With his new book Scripture: God’s Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics, author and biblical scholar Stephen J. Binz invites us to move beyond a casual familiarity with the Bible and into a deeply transformative personal relationship with the Word of God. Stephen’s book recently landed on my desk for review. While I have yet to give it the thorough cover-to-cover study it so richly deserves, the book has already sparked my heart to dig more deeply into this consideration of the role of Scripture in our ability to be impactful New Evangelizers.
The book is organized into three main priorities:
Recovering the Evangelical Dimension of Catholicism
1. The Word of God and the New Evangelization
2. Evangelizing moments in Catholic history
3. Reading the Bible as evangelizing Catholics
Evangelization at the heart of Sacred Scripture
4. Evangelization in Ancient Israel
5. Evangelization in the Gospels
6. Evangelization in the Apostolic Church
Evangelizing the Church and the world through Sacred Scripture
7. Becoming communities of the Word
8. Lectio divina for evangelization
9. Woman of the Word and star of the New Evangelization
As a person both deeply in love with Scripture and aiming to play an active role in the New Evangelization, I’ve found Stephen’s book to be both a valuable primer and a challenging set of marching orders. But there is much here to be pondered and treasured. Two sections in what I’ve read of the first half of the book truly captured me: a consideration of St. Therese of Lisiuex’s commitment to biblical knowledge and a section aptly called “Expect to Become an Evangelizer”.
For us to truly and infectiously share our love for our faith, we must have a constant grounding in Word of God. As Stephen J. Binz shares:
It (evangelization) begins with individuals who understand what it means to joyfully and faithfully follow Jesus, accepting his teaching, desiring to live as he did, embracing his cross and living under God’s reign. This transformation of life leads to a burning desire to invite others to encounter Jesus and the good news he brings to the world.
If we wish to share the good news, we must find ourselves wholeheartedly and consistently devoted to rediscovering it in our own lives. Stephen J. Binz’s book Scripture: God’s Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics is a great place to get started!
Copyright 2014 Lisa M. Hendey