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The Theology of Benedict XVI: A Protestant Appreciation

ISBN: 9781683593461
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God’s rottweiler or shepherd of the faithful?

There’s no doubt about Benedict XVI’s theological legacy. He’s been at the center of every major theological controversy in the Catholic Church over the last fifty years. But he remains a polarizing figure, misunderstood by supporters and opponents alike.

A deeper understanding of Benedict’s theology reveals a man dedicated to the life and faith of the church. In this collection of essays, prominent Protestant theologians examine and commend the work of the Pope Emeritus. Katherine Sonderegger, Kevin Vanhoozer, and Carl Trueman—among others—present a full picture of Benedict’s theology, particularly his understanding of the relationship between faith and reason and his pursuit of truth for the church. The global Christian faith can learn from Benedict’s insight into the modern church and his desire to safeguard the future of the church by leaning on the wisdom of the ancient church.

Praise for The Theology of Benedict XVI

An astonishing volume of essays: articulate, frank, insightful, and suffused with fraternal respect.

—Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

An exercise in ecumenical theology at its best.

—Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and the general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture

A landmark study and a model of authentic dialogue.

—Scott Hahn, Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Founder and President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

We Protestants can still receive the gift of Benedict's profoundly Scriptural, Christocentric work and allow it to enrich our study, preaching, worship, and evangelism too. This book shows us how.

—Wesley Hill, associate professor of New Testament, Trinity School for Ministry

A marvelous introduction to Pope Benedict XVI’s theology.

—Ephraim Radner, Professor of Historical Theology, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

Tim Perry has placed Protestants and Catholics alike in his debt.

—Hans Boersma, St. Benedict Servants of Christ Professor in Ascetical Theology, Nashotah House, Wisconsin

Top Highlights

“What faith offers is knowledge of the transcendent foundations of reason. Faith secures reason’s capacity to reach beyond the domain of fact and to investigate deeper questions of meaning, truth, justice, and the good. The mystery of faith is Logos itself. Faith serves reason by opening the way to the underlying rationality of existence. So Ratzinger argues that ‘the Christian faith is not a limitation … of reason: on the contrary, it is only this faith that sets reason free to perform its own proper work.’” (Page 20)

“Instead, what distinguishes the divine persons is precisely their relations to one another, spelled out in the traditional relations of origin. So between the Aristotelian concepts of substance and accidents stands a ‘third specific fundamental category’ of relation.24 This, for Ratzinger, is the great Christian advance over antiquity vis-à-vis the notion of personhood.” (Page 93)

“God is pure love as well as pure reason. The foundation of knowledge and the foundation of morality are one and the same. If Christianity was Hellenized, even more so was Greek philosophy Christianized by this dynamic union of agape and logos.” (Page 23)

“Love is not an alternative to reason. Love solves no concrete social problems. But love is a moral energy that gives direction to reason, so that reason can be empowered to work at finding technical solutions to problems within its own sphere of competency. As Benedict writes in Deus Caritas Est, ‘Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly.” (Page 24)


  • Foreword by Tracey Rowland
  • Introduction: A Lion or a Dog? by Tim Perry
  • “Truth, not Custom”: Joseph Ratzinger on Faith and Reason by Ben Myers
  • Part 1: Dogmatic Theology
    • Writing Theology in a Secular Age: Joseph Ratzinger on Theological Method by Katherine Sonderegger
    • Faith, Hope, and Love: Joseph Ratzinger on Theological Virtues by Gregg Allison
    • Expounding the Word of the Lord: Joseph Ratzinger on Revelation, Tradition, and Biblical Interpretation by Kevin Vanhoozer
    • “Behold the Man”: Joseph Ratzinger on Theological Anthropology by R. Lucas Stamps
    • Learning Jesus’ Prayer: Joseph Ratzinger on Theological Anthropology by Chris Holmes
    • “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord”: Joseph Ratzinger on Mary by Tim Perry
    • Undiminished, Transcendent, and Relevant: Joseph Ratzinger on Teaching on the Trinity by Fred Sanders
    • Is the Pope (Roman) Catholic?: Joseph Ratzinger on Ecumenism by Carl Trueman
    • Recentering Ministry on Christ: Joseph Ratzinger on the Priesthood by David Ney
  • Part 2: Liturgical Theology
    • One Book, One Body: Joseph Ratzinger on the Bible and the Liturgy by Peter J. Leithart
    • “This Intimate Explosion of Good”: Joseph Ratzinger on the Eucharist by Joey Royal
    • Servant of the Clear, Wide Word: Joseph Ratzinger on Preaching by Annette Brownlee
    • Salvation, Will, and Agency: Joseph Ratzinger on Prayer by Preston Parsons
    • Forming the Pilgrim Fellowship: Joseph Ratzinger on Catechesis by Jonathan Warren P. (Pagán)
  • Afterword by Matthew Levering

Product Details

  • Title: The Theology of Benedict XVI: A Protestant Appreciation
  • Editor: Tim Parry
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Page Count: 272
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781683593461

About the Editor

Tim Perry (PhD, Durham University) is adjunct professor of theology at Saint Paul University (Ottawa, ONT) and Trinity School for Ministry (Ambridge, PA). He is author of Mary for Evangelicals: Toward an Understanding of the Mother of Our Lord and editor of The Legacy of John Paul II: An Evangelical Assessment.

About Benedict XVI

Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) is one of the foremost contemporary Catholic theologians: Pope from 2005 to 2013, Prefect for the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith from 1981 until his election as Pope, theological consultant to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), and longtime professor of theology. He is author of numerous books, including Introduction to Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth (3 vols.), and The Spirit of the Liturgy.

Sample Pages from The Theology of Benedict XVI


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Print list price: $25.99
Save $3.00 (11%)