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Why Be Catholic?: Ten Answers to a Very Important Question Hardcover – 3 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Image (3 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307986438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307986436
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.2 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 774,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little book helped me come back to the catholic church and I recomend it to anyone who are thinking of returning to the faith.
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Great book,great service.
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Amazon.com: 38 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Guide for Introducing or Reviewing the Power of the Catholic Church 4 Jun. 2014
By shelfishness - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Patrick Madrid has done it again. With his personable approach and insightful writing, Madrid thoroughly examines the Catholic church and why it is so exciting to be a Catholic now. With detailed examples, anecdotes, and a truthful examination of the good and bad of this faithful institution, Madrid celebrates the Catholic tradition. By looking at the sacraments, mass, the Eucharist, Mary, the role of the pope, and the importance of Saints, this book not only is a great spiritual affirmation for anyone who is currently Catholic, but a great book for those who are interested in the Catholic church or are taking confirmation or RCIA courses. Madrid's honesty is inspiring and his knowledge of the Catholic faith tradition is compelling. This book is quite simply a one-stop guide for anyone who has ever asked "Why Be Catholic?"
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Why Be Catholic? 5 Jun. 2014
By Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I well readily admit that I don't usually go out of my way to read apologetic type books. While it's not that they aren't interesting and worthy of being read, it's the whole feeling like the author is yelling that turns me off and looses any chance of me following what they're trying to say. So, while I was extremely excited to read Why Be Catholic? by Patrick Madrid, I had no idea what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by the way he was able to convey his thoughts on the most commonly misunderstood subjects within the Catholic Church.

As many Catholics I know have mentioned, while I've never had this problem myself, there are those of other denominations that have misunderstood the teachings of the Catholic Church and been turned off by what they either don't understand or were taught falsely about our doctrines. So, with all the anti-Catholic vibes that one gets from watching the media you can understand why I wanted to delve into Patrick Madrid's latest and to see how he would would explain things to either a non-Catholic or to a Catholic who was not properly catechized.
That being said, I found myself quite taken with how he was able to deftly and cohesively talk about not just Church doctrines, the what's and why's on the beliefs of the Catholic Church, but also how he dealt with some of what has in the past couple of years 'rocked' the Church. The chapter that probably was the most interesting to me would be the first one, not to say that they weren't all interesting, because it took a hard look at the sexual abuse scandals that have been coming to light in recent years.

While the first chapter was interesting and left much room for thought, I found the rest of the book to be quite interesting as Patrick Madrid did an excellent job debunking some perceived myths about the church. So, while each chapter focused on one of the ten hottest contested church doctrines, I enjoyed how the author slipped in little stories about his youth and how a few encounters helped to solidify his faith.


I just thought the book did a good job of touching on the sensitive subjects that are prevalent when one is talking about the Church founded by Jesus; I also enjoyed seeing the way you can through historical documents, be it the Bible or the writings of the Early Church Fathers, you could easily see that yes this is the one Church that was founded by Jesus and that if you really start looking and digging deep into the available resources you can trace the line of succession all the way back to that of the Apostles.

We Patrick Madrid answers the question, one of many times, Why Be Catholic? I cannot help but feel that this section in the book sums it up quite nicely.

The way I figure it, I should trust the Lord's promises and stand squarely on that rock, not to the left of it or to the right of it, not in front or behind it, but on it. If I am with the pope, I know I am with Christ, And if I am with Christ, come hell or high water, I will not be swept away by whatever the storm might throw. pg. 107

In the end, I found Why Be Catholic? to be enjoyable because he explains things so well and makes you want to take a more in depth look at things yourself and broaden your mind with the knowledge that can be found in numerous books written by the saints of the Church. My final, final thoughts on this book are that Patrick Madrid did an excellent job dispelling some of the most popular angles of the Catholic Church that are misunderstood, but what really makes his answers, other than my familiarity with the teachings regarding said topics, interesting is that when questioned he went out to find the answer. He didn't just spout what he had been taught, he questioned and looked for the answers. And, that he added in his own dealings with those who would argue that that Catholic Church was wrong was both interesting and refreshing because you saw that he a) questioned and found answers that proved the truth and b) that what he found further cemented his beliefs.

The only thing that I wished were covered in the book would have to be immigration. I would have liked to see what he would say about where the Church stands on immigration because there are so many Catholics that would benefit from knowing what is taught in regards to them. It would have definitely been nice to see it included in the chapter on the works that the church does. So, really the only thing I would change about this book would be the inclusion of that.

Final Verdict: Why Be Catholic?- A fascinating read for those looking for better answers on how to defend the faith; and for those unsure of why we believe what we do.

This book was received in exchange for an honest review.

This review is taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
No apologies! 6 Aug. 2014
By saj - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Patrick Madrid is well known as a Catholic apologist--that is, one who presents the reasonableness of the faith, especially in response to challenges. Every adult Catholic, I am sure, has heard the usual challenges: our faith is not biblical; we worship Mary or statues; we "multiply prayers" in outright contradiction to the command of the Gospel "do not multiply your words when praying. Now, of course, we are hearing new challenges, some of them quite absurd: Catholicism is "anti-intellectual"; Catholic moral teachings do not take practical realities into account; Catholicism is incompatible with the findings of science...

Assumptions like these can be common currency in our day (especially the newer ones can be almost taken for granted, even by Catholics!). This makes a book like "Why Be Catholic?" helpful not only for the sincere seeker, but for the earnest, but uncertain Catholic who doesn't really "have an answer to those who ask the reason for your hope" (cf 1 Pet 3:15)--and hopes that an answer is out there.

