THE PROBLEM OF CHRIST by Domenico Grasso


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Anyone who has ever attended a Catholic school for any length of time can dredge up, from somewhere in his memory, a dreary recollection of a course called ""Apologetics,"" the purpose of which was to provide a rational (according to the lights of the thirteenth century) basis for the acceptance of Catholic dogma. The Problem of Christ is, in effect, an up-dated version of that effort, and covers the problems of the existence of God, of the existence and divinity of Jesus, of the authenticity of the gospel narratives, and of the primacy of, the Roman See. It is ""updated"" however, only in the sense that the author's vocabulary is more modern than that of his predecessors in the field. For the rest, the book ignores almost completely the advances of the last century in the physical sciences, in historiography and diplomatics, in philosophy, and even in theology and Biblical studies. The same old arguments -- all inductive -- are advanced, with the same arrogance; and the same old strategm of flitting from the metaphysical to the real is employed as confidently as though Kant had never existed. There is, no doubt, more than enough room in the modern world for a truly contemporary apologetic system. But Grasso's book, unfortunately, is little more than a great leap forward into the eighteenth century.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1969
Publisher: Alba