So…yes, I’ve written some of those, too.
This series had its beginning ages ago – 1999 or so – when I hadn’t written any books, but had been column-writing (for the Florida Catholic , then CNS, then OSV) for many years. So I was known to OSV. They had commissioned an apologetics book for teens from another author who had, indeed, delivered, but it wasn’t what they wanted at all. (I never saw that original manuscript, so I can’t comment on that). So yes, they knew me, they knew I was a Catholic high school teacher and knew that my CNS columns were for youth. So they asked me to take a shot at it, and I gladly agreed – finally able to put down into print the material I had been teaching anyway.
(For you see, at the time, apologetics simply was not a part of any Catholic high school theology curriculum. Things have changed since then, but in 1999, we were still at the tail end of Pretty Bad. So you had to supplement – substantially.)
And there you have it:
I Don’t Believe in God Because….
- …No One Can Prove He Exists
- …Science Shows That the Universe Exists Without a God
- …People Could Have Just Made the Stuff in the Bible up
- …It’s So Difficult to Find Him
- …People Have So Many Different Ideas About Him
- …There are So Many Hypocrites in Churches
- …People Do Such Horrible Things in the Name of Religion
- …It’s What I Believe and I Don’t Need Anyone Else to Tell Me What to Believe!
- …I Want to Be Free to Be Myself
- …I Don’t Need Him
- …Innocent People Suffer
- What Church Do You Go To?
- Why Isn’t Your Church a ‘Bible Only’ Church?
- Why Don’t You Read the Bible Literally?
- Why Aren’t Some of Your Beliefs in the Bible?
- Why Doesn’t Your Church Let You Interpret Scripture?
- Why Has Your Church Added Books to the Bible?
- Why Were You Baptized as a Baby?
- Why Aren’t You Saved?
- Why Does Your Church Say You’re Saved by Works, Not by Faith?
- Why Do You Pray to Saints?
- Why Do You Honor Mary So Much?
- Why Does Your Church Have Statues?
- Why Do you Believe That the Pope is Infallible?
- Why Do You Confess to a Priest?
- Why Do You Call Priests, “Father?”
- Why Do You Believe In Purgatory?
I’ve Always Wondered….
- …Is What the Gospels Say About Jesus True?
- …What Are the Basic Facts About Jesus?
- …What Did Jesus Really Teach?
- …Did Jesus Really Perform Miracles?
- …Why Was Jesus Executed?
- …Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?
- …When Is Jesus Going to Come Again?
- …Was Jesus Really God?
- …How Could Jesus Be Both God and Human?
- …Why Did Jesus Come at All, and What Does It Mean for Me Today?
- …God’s In My Heart All the Time
- …God Already Knows Everything I Feel: I Don’t Have to Tell Him
- …God’s In Control: My Prayer Doesn’t Influence Him
Section II I Want to Pray, But It’s Difficult Because…
- …I’m Too Busy
- …I Don’t Know Where to Start
- …Meditation is Weird
- …I Can’t Concentrate
- …The Bible is Too Hard to Read
- …Memorized Prayers Are Meaningless
- …I don’t Know Whether It’s God I’m Hearing, or Just Me
The final book in the series isn’t apologetics, but a guide to discipleship. How can a teen live joyfully and faithfully? What does it mean to do that? What’s right and what’s wrong? What’s my life for?
- Who Am I
- Sure, I Want to Be a Good Person, But…How?
- What’s Jesus Got To Do With It?
- It Was Only a Little Lie. So?
- I’ve Got All The Time In The World…Don’t I?
- Love Who? Everyone? Really?
- It’s My Body. All Mine.
- How Far Can I Go?
- Whose Life Is Worth Living?
- It’s A Big World With Too Many Problems. Can’t I Just Live My Life?
- “Be Not Afraid”
I know that you as young people have great aspirations, that you want to pledge yourselves to build a better world . Let others see this, let the world see it, since this is exactly the witness that the world expects from the disciples of Jesus Christ; in this way, and through your love above all, the world will be able to discover the star that we follow as believers. – Pope Benedict XVI, homily, World Youth Day, Cologne, Germany, 8/21/2005
Here. Now. A Catholic Guide to the Good Life was written for young adults. In it, I’m trying to help young adults see how the needs and desires and yearnings they experience are answered in Christ, and that Christ is found in His Church. I wrote it after, in the space of a week, visiting my two young adult sons and then spending time at the enormous Christian Booksellers’ Association trade show, then pondering the myriad of resources and energies that evangelical Christians dedicate to young adults and comparing that to what Catholic resources and support are out there.
So I wrote this book. “Good” has a double meaning. It means a life that’s experienced as good – as joyful and peace-filled. It also means a life that is, well, good , as in virtuous. The latter leading to the former, of course. It’s also a shout-out to Augustine, of De Beata Vita fame. And a few other things.