Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:by Patrick Lynch, Ludwig Ott, James C. Bastible
This one-volume encyclopedia of doctrines explains exactly what the Church teaches on any particular topic. It includes information on when a pronouncement was made and
Long considered to be one of TAN's most essential titles, The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, is widely recognized as one of the greatest summaries of Catholic dogma ever put between two covers.
This one-volume encyclopedia of doctrines explains exactly what the Church teaches on any particular topic. It includes information on when a pronouncement was made and provides the sources from Scripture, Church Councils, Papal statements and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.
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¿the dogmas of the faith not the systematics of theologians. This book heralds ¿By What Standard?¿ for Catholics. It lists 251 dogmas of the Catholic Church. Dr. Ott lists numerous other teachings in different categories of certainty by Catholic theologians. Dr. Ott explains what the categories mean in the beginning of the book (pp. 9-10). However, some dogmas are not listed as dogmas and many of the teachings listed as dogmas are periphrastic constructions of the true definitions of the Church. This book has been a faithful companion of mine for a long time, so any criticisms I make are not to be understood as detracting from what I believe is a necessary book for all Catholic homes. It can serve as a systematic theology if the reader is willing to read the book with systematic contemplation. He or she can connect the dots between the dogmas. For example, the dogma of hell (a dogma Hans Urs von Balthasar - Dare We Hope ¿That All Men Be Save¿? has a problem with) explicitly teaches that the reprobate will be sent to a place of ¿eternal punishment¿ (p. 481). This dogma is not hard to understand in light of a God who created the father of the race sinless (p. 103) then that father condemned his race by sinning (p. 107) but God in mercy takes flesh forever (p. 151) and suffers and dies (p. 187) as His electing plan to save some (pp. 242-45) when all deserved ¿eternal punishment¿ not ¿life everlasting¿ (p. 476). Take the book to adoration and you will find the practice will yield great fruit. Dr. Ott when quoting dogmas introduces many speculative opinions of theologians. These opinions only serve as many doubting Thomas¿s to the infallible truth he cites. Dr. Ott is aware of the Church's censure of such a practice (pp 3-4), but he is inconsistent with the Church¿s teaching on this point. He, like many Catholic theologians, does not ask the following question. What is the propose of a infallible interpreter of infallible truth, if after the infallible interpreter interprets the infallible truth a non-infallible interpreter tells you that the interpretation of the infallible interpreter does not mean what it says? This confusion was alive and well before Vatican II and it is one of the chief sources of relativism in the Church today. Vatican I is clear on this issue: ¿For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them¿ (Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv). All Catholics, to be Catholics, are bound to believe, teach, and anathematize any doctrine contrary to this dogma. If you want to study good systematic theology, study the fathers of the Church for dialectics (The fathers), study the scholastics of the Church for analytics (St. Thomas), and most of all read your Bible. There are a couple of other points where the book could have been improved: 1. Dr. Ott could have done a better job at listing and expounding on the sources of dogma: The dogmas of Scripture and Tradition are not even listed as dogmas of the faith. Also, the relation of the Magisterium to Scripture and Tradition is not addressed. 2. The dogmas of predestination and reprobation are located in the doctrine of God the sanctifier rather than in the nature of God where St. Thomas Aquinas placed them. 3. Most of the text is about an 8 font in Times. If you do not have good eyes this book will be a little of a burden to read. It is like reading a book where the footnotes are the main text.