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Catholic Review of: The Face of God

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This item received 3 stars overall. (10/13/2011)

Orthodoxy: Some questionable material.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Brandon VogtBy Brandon Vogt (FL) - See all my reviews


What does the God look like?

Evaluator Comments

What does God look like? Neither Muslims, nor Jews, nor any other religious tradition dares to approach that question. Most non-Christian religionists consider it sacrilege to fashion an image, an icon, or a sculpture of God.

But for Christians, God has a face. The Incarnation gives the invisible God flesh and bones and even a visage. Through Jesus, God became human and therefore is a physical being. So for Christians the question, "what does God look like?" ultimately becomes "what does Jesus look like?"

In his new book, The Face of God: The Rediscovery of the True Face of Jesus (Ignatius Press, hardcover, 378 pages), journalist Paul Badde believes he has found the answer. Badde's book centers on his discovery of the Veil of Manoppello, a strange, delicate cloth that, if Badde is right, is the most important relic in all of Christendom.
The haunting Veil displays an eerie, compelling image that Badde claims is the actual Face of God. And he has plenty of evidence to back this up--historical, scientific, and religious research. One of the strongest, though, is that when the Veil is laid over the Shroud of Turin, the two faces form a perfect match.

The Face of God includes not just scientific proofs, though. It's an adventure memoir chronicling Badde's journey from intrigued skeptic to convinced promoter. The book is gripping and full of suspense and surprise, reading like a real-life Da Vinci Code (sans heresy).

Overall, I don't know if I'm totally convinced that the Veil is the real deal. I also take issue with Badde's suggestion that at some point, the Vatican "lost" the true Veil and now promotes a fake alternative in St. Peter's Basilica.

At the same time, The Face of God does offer some challenging evidence for the Veil's veracity. Dr. Peter Kreeft concludes, "If I were an atheist, I would not be able to sleep until I had exposed everything in this book as a scam." Ultimately, believers and skeptics alike should find this book interesting even if they doubt its claims.

You can purchase this book here.

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