Handbook of Catholic Apologetics by Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli

The structure, content, format and layout remain essentially the same as Handbook of Christian Apologetics, but with one chapter added to the existing 16 chapters.


Chapter 17: Twenty Catholic Capstones to Christian Apologetics deals with some of the topics already discussed in the previous 16 chapters but from a catholic perspective, albeit in a generalized and brief manner. Below is the outline for chapter 17.


1. Faith and reason: Grace perfects nature

2. Proofs for the existence of God: The power of reason

3. The nature of God and the nature of man: Christian humanism

4. Creation: Sacramentalism

5. Predestination and free will: Paradox

6. Divine providence: Infallibility

7. Miracles continuing in the Church: Manifestations of God's presence

8. Angels: Hierarchy

9. The problem of evil: Sacrifice

10. The divinity of Christ: The exaltation of Mary, the Mother of God

11. The Resurrection: The Real Presence

12. The authority of the Bible: The authority of the Church

13. Life after death: The communion of saints

14. Heaven: The Beatific Vision

15. Hell: Purgatory

16. Salvation: Faith and works

17. Comparative religions: Ecumenism

18. Religion and ethics: Natural law, sex and society

19. Objective truth: Dogmas and creeds

20. Conversion: Completion (Catholic and Christian)


Whilst the content in chapter 17 is mostly sound, I think the arguments could be more rigorous and detailed. But it does at least briefly address the previously highlighted issues. My criticisms of this text are:

  1. In discussing humanism, I think the authors, whilst far from being modern or liberal, are too kind on the Roman church’s post-Vatican II position.

  2. When discussing the authority of the Church, there is a lack of an overview of the arguments for the papacy and the history of the Church, which would be beneficial.

  3. In regards to miracles, it is also stated in passing that Garabandal and Bayside “may” have been false Marian miracles when there are strong grounds to suggest otherwise, but that is another discussion.

Despite the above, like its predecessor, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics is a good, single-volume reference at under 500 pages. If I had to choose between this one or its predecessor, I would still pick this one.

 

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