SCRIPTURE: GOD’S HANDBOOK FOR EVANGELISING CATHOLICS. Stephen Binz; Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. Huntington, Indiana, 2013
By Barbara Flynn
STEPHEN Binz, a dedicated biblical scholar with wide experience in parish work, believes Catholic Christians in recent decades “have shied away from speaking about spreading the Gospel and thus from evangelisation”.
Inspired by documents from the Second Vatican Council establishing the importance of Sacred Scripture, the Word of God, in the formation of Christian life, Binz has made his life-mission to provide access to the study of sacred scripture “for people in the pews”.
He has written many books on Scripture, provided high-interest user-friendly multimedia scripture study guides and resources, programs for parish communities, scripture commentaries, and books modelling the step-by-step process of lectio divina.
In his recent book, Binz illustrates that the concept, New Evangelisation, introduced by St John Paul II and continued in writings by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and more recently by Pope Francis, contains themes which are interconnected to the study of scripture as the Word of God and can be traced to documents from Vatican II.
He argues convincingly that renewal of the Catholic Church and empowerment of Catholics to be evangelising disciples of Jesus, in word, action and example can only come about when their faith is founded first on Scripture as the Word of God.
From frequent listening to, reading and meditating on Christ’s teachings from Scripture, the faithful develop lives centred on a personal relationship with Jesus and so are formed in discipleship.
“The evangelising dimension of Catholicism”, Binz declares, relies on Gospel teachings.
Binz organises his material in three sections. Chapters within each section present questions for “reflection and discussion”, so making contents well suited for parish group discussion.
Binz writes in an instructive style which is uncomplicated and persuasive.
He is passionate to share his hopes and aspirations for renewal of faith in Catholics and recovery of the evangelical spirit of the Church responding to the life-giving power of Sacred Scripture, the Word of God, as its foundation.
Cardinals, bishops, teaching theologians and scripture scholars in the United States recommend Binz’s prophetic teachings for use in parishes.
This book is available from St Paul’s Books Centre, Elizabeth Street, Brisbane.