Apologetic Answers

Also visit other Discerning Hearts areas for “Apologetic Answers”

Faith Check with Greg Youell

VEC10 – Arius – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 10 – Arius – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Arius and the threat of the Arian heresy.  Mike makes suggestions on what the Christian can do to stay true to the faith in times and recognize the Arian tendencies we continue to see today.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

ARIUS WAS an obscure Egyptian priest who probably had more influence on the history of Christian theology than any Christian thinker since St. Paul. It was all negative influence, but no one can deny the influence. Because of Arius, the Catholic Church had to define the relationship of the Son to the Father in clear and unambiguous terms. Because of Arius, we ended up with the Nicene Creed.

But no one would have guessed for most of his life that this Arius was going to set the world on fire.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.


Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com



CA-5 St. Thomas Aquinas – Is Sacred doctrine a matter that can be argued? – Christian Apologetics w/ Dr. R. R. Reno – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 5 – Whether sacred doctrine is a matter of argument?

Question 1 Article 8 Whether sacred doctrine is a matter of argument?

Objection 1: It seems this doctrine is not a matter of argument. For Ambrose says (De Fide 1): “Put arguments aside where faith is sought.” But in this doctrine, faith especially is sought: “But these things are written that you may believe” (Jn. 20:31). Therefore sacred doctrine is not a matter of argument.

Objection 2: Further, if it is a matter of argument, the argument is either from authority or from reason. If it is from authority, it seems unbefitting its dignity, for the proof from authority is the weakest form of proof. But if it is from reason, this is unbefitting its end, because, according to Gregory (Hom. 26), “faith has no merit in those things of which human reason brings its own experience.” Therefore sacred doctrine is not a matter of argument.

On the contrary, The Scripture says that a bishop should “embrace that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9). Dr. Matthew Bunson - Insights on the Church Yesterday and Today 2

I answer that, As other sciences do not argue in proof of their principles, but argue from their principles to demonstrate other truths in these sciences: so this doctrine does not argue in proof of its principles, which are the articles of faith, but from them it goes on to prove something else; as the Apostle from the resurrection of Christ argues in proof of the general resurrection (1 Cor. 15). However, it is to be borne in mind, in regard to the philosophical sciences, that the inferior sciences neither prove their principles nor dispute with those who deny them, but leave this to a higher science; whereas the highest of them, viz. metaphysics, can dispute with one who denies its principles, if only the opponent will make some concession; but if he concede nothing, it can have no dispute with him, though it can answer his objections. Hence Sacred Scripture, since it has no science above itself, can dispute with one who denies its principles only if the opponent admits some at least of the truths obtained through divine revelation; thus we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another. If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections—if he has any—against faith. Since faith rests upon infallible truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.

Read more

IP#341 Elizabeth Lev – How Catholic Art Saved the Faith on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

What a delight to speak with Elizabeth Lev about her phenomenal book “How Catholic Art Saved the Faith: The Triumph of Beauty and Truth in Counter-Reformation Art!”  This book is a feast for your mind and heart.  It is filled with Church history and illuminated by a cast of extraordinary characters and beautiful images.  Professor Lev is a master storyteller who never disappoints!  It will be difficult for anyone who begins to enter its pages to put this book down.  This work reflects the best in Catholic cultural apologetics.   Along with the podcast, check out the absorbing TED talk Liz gave on the story of Sistine Chapel embedded in this post!  Give yourself treat, don’t wait, get a copy of the book for yourself and plan on gifting it to many of your friends!

You can find the book here

“In a series of finely crafted and absorbing essays, Elizabeth Lev actually demonstrates how, at a crucial moment in the Church’s history, artists used paintbrush and chisel to proclaim the Gospel. This book will be extremely helpful for catechists, teachers, preachers, and I daresay, for artists themselves. ”
Bishop Robert Barron

“Liz Lev so brilliantly connects art and faith that you will experience every painting, statue and church in a deeper, emotionally powerful and spiritually fulfilling way.”
Newt Gingrich

“A treat for the eye and the soul.”
Peggy Noonan
Wall Street Journal

IP#278 Mark Brumley – Han Urs von Balthasar’s “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

A big “THANK YOU” to Ignatius Press for this excellent 2nd edition of the classic “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Mark-BrumleySaved?: With a Short Discourse on Hell” by Catholic theologian Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar.  The newer edition contains an outstanding forward by Fr. Robert Barron.  The conversation with Mark Brumley sheds even greater light on why this is such an important work.  Mark also corrects the misrepresentations that have been put forward about it’s contents in recent years, including the false characterization of von Balthasar as an advocate of  “universalism”.  An exceptional work!  Once again, a great discussion with Mark Brumley.

