Handbook of Christian Apologetics

To anyone who has read this book: What do you think about it? And, I wanted to give it to someone who is in 9th grade and has some questions about faith, God, and other similar questions but now I’m worried it will confuse more and may cause this person to have more questions. Would you recommend this book to someone of this age or do you think it would be too confusing (with some of the philosophical arguments)? And if not, what other books would you recommend to someone in early years of high school?

I bought this accidentally when I meant to buy Handbook of Catholic Apologetics (though they are both fine Catholics). I stopped reading it in favor of Reasons to Believe by Scott Hahn. I think Reasons would be more appropriate for your 9th grader who is having questions.

I too have Handbook of --Catholic-- Apologetics and while it is a fine book, the vast majority of it is definitely at too high a level for a 9th grader. It is more at a college level, at least. It would be a good book though for a college educated adult with specific, well articulated doubts or concerns.

I have not read Hahn’s book but he has a stellar reputation as an apologist. I would suspect that recommendation is a good one.

The one age-appropriate book I have read and can plug for is “A Well-Built Faith” by Joe Paprocki (Loyola Press), although it is less designed for someone questioning and rather for a good broad but simple overview of all facets of Catholic life. It is structured in four sections, roughly mirroring the Catechism, although it goes into liturgical etc. issues too.

It’s a magnificent book. I highly recommend it.

As a person who studied some philosophy in college, I have to say that philosophically speaking, though it may seem complicated it’s actually very introductory - which is a good thing, and Kreeft himself insists that this is the case at the beginning of the book. So I do think it would be appropriate for a ninth-grader.

Now, that said, when I first encountered the book when I was in middle school, I thought it was incredibly deep and complicated. I didn’t discover until college how basic it actually is. What I’m suggesting here is that Kreeft does a remarkable job of striking a fine balance between readability and weighty content.

It is true that a ninth-grader might find it a bit cumbersome. But if this ninth-grader is reasonably intelligent and inquisitive, then it’s perfect for him or her, in my opinion. Otherwise, it’s best left for the late high school years.

The Handbook of Catholic Apologetics is actually basically the same book by the same authors; it just includes an additional section in defense of the Catholic Church’s teachings specifically. Kreeft’s original Handbook of Christian Apologetics lacks that last section on Catholic teachings.

I agree with Fone Bone. :slight_smile:

I would add for the OP, though, that if you do feel the book might be too weighty for this particular 9th grader (it is a thicker book), you might opt for some of Kreeft’s thinner, more basic books like Making Choices: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions or Yes or No?: Straight Answers to Tough Questions about Christianity. Kreeft is a master of taking the complex and making it strikingly simple. Great stuff.

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