Friday 29 April 2016

The Epistle to the Hebrews - Shane Kapler - and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics

The Epistle to the Hebrews:
and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics
Shane Kapler
Kenneth J Howell (Foreword)
Jared Zimmerer (Preface)
Angelico Press
ISBN 9781621381662

With averaging over 100 books a year I read a few amazing books, a few great books, a lot of good book and many that I give up on and never finish. Both this book and its companion volume The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living by Dr. Kevin Vost are in the amazing category. Until now I have only read a book that Shane co-authored, Tending the Temple, some of his books have been on my to be read pile for a while and after reading this one they really jumped up that ever growing list. I literally read this through in two 3 sessions and know that I will reread it again soon.

Shane takes the book of Hebrews and breaks it down into sections teaching on core Catholic truths. The chapters in this book are:

1. The Trinity (Hebrews 1-3)
2. The Incarnation (Hebrews 2-5)
3. The Word of God (Hebrews 4-6)
4. Christ's Priesthood, Our Salvation (Hebrews 7-11)
5. The Communion of the Saints (Hebrews 11-12)
6. The Eucharist (Hebrews 13)
7. The Authority of the Church's Leaders (Hebrews 13)

Each chapter is broken down into a number of sections or teaching points, with between 3 and 8 sections per chapter. As someone who spent 20 years as an undergrad, I greatly appreciate the scholarship in this book but also its brevity. Shane writes in a succinct manner with a tight economy of words. I wish had had encountered more books like Shane's during my religious studies degree. Not only was it intellectually stimulating but was engaging and addictive to read. As a seasoned Catholic I greatly enjoyed the book, especially the chapter on the Communion of the Saints.

I have always had a great appreciation for the Eucharist, and it was pivotal in drawing me back to the Catholic Church. Shane's chapter puts into words some of what I could only feel in my heart and spirit and not adequately describe. And why it is so pivotal to what it means to be Catholic.

Before I had even finished this book I recommended it to a few friends who have also in reading it got as much out of it as I have. It is an excellent read and I can think of a single reason not to commend it to you.

This book was an amazing read and to be honest as soon as I finished it I put it back on my 'to be read list' to read through it again. There is also a companion volume by Kevin Vost The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living. Separately they are each a great read but together they are awesome. And they really should be read together for the magnifying effect the teachings of each has upon the other. So give this book a chance it will have a direct impact upon your faith and practice.

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

Books by Shane Kapler:
The God Who Is Love
Through, With, and In Him
The Epistle to the Hebrews
Tending the Temple

Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Books contributed to:
Man Up!

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