You find the book here

“Truly deep theological questions can rarely be answered with a simple yes or no. Rather, they are approached by the careful theologian, who circles around them, making distinctions, bringing essential aspects to light. The issue of who and how many will be saved is surely one of the thorniest theological puzzles in the Catholic tradition, and I don’t know any theologian-classical or contemporary-who performs the nimble task of bringing out the complexity and profiles of this issue better than Hans Urs von Balthasar. In this short but rich text, you will hear of grace, punishment, mercy, the awful self-absorption of sin-but above all of hope.”
– Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

IP#255 Mark Brumley – To Know Jesus as the Christ on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor with Kris McGregor

Why is it essential for the Christian to truly “know” Jesus as the “Christ”?  Why is a relationship with Jesus Christ paramount for the spiritual life?  What is it be an authentic disciple of Christ?  These questions are just a few that are answered by master apologist and president of Ignatius Press, Mark Brumley as we discuss the phenomenal book by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn,  the Archbishop of Vienna. Class A catechesis and rich source of spiritual reading, not only for Catholics, but for the entire Body of Christ.  Highly Recommended!

You can find the book here

From the book description:

An inspiring and practical work by a great churchman about the eternal importance of the Christian faith, and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and how it is crucial for our everyday life.

“Catechesis is something different from a theological discourse. Catechesis is actually a way, and we are invited to set out on such a catechetical way. For catechesis is very closely connected with the mission of Jesus himself. It is actually the direct translation of his mission, which he gave to the apostles at the end of his life: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’ “

IP#296 Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. – God So Loved the World pt. 2 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

We continue with part 2 of our discussion with Fr. Spitzer….

For part 1 of our conversation visit here

In our conversation with Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., we enter into “God So Loved the World: Clues to Our Transcendent Fr.-Robert-SpitzerDestiny from the Revelation of Jesus“, which is the third installment of his “Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence” series. Not only is Fr. Spitzer a brilliant theologian, but he has the heart of caring pastor who understands the needs of the questing minds of so many lost and wandering souls.  With an extraordinary grasp of philosophy, theology and cosmology, he is able to take complicated concepts and mix them with joy, beauty, and a grace-filled enthusiasm without doing damage to the subject matter.  In this volume, he addresses “What is LOVE”, “Who is LOVE”, and maybe in an even deeper way, “The why of LOVE”.  Of course we know, “God is Love”, but God as a Father?  God as a Son?  God as Holy Spirit?  How is the mind to grasp such penetrating Truth?  And more importantly, how is the heart to perceive this eternal divine mystery?

We were able to meet with Fr. Spitzer for this discussion at his offices located at the Magis Center in Garden Grove, CA.

God So Loved the WorldYou can find the book here

From the book description:

In this volume the brilliant Fr. Spitzer probes in detail the major question that if an intelligent Creator God – manifest in logical proofs, scientific evidence, and near death experiences – who is the source of our desire for the sacred, and the transcendental desires for truth, love, goodness, and beauty, would want to reveal himself to us personally and ultimately.

He then shows this is reasonable not only in light of our interior experience of a transcendent Reality, but also that a completely intelligent Reality is completely positive–implying its possession of a completely positive virtue – namely “love”, defined as agape.

This leads to the question whether God might be unconditionally loving, and if he is, whether he would want to make a personal appearance to us in a perfect act of empathy – face to face. After examining the rational evidence for this, he reviews all world religions to see if there is one that reveals such a God – an unconditionally loving God who would want to be with us in perfect empathy. This leads us to the extraordinary claim of Jesus Christ who taught that God is “Abba”, the unconditionally loving Father.

Jesus’ claims go further, saying that He is also unconditional love, and that his mission is to give us that love through an act of complete self-sacrifice. He also claims to be the exclusive Son of the Father, sent by God to save the world, and the one who possesses divine power and authority. The rest of the book does an in-depth examination of the evidence for Jesus’ unconditional love of sinners, his teachings, his miracles, and his rising from the dead. As well as the evidence for Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled his disciples to perform miracles in his name, and evidence for the presence of the Holy Spirit today.

IP#196 Mark Brumley – “Knowing God” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Mark-Brumley-200x300It’s great to be joined once again by Mark Brumley, this time to discuss  “Knowing God: God and the Human Condition” (previously titled God and the Human Mind) authored by the great Catholic writer, teacher, and publisher Frank Sheed.   Written in 1966 during the time of the Second Vatican Council, Sheed  addresses the most challenging questions the human mind can pose about God, without presenting answers in dry academic way.  Instead, because of his gifted writing style, he engages the reader with a desire to discover “mystery” in all its forms.

