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Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World
Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World
Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World
Audiobook9 hours

Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World

Written by Charles J. Chaput

Narrated by Jonathan Davis

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

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About this audiobook

From Charles J. Chaput, author of Living the Catholic Faith and Render unto Caesar comes Strangers in a Strange Land, a fresh, urgent, and ultimately hopeful treatise on the state of Catholicism and Christianity in the United States.



America today is different in kind, not just in degree, from the past. And this new reality is unlikely to be reversed. The reasons include, but aren't limited to, economic changes that widen the gulf between rich and poor; problems in the content and execution of the education system; the decline of traditional religious belief among young people; the shift from organized religion among adults to unbelief or individualized spiritualities; changes in legal theory and erosion in respect for civil and natural law; significant demographic shifts; profound new patterns in sexual behavior and identity; the growth of federal power and its disregard for religious rights; the growing isolation and elitism of the leadership classes; and the decline of a sustaining sense of family and community.
LanguageEnglish
PublisherTantor Audio
Release dateJun 14, 2017
ISBN9781541476837
Author

Charles J. Chaput

Archbishop Emeritus Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., was named archbishop of Philadelphia in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI. As a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, he was the second Native American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and is the first Native American archbishop. Chaput is the author of Strangers in a Strange Land, Living the Catholic Faith, and Render unto Caesar, as well as numerous articles and public talks. Retiring as archbishop emeritus in 2020, he continues his extensive writing and public speaking.

