Reasons to Believe:
How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith by Scott Hahn released just a few days ago is another fine book. His latest book is more in the line of general apologetics than his previous books that mainly pertained to a specific topic.
What I liked about this as an apologetics work is that it started out by addressing reason and natural theology. Natural theology being defined as what we can no about God with revelation from him. He specifically talks about reason and how to talk to atheists and agnostics, something left out of many apologetics works. The first four chapters deal specifically with this and there is a lot of good information contained. It is of course not an exhaustive treatment of this, but a good solid introduction to the subject. He references books like Handbook Of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreft and Fr. Tacelli which is an excellent deeper reference. His coverage of Aquinas "five ways of knowing God: as he puts it is succinct and easy to follow.
Later chapters deal with apologetics and working with other Christians via the Bible and offers good advice on how to do it and not get into proof text wars. These following chapters covers standard Catholic apologetics fare such as the Communion of Saints, Mary, the Mass, and the Pope. He notes these are not meant to be exhaustive and that whole books can be written on nuances of these subjects (as he has done in the past), but he does pack a lot of information to go over in these chapters. If you have read a lot of apologetics there is no real fresh ground here, but it is a good reference. But he does offer some good advice for those like myself who have read much on this subject and start to find it boring and that is to go deeper into theology.
Concluding chapters deal with the Kingdom of God and the book really shines here. No surprise that when Scott Hahn talks on Covenantal Theology and how the Old Testament applies to the New Testament and specifically the Davidic Kingdom it becomes really interesting. At first I was lost to how this was applying to the previous more straightforward apologetics chapters, but he does wrap up some important points on the Queenship of Mary, the Papacy, and especially the Kingdom of God and how it relates to the Church.
As is usually the case Scott Hahn’s sub chapter titles are full of puns. Some people are put off by punning titles in a serious work, but those people who are probably don’t read my blog either. I share Scott’s puns are always intentional attitude. Though his straight writing is fun also. His love of these various subjects shines through in his work and you never feel he is writing over your head, but that he is writing to you. So if you are looking for a solid apologetics work then I can highly recommend this one.
A couple of minor things though need to be fixed in any subsequent reprinting of this book. The introduction mentions many in the field of apologetics by name. I am pretty sure there is no Father Mitch Pacina S.J. More then likely this refers to Fr. Mitch Pacwa S.J. He might also want to change the reference to James Akin to Jimmy Akin as this is his preference.