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Swear to God: The Promise and Power of the Sacraments ^ | May 18, 2004 | Scott Hahn

Posted on 01/05/2014 7:43:49 AM PST by NKP_Vet

Hahn, a convert to Catholicism who is professor of biblical theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, continues his popular expositions on various aspects of the Catholic faith in this treatise on the church's seven sacraments. Written in the easy style that has opened the depths of Catholic theology to scores of laypeople, Hahn shares how he once regarded sacraments as "boring," but reconsidered that view after a challenge from his wife, Kimberly, while both were still Protestants. In reading the works of the church fathers, Hahn came to see the sacraments as signs of God's covenant with humanity and thus more than mere rituals. When Catholics receive them, he writes, they make a covenant with God that has weighty implications. He explains how in ancient times, parties to covenants would swear a sacred oath, offer a sacrifice and share a meal, all elements contained in the sacraments today. Hahn insists sacraments are based in scripture and makes a convincing case that they were not late additions to Christianity, but were practiced by the early church. He offers personal testimony as well, crediting grace from the sacrament of matrimony with sustaining him and his wife through the difficult period in which he left the Protestant ministry and converted to Catholicism. Catholics in search of a fresh look at their faith will find Hahn's enthusiasm inviting. His frequent references to the Catechism also should make this a helpful resource

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Apologetics; General Discusssion; History; Theology
As a former evangelical Protestant, I can readily identify with Scott Hahn's admission that prior to becoming Catholic, he had little use for sacraments and ritual. As he writes, "I saw rituals as mechanical procedures people used to manipulate God." The problem with that perspective, Hahn explains, is that everyone relies on ritual, even if they're not aware of it. "I came to recognize," he continues, " that those who try to do away with the Church's sacraments inevitably end up replacing them with rituals of their own making."

"Swear to God" is specifically concerned with explaining the covenantal nature and meaning of the seven sacraments. The essence of this accessible and often enlightening excursion into sacramental theology is captured in a quote from St. Augustine, referenced by Hahn: "There can be no religious society, whether the religion be true or false, without some sacrament or visible symbol to serve as a bond of union. The importance of the sacraments cannot be overstated, and only scoffers will treat them lightly."

Drawing from a mixture of Scripture, well-selected quotes from Church Fathers and the Catechism, historical references and personal anecdotes, Hahn reveals the covenantal, familial and juridical dimensions of the sacraments. For those not familiar with the concept of the covenant, Hahn provides ample explanations in both the main text and in the endnotes. (Although written for a popular audience, it's got more than 30 pages of detailed citations and references.) Hahn's interest is in the reality of the sacrament as a sacred oath, and the key role it plays in God's plan of salvation, the work of Christ, and the mission of the Church.

1 posted on 01/05/2014 7:43:49 AM PST by NKP_Vet
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To: NKP_Vet

I’ve read that book once; now I’m thinking I need to read it again.

2 posted on 01/05/2014 7:59:08 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NKP_Vet; Salvation

Good book. Maybe I’ll read it again, too!

3 posted on 01/05/2014 8:11:53 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: Tax-chick

I’ve got a few of Scott Hahn’s books. All are great.

4 posted on 01/05/2014 8:18:33 AM PST by NKP_Vet ("Rather than love, than money, than fame, then give truth" ~ Henry David Thoreau)
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To: NKP_Vet


Takes away Original Sin and gives you Sanctifying Grace for the first time.


Gives you the Holy Ghost and makes you a strong Catholic.


Is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ


(or Confession) Takes away sins committed after Baptism.


Prepares you for death.


Gives a man the powers of priesthood.


Unites a couple in Christian marriage and gives them the graces they need to obey God's laws on marriage.


5 posted on 01/05/2014 8:19:32 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NKP_Vet
The covenant-sacrament-oath aspect is very interesting. And it makes complete sense.

I would like Dr. Hahn to do a treatment of the Sacred Oath which involves the president.

George Washington understood the importance of taking an oath. When he devised his oath, which would become the standard for all future presidents, he put in every Biblical detail he could think of.

His raising of his right hand was the standard for oath-taking, but he added the laying of his left hand on the Bible, which was new at the time. So, the vertical right hand and the horizontal left hand is how the OT figures would perform their oath. It is a pre-figuring of the Cross of Christ and George Washington put that very specific element into the Sacred Oath taken by every president.

In Washington's Farewell Address, he speaks of the fear of maybe omitting something from his oath that may incur displeasure from God. Why? Because he knew that the oath he took directly involved the blessings or curses from God. He knew that he was responsible for the pulling down blessings for our country.

Would that we had someone like him in office right now.

6 posted on 01/05/2014 8:27:58 AM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: NKP_Vet

All the saints spoke of the power of Jesus in the Eucharist; is Scott Hahn well on his way?

7 posted on 01/05/2014 8:30:01 AM PST by mlizzy ("If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic Adoration, abortion would be ended." --Mother Teresa)
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To: NKP_Vet

He’s a very engaging writer with a lot of good information to present.

8 posted on 01/05/2014 8:43:14 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: Slyfox

Great information!

9 posted on 01/05/2014 8:45:28 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Both Hahn and Ray make POWERFUL witnesses to the ONE Church.

Steve Ray's book CROSSING THE TIBER was his story of the conversion of him and his wife, Janet. Ray was an evangelical Bible believer who set out to convert us Catholics, AWAY from the Church and who, he was convinced, were doomed to hell.

So, in order to change the hearts of us Catholics, the couple KNEW that they had to learn about the Catholics in order to convert them,

So, they set out to read ALL there was about the "heretic" Catholic Church. After a year of reading, Steve said that one night he and his wife found themselves sitting on the living room floor, surrounded by those Catholic books, sobbing and saying: "Oh no!!! We're CATHOLICS!!!

Then he wrote his book CROSSING THE TIBER.

I know about this because I took a group tour (45 of us) with him and his wife to the Holy Land. The tour was called "In the Footsteps of our Lord."
It was a most wonderful journey!! Makes my eyes tear up just to remember.

How much our Lord loved us!!
He's talking with Marcus Grodi about his conversion.
Neither of them EVER, EVER made one single itsy-bitsy negative comments about Protestants.

10 posted on 01/05/2014 10:15:14 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: NKP_Vet

Him and his wife also wrote the book, “Rome Sweet Home.”

11 posted on 01/05/2014 10:34:29 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Salvation

EXTREME UNCTION is also called “Anonting of the Sick” as well.

12 posted on 01/05/2014 10:35:46 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: NKP_Vet ^ | May 18, 2004 | Scott Hahn

"A crummy commercial? Son of a *****!"

13 posted on 01/05/2014 10:46:08 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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