51e7dpFeAiL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_You can find the book here

“This book is vintage Sheed: clear, commonsensical, and convincing. This is the Sheed of the two masterpieces of apologetics Theology and Sanity and Society and Sanity. But this is also a new Sheed: older and wiser, more practical and human–the post-Vatican II Sheed. I mean this in all the good senses, the John Paul II senses: he is sensitive to the dangers of “the good old days”: verbalism, “dead orthodoxy,” rationalism, deism, what Sheed calls “theometry” instead of theology: an abstract, formal theological geometry that only wants to define terms and win debating points. Instead, this book is a kind of theological midrash, a deepening, a spelunking in the caves of the deepest mysteries with the clear light of honest words–honest with heart as well as head. It unites dogmatic theology with lived religion. It is precisely the breath of fresh air that Pope John XXIII opened the windows for, and in terms the layman can clearly grasp. —– Peter Kreeft, Author, Because God is Real

IP#299 Dr. Rodney Stark – Bearing False Witness on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Dr. Rodney StarkOnce again, Dr. Rodney Stark, the author of the best-selling “The Rise of Christianity” brings clarity to history with his book “Bearing False Witness:  Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History“!  A professor of social science and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, Dr. Stark is a master of research and source analysis.  With his eagle’s eye, he assess the landscape of history and systematically debunks anti-Catholic “myths” one after another.  Whether he is untying the knot of the “Spanish Inquisition” or placing in proper perspective the motivation and actions of the Church in the various Crusades, he never fails to place before his readers an engaging presentation of the “truth”.  He remains one of our all-time favorite guests and authors…take a listen!

Bearing False WitnessYou can find the book here

Rodney Stark gives the last acceptable prejudice a sound thrashing and clears up a lot of confused history along the way. Give this fine book to anyone you know who’s been subjected to ‘social studies.’” —George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

“Growing up Catholic in the United States is to hear a constant stream of stuff that, one’s experience shows, is just not true. Still I have always trusted that some unbiased non-Catholic scholar would one day look at the evidence (even its simple logic) again. Little did I imagine that this expected dispassionate historian would be so deeply informed, lucid, thorough, and blunt. Rodney Stark has done justice to neglected historical truth, and I am deeply grateful for his steady toughmindedness. His aim was to honor the truth, so now it remains for historians to look again, face his challenges, and come refreshed to their own verdicts.” —Michael Novak, winner of the Templeton Prize (1994), author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

“A majestically argued, gorgeously written, and essential book by one of the truly indispensable minds of our time. Bearing False Witness is one more gift to history from Rodney Stark. It should in turn be given to and read by students and professors everywhere, whatever their beliefs.” —Mary Eberstadt, author of How the West Really Lost God and It’s Dangerous to Believe

IP#164 Fr. Robert Spitzer – Cosmic Origins on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

It is always a delight to talk with Fr. Robert Spitzer!  His sure brilliance, combined with his infectious joy and good humor, is so engaging that any topic he leads us on becomes an adventure.  With “Cosmic Origins”, a soon to be released DVD, Fr. Spitzer and a group of physicists and academic heavyweights exploring modern scientific theories about how the universe came to exist.   I would call this a “mathematical apologetic”, which is so beautifully points to the greater “purpose” of our creator, that I couldn’t help but smile through the entire presentation.  Stunning, wonderful…and so much fun!


To learn more about this film and how you can arrange screenings for your parish or group go here
Cosmic Origins explains what we know about the beginning and nature of the universe, as well as its transcendent implications in clear, easy-to-understand terms. The 49-minute film weaves together a compelling narrative from academics and credentialed scientists pointing toward a very Catholic understanding of how the universe came to exist.

Cosmic Origins is distributed by Ignatius Press.

IP#289 Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J. – The Souls Upward Yearning on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor pt 1

Fr.-Robert-Spitzer“The Souls Upward Yearning: : Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason (Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence)” has become one of my favorite books of all-time!  Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J. once again offers an incredible work that “feeds” not only the mind but also the heart.  As a matter of fact, the beauty of this book, on the transcendental nature of our souls, is that it begins with the experience of the heart and then moves us to the head (which is an important flip from how we typically travel the beginnings of the spiritual journey).

In part one of our conversation, we discuss how contemporary evidence indicates how we are built by God, invited by God, from the very beginning of our creation, to receive God.  Fr. Spitzer, in this particular episode, sites the work of Carl Jung (psychiatrist) and Mircea Eliade (historian of religion) along with many other experts in their fields to make the case for the beauty of the transcendent soul.

Now why is this topic so vitally important today?  Because the loss of transcendence is negatively affecting our entire society. It has robbed us of  our happiness, dignity, ideals, virtues, and a sense of our eternal destiny.  We were created for greater things and we must believe in that fundamental truth and we must help others to come to that understanding as well!  This is a classic work, in its truest sense, of Christian apologetics! Absolutely not to be missed!

Souls-Upward-YearningYou can find the book here

“Father Spitzer displays a broad range of arguments in favor of the reality and the compelling importance of the transcendent dimension of our existence on the basis of religious literature, our interior awareness of transcendent reality, the cosmic struggle between good and evil, metaphysics, our natural desire to experience perfect goodness, love and beauty, the evidence of near-death experiences, and contemporary science, especially astrophysics.”

