Sunday, June 27, 2010

Book Review: Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions

I recently had the opportunity to review Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions.  The book is a collection of questions that Catholics may have on a variety of subjects.  The answers to the questions contained in this book are a collaborative effort between "the Catholic Answers Man," Paul Thigpen,  Fr. Ray Ryland and Fr. Francis Hoffman.  In the introduction to this book Paul Thigpen explains that the book is comprised of a collection of questions that have come from either in the bi-monthly publication The Catholic Answer (TCA)  or the online Q&A found on Our Sunday Visitor's site called TCA Question of the Day.  The questions that were selected for this book are those for which you may not easily be able to find an answer.   In short, don't expect to pick up this book and find answers to the most basic questions that you could ask.

My first glance at the table of contents had me both wondering who thinks to ask some of these questions while others struck me as being borderline basic, and some had me intrigued.  I read the book from cover to cover and worked through the eight sections of questions.  To give you an idea of the range this book covers, I think a list of the question categories is rather helpful.  The book is broken down into sections as follows:
1. Questions about Scripture
2. Questions about Church Teaching
3. Questions about the Sacraments and Liturgy
4. Questions about Our Lady, Saints, Angels, and Demons
5. Questions about Catholic Practices
6. Questions about Catholic History
7. Questions about Moral Issues
8. Questions about Apologetics

This book has some practical uses beyond answering a few questions that you may have about one aspect or another with regards to the Catholic faith.  As a catechist, I'm certain this book will be a handy tool to have in my bag while I'm teaching.  Occasionally a student will ask a question that is obscure and not easily answered.  It's very possible that this book will hold the answer to that out of the blue question.  In fact, I could have used this book back in February when a 7th grader asked me if Jesus was crucified with the nails through His hands or His wrists.  She had seen some of the same documentaries that I had watched and I told her that I needed to research the answer for her.  If I had this book with me when that question was asked I could have given her an almost immediate answer.  This book could be a great gift to give to those who convert to Catholicism, as well.  Many of the questions in this book were ones that I have actually had over the years since I converted. (This is probably why I found some of the questions to be borderline basic--I had already sought the answers to them in the past.)

Overall I think this book is a pretty good collection of questions and answers.  It was an enjoyable read and best of all I learned a few things along the way.   If you have questions about Catholicism this book may be what you need.

This review was written as part of the Catholic books Reviewer Program for The Catholic Company.  Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions.

I was provided with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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