Friday, November 4, 2016

A Daily Defense: 365 Days (Plus One) to Becoming a Better Apologist (Catholic Answers Press)

Every year around this time, Christian publishers of all denominations come out with the one-a-day devotionals. Catholic publishers are not innocent in this respect either. There have been some very good ones, such as the little leatherette ones that TAN Books, and there have been some just okay ones. Personally, I don't like this style of book. Instead of getting a full text, you get a little snippet. I'd rather just read the whole work and put the snippet in its proper context. When I was offered a review copy of Catholic AnswersA Daily Defense: 365 Days (Plus One) to Becoming a Better Apologist, I admit that I groaned a little and initially declined. However, I was promised this wasn't your typical daily devotional, so I gave the book a shot. Here are my thoughts.

The book is laid out in a page-a-day manner. There is not a specific calendar day, i.e., January 1st, but instead Day One, Day Two, etc. At the beginning of each day a specific challenge to the Faith that Catholics face every day from atheists, agnostics, and sadly other Christians. This challenge is followed by a one-line defense to this challenge. The defense is then further elaborated on using Scripture, Church Documents, and the Catechism. At the end of most days is a tip for further reading on the subject. Here is a brief example from Day One:

Challenge: "I consider myself spiritual rather than religious. Why isn't that enough?"
Defense: Because God loves you and wants even better things for you.
Tip: A good book on the evidence for faith is the Handbook of Catholic Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.

Other challenges included in this book are Apostolic Tradition, Infant Baptism, Science, and the Resurrection to name a few. I found myself pleasantly surprised by this book. The amount of information that Jimmy Akin is able to pack into one page (roughly five minutes of reading time) is astounding. This daily book is not a devotional, it is a crash course in the faith. It is not just a book to help you deepen your faith, but one to help you defend it as well. So if you are looking for one book to read in 2017, I highly recommend A Daily Defense, and if you have students entering college, pick them up one as well, as they will most likely face attacks to the faith that they have never experienced before.

This book was provided to me for free by Catholic Answers in exchange for an honest review.