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York


Take a listen to our episode we feature the first book in this great series:
Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J. – Finding True Happiness on Inside the Pages

IP#277 Steve Weidenkopf – The Glory of the Crusades on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

How can the Crusades be considered “glorious”?  That was the first question that popped up in my mind when I saw “The Glory of the Crusades” come across my desk.   Steve-WeidenkopfAs I found myself caught up in the history unfolding inside the pages of this incredible book, I found that author Steve Weidenkopf approached this subject in an incredibly balanced, engaging and thoughtful way.  By far one of the best books I have ever read on the subject.  Steve is a lecturer of Church History at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and the creator and author of Epic: A Journey through Church History, an adult faith-formation program on the 2,000-year history of the Church.  Meticulous researched (just check out the end notes), with little hint of any political agenda, Steve lets history stand on its own solid clear footing.  Thank you Catholic Answers for this outstanding book!

The-Glory-of-the-CrusadesYou can find the book here

The Glory of the Crusades is valuable not only as history but also as a scholarly debunking of centuries of Protestant and Enlightenment distortion of the facts about the West s struggles against militant Islam. –Rev. C. John McCloskey Research fellow, Faith and Reason Institute

This excellent book employs decades of scholarly research to show average readers what medieval historians have long known that popular culture s image of the Crusades has nothing at all to do with the events themselves. Catholics who cringe at the mention of the Crusades will find in this work a surprising and inspiring story of faith. –Thomas F. Madden Director, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University

IP#45 – John Salza – The Biblical Basis for Purgatory on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

I love talking with John Salza…tough doctrine and dogma that for most of us is difficult to explain, is just so easy for John.  And he shares his knowledge with all of us…what a gift!

John’s website is www.scripturecatholic.com

Check out John’s book here

From the book description:

In The Biblical Basis for Purgatory,  John  offers the definitive scriptural explanation of this distinctively Catholic doctrine. Building on the teachings of Christ and St. Paul, he shows how the existence of a place of temporal punishment after death is not only a logical extension of what we know about the reality of sin and God’s justice, but is also a supreme expression of God’s love and mercy. Although Purgatory is a place of mercy, its pains are real, and they are severe. This book does more than defend and explain Purgatory it provides a solid plan, drawn from the Church s perennial wisdom for conquering our sins by God s grace, while still on earth.

Faith Check 29 – Temporal Consequences for Sin

Temporal Consequences for Sin

Common sense tells us that our sins have consequences.  If after committing a sin, we confess, then God promises to forgive us.  Yet there can still remain what the Church calls a “temporal punishment,” or consequence, for our sin.

For instance, in 2 Samuel 12 after David confesses his sin of adultery, the prophet Nathaniel tells him that the Lord has forgiven him, but nevertheless he will suffer the death of his child as a consequence of his sin.1  Our relationship with God is a personal one and our sins are not just rule violations, but personal offenses that need to be mended.

We can fulfill the temporal punishments for our sins through sincere sorrow for our sins, prayers, sacrifices, and acts of charity.

But as part of the Body of Christ, we can also assist in coming to the aid of our brothers and sisters, both living and dead.  This is the basic principle of the Church’s practice of indulgences, and undoubtedly what St. Paul has in mind in Colossians 1:24 where he says, “I rejoice in my sufferings, and complete what is lacking in Christ’s affliction for the sake of his body, the Church.”  Or perhaps it’s put best in 1 Peter 4:8, which simply states, “love covers a multitude of sins.”

1 –  2 Sam. 12:13-14

IP#263 Trent Horn – Answering Atheism on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity” is a compassionately engaging and Trent-Hornintellectually-savvy response to the attacks on the existence of God.  Trent Horn is a welcomed fresh voice in the forum of Catholic apologetics.  Well-researched and thoughtfully presented, this book is a must have for all who wish to defend the faith, but it’s also for those who wish to know and grow in it as well.  In our conversation, we touch on many of the enter points for dialogue which we encounter everyday in discussions with family, friends, co-workers, and how to approach those times of engagement in a Christ-like manner.  A highly recommended book by Trent and, his publisher, the good folks at “Catholic Answers”.



You can find the book here

Answering Atheism gets high grades on the three R’s: It is readable, reasonable, and researched. Its defense of the cosmological argument has depth and detail, yet it is not so technical that you need to take a philosophy course to comprehend it. —Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy, Boston College

I’ve read many works of popular apologetics; this is the best! –Stephen Bullivant, editor, The Oxford Handbook of Atheism

Faith Check 26 – Sacramentals with Greg Youell

Faith Check/Greg Youell
Faith Check/Greg Youell


In the minds of non-Catholics, Catholicism often conjures images of Catholic stuff: candles, crucifixes, rosaries, statues, holy water, oils,
and the like.  These are called sacramentals—not to be confused with the seven sacraments, they are material items that the Lord uses as conduits of his blessing.
Because of our belief in sacramentals, Catholics have sometimes been accused of practicing magic.  But magic is the pagan or new age belief that an object has power in and of itself.  Sacramentals are the Christian belief that the living and true God uses His creation as instruments of grace and healing.

