I thought that after 19 years of Catholic education, seven of those years being in the seminary, I knew all about Catholic teaching. And while I knew all the doctrines presented in the book, the art of apologetics is often not taught specifically in Catholic institutions. This book lays out the foundation for Catholic doctrines as they are challenged by Protestants and atheists, and explains the belief structure and content of certain other Faiths.

If the Catholic Answers’ Essential Catholic Survival Guide is not essential, it is very close to it. Catholics today who hope to remain true to their Faith and to survive in today’s culture must know how to respond to attacks on the Faith and the Church.

1001048This book is accessible to Catholics of all backgrounds and education levels. It is grouped into larger doctrinal areas with specific questions listed under each area. So, under the chapter Adam, Eve, and Evolution, one can find the questions “What is the Catholic position on evolution?”, “What are the different ways of reading the creation story in Genesis?”, “Were the six days of creation typical twenty-four-hour days?”, “Were Adam and Eve real people, or do they represent a group of early people?”, and “Aren’t science and theology incompatible?”

The topics covered by each chapter are wide-ranging and cover all the main areas of contention between Catholics and non-Catholics. Interspersed throughout the book are stories about how Catholics have presented this information to challengers and the responses that come. It is not a “How to” book by any means, but the stories provide a bit of context about how these debates and discussions often arise.

Even those with theology degrees or those who are cradle Catholics will benefit from this book. We are often the people who need this kind of book the most because although we may understand the faith, we may not be good at explaining it to others. This book helps bridge that all-important gap from being knowledgeable about the subject to being able to teach someone else about the subject.

The book can be read cover-to-cover or in short parts when you are presented with a particular issue. The sections are short and easily digestible, making the book a great reference book for the whole family.

This book is perfect for Confirmation gifts or graduation gifts and will give the reader a confidence in the Faith that he may have not had before. I highly recommend the book.

(This review is part of the Catholic Book Reviewer Program of The Catholic Company. For more information on this book and other wonderful Catholic gifts and products, visit the Catholic Company.)


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