The Hidden Stream
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By Ronald Knox
Beneath the old stones of Oxford University, where Monsignor Ronald Knox originally delivered the twenty-three conferences offered in these pages, flows the Trill Mill Stream. As that stream runs beneath the University, so the Church, with her doctrines and sacraments, is a secret, sanctifying stream for the world. In The Hidden Stream, Knox examines fundamental tenets of Church teaching alongside controversial topics of the modern age, including the nature of religion and the burden of proof; the necessity of revelation and the fittingness of miracles; the distinguishing marks of the Church and the Church as the sole means of salvation; the development of doctrine and the immutability of truth; the necessity of the sacraments, with special attention given to the priesthood and matrimony; and the assurance of the resurrection of the body. Each conference—indeed, each sentence, each illustration—carries that freshness of style and strength of substance so typical of Knox.
Our Lord offers to give us a new, supernatural life, complete with all its faculties, in the midst of this troubled and precarious world. No one else offers us that; no one else dares claim of us the faith which will enable us to believe in that. (Ronald Knox)
This fallen world is never short of temptations to despair and occasions for confusion. To such despair and confusion alike, the timeless truths of Catholicism stand as an unflinching rebuke. Presenting those truths (in the words of Evelyn Waugh) with “unfailing kindness and solace,” The Hidden Stream is apologetics at its best.
Ronald Knox (1888–1957) was an English Catholic priest, theologian, and author, and one of the most prominent twentieth-century converts from Anglicanism to Catholicism. Best known for his contemporary English translation of the Scriptures (the “Knox Bible”), he wrote numerous works of apologetics and collections of sermons, retreat conferences, and lectures, as well as six detective novels.
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