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First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity [Hardcover]

By Scott Hahn (Author)
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Item description for First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity by Scott Hahn...

The author of The Lamb's Supper and Hail, Holy Queen looks deeply into the Catholic Church in search of its central teachings, sacramental grace, and controversial perspective on human life and explores the intimate relationship between the families we create on Earth and the Holy Trinity.

Publishers Description
Scott Hahn has the rare ability to explain the essential teachings of Catholicism in a totally accessible manner. Rather than burdening the reader with difficult or arcane references and arguments, he writes of familiar feelings and situations and allows the theology to unfold naturally. In "First Comes Love," Hahn turns his attention to the search for a sense of belonging, revealing the intimate connection between the families men and women create on earth and the divine family, the Holy Trinity.
Delving into the Gospels, Hahn shows that family terminology--words like "brother," "sister," "mother," "father," and "home"--dominates Jesus' speech and the writings of His first followers, and that these very words illuminate Christianity's central ideas. As he explores the fatherhood of God, the marriage of the Church to Christ, and the all-enveloping role of the Holy Spirit, Hahn deepens readers' understanding of the sacraments, teaches them how to create a family life in the image of the Trinity, and demonstrates the ways in which the analogy of the family applies to every aspect of Catholicism and its practices--from the role of "father" embodied by the ancient patriarchs and contemporary parish priests, to the comfort and guidance offered by the brothers and sisters who comprise the Communion of Saints, to the nurturing embrace of Mary, the mother of all Christians.
Through real-life examples (both humorous and compassionate) and quotations drawn from the Scriptures, Hahn makes it clear that no matter what sort of family readers come from--no matter what sort of "dysfunction" they have experienced--they can find a family in the Church. Reaching out to newcomers and to lifelong Christians alike, "First Comes Love "is an invitation to discover a true home in the divine.

Citations And Professional Reviews
First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity by Scott Hahn has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 04/15/2002 page 92
  • Publishers Weekly - 02/25/2002 page 61
  • Booklist - 04/15/2002 page 1364

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Doubleday Religion
Pages   212
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.82" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 7, 2002
Publisher   Doubleday Religion
ISBN  0385496613  
ISBN13  9780385496612  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Scott Hahn

Scott Hahn SCOTT HAHN is founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology ( A professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville, he also holds the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including The Lamb's Supper (Doubleday), Hail, Holy Queen (Doubleday), Kinship by Covenant (Yale), and A Pocket Guide to the Bible (Our Sunday Visitor). His academic work has appeared in Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Currents in Biblical Research. Dr. Hahn is editor of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and Letter and Spirit: A Catholic Journal of Biblical Theology. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.

Scott Hahn currently resides in Steubenville, in the state of Ohio.

Scott Hahn has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 30-Minute Read
  2. Catholic for a Reason
  3. Counterpoints: Bible & Theology
  4. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible
  5. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible S
  6. Letter & Spirit Journal

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity?

Completely orthodox and exceptionally useful  Jan 24, 2005
This is a very fine book. I think that Scott Hahn does an exemplary job in showing how a reflection of the Holy Trinity resonates in the construction of a family.

He has received some flack from those who take exception to some of the feminine characterizations of the Holy Spirit in his reflections on the Holy Trinity. What he says, of course, as his book illustrates, is supported by great theologians such as Cardinal Ratzinger and Matthias Scheeben. The explanations that he gives, both in the Endnotes as well as in the text, are more than adequate, in my view, to cover the objections which he has confronted.

Unfortunately, in our time, the devil is not only in the details, but also in the pronouns. Because of the onslaught of radical feminism, and other ideologies that are not compatible with the Catholic Faith, there is a great sensitivity to the kind of pronouns used for the Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity, and so, the sensitivity and contrary feelings that might be aroused from the beautiful speculation that this book contains, can perhaps, in the light of the circumstances of the present time, be understood, if not appreciated.

The only adjustment that I would suggest would be, in addition to what he already has in the text, to place some of the information he has in the Endnotes into the text so that the objections could more readily be refuted -- illustrating, as he says so well, that there is no intention to indicate any kind of gender or sexual differentiation in the Godhead. It might also have been helpful had there been an allusion to the pronouns used for the Holy Spirit in John 14-16.

That being said, I certainly salute the work that Hahn has done, and congratulate him for it. I assure you that in my view it is not only completely orthodox, but also exceptionally useful.

The beauty & coherence of the Catholic faith for lay people  May 15, 2004
The remarkable thing about Scott Hahn's own brand of high-street theology is that it loses nothing in quality or depth. Since his conversation from hard-core Protestantism, Hahn has devoted himself to explaining the beauty and coherence of the Catholic faith to ordinary lay people. And with his infectious enthusiasm he certainly has a talent for uncovering richness of Church doctrine hidden in Scripture. But that's not all. Often, as in First Comes Love, he probes new depths, his obvious love of the Word of God leading him to insights that are, as Aidan Nichols observes in the foreword to this book, both wholly original and wholly orthodox.

The most revolutionary theory Hahn promulgates in First Comes Love is the idea that there was something left of the divine image for the man and woman to bring to completion themselves, a life-giving sacrifice. Sacrifice, Hahn argues, is the only way humans can imitate the interior life of the Trinity.

Hahn's ideas do not remain merely theoretical. In the second part of the book he brings his theology home, quite literally, with an honest discussion of how this self-giving love works practically in the family; it is a slow and gradually learned process. He includes a brief glance at the celibate vocation, as providing no less an opportunity for self-giving than married life, but this could perhaps be treated at greater length.

