HANDBOOK OF CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS:
Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith
by P.J. Kreeft and R.K. Tacelli
(Ignatius Press, 2009 493pp, $43.90. ISBN: 978-1-58617-279-4. Available from Freedom Publishing)
This is an impressive book by an acknowledged specialist in Catholic apologetics. Peter Kreeft is a convert to Catholicism from the Dutch Reformed (Calvinist) Church of the Netherlands and his co-author is a young Jesuit priest, Father Ronald Tacelli. Both are professors in the Department of Philosophy at the Jesuit Boston College.
The goal of apologetics is to assist believers to defend their faith and non-believers to see the reasonableness of accepting Christianity. In this Handbook there are, for example, chapters on proofs for the existence of God, Jesus' claim to be divine and the problem of evil and other challenging subjects.
From the earliest centuries of the Church, Christian apologists had presented thoughtful defences of the faith to sceptical Roman leaders at various levels, including in the Imperial Court. This was the classic rationale for apologetics: explaining the faith to intelligent, questioning non-Christians or non-Catholics.
In the modern world, there is a new dimension for the apologist's work: explaining aspects of the Catholic faith to nominal, 'census' Catholics with their pick-and-choose approach to their faith, its doctrines, liturgies and practices.
The Handbook contains the distilled wisdom of many years of research and writing in Christian apologetics with its material carefully organised and framed to be crystal clear and easy to understand and even memorise.