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Help My Unbelief

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1570758034
ISBN-10: 1570758034
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570758034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570758034
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
With zest and verve, this book covers the basics of why it is reasonaable for a modern man to be a believer without glossing over the intellectual difficuties. It was so good I bought twelve copies and have given them to friends who have also liked the book. In fact, I bought four other books of William O'Malley, all of them a pleasure to read.
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Doubting my faith lately, I was looking for a book on apologetics so perfect it could be guaranteed to convert an atheist to a believer. This is NOT that book. It might be something better. Although "Help My Unbelief" by Father William J. O'Malley, a Jesuit theologian, is clearly intended for Catholic audiences (whenever he refers to Peter, O'Malley almost always refers to him as "the first pope"), as a Protestant, I found this book to be guaranteed, no matter who you are, Catholic, Protestant, atheist, agnostic, or something in between, to make you think.

Unlike other books that have been written in response to Richard Dawkins and the other "New Atheists", O'Malley's book isn't built around clear-cut refutations to atheist arguments. Instead, it's written in a very introspective style that asks readers to question what they believe. Early on he states, "I don't KNOW God exists; I'm BETTING God exists. I'm not absolutely certain Christianity is the best way to human fulfillment, but I'm more and more positive as I go on." This type of refreshing humility is consistent throughout the book.

It's clear that O'Malley is intelligent, or at least well-read and current. The book is filled with philosophical quotes not only from famous Christian thinkers like The Complete Father Brown Mysteries creator G. K. Chesterton, but from atheist heroes such as Dawkins, Darwin, Carl Sagan, Sigmund Freud, and Nietzsche. O'Malley refers to sources as diverse as
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HELP MY UNBELIEF, by William O'Malley, S.J., attempts to demonstrate through various means--philosophical, scientific, theological, literary, even pop cultural-- the reasonableness of belief in God and of the Catholic faith in the modern context. As much as I enjoyed reading parts of this book, I found that its organization was somewhat choppy, almost stream of consciousness. What I liked best about Fr. O'Malley's slim volume is that he did not shy away from expressing his views on controversial topics such as artificial birth control, while at the same time explaining how the institutional Church reached the conclusions that it did. That took some courage. Nonetheless, however much I found admirable its parts, taken as a whole the book does not deliver an overall well-argued defense of faith. The skeptic will not be convinced, nor will a shaky faith be bulwarked, but the practicing Catholic of a moderate viewpoint will enjoy sampling from the pages of Fr. O'Malley's book.
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I would encase this book in glass in the back of every church in the country with instructions to use in the event of wavering faith in everything you ever believed in. Father O'Malley offers the most intelligent defense for belief since Aquinas, and one which should be in every Christian home. I'm buying every one of his books.
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A great read , answers and ask so many worthwhile questions.
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