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The Ultimate Apologist’s Reading List

Here are some of the most helpful recent books to equip a person to defend the Catholic faith.

Trent Horn

The following are what I consider some of the most helpful recent books to equip a person to defend the Catholic faith. This list does not include “classic works” of apologetics written more than forty years ago, “reference works” like Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, or “standard works” like the Bible and papal encyclicals. Instead, this list focuses on recent works devoted exclusively to defending some aspect of the Catholic faith.

Not every author on this list is Catholic; some of them are Protestants who defend fundamental doctrines of the Faith like the existence of God. As a result, inclusion on this list does not mean I agree with everything an author has ever said or even everything he says in the works listed here. I simply find these authors’ works to be helpful overall in equipping the faithful. Finally, the fact that a work is not included is not indicative of my opinion toward the work or its author.

Note: (A) means the work is an advanced treatment of a topic.

Atheism

  • Five Proofs of the Existence of God by Edward Feser
  • One Less God than You by John DeRosa
  • A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos by Geraint Lewis and Luke Barnes
  • God and Cosmos: Moral Truth and Human Meaning by David Baggett and Jerry L. Walls
  • How Reason Can Lead to God by Joshua Rasmussen
  • Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig (A)
  • An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Brian Davies (A)

Jesus/Resurrection

  • The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ by Brant Pitre
  • The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona
  • Investigating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: A New Transdisciplinary Approach by Andrew Loke (A)
  • The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory Boyd (A)

The Bible

  • Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties by Trent Horn
  • The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg
  • The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel by Craig Blomberg
  • On the Reliability of the Old Testament by K.A. Kitchen
  • The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible by Curtis Mitch and Scott Hahn
  • A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament by John Bergsma and Brant Pitre

Scripture, Tradition, and Authority

  • The Bible is a Catholic Book by Jimmy Akin
  • The Meaning of Tradition by Yves Congar
  • Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger by Gary Michuta
  • Teaching with Authority by Jimmy Akin
  • Not by Scripture Alone, ed. Robert Sungenis (A)
  • True or False Pope: Refuting Sedevacantism and other Modern Errors by John Salza and Robert Siscoe (A)

General Catholic Apologetics

  • The Case for Catholicism by Trent Horn
  • Meeting the Protestant Challenge by Karlo Broussard
  • A Daily Defense: 365 Days (Plus One) to Becoming a Better Apologist by Jimmy Akin
  • The Early Church Was the Catholic Church by Joe Heschmeyer
  • The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church by Jimmy Akin
  • The Real Story of Catholic History by Steve Weidenkoppf

The Papacy

  • The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters by Steve Ray and Dennis Walters
  • Pope Peter by Joe Heschmeyer
  • Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths and Misconceptions About the Papacy by Patrick Madrid
  • The Papacy: Revisiting the Debate Between Catholics and Orthodox by Erick Ybarra (A)

Saints and Salvation

  • Purgatory Is for Real by Karlo Broussard
  • Any Friend of God’s Is a Friend of Mine: A Biblical and Historical Explanation of the Catholic Doctrine of the Communion of Saints by Patrick Madrid
  • Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines by Tim Staples
  • The Drama of Salvation by Jimmy Akin
  • Salvation: What Every Catholic Should Know by Michael Barber
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre
  • The Biblical Basis for the Mass by Tom Nash

Life Issues

  • Persuasive Pro-life: How to Talk About Our Culture’s Toughest Issue by Trent Horn
  • Start with What: 10 Principles for Thinking about Assisted Suicide by Stephanie Gray Connors
  • Conceived by Science: Thinking Carefully and Compassionately about Infertility and IVF by Stephanie Gray Connors
  • The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice by Christopher Kaczor (A)
  • Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life by William E. May (A)

Marriage/Sexual Ethics

  • Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom by Ryan Anderson
  • Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction by Janet Smith and Fr. Paul Check
  • Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation, and Defense by William E. May
  • The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography by Matt Fradd
  • When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan Anderson
  • Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier
  • One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics by Alexander Pruss (A)
  • The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert Gagnon (A)
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