February 19, 2013
A Baptist reflects on the retirement of our Augustinian Pope
Timothy George's Benedict XVI, the Great Augustinian, will be of interest to our readers.
He writes, in part:
Soon after Benedict emerged as the surprise choice of the most recent papal conclave in 2005, I wrote an essay on why Evangelical Protestants, among orthodox believers of all persuasions, should be pleased at his election. I summarized the promise of his new pontificate in five points. I emphasized that:
• he takes truth seriously, an antidote to what he called on the eve of his papal election “the dictatorship of relativism”;
• his theology is Bible-focused, building on the declaration of Vatican II that “easy access to sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful”;
• his message is Christocentric, boldly asserting that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God and the only Redeemer of the world;
• he is a fierce champion of the culture of life, advocating for the most vulnerable members of the human community, the children still waiting to be born.
To these four items I added a fifth: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is an Augustinian. Those familiar with his intellectual biography will find no surprise in this statement. As he himself noted, “I have developed my theology in a dialogue with Augustine.”
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