The proper question is not "What do we have to believe?" but rather "What light is shed on the uncertainties and agonies of human existence by the experience producing pictures, stories, and images of our faith?"
All too often the catechisms of the past missed the mark due to an overuse of abstractions. And many of the questions had a medieval flavor rather than a contemporary one. Andrew Greeley has done all Catholics and open-minded Protestants as well a service with the creation of this practical, handy, and thoroughly engaging catechism for modern wo/man. He knows that the secret of religious imagination is to ask the right questions. The Christianity envisioned and proclaimed here is grounded in the experience of everyday life.
Is there any purpose in my life? serves as the launchpad for a discussion of the Mystery of God. Are there any grounds for hope? provides a basis for considering the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth. Is it safe to trust? sets up a milieu for pondering the mystery of the Spirit. Why is there evil in the world? leads into the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection. Through his meditations on salvation, grace, the Holy Eucharist, the Church, baptism, Mary the Mother of Jesus, heaven, and the return of Jesus; Greeley gives us an occasion to seriously reckon with human nature, death, nature, sexuality, justice, and peace.
The author spices the text with a potpourri of down-to-earth and tangy illustrative material from the arts, sociology, and psychology. Each chapter closes with helpful theological notes. And when Greeley concludes this catechism with the though "Catholic Christianity begins with the experience of wonder and ends with the development of a capacity for surprise," the reader knows in his/her heart that this sentiment is much more than a rhetorical flash in the pan. It is the central rubic of The Mysteries of God.