I tried to read "Crossing the Threshold of Hope." I failed. Because of that, I was skeptical about the writings of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The first Ratzinger book I read was "Many Religions, One Covenant." I read it in 2 hours. Had the world ended during those two hours, I'd have missed it.
Granted, this 113 page compilation is not deep theology. Thank the Lord it isn't, because I'm no theologian. But it is gripping and affirming and surprising. If the reader approaches Ratzinger expecting to find God's pitbull in print, he will leave bitterly disappointed. In fact, almost every paragraph, every section, every chapter begins by leading the reader to expect an attack on the church. Brilliantly Ratzinger explores his own question honestly, siding, in the end, with the Roman Church.
Tonight, I started "Called to Communion." I read the first 100 pages, and I am having the time of my life. Seriously, it's the most affirming book I've ever read--as affirming to a Catholic as The Exorcist.
Read Ratzinger. He's the best popular theologian going.