Friday, February 02, 2007

Scott Hahn's New Apologetics Book "Reasons to Believe" and Kind Remark About Contemporary Apologists


Saint Francis de Sales

Scott Hahn has written a book on general apologetics. It is called Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith (New York: Doubleday; scheduled to be released on 7 May 2007). Doubleday was kind enough to send me a manuscript copy, and asked me to write a blurb for the book jacket. I'm more than happy to help out my friend Scott, who graciously offered to write the Foreword of my book, More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism. He writes some extremely kind (far too kind) words about fellow apologists, including yours truly, in Chapter One:
This book is a summons for Catholics to fulfill the duty that St. Peter spelled out . . . to prepare a defensible account of our hope, showing that its foundations are unshakable, grounded as they are in ultimate reality.

. . . . we're talking about that branch of theology known as apologetics - the art of explaining and defending the faith.

. . . In any case, and in every case, we, like our ancient ancestors, need to take up the art of apologetics. We must be ready to give our reasoned defense. . . .

The field of Catholic apologetics has yielded an abundant harvest in the last generation. I will not try to duplicate the efforts of authors whose apologetic skills far exceed my own. I stand in awe of their achievements, and I urge you to get to know their work: James Akin, Dave Armstrong, Jeff Cavins, David Currie, George Duggan, Joseph C. Fenton, Marcus Grodi, Father John Hardon, S.J., Thomas Howard, Karl Keating, Peter Kreeft, Patrick Madrid, Rosalind Moss, Stephen Ray, Alan Schreck, David Scott, Mark Shea, Tim Staples, and Father William Most. They are worthy successors to the ancient apologists, and I invoke their names with admiration, but also with the affection of longstanding friendship . . . When you read the works of these authors, you see the sort of apologetics St. Peter was talking about - apologetics that draws its strength from theology, that is dependent on theology, and that inspires us to pursue theology with a ravenous desire. That's what their work has done for me, and that's why I'm writing this work for you.
It's a great book. Buy one when it becomes available. This new volume will be a very important edition to the existing corpus of modern Catholic apologetic works. It seems that an increasing number of folks (for some reason) don't like apologetics much, or dislike individual apologists or harbor some grudge against the class of "e-pologists" or professional apologists, or whatever, but it remains true that, biblically-speaking, as Scott Hahn noted, we are all called to do it in some measure, and I love a little proverb my friend Al Kresta has often spoken, when referring to someone doing some necessary Christian task in a way that one may not personally care for: "I prefer his way of doing it to my way of not doing it."
Here is my blurb that will appear on the jacket of Scott Hahn's new book, Reasons to Believe (New York: Doubleday, May 2007):
Scott Hahn has been an inspiration to an entire generation of orthodox Catholics and particularly, Catholic apologists. His gently-expressed enthusiasm for theology is infectious enough to be "caught" by readers, and comes through in every page of this exciting new introduction to Catholic apologetics. Especially noteworthy and fascinating are the parallels he draws between the Old Testament monarchy of King David and the papacy, and New Testament passages and the Mass. This work will help those who are inquiring about the Catholic Church to "take the leap," and those already within the fold to appreciate all the more the biblical basis for, and unique fullness of the Catholic faith.

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