Apologist's Bookshelf


Aspiring defenders of the Faith frequently contact Catholic Answers to find out which apologetical works they should read and keep as reference materials. This tract will serve as a guide to some of the most essential books for each apologist to have on his bookshelf. The most useful "must have" works are designated by a red asterisk (*). 

Those books with linked titles can be purchased directly from our online Catalogue. Many of the others are available on the Internet, but you may find it more convenient to contact the publishers directly. Any library will have a recent edition of Books in Print, which includes a volume on publishers, complete with addresses and telephone numbers for placing orders. 

 

General Apologetics

Everlasting Man
G.K. Chesterton (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1993) 

*Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994) 

Miracles
C.S. Lewis (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Trade, 1996) 

Socrates Meets Jesus
Peter Kreeft (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987) 

 

Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Replies
James J. Drummey (Norwood, MA: C.R. Publications, 1995) 

Fundamentals of the Faith
Peter Kreeft (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1997) 

Reasons for Hope
Jeffrey Mirus, ed. (Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 1982) 

Jesus, Peter, and the Keys
Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1996) 

Radio Replies
Leslie Rumble and Charles M. Carty (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1979) 

Upon This Rock
Stephen K. Ray (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1999) 

 

Conversions

Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic
David B. Currie (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1996) 

The Confessions
St. Augustine (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub. Co., 1993) 

Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church
Stephen K. Ray (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1997) 

Surprised by Truth
Patrick Madrid, ed. (San Diego, CA: Basilica Press, 1995) 

 

Scripture

Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions
Roland de Vaux (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans; Livonia, MI: Dove Booksellers, 1997) 

By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition
Mark P. Shea (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1996) 

Catholic Church and the Bible
Peter Stravinskas (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1996) 

Free From All Error
William Most (Libertyville, IL: Franciscan Marytown Press, 1985) 

A Guide to the Bible
Antonio Fuentes (Houston, TX: Lumen Christi Press, 1987) 

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
Craig Blomberg (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987) 

*The Ignatius Bible (Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition)
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
(San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1994) 

Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church
Henry Graham (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 1997) 

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
James Strong, ed. (Lake Wylie, SC: Christian Heritage Pub., 1988) 

 

Church Fathers

*Early Christian Writings
Maxwell Staniforth, ed. (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1968) 

Faith of the Early Fathers, 3 vols.
William A. Jurgens, ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1970) 

The Fathers of the Church
Mike Aquilina (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1999) 

The History of the Church
Eusebius (London; New York: Penguin Books, 1989) 

 

Church Documents

*Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed.
(Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications, 1998) 

The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church
J. Neuner and J. Dupuis (London, England: HarperCollins Religious, 1992) 

Code of Canon Law
(Washington D.C.: Canon Law Society, 1983) 

Vatican II: Conciliar and Postconciliar Documents
Austin P. Flannery, ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998) 

 

Church History

A History of Christendom
Warren H. Carroll (Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 1987) 

Vol. I: The Founding of Christendom, (to 324 A.D.) 

Vol. II: The Building of Christendom, (324-1100) 

Vol. III: The Glory of Christendom, (1100-1517) 

Vol. IV: The Cleaving of Christendom, (1517-1661) 

*Encyclopedia of Catholic History
Matthew Bunson (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1995) 

Inquisition
Edward Peters (New York, NY: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, 1988) 

Orthodoxy
G.K. Chesterton (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1996) 

Rhine Flows into the Tiber: A History of Vatican II
Ralph M. Wiltgen (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1991) 

 

Theology

*Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
Ludwig Ott (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1992) 

The Spirit of Catholicism
Karl Adam (Steubenville, OH: Franciscan University Press, 1996) 

Theology and Sanity
Frank Sheed (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1993) 

Theology for Beginners
Frank Sheed (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1981) 

What Catholics Really Believe
Karl Keating (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1995) 

 

Jesus

Imitation of Christ
Thomas à Kempis (New York, NY: Random House, 1998) 

*Life of Christ
Fulton J. Sheen (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1977) 

The Lord
Romano Guardini (Wash., DC: Regnery Pub.; Lanham, MD: Dist. By National Book Network, 1996) 

The Seven Last Words of Christ
Fulton J. Sheen (New York, NY: Alba House, 1996) 

To Know Christ Jesus
Frank J. Sheed (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1997) 

 

Mary & The Saints

Any Friend of God’s Is a Friend of Mine
Patrick Madrid (San Diego, CA: Basilica Press, 1996) 

Butler’s Lives of the Saints, 4 vols.
H. Thurston and D. Attwater, eds. (Allen, TX: Christian Chorus, 1996 [reprint]). Also available in a single abridged volume. 

