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 Not only inefficiency, but frustration, disorder, anger, and injustice threaten all human endeavors, no matter how pure their motives or high their ideals. That's why successful organizations always create employee handbooks and clear procedure manuals that delineate where authority lies, how conflicts are to be resolved, and, above all, how each organization's mission is (and is not) to be accomplished.

Is it any wonder then that the Catholic Church—comprised not of 200 persons but 1.2 billion members in 200 countries—also governs itself by means of a handbook, which it calls the Code of Canon Law?

Because handbooks and manuals concern themselves with the day-to-day inner working of organizations, they often reveal more than do news releases about the actual purposes and genuine spirit of organizations: a fact that's particularly true in the case of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, if you want to know the Church for who She is, you need to be familiar with the Code of Canon Law. Unfortunately, it contains over 1,752 rules (or canons). Among them, you'll find fascinating canons that lay out the Church's official principles and procedures governing matters as various as abbots and annulments, scandals and Sacraments, monks and missions, bishops and books, priests and popes, synods and sacraments, homeschoolers, hostile witnesses, baptisms, burials, parishes, penance, confessions, Councils, impotence, imprimaturs, and, even marriages to the person who murdered your spouse!

Thankfully, Vatican expert and veteran author Fr. Laurence Spiteri has in the pages of Canon Law Explained relieved you of the need to read all 1,752 of them (fascinating or not). Here he acquaints you with the fundamental canons by which the Church seeks to bring about, as it declares in the very last canon, the purpose all of them serve: "The salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church."

Fr. Spiteri's brief, but lucid explanations of the origins and meaning of the canons make sense of much that puzzles non-Catholics about our Church and that sometimes frustrates even us Catholics. As he relates the Church's laws and procedures directly to Christ's command "to go forth and teach all nations"—and to the role those laws and procedures play in your salvation and mine—Fr. Spiteri transforms what seem to be dry-as-dust rules into the sweet waters of salvation.

If you want to know the Church for who She is—and to love Her more—Canon Law Explained is the book for you.

"Matthew Barrett leads us to marvel at both how much and how little we know of God."--Tim Challies, blogger at challies.com; author of Visual Theology

For too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. If God is the most perfect, supreme being, infinite and incomprehensible, then certain perfect-making attributes must be true of him. Perfections like aseity, simplicity, immutability, impassibility, and eternity shield God from being crippled by creaturely limitations. At the same time, this all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God accommodates himself, exhibiting perfect holiness, mercy, and love as he makes known who he is and how he will save us.

The attributes of God show us exactly why God is worthy of worship: there is none like him. Join Matthew Barrett as he rediscovers these divine perfections and finds himself surprised by the God he thought he knew.


"Matthew Barrett's excellent book lays out in clear, accessible terms what the biblical, historic, ecumenical doctrine of God is, why it matters, and why its abandonment by great swathes of the Protestant world is something that needs correction."--Carl R. Trueman, professor, Grove City College; author of Grace Alone

"Perhaps not since R. C. Sproul has there been a treatment of such deep theology with such careful devotion and accessibility. Read this book. And stagger."--Jared Wilson, director of content strategy, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; managing editor, For the Church; author of The Gospel-Driven Church

"The knowledge of God is the soil in which Christian piety flourishes. I am grateful for the publication of None Greater and pray it will be a source of growth in godliness among those captivated by its vision of God's supremacy."--Scott Swain, president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary-Orlando; author of Reformed Catholicity
For the first time, Thomas Oden's Systematic Theology classic series (individually titled The Living God, The Word of Life, and Life in the Spirit) is available in one complete volume. A renowned theologian, Oden provides a consensus view of the Christian faith, delving deeply into ancient Christian tradition and bringing to the contemporary church the best wisdom from its past. In this magisterial work, Oden tackles the central questions of Christian belief and the nature of the trinity.

Written for clergy, Christian educators, religious scholars, and lay readers alike, Classic Christianity provides the best synthesis of the whole history of Christian thought. Part one explores the most intriguing questions of the study of God—Does God exist? Does Jesus reveal God? Is God personal, compassionate, free?—and presents answers that reflect the broad consensus culled from the breadth of the church's teachers. It is rooted deeply and deliberately in scripture but confronts the contemporary mind with the vitality of the Christian tradition. Part two addresses the perplexing Christological issues of whether God became flesh, whether God became Christ, and whether Christ is the source of salvation. Oden details the core beliefs concerning Jesus Christ that have been handed down for the last two hundred decades, namely, who he was, what he did, and what that means for us today. Part three examines how the work of God in creation and redemption is being brought to consummation by the Holy Spirit in persons, through communities, and in the fullness of human destiny. Oden's magisterial study not only treats the traditional elements of systematical theology but also highlights the foundational exegetes throughout history. Covering the ecumenical councils and early synods; the great teachers of the Eastern church tradition, including Athanasius and John Chrysostom; and the prominent Western figures such as Augustine, Ambrose, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, this book offers the reader the fullest understanding of the Christian faith available.

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