Sign of Contradiction: A Review

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I thought I’d take a break after reading an academic treatise by Benedict XVI, so I foolishly picked this book up. It offers a very thorough examination of the history and the current status of the debates raging in our country over contraception. Like Benedict XVI’s book, I had a hard time reading this in large chunks. Like Benedict XVI’s book, I learned a lot.

This book is geared for devout Catholics who already support Church teaching in regards to family planning. It is, in a sense, a call to action for such Catholics to spur them to change the world with the gospel of life. It should be required reading for anyone in ministry, especially ministries that center on life issues and promoting Natural Family Planning.

I would broaden this invitation to include people who disagree with church teaching. This author tries terribly hard, almost too hard, to give a fair hearing to the other side of the debate. Read with an open mind, it may help people of the other side understand their own position and the position of others better.

I do think that this book could’ve been put together better. He seems to bounce around some and to rehash the same things over and over again. I wonder if this book would have been better if it were shorter or broken up into more than one volume. Covering the history of the modern debate over contraception and trying to give a good hearing to both sides is a very broad and involved subject for only one book.

The back of the book gives an excellent bibliography for deeper study, however. This whole book was like being back at my grad school with all the references he made to moral theologians that I know very well: Benedict Ashley OP, Jean deBlois CSJ, and Kevin O’Rourke, OP.

Overall, a good book. Definitely needs to be taken in smaller chunks.

Sign of Contradiction is available at your favorite bookseller now.

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