Mary, the Second Eve
John Henry Newman (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1991) 

Mystical Rose
John Henry Newman (Princeton, NJ: Scepter Pub., 1996) 

*Refuting the Attack on Mary
Father Mateo (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 1999) 

A Still Small Voice: A Practical Guide on Reported Revelations
Benedict J. Groeschel (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius, 1993) 

 

The Sacraments

A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals
Ann Ball (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1991) 

The Hidden Manna: A Theology of the Eucharist
James T. O’Connor (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1998) 

*Mass Confusion: The Do’s and Don’ts of Catholic Worship
Jimmy Akin (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 1998) 

100 Answers to Your Questions about Annulments
Edward N. Peters (Needham Heights, MA: Simon and Schuster Custom Pub., 1997) 

The Sacraments and Their Celebration
Nicholas Halligan (New York: Alba House, 1986) 

This Is My Body: An Evangelical Discovers the Real Presence
Mark P. Shea (Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 1993) 

 

Dissenters

Call to Action or Call to Apostasy?
Brian Clowes (Front Royal, VA: Human Life International, 1997) 

Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism
Donna Steichen (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1991) 

Women and the Priesthood
Alice von Hildebrand and Peter Kreeft (Steubenville, OH: Franciscan University Press, 1994) 

Women in the Priesthood
Manfred Hauke (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1988) 

 

Radical Traditionalism

*The Pope, the Council, and the Mass
James Likoudis and Kenneth D. Whitehead (W. Hanover, MA: Christopher Publishing House, 1981) 

 

Fundamentalism

*Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians"
Karl Keating (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1988) 

Evangelical is Not Enough
Thomas Howard (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1984) 

The Salvation Controversy
Jimmy Akin (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 2001) 

 

Other Christians

Ending the Byzantine-Greek Schism
James Likoudis (New Rochelle, NY: Catholics United for the Faith, 1992) 


Frank Mead (New York, NY: Abingdon Press, 1990) 

 

Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses

Answering Jehovah's Witnesses
Jason Evert (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 2001) 

Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe
Isaiah Bennett (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 1999) 

When Mormons Call: Answering Mormon Missionaries at Your Door
Isaiah Bennett (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 1999) 

 

The New Age Movement

Catholics and the New Age
Mitch Pacwa (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Press, 1992) 

Reincarnation: Illusion or Reality?
Edmond Robillard (New York, NY: Alba House, 1982) 

 

World Religions

Islam: A Catholic Perspective
(San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 2003) 

Answering Islam
Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993) 

Quran and the Bible in the Light of History and Science
William Campbell (Upper Darby, PA: Middle Eastern Resources, 1992) 

 

Moral Issues

The Gospel of Life
Pope John Paul II (New York, NY: Times Books, 1995) 

The Truth About Homosexuality
John Harvey (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1996) 

The Unaborted Socrates
Peter Kreeft (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983) 

Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader
Janet Smith, ed. (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1993) 

 

Science

Apes, Angels, and Men
Stanley Jaki (Peru, IL: Sugden Sherwood & Co., 1983) 

Darwin’s Black Box
Michael Behe (New York, NY: Free Press, 1996) 

*God and the Cosmologists
Stanley Jaki (Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway Press, 1989) 

In the Beginning
Joseph Ratzinger (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1990) 

The Savior of Science
Stanley Jaki (Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway Press, 1988) 

Universe and Creed
Stanley Jaki (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1992) 

 

Spirituality

The Art of Praying
Romano Guardini (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 1994) 

Peace of Soul
Fulton J. Sheen (Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications, 1996) 

The Soul of the Apostolate
Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard (Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1961) 

 

Reference

*Catechism of the Catholic Church
Pocket Edition, (New York, NY: Image Books, 1995) 

The Catholic Almanac
(Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1998) [Published annually.]

Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
(San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1994) 

*Pocket Catholic Dictionary
John A. Hardon (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1985) 

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004