(Sydney: Lumen Verum Apologetics, 1998 & 2000. Available from Lumen Verum Apologetics, P O Box 150, Mt Lewis, NSW, 2200, or www.lumenverum.org)
In recent years there has been a revival in the art of apologetics, through the republication of works such as Sheehan's Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine. Contrary to popular opinion, apologetics is not about saying sorry for being a Catholic or for Church teachings. It is, instead, the art of giving a clear and logical explanation for the truths of the faith, based upon reason, Scripture, the Fathers and Tradition.
These manuals have been composed by members of Lumen Verum, a group of adults that meets regularly in Sydney, as a basis for their study of apologetics. The first manual, The Apostles' Creed, presents a study on each of the articles of the Apostles' Creed. Defend the Faith analyses mainly faith-based topics in greater depth, particularly those that are points of dispute with Christians of other faith traditions, such as the "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass", "Sola Scriptura" (the Bible alone), "Statues and Images" and "The Inquisition".
The Family and Human Life examines ethical issues, notably those most under siege in our contemporary secular society, while Law and Life discusses the Ten Commandments, the Seven Sacraments and the Lord's Prayer.
In each chapter, there is an explanation of the Church's teaching and, where necessary, its historical development. Primary source material, such as quotations from Scripture, the Fathers and other Church documents, especially The Catechism of the Catholic Church, are supplied to support the points being made.
This series of manuals would be useful reading for those wishing to deepen their faith, as well as being an invaluable basis for apologetics classes and discussion groups of young adults.