At the Heart of the Gospel
Reclaiming the Body for the New Evagelization
The sexual revolution brought a terribly distorted vision of the body and sex into the mainstream. How should Christians respond? With his illuminating Theology of the Body, Pope John Paul II challenged the modern world not to stop at the surface, but to enter the depth of the "great mystery" that the body and sex reveal: a mystery that lies "at the heart of the Gospel" itself.
Since he first discovered John Paul II's teaching in 1993, Christopher West has devoted himself to sharing its life-transforming message with the world. In this highly anticipated work, West leads us into the depth of Christ's "nuptial union" with the Church, demonstrating how authentic Catholic teaching on the body and sex saves us from both the libertine perspective of popular culture "and" the cold puritanism that has sometimes infected Christianity. In the process, West provides a blueprint for reaching our sexually broken world in the "new evangelization."
"The light of the Gospel, which is a clear but at times painful light, can illumine human sexuality to its very depth in order to transform it and bring it to its full beauty. Here lies the great strength of Blessed John Paul II's "Theology of the Body." In this peaceful and positive response to critics, Christopher West proves once again that he is a faithful and inspiring interpreter and communicator of this great pope's teaching, a teaching so urgently needed for an effective proclamation of the Gospel." –Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, cardinal archbishop of Vienna; general editor, "Catechism of the Catholic Church";""and""grand chancellor, International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family
"Christopher West is to be commended for the courage and strength of conviction with which he proclaims, upholds, and defends the spousal vision of the Church, particularly as it's articulated in John Paul II's Theology of the Body. It's with great enthusiasm as his diocesan bishop that I endorse this magnificent book and recommend it to a wide, wide readership." – Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Bishop of Harrisburg, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Catholic Education
"Inspiring, compelling, faithful and compassionate – "At the Heart of the Gospel" invites us to follow in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II as authentic witnesses of the truth and beauty of the Gospel amid the many challenges of contemporary culture. A must read for everyone involved in the new evangelization!" – Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
"Christopher West has gone to the desert … and come back stronger than ever. Those who may previously have thought his work was one-sided in its celebration of the body and sexuality will find here, brought out more clearly than ever, the deep balance and integration that has always been the foundation of his work." – Mosta
Forword by Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Bishop of Harrisburg
The Great Mystery
The Wound of Puritanism
The Sacramentality of the Body
The Transformation of Desire
The Great Analogy of Spousal Love
The Narrow Gate Between Idolatry and Iconoclasm
The New Evangelization and "The Way of Beauty"
Appendix I: Let the Marriage Bed Be Undefiled
Appendix II: Baptism Is a Nuptial Mystery
About the Cover