Hahn embarks on some bold but cautious explorations into the identity of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity in a chapter devoted to the Holy Spirit. Leaning on the Scriptures and the writings of various saints and theologians, he incorporates Mary's maternity into this vision of the Spirit. This chapter demonstrates just how responsible Hahn is as a theologian. He openly and most willingly submits all his findings to the judgment of the Magisterium.

Hahn writes personally as always, with his trademark wordplay, painful or ingenious according to your taste. His theology is both profound and highly accessible, suited to those unused to reading academic works. All credit and indeed thanks to Hahn for cashing in on the fact that the Truth is simple.

An excellent book on the trinity ,the family ,and the church  Mar 1, 2004
A practical guide to understanding the trinity. This book starts off by talking of the three types of families, then talks about how the family resembles the trinity. The process where the husband and wife become one in marriage and conceive a child is the embodiment of the trinity. The book goes on to talk about the covenants God has made with his people, and the New covenant Jesus made through the church, then it talks about the love of God and living a more Godly life. The last part of the book talks about the similarities of the family and the church. This is another excellent book by Scott Hahn and has given me a deeper understanding of God.
A fine book with a number of profound and intriguing points  Oct 6, 2003
Scott Hahn's "First Comes Love" is, overall, a very fine book. It is a Trinitarian treatment of biblical theology that focuses on sacrificial self-giving as the mode of divine life that is to be replicated in the life of the church and to transform family life. "Family" is the dominant idea, encompassing the divine Trinitarian family, nuclear and extended human families, and the church. Within this overall theme, Hahn makes a number of intriguing specific points:

1) He sets things up by pointing out that Adam was not to be alone but was called into family life. When Jesus comes, however, He calls people "away from their primal families, their tribes" toward participation in the divine family. (At some points, Hahn expresses this using the language of nature and supernature, which strikes my ear as a dissonance.)

2) He has some profound points on Sabbath, points that bear much more extensive meditation and study. The covenant name, Yahweh, he points out, does not appear in the creation account until after the Sabbath, and he uses this common observation to highlight the fact that the Sabbath is already at creation a sign of covenant. As he puts it, with the Sabbath, "something has changed in the relationship between God and creation. Most especially, something has changed in the relationship between God and His highest creation. . . . As a result of the seventh day, the day of the oath, God lives in covenant, a family bond, with humankind. God is not just our creator but our Father."

On the one hand, I want to say that a covenant relationship exists from the moment of the creation of Adam. Covenant is not something added to Adam's life as such. (Hahn, I think, disagrees; and I sense the presence of a nature/supernature framework intruding again.) On the other hand, the sudden use of the covenant name in 2:4 is striking, and perhaps suggests some kind of formalization of covenant relationship with the Sabbath day. Perhaps, though, the use of the covenant name serves to introduce the work of the sixth day (2:4 begins a new section in Genesis), a point that would support the notion that Adam is CREATED always already in covenant with God, rather than created and THEN brought into covenant with God.

3) Hahn points out that the serpent uses a plural verb in the temptation of Eve, confirming that he is addressing both Adam and Eve. Further, he suggests that the serpent's assurance that "You shall not die" if they eat the fruit implies the opposite as well: "You shall die if you do not." Pointing out that the Hebrew word for "serpent" describes a dragon, he describes the temptation scene this way: "if the serpent was indeed a monstrous beast, and if Adam did indeed dread death, then suddenly we can understand our forefather's silence. He feared his own death. Moreover, he feared physical death more than he feared offending God by sin. He stood by quietly while Eve continued in conversation with the beast. He stood in silence while the serpent issued his veiled threat."

4) And this very fine formulation of covenant: "Every covenant required a sacrifice symbolic of man's total self-giving. For a covenant is not a contract; it is not an exchange of goods. A covenant is an exchange of persons. One person gives up his former self, his former identity, to be accepted into a new family."

Not unexpectedly, there are some typically Roman Catholic turns in the argument that I object to. But to repeat, overall this is a stimulating and helpful book.

Hahn is traditional, orthodox, readable & challenging  Jul 30, 2003
Essays in Trintarian theology are seldom written in quite such a folksy style. Section headings include, â€~It’s the Economy’, â€~Soul Provider’, and â€~The Trinity from Infinity’. Not how I’d write, but, hey, I’m not as clear as Scott Hahn at getting my point across.

The strength of this book lies in the clarity of individual passages. Hahn’s demolition of the use of the â€~gender neutral’ use of â€~Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier’ to replace Father, Son and Spirit is brief and lucid, â€~It’s good for us to tell our loved ones how much we appreciate what they do for us; but it’s far better to tell them how much we love them for who they are as persons.’ Another highlight is his extended discussion of the Fall.

Hahn restates a traditional understanding of both the Trinity and the Christian family, meeting both feminist and moral objections by starting with a study of relations. What is the pattern of familial relations implied by the statement that â€~It is not good for man to be alone’, and what is the pattern of divine relations implied by the creation of man, united as male and female in the likeness of God? How does the pattern of one relationship illuminate and explain the nature of the other? Suddenly our relations with one another are revealed as statements about God.

Hahn makes enlightening use of a concept of a â€~trustee family’ extended beyond the household or â€~domestic’ family, and demanding loyalty to and stewardship of its property, traditions and life. This is the antithesis of the â€~atomistic family’, the individual forging his or her destiny alone, in company with others only while they serve the individual’s wants.

Linked to this is an attempt to draw out the â€~maternal impulse’ in the Godhead by considering the Holy Spirit as indwelling Mother Church â€" the Bride of Christ. He is careful and challenging. Because of his Pneumatology, for Hahn the Church, like the family, is a reflection in her economy of the eternal Trinity, implications of which include a rejection of referring to God as Mother, and the exclusion of women from holy orders.

This book is penetrating, accessible and readable. It challenges us to more work. The questions that this book raises will repay study.


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