Monday, November 10, 2008

What Catholics Really Believe

It's been a while since I have done a book review, so here goes one.  I just finished up "What Catholics Really Believe:  52 Answers to Common Misconceptions About the Catholic Faith" by Karl Keating.  Overall, this book is fairly good at presenting apologetics in a very simple, easy to understand manner.  Actually, it was a little too simple for me, but I imagine it would be great for a non-Catholic or someone who does not know a lot about their faith.  It also would be great for someone who has their faith challenged frequently (non-Catholic spouse, friends, family, etc.) because it clearly explains ways to answer these types of typical misunderstandings.  

There are several negatives to the book though.  First, I would much more highly recommend his "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" because it is much more in-depth, and answers many of the same charges in a more systematic way, targeting the responses at those who are generally challenging our faith - fundamentalists.  Secondly, Keating has the bad habit of being quite antagonizing when he responds to these challenges that he sees as common.  His writing style and attitude come off in a way that is likely to put off many readers, especially those who may be mistaken about the faith honestly and hold false conceptions, they may feel that he is unfair to their position or belittling of their intelligence.  If you have read any of his other works, you will be familiar with what I am talking about.  

Finally, there are a few questions that I think he inadequately answers by putting the real answers off and instead just discussing them in light of things that other Christians believe.  His discussion on the rosary and prayers for the dead were both inadequate, in my opinion.  Again, this could be a useful tool or a quick refresher course for those wanting to learn more about Church teaching or being challenged by a non-Catholic friend or family member.  

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