"Why Be Catholic?" is eminently readable. Madrid is not just an apologist, he is a storyteller (the best kind of apologist!). In responding to the typical Protestant objections or challenges to Catholicism, he hearkens back to his teen years when the object of his affections was from so fundamentalist a background, her Dad had those ridiculous "Chick" pamphlets ready at hand. (Madrid got an early start responding to misconstrues of the faith!)

Madrid looks at ten basic areas, starting with the most difficult of them all: the sin that is so manifestly present and active among us, most horribly in the clergy sex abuse scandals. Looking through the Old and New Testaments, and especially the Gospel parable of the weeds among the wheat, Madrid points out that "Scandals are part of the life of the Church not because of its teachings and customs, but because individual Catholics choose to reject and ignore those teachings." He doesn't leave it there, though, on the purely intellectual level of cause and effect. Madrid challenges the reader to face his or her own temptations to lukewarmness and compromise. He affirms the role of conscience, and the deep connection between freedom and truth. He will continue to do this through the next nine chapters: offering a solid, intellectually and historically grounded presentation of some little-understood dimension of Catholic teaching or practice, and then inviting the reader to conform his or her life to the values that teaching reveals.

"Why Be Catholic?" looks at sin and at history, at the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Confession, which each get a chapter), at the Papacy, Mary and the Saints, about "good works" (especially care for the poor and the fostering of education), and the connection of faith, reason and happiness.

It was the final chapter that I found the weakest. I believe that Madrid here attempted to do too much, or just didn't have the heart to edit out some favorite phrases or appeals. A distinct and focused chapter on faith, reason and virtue would have been fine, with an epilogue delivering the final exhortation. Instead, it was all kind of loosely lumped together. When I turned the page and realized that there was no "summation" or final punch, I felt let down.

On the whole, however, "Why Be Catholic?" is a helpful book--and not only for the non-Catholic who is "tempted" to test the waters of Catholicism. The wavering Catholic who is willing to reflect with Madrid will also find a great deal of support, perhaps filling in the blanks of an inadequate religious education (or one that stopped at Confirmation!).
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One Questions, Ten Answers, Eternity at Stake 9 Jun. 2014
By mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Though I first knew Madrid as an editor, blogger and speaker, he has a number of books, primarily apologetic in nature, to his credit. While this one is also apologetic in it ultimately defends the reasons he gives, it also is reminiscent of his personal touch as a speaker since the reasons he gives, while technical, are also personal. This book, more than some of his other “reasons” books, that to come mind, tells a story along with the helpful information for the burgeoning apologetic, making it an effective or not only apologetics, but also evangelization.
Like most defenders of the Catholic faith, Madrid is not out to win arguments, but souls. It is the soul Madrid speaks to here, though he may travel through the mind first. In reasing, I’m reminded of hearing a speaker at a conference who not only presents the evidence and lets it stand on its ow, but seeks to persuade or reengage his hearers. In an interview, he said the book was about helping Catholics “understand” and “appreciate” the Faith. This “pearl of great price” many of us have taken for granted out of perceived familiarity and/or repetition. Sometimes the same reasons we all knew were there just need to be re-presented in an accessible, personal, and enthusiastic way, something “Why Be Catholic,” and Madrid succeeds in doing.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Agree and Disagree but glad I read it. 28 Jun. 2014
By Barbara Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I have had very mixed emotions reading this book. When I was a junior in high school, I was baptized into the Catholic Church but was never confirmed. Years later, I was baptized in the Baptist Church. I am currently attending a Baptist Church. I have read and studied the Bible much more now than I had when I was in high school. That’s not to say that I am any kind of expert in any way. I say all that to say that I found much in this book that I agree with and some things that I don’t. The areas where I disagree will provide much fodder for my further investigation and research.

One thing the author says is that the Catholic Church has the “answer to all of life’s most urgent problems and challenges”. “The Catholic Church’s answers to the myriad of life’s problems we all must face in some form or another is simply The Gospel of Jesus Christ”. The author goes on to address the scandals in the Catholic Church over the years (some even involving Popes) and the more recent scandals of child abuse in the Catholic Church. The answer he gives, and I will summarize in my own words, is as follows: most of these individuals have never truly been “born again” and those who have are leading “fleshly” lives. I will add that there are individuals in every church who fit that description. There are often news articles of priests, pastors, deacons, church treasurers, etc. who are exposed as crooks, charlatans, and perverts. These facts do not negate the gospel message. It just means that the “tares” have grown with the “wheat” and have often achieved leadership positions. Very few churches expel unrepentant sinner/members any more for any reason. Maybe they should. Can a church truly be a “church” and tolerate open sin within the church? How is it then different than the secular world and serve as a guide to a Holy God?

The author says “scandal, like the vices that spawn it, can only be combated by virtue. For example, to root out the sin of lust, cultivate its opposing virtue: chastity. To eradicate pride, cultivate: humility; anger must be balanced by patience. The single greatest danger to the Christian life, the enemy of grace, is not the devil or his temptations; it’s not the world or the flesh; it is complacency, what the Bible call “lukewarmness”.

Some places where I have disagreement with the author are: he says it had rained on earth before Noah’s flood and the Bible seems to indicate to me that it did not rain on earth before the flood. I also have some issues/questions about the Catholic view of Mary, the sacraments, and the author seems to say in some places that the “church” did/does the work of salvation which I thought Jesus accomplished alone.

As I said, there is a lot I agree with in this book. There are also some issues that need further investigation. It could be that the author meant to convey a thought one way and I interpreted it another way. I do recommend this book and plan to read/study/research it again. If you have any interest in learning about the Catholic Church, this is a book you should read.

I was provided a free copy of this book for review from Crown Publishing and Net Gallery. I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.
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