Who Is a Christian?

Who Is a Christian?

by Hans Urs von Balthasar

Paperback(First Edition)



The title of this book is a short question. In its longer form, the question would be: In the changed circumstances after the 2nd Vatican Council--with its theme of aggiornamento or 'updating', especially in the areas of the Bible, the Liturgy, Ecumenism, and openness to the modern world--what does it really mean to be a Christian today? Balthasar begins by acknowledging the confusion of many in the post-Conciliar period. He then describes the valuable contributions of the Council in those four areas. But he also describes their shadows: what could go wrong and often did go wrong. Finally he points out the path to genuine renewal in the personal life of the Christian and in the Christian's service of the world. Among the key topics and issues Balthasar discusses that are important for the authentic renewal of the Christian life include: The Primacy of Contemplation, Who Is a Mature Christian? , Love, the Form of the Christian Life, How Should a Christian Serve the World--and How Not?, Despite Everything, a Single Commitment , and Prayer, Hope, and the Profane. We must therefore resolve to turn around and approach what seemed to be behind us as something before us. To have the question before us, 'Who is a Christian?', together with our effort to answer it, is the right approach, for the answer will necessarily come to us from the source from which our Christian life itself is given, namely, God's living Word . . . We rightly find God in the sign of Word and Sacrament, but only in order to seek him ever more passionately where he is not and where we must bring him. Or, rather where he already dwells unseen, and where we must discover him.-Hans urs von Balthasar

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586175313
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 130
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a Swiss theologian widely regarded as one of the greatest theologians and spiritual writers of modern times. Named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II, he died shortly before being formally inducted into the College of Cardinals. He wrote over one hundred books, including PrayerHeart of the WorldMary for TodayLove Alone Is CredibleMysterium Paschale and his major multi-volume theological works: The Glory of the LordTheo- Drama and Theo- Logic.

Table of Contents

I A Brief Preliminary Skirmish 7

The Dread Question 9

Painfully Isolated 10

Ethics via Statistics 13

The Burden of the Dead 15

Twilight of the Images 18

The Average and the Unreflecting Assumption 21

II With God behind Us-A Critique of Current Trends 27

The Ambivalence of the Necessary 29

The Trend toward the Bible 33

The Trend in the Liturgy 36

The Trend toward Ecumenism 40

The Trend toward the "Temporal" World 44

III God before Us, or Who Is a Christian? 55

Straight to the Center 57

How Is the Irreconcilable Reconciled? 59

The Crucial Point 63

The Covenant and the Yes 69

It Leads Farther than You Think 72

Only for the Poor Is It a Message of Good News 76

The Primacy of Contemplation in Faith 80

The Meaning of Once and for All Time 86

Who Is a "Mature Christian"? 87

Living from Mission 92

Love, the Form of the Christian Life 97

What Does It Mean "to Practice"? 102

IV Expropriation and World Mission 109

How Should a Christian Serve the World-and How Not? 111

Despite Everything, a Single Commitment 116

The Lowly Church 122

Prayer, Hope, and the Profane 127

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