It’s Time : Challenges to the Doctrine of the Faith

| by Tom McMahon | March 26, 2013 | Catholica |

Review of Michael Morwood’s new book

My husband and I have also just finished reading Morwood’s new book and found it as Tom did to be a winner!  It truly challenges us to look at our faith in new light based on “the signs of the times” and gives us a way forward to capture the minds and hearts of those young people we so need to engage. Like Tom, I read the book quickly and now will go back again and again to relish and grasp and more fully embrace the nuances of our Christian story that Morwood shares – Rosemary

Catholica also shares a video today of Morwood speaking to WATEC (Women and the Australian church.  Here is a link to Catholica’s video:  Michael Morwood: Being Tomorrow’s Church Today 

Book Review from Tom McMahon

The title says it all. Michael Morwood ‘s new book, IT’S TIME, is a winner as he speaks to a wide spiritual audience while delivering a well-written work that is easy to read and full of useful wisdom. Michael has a questioning purpose as he offers keen insights into contemporary issues that are fundamental to understanding a Jesus’ appreciation of his God and the earthy spiritual kingdom of his Abba/Father.

It's Time by Michael Morwood

Michael Morwood’s new book is available in Kindle & Paperback editions from Amazon.

Throughout the book Morwood reasons from a position of the”Mystery of God present to and continuously loving all creation” with Jesus as our human brother who leads us to earthy salvation. This is not pie-in-the-sky spiritual thinking that I read as the author re-creates the vision of the historical Jesus who by his teachings and lifestyle has moved beyond an “‘elsewhere god’ while clearly ‘proclaiming the Divine Presence‘ always here, always and everywhere active in an expanding universe and in the evolution of life on this planet”. The author’s emphasis is dominant throughout, best said in this quote: “His [Jesus] focus was on this world, this life, and how we must give the best possible human expression in the Divine here, now.”

Challenging 7 Major Doctrines…

In his short 167 pages I count seven major doctrines that Michael presents for dialogue — topics that have been for years on the top of my list for currant re-examination.These teachings were poorly handled in my 1950’s seminary training, mainly due to Pius the Tenth’s 1911 Oath against Modernism in which Pius threatened excommunication to any priest who taught anything new. Each of these doctrines has played a vital role in the study of the church of my youth which came under close scrutiny by way of Vatican Two.

Using scripture and logic skillfully, Michael carefully calls into question the outdated notion of a Divine Presence in the sky. He continues on, challenging the Incarnation and promoting Jesus as the human expression of the intimate Presence in Creation, Paul’s Christology and the baptism of Jesus, the Break from Judaism, Holy Thursday as a Jewish celebration, Good Friday [Romans 4:25] and Paul’s transforming Jesus into a semi-god acceptable to the Greek-Roman world, and the unreality of the doctrines of Mary. The unreality of these teachings have separated our Creator from creation, depriving humans of the joy and intimacy of God’s love. Morwood offers sound theological thinking as he frees a reader from having to believe in the unbelievable.

The Resurrection and the Cosmic Christ belong in the above paragraph, yet I give them separate space as unique and vital, demanding lengthy and special attention in community dialogue. All of Morwood’s encounters deserve open and healthy study yet what is meant by Jesus rising from the dead and his role in our daily lives merit immediate and close attention if Christianity is to remain relevant in today’s society.

I have two regrets as I read IT’S TIME, one that as a slow careful reader I read the book in a short period so as to accommodate this report to Catholica and the second that I read it alone. IT’S TIME is a gift to any person who is interested in religion and spirituality in our exciting age. I am going to buy ten copies with the intention of forming weekend study groups to not only read it but to dialogue over each chapter. I recommend IT’S TIME as a community builder, its dividends promising to be priceless.

This writer, Tom, has read all of Michael Morwood’s books and finds IT’S TIME to be his best. IT’S TIME has arrived amidst much crisis and offers intelligent information that can bring about peace of mind. As a book written to be read by the laity, this book makes good spiritual sense. Hopefully our new pope will get hold of a copy.

Tom McMahon, married with two sons and five grandchildren is a retired therapist who was ordained a roman priest in 1954; Tom served the people of God in the Archdiocese of San Francisco for 26 years. Reordained by a People of God to educate the Community of Jesus Our Brother (JOB), Tom has been a member of the Community for the past 33 years. Tom is a regular contributor to Catholica.

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3 Responses to It’s Time : Challenges to the Doctrine of the Faith

  1. Lowell Fox says:

    From Arizona–was looking for a site to discuss Catholic Doctrine issues. I am a retired male, married, with five grown children.
    For me, the major doctrinal issues are: 1) required celibacy for priests; 2) inflexible stand on abortion; 3) treatment of those who are “modern-day lepers”–gay, or divorced; 4) not allowing female priests; 5) the arrogance of the Church towards its own rich history–i.e., was the Doctrine right in the beginning, middle centuries, or now?

    History of the Church shows that it has had some really rough times of being wrong, abusive, and out of touch. Today’s homily (5/5/2013) was very offensive as it was basically “don’t question, you owe obedience…” God, according to Doctrine and the Bible, gave us free will and I intend to exercise it in a civil way to question Doctrine.

    • Rosemary says:

      We don’t have any significant discussion forums on this website. You might want to check out Catholica as they have ongoing discussions on their forum about just about everything. It is a great place to weigh in and share perspectives. You’ll find the link to Catholica on our “Related Links” page. There are also links to many other blogs that are worth checking out. The American Catholic Council also has a forum on their ACN page you might want to look into as well if you are looking for a place to discuss issues. And reading comments on the NCR articles is always informative.

      You mentioned being offended by the homily on 5/5 at your local parish. You might want to check out the “Hogan’s Homily” page on this website. I find that these homilies nourish me and challenge me. I too have been in a parish liturgy setting where I’ve found the homily offensive. If that is typical of your reaction then I would recommend finding a new parish. The intent of coming together in community to celebrate liturgy is to receive and share spiritual nourishment so that you leave fulfilled, not frustrated.

  2. Rev. David T. Johnson (retired) says:

    Excellent review !!! I am in complete agreement with “Tom”.

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