Ronald Knox was one of the most influential British convert-writers of the 20th century. Of his many works, The Belief of Catholics is his best-known book and his premiere piece of apologetics. While it deals extensively with Protestantism, its target is more the unchurched or lightly-church modern who, if he gives any thought at all to Catholicism, thinks it mildly foreigRonald Knox was one of the most influential British convert-writers of the 20th century. Of his many works, The Belief of Catholics is his best-known book and his premiere piece of apologetics. While it deals extensively with Protestantism, its target is more the unchurched or lightly-church modern who, if he gives any thought at all to Catholicism, thinks it mildly foreign.As Knox knew, it is not the most difficult part of modern apologetics to convince the devoted Protestant that he has much of Christian truth but now needs to move on to the rest, which is found only in the Catholic Church. The most difficult part is convincing the nominal Protestant (or nominal Catholic), the vaguely religious person, or the person without any religious inclinations that God really does exist, that His existence matters, and that only knowledge of Him and obedience to Him can lead to answers to the questions that haunt everyone.Knox discusses "the truths Catholics hold," "the rules Catholics acknowledge," "the strength Catholics receive," and "the ambitions Catholics honour." These truths, rules, strengths, and ambitions were attractive to the book's first readers. They were answers to the ever-present "Why?." These answers will prove equally attractive to today's readers who, after so many decades of failed isms, yearn for understanding and commitment even more than did their grandparents' generation....
|Title||:||The Belief of Catholics|
|Number of Pages||:||221 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Belief of Catholics Reviews
The Belief of Catholics is designed for the lay person. Its goals are similar to those of C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity': To offer the non-religious or (in this case) the lay protestant an introduction to the faith. It does this well and outlines why Roman Catholicism is attractive, what Roman Catholics believe and the relationship between Roman Catholics and those who are not Roman Catholic. Overall it's an accessible book. However, it really reflects the pre-Vatican II attitude of the Church and is not always fair to those Christians who are not Roman Catholic.I really liked Knox's style of writing. Each chapter is about 10 pages and written in a way that you don't need a university degree to appreciate. He reasons clearly, and, if you accept his premises, provides a convincing defense of the faith. The book touches on those doctrines particular to Roman Catholicism like the Assumption of the Theotokos and Transubstantiation but the bulk of the apolegetics are dedicated to convincing someone of something like a 'mere Christianity'.Despite this, I didn't think Knox was really fair to Eastern Orthodox Christians. What is said about them is contained in about a paragraph of one chapter and amounts to "they're wrong because they decided to leave." If Knox had any knowledge of the history of the schism and the complex theological debate between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism he did not let on in this particular book. Knox, perhaps consistent with the England of his time, also places a stronger emphasis on Roman Catholicism being correct to the exclusion of other Christian groups rather than just asserting its correctness. He feels compelled to spend a lot of time writing off Protestantism when he could make his point without being so 'us and them' about it. Many readers won't mind this, but I think inter-Christian apolegetics between groups which affirm the Creeds is best left to the spiritually mature and not the lay person. We should focus on convincing people of the Creeds first and then move to inter-Christian apolegetics. I don't know how useful it is to feature these sorts of arguments in a book designed for a non-Christian interested in learning about the Faith.The Belief of Catholics is worth reading and it won't take you long. However, I would recommend Lewis' 'Mere Christianity' as a better starting point for a layperson interested in apolegetics.
Simply a joy to read.
This book solidified my faith in the teachings of Christ through the Roman Catholic Church. Highly recommended.
Been reading this aloud with my peops and admiring the style of Knox's discriminating and uncompromising mind. Because Knox, was already an Anglican priest before converting, the book is written in the cadences and rhythms of the pulpit with very accessible explanations. Each essay is lightly salted with little gems of erudition, forgotten french sayings of his generation (like 'demarches') and rarely used philosophical terms (like velleity) that make the book feel like a conversation. I would compare this book's approach to CS Lewis' Mere Christianity, in which the author begins at the outermost corollaries of deism and delves all the way into Christianity and finally into the deep end of the Catholic pool. Where Knox and Lewis differ is the temperament they are writing for. Lewis was writing for people who had never wondered about where they came from or if there was a God (people who would read The Purpose Driven Life today). Knox is writing for the cynics of his time (the people who talked about 'demarches'). Knox acknowledges all the prejudices of his audience (his own maybe at one time?) and addresses these ideas from that skeptical frame of mind. In the Shop Window, he talks about and to open minded persons who often look in at Christianity admiringly as if through a Shop Window and attempts to encourage them to move past their particular objections and look at the big picture. His amusing English 'sham detector' is on high in many chapters where he mocks 'cultivated personal holiness' he senses in his own background and the 'shopkeeper' attitude of Catholic priests. In the deep end of the pool/book, Knox talks about more subtle qualities particular to Catholicism. In a chapter about what Catholics honor, Knox spends a little time talking about asceticism and mysticism. He theorizes that these expressions of 'excess' piety help to give expression and honor to the 'devot' without challenging the cohesiveness of the church. I had to bristle at him calling John of the Cross, a schoolboy (his own assessment?). I am sure he is partly right about piety serving that purpose, but in the deep end of the pool the pool shore becomes a vague memory and there is only the stroke.
This book came out in 1927; already the author clearly perceived the changes in the faith, and the changes in the culture. Knox was so mortified by the then-new fad of contraception (even contraception within marriage) he didn't even name it; referring instead to shrinking family sizes and national suicide. Knox may be surprised at the low state we have reached today.All that aside, this small book is a little gem of clear thinking and beautiful writing. He closes with classic advice on how to live our lives as faithful people in a bad world: "Catholics devote themselves, rather, to the business of their own souls, and to influencing, in whatever modest way may be practicable, the lives of those around them, secure of inviolable principles and a hope which cannot fade."
Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 16, as one of Eleven Books on Prayer, Belief, and Reflection.Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 19, as one of Sixteen Books on Belief and Disbelief.Listed by Patrick Madrid in the Reading Plan of Search and Rescue in Phase 1 (Preliminary). ("shows clearly the contrasts between Catholicism and Protestantism")
This is not a good starter book if you have never read Knox. My suggestion for that would be "the Creed in Slow Motion". Amazing book. Knox is solid and when you consider that this book was published in 1927 he was ahead of his time.