Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
Reasons to Believe:
How to Understand, Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith
by Scott Hahn
Darton, Longman & Todd
In this book, the Catholic apologist Scott Hahn shows us why Catholics believe what we do and how we should share our faith with others. The book is divided in three parts.
The first part is an overview of the arguments for the Christian faith. It looks at the common arguments in favour of God's existence, including the famous arguments put forward by Thomas Aquinas and it also covers Kant's moral argument and Pascal's wager for the existence of God. It looks at objective morality as well as faith and reason. Following Popes John Paul and Benedict, he discusses how faith and reason are in harmony with each other. Faith without reason falls into the error of fundamentalism. Reason without faith falls into an empty rationalism. However, reason takes us so far and no further. Hahn quotes Aquinas as saying that we cannot prove the truths of faith by means of reason alone.
The second section examines specific Catholic teachings including the veneration of saints and Our Lady, the papacy and Holy Mass.
The third section looks at the covenant between God and King David and how this is fulfilled in the works and person of Jesus Christ. The prophecies about the kingdom have been fulfilled in his person. This section proved to be particularly interesting.
This is a fine work by a great Catholic apologist. Hahn quotes 1 Peter 3:15 to remind us that we ought to be ready to give a defence of our hope, and to do so with gentleness.