - Why Jesus' Claims Deserve a Hearing
His claim, that of a Jew to be the One God, sets Him apart from the founders of every other world religion * Leaves us with only three alternatives
Appendix III - A Christian View of the New Age Movement
A far cry from harmless fun
Appendix IV - The Old Testament "Apocrypha"
Why do Catholic Bibles have a longer Old Testament than Protestant versions?
Appendix V - The Validity of Infant Baptism
A practice based soundly upon Scripture and Tradition
Appendix VI - Should All Christians Receive "Tongues"?
Many Christians involved in the Pentecostal, or Charismatic, Movement claim that all Christians receive the biblical gift of tongues, they have only to yield to it * view is a misinterpretation of Scripture
Appendix VII - Scripture is Without Error
While firmly rejecting fundamentalism, every Christian should still feel able to affirm Scripture's freedom from error * Different literary genres * Inerrancy constant teaching of Christian Church
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? . . . Therefore, honor God with your bodies."
Weight lifting, Prayer, Cardio, Catechesis, and a Healthy Diet.
Using the saint of the day as inspiration, Kevin Vost (Fit For Eternal Life), Shane Kapler, and Peggy Bowes (The Rosary Workout) have crafted a daily devotional that works toward the ultimate in fulfillment: living as God planned – body and soul, whole and holy.
"Tending the Temple gives readers ample impetus to get up off the couch they read it on! Far from being an intimidating workout regimen or spiritual gauntlet, Tending the Temple will disarm readers with its approachability and humor. For active and lethargic readers alike, this book is a unique assemblage of principles and practicality for every Christian." Matt Swaim, author of Prayer in the Digital Age
Tending the Temple gives persistent prods toward spiritual and lively living. Whether you are looking for a New Year’s resolution, a spiritual and healthy plan for Lent or Advent, a strategy to keep fit during the summer, or if at any point during the year you feel a need to work on your spiritual and physical health, Tending the Temple might be the perfect tool.
Theresa Doyle-Nelson, author of Saints of the Bible, and More Saints of the Bible