Sacramentals appear all throughout the Scriptures.  James speaks of anointing with oil.1 Acts of the Apostles tells us that Paul’s handkerchiefs brought healing power to those they touched.2In the Old Testament, Elisha’s bones were used to bring a dead man back to life.3

And of course the Gospels portray Our Lord himself often using water, mud or even his own spit to perform mighty works of healing and cleansing, a power which Jesus passed on to his priests to be continued to this day.4  Sacramentals are neither magic nor make believe, but powerful weapons to be utilized in our spiritual journeys.

1 –  Js. 5:14

2 –  Acts 19:11-12

3 –  2 Kgs. 13:21

4 –  cf. Mt. 10:7-8; Lk. 10:18-20; Jn. 20:21-23, etc.

RC#3 – The Case for Christianity – The Resilient Church w/ Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts

Episode 3 – The Case for Christianitymikeaquilina

The Resilient Church with Mike Aquilina, offers a fascinating look at the trials and triumphs of the Catholic Church over the past two thousand years. Fast-paced sketches of critical periods in church history give readers perspective on the challenges faced by the church today. Mike Aquilina does not shrink from the realities of the past, including badly behaved leaders and those who betrayed the Lord. Yet he also leaves us all with well-founded hope for the future: God remains faithful in every circumstance and fulfills his promise to remain with his church always.


Resilient-Church-1Pick up a copy of Mke’s book. You’ll find so much more and invaluable references and resoources, as well

Also visit Mike’s “Discerning Hearts” page for more audio downloads and information!

IP#256 Dr. Scott Hahn – Evangelizing Catholics on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Dr.-Scott-Hahn-1-What a delight to once again speak with Dr. Scott Hahn, especially about his exceptionally important book  Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization”. Who should have this book? Everyone!  Just the right mix for the adult Catholic to digest: part history book, part theology book, steeped in Scared Scripture, a sacramental feast,  anointed by the Holy Spirit…this work is just what the Church needs at this time.  If I had my way, every Catholic community would be passing out this book after mass even more eagerly than it does it’s parish bulletin! HIGHLY ENCOURAGED READING!

  Evangelizing-CatholicsYou can find the book here

You can’t keep the faith unless you give it away. That’s a fact. To be a Christian is to be an evangelizer. When the Catholic Church calls us to a “New Evangelization,” that’s  simply a reminder to us of what has always been true. The good news is: you can do it – you can evangelize – and Scott Hahn shows you how. In this this very practical “mission manual” Dr. Hahn equips you with: A guide to understanding what the New Evangelization is, and who it’s really for A roadmap that leads you to where it all happens (hint: it’s closer than you think) A simple, beautiful message to share – in words and actions You don’t need esoteric knowledge. You don’t need to master a new set of skills. Evangelization, for Catholics, is simply friendship raised up to the highest level. Enter a deeper friendship with Christ, and you’ll want to share his companionship more and more with a wider circle of friends.

IP#247 Devin Rose – The Protestant’s Dilemma on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Devin-RoseIn “The Protestant’s Dilemma: How the Reformation’s Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism”, author/apologist Devin Rose carefully reflects on various Protestant claims and carries them to their logical conclusion.  By incorporating, at times, his own intellectual journey from Protestantism to Catholicism, he simply presents a strong case for the authority of Catholic Church teaching.  The format of the book is excellent for apologetic study. Addressing the basics of the faith, as well as the particulars of Catholic Social Teaching, he gently, but meticulously offers a sound manual of instruction that should be in the library of every one of us called to the “New Evangelization”.


You can find the book here

From the book description:

What if Protestantism were true? What if the Reformers really were heroes, the Bible the sole rule of faith, and Christ s Church just an invisible collection of loosely united believers? As an Evangelical, Devin Rose used to believe all of it. Then one day the nagging questions began. He noticed things about Protestant belief and practice that didn t add up. He began following the logic of Protestant claims to places he never expected it to go -leading to conclusions no Christians would ever admit to holding. In The Protestant s Dilemma, Rose examines over thirty of those conclusions, showing with solid evidence, compelling reason, and gentle humor how the major tenets of Protestantism – if honestly pursued to their furthest extent – wind up in dead ends. The only escape? Catholic truth. Rose patiently unpacks each instance, and shows how Catholicism solves the Protestant s dilemma through the witness of Scripture, Christian history, and the authority with which Christ himself undeniably vested his Church. The Protestant s Dilemma is the perfect book for non-Catholics trying to work through their own nagging doubts, or for Catholics looking for a fresh way to deepen their understanding of the Faith