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Rating: 3.4444444444444446 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Archbishop Chaput discusses the Catholic faith in todays world from a very theoretical point of view. Many thought are very pertinent aqnd honest but many come from a person who has not been in the trecnches. He is not even willing to discuss , in the book , why people are the way they are or why they make different choices.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Although I'm Catholic, I don't consider myself overly religous. I do, however, like to read books about faith which allows me to open my mind to different perspectives. It was difficult for me to get through this book. I found myself "zoning out" and rereading a lot. I liked the information about the influence of religion in our country. Other than that, I didn't get much out of it. Perhaps someone with stronger beliefs and interest in this topic would enjoy this book.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Strangers In a Strange Land is a book by the Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J Chaput. In this book he delivers what he has come to see as a diminished religious belief especially among young people and he goes and demonstrates how this particular diminished belief has caused quite a bit of non Catholic beliefs to arise.While I am not a Catholic, I am a Protestant, I do agree with a lot of the material presented in this book. I do see a lot of similarities where certain things have either been ignored or challenged because of societal changes or in some cases a complete disregard for Christianity. The message that Archbishop Chaput is discussing in his book is a concern to me. However, my personal opinion is that there is a different way to go about resolving this issue. That said, I hold the belief that a lot of Christianity is stuck in doing things a certain way rather than allowing a freedom that can be found in Jesus Christ. Follow a method put forth by a group of people has deterred some and perhaps this is why many have abandoned Christianity. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I'm grateful to have received an Early Reader copy of this book. As a progressive Protestant, I'm perhaps not the target audience of this book, but the blurb sounded interesting: "...an empowering guide to how Christians - and particularly Catholics - can live their faith vigorously, with confidence and hope, in a post Christian public square." It's one of the odder reading experiences I've had in the last year - I found myself alternately, paragraph by paragraph, weaving between strong agreement and strong disagreement. Where Archbishop Chaput is coming from politically is made clear in a passage in the middle of the book: "The White House elected to power in November 2008 campaigned on compelling promises of hope, change, and bringing the nation together. The reality it delivered for eight years was rather different: a brand of leadership that was aggressively secular, ideologically divisive, resistant to compromise, unwilling to accept responsibility for its failures, and generous in spreading blame." (123) If, like me, you think this formulation is wildly off the mark, it's worth reading the book not to see if you agree with it - you won't - but to see how he gets where he goes.The first half of the book is a critique of America's globalized culture. I agree with much of Chaput's concern about consumer society, and appreciate his call to welcome immigrants. But what really surprised me is the degree to which the book is obsessed with human sexuality. I appreciate that Chaput reflects Church dogma, but the book's focus is so intense that it seems to have forgotten there are any deadly sins apart from lust. All non-procreative sex, and any sex outside a heterosexual marriage, is bad; and he draws lines from modern sexual freedoms (including, especially, abortion and gay rights) to virtually every social and political pathology you can name. This analysis is, in my experience, simply and deeply wrong, and the attitude it reflects has caused untold suffering for my LGBTQ friends and for straight women (and for a lot of straight men too, actually). The last chapters were something of a surprise as well. Based on the framing of the book, and the emphatic social critique of the early chapters, I expected a discussion of public policy. There's virtually none. Instead, Chaput delivers a series of homilies to the effect that, in the midst of a fallen world, we are called simply to have our families live faithfully. It's a very 'the personal is political' view, but without any other kind of politics. Here's his ultimate thesis: "What does God ask us to do in a seemingly post-Christian world? The first thing he asks from us is to realize that the words "post-Christian" are a lie, so long as the fire of Christian faith, hope, and love lives in any of us." (242) I can't disagree with those words, but I do wish there were a lot more love and hope in this book, and a lot less dogma and - especially - less fear of human sexuality, in its full spectrum of expression among us, each of us loved so generously by God.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Strangers in a Strange Land by Charles Chaput is an excellent example of a well composed book. That is what first impressed me about the book. The grammar, structure and logic from the initial pages invited me to read on. The author is a Catholic Archbishop, so his point of view may be assumed to be that of a bishop of the Church. The foundation he lays from the earliest pages is used as the basis for pages that follow and subsequent develop follows in like steps. That alone would be praiseworthy for an author.The book is unabashedly about the need, in an "invented" republic without place or heritage as its raison d'etre; for a common set of beliefs to underscore its creation and continued growth. He starts by explaining the need for hope, as understood from a biblical perspective, not naive optimism. Hope requires faith and hope makes possible true charity.He refers often to the philosophers and historians, as did the founders, fearing the danger of misled majority rule inherent in simple democracy, built check and balances like the governors used in clockworks to moderate the actions of government. Tocqueville understood and described the dangers in democracy and the ease with which it can be overtaken by despotism. He understood that democracy doesn't encourage strong characters but rather self-absorbed ones. Many of those checks are based on the assumptions of common understanding of truth. The constitution's Article IV Section 4 reads in part "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government..."The book then proceeds to demonstrate by many references to examples and respected thinkers how when by majority opinion swayed by convenience and public acceptance self-evident truths are allowed to be re-defined. Its logic will be very uncomfortable to many, but to an open mind it is solid. Constitutional guarantees of rights are not easily challenged. Instead, the more convenient path is the change the definitions of the words contained in the guarantees.For example: Life is self-evident. Sex is self-evident How life begins is self-evident. If one gets the governmental authorities to redefine one, then we have obliterated the basis of the formation of the United States expressed in the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." If, instead of relying on self-evident truth the government's agents accept that they may define when life begins, it is an easy and very logical step to redefine how it may begin, if it does so then it is easy to redefine what life is and when it may be deemed not worthy of rights. With the authority to define life comes the ability to define if one has a right to life. For me, Chaput's development of this line was particularly elegant. He logic is easy to follow and persuasive. He cites innumerable scholars and authorities from Aristotle to Augustine to C.S. Lewis to contemporary scholars. He proceeds to the end of his book assuming the reader was able to accept the logic and its conclusions and the tone becomes much more pastoral, almost sermon like. The most difficult part of reading the book is realizing the frequency that one has used excuses or popular culture to choose convenience over right. For those who celebrate the many current excesses of re-definition, I would expect it is very uncomfortable or impossible.He closes by examining the question, "Who is man?" explaining what faith permits one to know. "God is not a supreme being within reality, but the author of reality itself, outside the envelope of time and space..."For anyone who is a sincere thinker this is a book that should be read.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Strangers in a Strange Land is both a depressing and an inspiring book. I think that many of us have a sense that American society is rapidly devolving, and from a Christian perspective it’s not difficult to draw a line between that decline and the gleeful haste with which much of that society is attempting to abandon God. But it is dispiriting to see the connections drawn out and defined clearly, as Archbishop Chaput does here. Truth be told, I struggled to get through the first part of this book because I hated to be think of what is happening around us. But, of course, Chaput continues with a note of hope, reminding us of how we as a Christian people are to face such challenges and to be light in a darkening world. Recommended.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Great book for any Catholic looking to grow in their faith. There is alot of truth in here that not everyone would agree with, but if you believe everything the Church believes you should agree with it.

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I didn’t give this book a high rating and I expected to do so. Here’s what you need to know about me: (1) I love books on spirituality and (2) I hate to read political text. I became a Catholic last year so I’m fascinated with books about Catholicism. I anticipated that this book would be heavy on the “living the Catholic faith” and light on the “post-Christian world.” Wrong. The author is taking wild swings at all the usual bugaboos in our world. “Seems to me I’ve heard this song before.” I’d expected more...well, faith. I’d love to hear from you if you liked this book. Maybe I missed something.