Nikolaas Sintobin SJ, internet pastor of the Low Countries, speaks to Gavin T. Murphy of Irish Jesuit Communications about his latest book Where was God before the World Began? Containing 52 questions and answers on the fundamentals of Christian faith, the book aims to reach a wide audience with its accessible language and short answers in a maximum of 300 words each. It will be translated into English and published by Messenger Publications in the coming Spring.
Fr Sintobin talks of the need for precise knowledge of the Christian faith: “People have a lot of questions about Christian faith, both Christians and non-Christians… and I want to give answers or elements of answers to all kinds of people”. His intention to write for a large readership is reflected in the many drawings that were purposely created by a non-Christian. He also hopes that the book will equip Christians to enter into dialogue with culture and society.
The internet pastor, who helps people to reflect and pray with videos on his website Seeing More, was inspired by the inclusive language of Pope Francis who reaches out to all people with an open mind. In the same vein, the tone of Fr Sintobin’s book is not one of catechism and claims that Protestants, for instance, can feel at ease when reading it. He says the book may serve as a template for other books that want to offer concise, direct and jargon-free language in the digital age.
Donal Neary SJ, editor of Messenger Publications, says they are very happy to publish the book: “I think it will be very helpful to people who have questions about various aspects of faith like: Is God a man or a woman? What is purgatory? What is priesthood? Nikolaas answers the questions in such a way that a person of little faith or no faith as well as a person of strong faith will get something good out of it”.
Fr Neary continues, “It will also be a book very helpful to priests and catechists and teachers of religion in a school to get a short account of what the Church believes on something now in good modern language”.
Click on the link above for the podcast interview».