Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith 3.2.2009 Edition

27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1586172794
ISBN-10: 1586172794
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 3.2.2009 edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172794
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Brian Roberts on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who has been anticipating this book is probably already familiar with the Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions (hereafter referred to as "HBCA") by the same authors.

BE ADVISED: This "new" volume is that exact text (as far as I can tell, it is entirely unaltered from the last edition of the HBCA) with the exception of a new chapter - just under forty pages - of very short essays, ranging from a half a page to two pages in length, on various Catholic topics.

In other words, if you already own the old handbook, then purchasing this new handbook gets you a little less than forty additional pages. What's more, the new essays are not framed with anywhere near the deductive precision of the arguments in the old HBCA. Their polemic is more of an appeal to poetry and inspiration rather than logic (in fact, the authors sneak in an actual poem in their essay on Marian doctrines). This is all horribly disappointing since the authors are clearly capable of a full volume of deductive reasoning for Catholic doctrines (which is what I expected of this text when I bought it).

ALL THAT SAID: I still rate the book 5 stars. If you do not already own the old HBCA, then the Handbook of Catholic Apologetics is a must-own. If you do own the old volume, then this new one is not worth the price. The essays are very nice and indeed inspirational, but they would have been better released as a $5 booklet. If a friend buys the book, the essays are worth borrowing the text from your friend for a quick read. Personally, I think Dr.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Bambino on August 26, 2009
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This book is the Handbook of Christian Apologetics with an additional chapter on "Catholic" issues at the end. While I do really like this book and think that the Handbook of Christian Apologetics is a 5-star book, this book attempting to be a handbook of CATHOLIC apologetics was a bit disappointing, as another 3-star reviewer mentioned. A handbook on Catholic apoloegtics should have whole chapters devoted to topics like Mary, historical controversies, salvation, etc. as opposed to only a couple of pages at most on 20 topics, as important as they are. So I just thought that as a handbook for specifically Catholic issues, the book is lacking.

But otherwise, it is an excellent book and one of the premiere works for a philosophical defense of the Christian faith from the ground up. Some highlights from certain chapters:

The book contains the best exposition of the relationship between fath ad reason I have ever read. The authors point out the very obvious yes penetrating fact that given any two collections of things (in this case, the collection of all faith statements and the collection of all reason statements), there can only be 5 possible relationships between them. All of one are the other (or vice-versa), none of one are the other, they are the same, or there is a partial relation. The authors then go on to describe how these 5 statements correspond to 5 types of thinking; rationalism, fideism, a kind of modernism, and two others without names. It provided an excellent framework to think about faith and reason.

One chapter is spent looking at 20 arguments for God's existence. Some of them I had not seen before and were quite interesting, especially Descarte's "ontological" argument.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rich Leonardi on July 15, 2009
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As another reviewer has noted, this "new" Handbook of Catholic Apologetics is merely a reprint of the authors' earlier work of ecumenically oriented Christian apologetics with a 40-page Catholic coda. As such, it's a bit misleading to give it a new name, especially when that new name suggests that this book is something that it really isn't. Ignatius Press, a fine publishing house, ought to issue a clarification in their promotional materials.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TRH on May 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I want to say right from the start, that I am reviewing my copy of the book, which is from the 1994 edition, not the 2009 edition pictured here. I understand some changes were made that would somewhat affect how I would review the later addition of the book, although it's essentially the same in content as far as apologetic arguments go.

Like the authors suggested at the start, this book very aptly could have been named the Summa Apolegetic, because it intends to cover all the relevant arguments for Christianity. It does this very convincingly.

The highlights are:
Chapter 2, which discusses the compatibility between faith and reason. This is a foundational chapter that explains how Christians should view there faith in light of reason.
Chapter 3 provides twenty arguments for the existence of God's. The arguments in this chapter conclusively prove the existence of God. They are highly persuasive and are highly recommended for those who do not believe. The most conclusive argument, I believe, is the argument from consciousness (#10). Namely, that Atheism cannot be true because a universe that springs from non-rational elements cannot create rational intelligence.
Chapter 6, dealing with the problem of Evil, shows how there is no contradiction between God and Evil is very hard to understand, but very persuasive in the end.
Chapters 8 & 9 dealing with the historicity and divinity of Christ are sorely needed in this culture where Jesus is all to frequently called a myth. These chapters without a doubt conclusively demonstrate the objective impossibility of that being the case.
The chapters dealing with life after death, heaven, and hell, are superb.
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