IP#243 Terry Barber – How to Share Your Faith with Anyone on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Terry Barber is a pioneer in the New Evangelization.  He is the founder of SaintTerry-Barber Joseph Communications, Inc., Lighthouse Catholic Media and is a co-host for Reasons for Faith Live with Jesse Romero on EWTN Radio Network. His book, “How to Share Your Faith with Anyone: A Practical Manual of Catholic Evangelization”, is an ideal resource for anyone who desires to share the Good News and become an effective evangelist for Christ.  Immensely practical, Terry’s work is an important addition to the apologetic lexicon.  Our conversation was a joy for me to be a part of.  It’s easy to see why Terry Barber is so great at what he does; his joy, found in his faith, is infectious and grace-filled.


You can find the book here

“Before it was fashionable to talk about the New Evangelization, Terry Barber was already doing it. His book is a practical manual written from decades in the trenches. After laying the foundation for what evangelism is and why Catholics need to evangelize, the veteran evangelist gives practical training and application to the troops. Soldiers of Christ, grab this book, arise and share your faith!” —Steve Ray. Host, The Footprints of God film series

“Terry Barber has long been one of the Church’s finest evangelists. His excellent book shows us how the new evangelization requires new apologetics – a new way to explain why the Church’s teachings are true and why Jesus is the answer to the deep desires of the human heart.” —Most Reverend Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles

IP#226 Al Kresta – Dangers to the Faith on Inside the Pages part 2

Here is part 2 of our discussion:

With a pastor’s heart and eagle-eye accuracy,  the gifted Al Kresta addresses “Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Al-KrestaOpponents” in his newest book published by Our Sunday Visitor.     The secular world has presented many twisted versions of the “Truth” over the years: from New Age thought to Isalm,  Scientism to Consumerism, Oprah and Shirley to Bart Erhman and Carl Sagan.  Al Kresta challenges the “opponents” of faith with Christ-like love and wisdom.  In the process, he teaches us all how to evangelize as a true disciple of Christ.  A must have work for all those who may have a seeking heart and a desire to grow in their faith and to share it with family, friends and all they may encounter. One of the best books offered in this Year of Faith….a modern classic that should be in every Catholic home!

Here is part 2 of our discussion:

Dangers-to-the-FaithYou can find the book here

Be sure to listen to “Kresta in the Afternoon” on the Ave Maria Radio Network

From the description:

Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents is the perfect springboard for discussing the new world in which the Catholic Church exists today. Learn how to better carry out the missionary mandate of the Church. The question isn’t whether you will be a witness to Christ, but whether you will be a faithful witness.

IP#182 Dr. Christopher Kaczor – The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church on Inside the Pages

“The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism”  by Dr. Christopher Kaczor is a Dr. Christopher Kaczor Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Churchmust have resource for Catholics!

The misconceptions about our faith are so prevalent in today’s society that is almost guaranteed that you will encounter at least one of these myths in daily conversations with friends, co-workers, and sadly to say, family members.  To have the peace of mind, in order to answer the objection, is invaluable, especially when we are called to the New Evangelization.  But even more than that, Dr. Kaczor helps us to give a reason for our hope…the presence of Jesus Christ and His saving grace and mercy found in our Roman Catholic faith.

Dr. Christopher Kaczor The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic ChurchYou can find the book here

The Seven Myths:

The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality
The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare
The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny
Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation
The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic “Homophobia”
The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There Is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman
Priestly Celibacy Caused the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia

“All of this book is full of clarity and charity, but two chapters are masterpieces, each worth ten times the price of the whole book. The chapter on contraception is the most simple, commonsensical, winsome and persuasive I have ever seen. It could have been written only by a very good and wise husband and father. The chapter on same-sex marriage has the clearest and the completest logic I have ever read on the subject.” —Peter Kreeft, Boston College

IP#161 Dr. Austen Ivereigh – How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice on Inside the Pages

I have read many fine Catholic Apologetic books over the years, but I have to say “How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice: Civil Responses to Catholic Hot Button Issues” is the BEST!  Dr. Austen Ivereigh, along with the Our Sunday Visitor Editor in Chief John Norton, have compiled the “must have” text for any and all Catholics who desire to respond to the call for the New Evangelization.  More than answers to just about any issue  that could come forward in a discussion about the Catholic Church and the faith we profess, their work encourages  us to respond with reason based on the fundamentals of Catholic Social Teaching and decorum befitting virtue driven discourse.  Once again, this is a MUST HAVE.  Check out Austen’s article in the OSV weekly entitled “How to Defend the Faith” for just a taste of what can be found in the book.

You can find the book here

From the book description (and it’s 100% accurate):

It is about winning friends, not arguments. It is about shedding light, not heat. It’s about reframing the argument so hearts can be opened and minds can be inspired. 

