BOOK REVIEW: Michael Coren – HERESY

A while back I posted about a book by Michael Coren called Why Catholics Are Right, [Kindle HERE] an apologetics tool that provide readers with answers and responses to some questions and controversies which we hear in the news and conversations (e.g., anti-Catholic chestnuts, saws, canards, clichés).

He has a new book called HERESY: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity. [Kindle HERE.  UK Kindle HERE and hardback HERE.]

I am about a third of the way into it and wanted to bring it to your attention.

One thing I noticed about this volume is that it lack an index (the first book didn’t have one either).  I think that is a mistake.  Perhaps some authors or publishers think an index makes a book look scary or too scholarly.  An index is useful (something I hope that Ignatius Press will figure out too – many of their great books are weakened by the lack of an index).  When you want to find something, you can find it.   Otherwise, when I read these indices-challenged books, I read with a pen and make lots of margin notes and create a sort of running index in the back.  That said, there are end notes and a bibliography.

I recommended Coren’s first book to a priest friend of mine who was engaged in some catechesis and apologetics with some people.  He found it very useful.

After an Introduction, here are the titles in the Table of Contents:

  • There Is No God, Bad Things Happen To Good People, and So On
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • All the Clever People Are Atheists. Or, Christians Are Stupid
  • Hitler Was a Christian
  • Christians and Christianity Supported Slavery
  • Christians Are Opposed To Science
  • Christians Oppose Progress and Change
  • Christians Are Obsessed with Abortion
  • What Else Can We Throw at Christians?

Coren’s style is straight forward and you don’t have to have an advanced degree to follow him.  You could use this book to prepare yourselves for conversations, to answer questions and doubts you might have, or you could put it into the hands of someone who has brought up some objections.

Since Coren digs with pointed tool into some topics, such as homosexuality, this is a good tool for adults rather than for kids.

Catholics need to know their Faith so that we can fulfill what we are asked to be and do in Scripture. “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)  When we have the right perspective and answers to objections, we aren’t as likely to be angry, frustrated or impatient in dealing with others during conversations.

We need to be knowledgeable, articulate and charitable in the presentation of and defense of the Faith.

Finally, I picked up from the blog Etheldreda’s Place (by one of our frequent commentators here), that the author Coren was interviewed on EWTN.  I am posting the video below.  Coren is one of three people interviewed.   I would also like to point out that an old acquaintance of mine is also interviewed: Andreas Widmer – a former Swiss Guard and author of The Pope and the CEO (about what he learned about leadership from his many years near John Paul II).

The Coren section starts at about 8:30.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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17 Responses to BOOK REVIEW: Michael Coren – HERESY

  1. Timothy Mulligan says:

    Judging from the contents, Heresy is not a good title for this book. It seems to be more about attacks from without than from within.

    [I look forward to seeing your book!]

  2. Ingatius says:

    Interesting! Books like this are an invaluable resource for ordinary Catholics in the pew to prepare themselves against whatever might be thrown at them in their daily lives, with regards hostility towards and/or ignorance of the Church and Her teachings.

  3. dans0622 says:

    I heard an interview with this author on “the Sonrise morning show” this morning, coincidentally.

  4. Joan M says:

    I see “Heresy” is available in Kindle, but not “Why Catholics are right”.

  5. BillyHW says:

    Indexes? How stone age. Word search on an electronic copy is a million times better.

    And Coren comes on around 33:30.

  6. TC says:

    YES, indexes as in printed books, by far the best technology for presenting and preserving knowledge.
    AND paper books can be passed on to friends, donated, sold/traded in for more at used bookshops. Try doing that with your kindle/epub.

    Of course, a Kindle/nook/whatever comes in handy if one’s wife thinks decluttering = getting rid of “all those books” and taking advantage of all the great free stuff out there.

  7. Don’t forget that you can lend many Kindle books to other Kindle users!

    CLICK HERE and get a Kindle!

  8. Johnno says:

    I missed a talk by Coren to a Church in Toronto because I was working in Vancouver. Now I’m missing a talk by Michael Voris because once again I’ll be working… it’s not fair… : (

    Michael Coren is great! I highly recommend his show!

  9. Mary-Kathleen says:

    @Joan M: I see a Kindle version of Why Catholics Are Right. Check again.

    [Kindle version HERE.]

  10. chonak says:

    For readers who’d like to see more of Coren, check out his show on the Sun News cable network in Canada. They don’t offer a live stream, but their website has video clips from the program daily.

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Word search isn’t better. Indices are topical, not literal only. Indices also cross-reference, which search does not.

    Sola quaerere is a heresy…. :)

  12. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Oh, and indices let you know about stuff you didn’t think to search for, because you forgot or didn’t know it existed and would be helpful.

  13. Felicia says:

    Michael Coren spoke about his previous book at our parish as part of our semi-regular Adult Faith Formation sessions. MP3 audio files available here: http://basilica.org/pages/adultfaith.php#MichaelCoren

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  15. jaykay says:

    I bought the Kindle version and am finding it good. I had just finished reading Rodney Stark’s “The Victory of Reason – how Christianity led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success” [Good book!] when I saw the previous post and would have to say that I found that Coren’s book, moving into Catholic apologetics from Stark’s broader pro-Christian sweep of history, actually complemented the latter very well.

    In fact, in reading it I was influenced to look-up more material on the Church Fathers and so came across a book by Rod Bennett titled “Four Witnesses” (also Ignatius – also no index!) concerning Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius and Irenaeus. Well worth getting – I got the Kindle version.

    Thanks for the Coren tip, Father Z. It has proved to be a great inspiration for me.

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  17. Kathleen10 says:

    If his book is as engaging as he is as a speaker, it would be a fun read as well as informative. He was delightful on EWTN. We cannot have enough people who are really good at apologetics. A solid knowledge of history, intact memory for dredging up examples, dates, ease of making historical comparisons, and especially, a true appreciation for the Catholic faith. He seems to have them all, and is entertaining besides.
    Raymond Arroyo: Michael what should people do after reading your book?
    Michael Coren: Buy another copy!