By Richard John Neuhaus
Christians are via their nature a humans misplaced. Their actual house is with God; in civic lifestyles, they're alien electorate “in yet now not of the world.” In American Babylon, eminent theologian Richard John Neuhaus examines the actual fact of that ambiguity for Catholics in the USA today.Neuhaus addresses the fundamental quandaries of Catholic life—assessing how Catholics can continue their heads above water within the sea of immorality that confronts them on the planet, how they are often patriotic even if their real kingdom isn't during this global, and the way they may reconcile their tasks as voters with their dedication to God. Deeply realized, usually combative, and regularly eloquent, American Babylon is Neuhaus’s magnum opus—and might be crucial examining for all Christians.
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Extra info for American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile
The young Judeans went along with a great deal but drew the line at worshipping a false god. ” In the first centuries of the Christian movement, martyrs went singing to their deaths rather than do something so seemingly innocuous as burning a pinch of incense before the statues of emperors who had been officially deified. Also today, Christians worry about the ways in which accommodation to this foreign city can become betrayal. At least they should. The temptation to worship false gods usually presents itself in subtle forms.
What Christians can say about the particulars of God’s purposes in history leaves us stuttering and tongue-tied. We can attend closely to what is revealed; we can try to read “the signs of the times”; we can study, discuss, debate, speculate, and then pray for the grace to act in the courage of our uncertainties. But at the end of the day, we say with Paul, “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. ” These are words from Paul’s unsurpassable hymn of love in 1 Corinthians 13. We walk by faith in faith’s disposition toward the future, which is hope, relying on the cosmic triumph of the love revealed in Jesus Christ.
It is very different with America: the preeminent superpower with its overweening and imperious, if not imperial, force behind the globalization of a meretricious culture in the service of feeding the insatiable appetite of capitalist expansion. At least so America is seen by many in the world, and many Americans have all too keen a gift of seeing themselves as others see them. As in the writing of biography, or of history more generally, one cannot think truly about a story with which one is not sympathetically engaged.
American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile by Richard John Neuhaus