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Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith 3.2.2009 Edition
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect... needed this for a class I am taking...arrived in plenty of time !Published 1 day ago by lynn crews
Peter Kreeft knows the Catholic faith well, and this book conveys that.Published 6 months ago by JJM
A rather lengthy book that covers quite a bit of what a "apologist" should know, it is a bit on the technical side...Published 8 months ago by Retired Teacher
Probably the best single book of Catholic apologetics I have ever read. And I have read dozens. Doctor Kreeft is, in my opinion, the best Catholic philosopher of our time, and his... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mateus de Castro