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Friday, September 14, 2012

From Sacred Heart to Willow Creek by Chris Haw

From Willow 
Creek to Sacred HeartFrom Willow Creek to Sacred Heart by Chris Haw

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When we visited the cathedral in Sienna, the man behind us annoyed me by groaning and saying how the money spent on the cathedral should have been spent on the poor.  I should have told him that the Catholic church helps more of the poor than any other institution.

Chris Haw discusses this issue and many others in this well-written and inspiring account of why he left a Protestant evangelical church for a somewhat traditional Catholic one.  Although attracted to the heady atmosphere and showmanship of the evangelical church as a teenager, an older and university-educated Haw surprised himself by returning to Catholicism and finding a deeper meaning and spirituality there. 

He goes through many of the old arguments, such as religion versus spiirituality, faith and works, transubstantiation, and the worship of Mary.  Haw eventually agrees with Chesterton, a famous convert, about many of these topics and comes down on the side of Catholicism. He wants to reform the church from within and he writes that the true rebels were those who also wanted to do that, like St. Francis and Thomas Aquinas.

The theology is a bit difficult at times and it sometimes requires re-reading.  However, I enjoyed reading the arguments and it did strike me that Haw should have been a lawyer because he was so good at answering the criticisms of the Church! 

He is an amazingly inspiring young man who chose to live in a poor and violent neighbourhood and help the people there.  If only there were more like him.  Here he also writes about the work of the Church in this area.

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