How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice is a new sort of apologetics. It is for those moments when you are thrust into the spotlight as the token Catholic whether the spotlight is simply at the office water cooler or whether it is front and center at the in-laws Thanksgiving celebration. How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice gives Catholics a fresh way of explaining the Church’s teaching on contentious issues humanly, compellingly, and succinctly.

But this book does not pretend to suggest it is as simple as memorizing a speech. Every conversation is different. Every day’s news cycle will bring new arguments and new challenges. Instead, it is a book about what the issues really are and where the criticisms are coming from so you can understand and communicate effectively. 

It is the fruit of a group of speakers and experts brought together by a single idea: to make sure that Catholics and the Church were represented properly in the media when Pope Benedict came to visit the UK in 2010. Their original and thoughtful approach helped make that visit a triumph and now it can be expanded for a much broader use.

Whether read in groups or alone, studied in schools or parishes, How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice offers the same thorough briefings on hot topics and the same top tips for effective communication which helped make the project such a success.


IP#153 Mark Brumley – YOUCAT on Inside the Pages

It’s great to be joined once again by Mark Brumley!  This time we discuss YOUCAT, an engaging a catechism designed for a youthful audience.  I say “youthful” because it appeals to seekers in all age groups.  Bright in design, filled with questions and answers, and thoughtful in its presentation of doctrine,  YOUCAT, on every page, brings the faith alive.  A fantastic resource for every home…a perfect gift for confirmation kids and adults alike.  Especially in the light of the challenges facing the Catholic faith in today’s world, we talk with Mark the need for this particular resource.

You can find out more here

What Pope Benedict XVI has to say about the YOUCAT project:

“Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Make a sacrifice of your time for it! Study it in the quiet of your room; read it with a friend; form study groups and networks; share with each other on the Internet. By all means continue to talk with each other about your faith.”

IP#122 Fr. Robert Spitzer – Ten Universal Principles on Inside the Pages

It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Robert Spitzer!  With his latest book , “Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues” he has brought solid philosophy that is easy to read and understand.  Not just for those who are interested in a prolife discussion, the “Ten Universal Principles” is perfect for anyone who wishes to grow in the use of faith and reason.  Fr. Spitzer addresses many questions including:  How do we make sense of life?  How should we treat others?  How should we reasonably be expected to be treated by others? When human life is at stake, are there reasonable principles we can rely on to guide our actions?  How should our laws be framed to protect human life? What kind of society should be built?

The Four Levels of Happiness described in the last section is worth it’s weight in gold.

The Four Levels of Happiness®

Happiness is the only goal that people pursue for its own sake, which makes it an ideal lens for explaining why people and organizations behave as they do. The Four Levels of Happiness model shows leaders how to elevate the powerful drive for happiness and direct it toward shared goals, strong ethics, and great performance. Click here for a full description of the Four Levels.



You find the book here

You can listen to more Fr. Spitzer as he discusses the “5 Pillars of the Spiritual Life” on the Inside the Pages interview #56

IP#105 J. Budziszewski – What We Can’t Not Know on Inside the Pages

What a fascinating subject: The Natural Law!  It’s made utterly exciting when talking with Prof. J. Budziszewski.  He is such a great thinker, and, what’s even better, he helps us to become better thinkers as well.  In “What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide“, Prof. Budziszewski makes the argument for the existence of absolute values of right and wrong  and that are embedded in the conscience of every human being.  And he uses the Ten Commandments as a spring board for various aspects of the discussion.  His book is highly readable and just as HIGHLY recommended!  I can’t wait for his next book.


Find out more here

IP#89 Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J. – Introduction to Christianity on Inside the Pages

“Introduction to Christianity” by Cardinal Joseph Ratizinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is a modern day classic! Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., founder of Ignatius Press and student of Pope Benedict, joins us to break open the gift of insight and wisdom contained in this inspirational work of our Holy Father.  As the Pope Benedict states in the preface in the 2nd edition of the book, that approach, taken in the book, puts the question of God and the question about Christ in the very center, which leads to a “narrative Christology” and demonstrates that the place for faith is in the Church.  It is an excellent edition to all Christian libraries and a must for anyone seeking a richer appreciation of the teachings of faith.  Pope Benedict uses the Old and New Testament, the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and generations of Saints, as well as the beauty of the Church’s Tradition to ponder the reality of Christ.  It’s beautiful!


For more information on this work as well as all the books by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), go to  www.ignatius.com

IP#80 Dr. Scott Hahn – Signs of Life on Inside the Pages

Dr. Scott Hahn has led so many into the heart of the Church through his great sharing of Holy Scripture. With “Signs of Scott Hahn Signs of LifeLife: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots” he takes us into the various “chambers of our home”, the Roman Catholic Church. He helps to understand the devotions, prayers, customs and many other spiritual practices which enrich our faith life. The book includes chapters including: the Sign of the Cross, the Mass, the Sacraments, praying with the saints, guardian angels, sacred images and relics, the celebration of Easter, Christmas, and other holidays, daily prayers, and much more. This work has helped me so much, and it’s the gift I give to anyone I know coming into full communion with Church. It’s fantastic!!!!

