Monday, May 14, 2007

33 Short Apologetics Papers For the Time-Challenged (I Assuredly Don't Write Only Tomes and Epics)

One of the myths spread about me by detractors and theological opponents (and even some fans of my writing complain about similar themes occasionally) is that I supposedly always write long, War and Peace-length tomes. The anti-Catholic apologists on the Internet and their parrot-like followers have a field day with this, and often use it as one of their 372 excuses to not reply to my arguments (which is fine by me, as it only helps my cause).

They have made such a deal of it, that I had to have recourse to humor (as I often do in response to absurdities) to offset the silliness, and so I did a satire of myself. Invariably, too (a further delicious and comical irony), when an anti-Catholic apologist accuses me of extreme length, he himself very often far surpasses my output in words, in particular instances of a discussion (as I again showed recently, regarding Bishop James White: he wound up writing almost exactly twice as much as I did, while making snide remarks about my own "verbal flood").

Now, it is certainly true that I do write at length, because I write whatever I feel is necessary to make the absolutely best case for my positions, and that requires, oftentimes, a lot of "ink" (especially in direct reply to contrary positions and arguments). I'm not ashamed of that at all, make no apologies for it, and have written a paper defending this approach. If someone doesn't care for it, that's fine, too, and some of my writing will not be for them. I never expected that I would please everybody, and it is unreasonable for anyone to think it is even possible to do so.

But a half-truth is as good as a lie (as the legal world understands very well; witness the oath when one testifies in court: "do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"). Though I can and do often write at length, it is also true that I have frequently specialized (in various contexts) in writing short, summary-type papers, or overviews, or brief treatments.

In fact, my upcoming book, The One-Minute Apologist, is precisely an instance of my doing that: two-page, standardized format treatments of objections to the Catholic faith (see several excerpts from the book). Nor is this the first time. At this very moment, The New Catholic Answer Bible (co-authored with Dr. Paul Thigpen) is a bestseller in the field. Our apologetic "inserts" for that work (originally I was the sole author -- in the first edition -- of 44 such inserts) are one-page treatments of apologetic and theological topics.

It doesn't even end there. I have also written a bestselling pamphlet for Our Sunday Visitor: Top Ten Questions Catholics Are Asked. And years ago I contributed to a series of "comic tracts", written in association with my good friend Dan Grajek, who did the art work. These are published by The Grotto Press. I am the primary or sole author of the text of five of the tracts:

The Cloud of Witnesses
The Resurrection: Hoax or History? (we did this one way back in 1985)
The Class Struggle (ditto)
Mary: Do Catholics Have a Biblical View? (see my original text)
Joe Hardhat, the Quintessential Catholic: On Justification (see my original text)

They have been endorsed by Karl Keating (This Rock, October 1993, p. 7 and February 1994), Fr. Peter Stravinskas (The Catholic Answer, March/April 1997, p. 27), Envoy (March/April 1997, pp. 17-18; "Friends in the Field," by Tracy Moran), and others. Fr. John A. Hardon (+ 2000) was formerly the senior editor and theological advisor, recommended the tracts on Mother Angelica Live (June 21, 1995), and had even shown them to Pope John Paul II. See an article on the tracts from Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, December 2001.

Moreover, there are many more such papers scattered throughout my approximately 1600 posts now online. I have collected 33 of them today for the purpose of a publisher possibly utilizing many or all of them for further short pamphlets. Nine are editor-deleted intended chapters for The One-Minute Apologist:

BIBLE AND TRADITION

Fictional Dialogue on Sola Scriptura ("Bible Alone")

The Three-Legged Stool of Catholic Christian Authority: a Brief Explanation

Does the Catholic Church Think it is Superior to the Bible, and its Creator?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

Has the Catholic Church Always Been the Enemy of the Bible?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

THE CHURCH

Bishops in the New Testament and the Early Church

Do Church Councils Possess a Higher Authority Than the Pope?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

Were the Church Fathers Closer to Protestantism Than to Catholicism?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

SALVATION AND JUSTIFICATION

Mortal vs. Venial Sin

Did the Council of Trent Teach That Man is Saved By His Own Works?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

Do Catholics Believe in Predestination?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

SACRAMENTS

Sacramentalism

Sacraments and the Moral Responsibility and Spiritual Benefits of Their Recipients
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

Necessity of Baptism for Salvation vs. Baptism of Desire?

THE EUCHARIST

A Fictional Dialogue on the Real Presence in the Eucharist

Biblical Overview: The Sacrifice of the Mass

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The Imitation of Mary

"All Have Sinned . . . " (Mary?)

Protestants and the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Why Catholics Believe in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

A Biblical and Theological Primer on Mary Mediatrix

COMMUNION OF SAINTS

Dead Saints: Are They Playing Harps on Clouds or Interceding for Us?

Witnesses of Hebrews 12:1

Intercession and Invocation of the Saints: How is it Different From Magic?

PURGATORY AND PENANCE

A Fictional Dialogue on Purgatory

Short Exposition on Purgatory

A Fictional Dialogue on Penance

DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE

An Introduction to Development of Doctrine
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

Development of Doctrine: A Corruption of Biblical Teaching?

Overview of Development of Doctrine

ORTHODOXY

Catholicism and Orthodoxy: A Comparison

PROTESTANTISM

Questions and Answers: Concerning Catholicism, Over Against Protestantism

Revised Fundamentalist Baptist Version (RFBV)

MORALITY

Does the Bible Condemn Homosexuality?
[originally intended for The One-Minute Apologist]

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