Be sure to visit Dr. Hahn’s website for the St. Paul Center of Biblical Theology at Scott Hahn Signs of Lifewww.salvationhistory.com

 Check out the book here

“Professor Hahn’s purpose is both devotional and apologetic.  In showing how Catholic popular piety is scripturally grounded, he explains practices that shape Catholic life and help us grow in grace.  This is a book that will be helpful to individuals and to the Church as a whole.” — Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago

“Lifelong Catholics realize that it usually takes a convert to help us appreciate and better understand the customs and practices we too often take for granted. Scott Hahn does just that in this immensely reable yet substantive loving look at Catholic prayer, devotions, and beliefs.” — Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York

IP#79 Fr. Dwight Longenecker – More Christianity on Inside the Pages

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Catholic priest and writer who has experienced an interesting journey of faith. Born into a Evanglical Christian family in Pennsylvania, graduate from fundamentalist Bob Jones University in Florida, and he would later become an Anglican priest serving as  a curate, a chaplain at Cambridge, and a country parson.  Then, in 1995, he and his wife and family were received into the Roman Catholic Church.  He spent the next ten years working as a freelance Catholic writer, contributing to over twenty-five magazines, papers and journals in Britain, Ireland and the USA.

Fr. Longenecker has expanded and revised his book “More Christianity:   where he invites the readers to move from “Mere Christianity” to “More Christianity” in the Roman Catholic faith.  Filled with every major aspect of our Catholic faith, Fr. Longenecker book serves, not only as resource to help Evangelicals to understand the Catholic faith, but also is excellent for Catholics who wish to deepen their own knowledge of the faith we profess.

Visit Fr. Longenecker’s blog “Standing on My Head” to learn more about this and other books, as well as so much more

IP#61 Mark Brumley – The Handbook of Catholic Apologetics on Inside the Pages

Mark Brumley is one of the masters of today’s Catholic apologetics, so if he recommends a book to help us convey the faith to others, we should take note! “The Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith” is a fantastic resource for any and all who wish to communicate the faith more clearly.  It’s also for those who desire to deepen and grow in their own understanding of Catholic faith.  Mark does a great job in this interview talking about some of those teachings, as well as, addressing today’s current issues.

Check out the book here!

IP#60 Paul Thigpen – Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions on Inside the Pages

Paul Thigpen is wonderful…he answers our questions about our faith not only from the head but also from the heart!  More than just a proof text book, “Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions” tackles a why range of issues and questions.

Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions provides solid answers to hundreds of common questions asked by people just like you questions both big and small regarding doctrine, history, morality, the pope, saints, the sacraments, the Mass, prayer, Scripture, and much more.

Be more confident in your faith. Allow the why to enhance the what you do as a Catholic. Make better decisions. Be more prepared to pass on your faith to others. Feed your curiosity. Author, theology professor, and Catholic apologist Paul Thigpen ensures the answers are not only rock-solid, but also pastoral in their approach and written in everyday, relevant language.

You can find this fine book here

IP#35 Gary Michuta – How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids on Inside the Pages

It was great to speak with Gary Michuta about his new book How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids. There’s a big difference between nuturing community faith sharing and destructive “sheep stealing” that occurs with “religious” proselytizing.  Each year, thousands of Catholics fall prey to the manipulative and deceptive recruiting practices of non-Catholic groups, sects, and cults. Gary’s new bookprovides parents with critical information about how these groups recruit and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your children.

visit Gary’s website www.handsonapologetics.com

IP#10 Mark Brumley – Ignatius Press and The Catholic Truth Society on Inside the Pages

Have you ever heard of  “The Catholic Truth Society”? Well thanks to Ignatius Press, you are about to.  In this edition of “Inside the Pages”, I talk with Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press and whois one of the leading Catholic apologists in the country (he’s also a really nice guy as well).  Ignatius Press is bringing the booklets, leaflets and tracks from the Society to America, and they’re fantastic.  The authors found on these booklets are enough to crow about, but the titles are so good…wow…beyond excellent.  You don’t want to miss them.  Take a look HERE! In this episode we talk the new evangelization, saints, history, apologetics…you name it.

Here are just some of the conversations Bruce and I have had with Mark Brumley in the past 

Mark Brumley Did Jesus Really Rise.mp3

Mark Brumley Handbook of Catholic Apologetics.mp3

Mark Brumley Jesus of Nazareth Study Guide.mp3

Mark Brumley Lost Gospels.mp3

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