Friday 6 October 2017

Why I Am Catholic (and You Should Be Too) - Brandon Vogt

Why I Am Catholic
(and You Should Be Too)
Brandon Vogt
Ave Maria Press
ISBN 9781594717673
ASIN B07145V1B5

This past spring back to back I read this book and Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love by Trent Horn.  In some ways there is a number of similarities, and both speak specifically about the example of Saint Damien of Molokai. This book really struck a chord with me when I read it. I could immediately think of some lapsed Catholics who would benefit from reading it. I also thought of some friends who I believe will eventually find their way home to Rome. And as a revert myself I greatly enjoyed the book and found it motivating and challenging at the same time.

The chapters in this volume are:

Introduction: The Only Rebellion Left
Part I. Catholicism Is True

1: Because God Exists
2: Because We Need Religion
3: Because Jesus Is God
4: Because Jesus Started a Church
Part II. Catholicism Is Good
5: Because It Built Western Civilization
6: Because of Its Heroic Charity
7: Because It Doesn't Go with the Times
Part III. Catholicism Is Beautiful
9: Because It Cherishes Beauty
10: Because It Lifts Us Up
11: Because It's for Everybody
Conclusion: Join the Rebellion
Appendix: Going Deeper

Brandon states in the introduction:

"Choosing to be Catholic is provocative. It's countercultural. It's literally the opposite direction our culture is going. The Pew Research Center completed a massive, national religious study, surveying over thirty thousand Americans, which found that exactly half (50 percent) of Millennials who were raised Catholic no longer call themselves Catholic today. That's massive attrition. Half of young Catholics have already left the Church (with more likely following in the future). That explains why "former Catholic" continues to be one of America's largest religious groups. 
The study also found that roughly 80 percent of people who left the Catholic Church have left before age twenty- three. These aren't lifelong Catholics who stay on the fence for decades before drifting away. They're young people, people in high school or college, or young adults-people the same age I was when I chose to become Catholic."
And that plays out with what I have seen spending the better part of twenty years on university campuses as a student, mature student and chaplain with a nondenominational campus ministry. Brandon does use a lot of numbers and stats in this book. But he also writes passionately from the heart and from his own experience. He says:
"I'm not part of the 50 percent of Millennials who left the Church. I'm not one of the 6.45 who continually stream out the back door. I'm the one who joined. I'm the one who deliberately chose Catholicism, who carefully studied and wrestled with its claims, who prayed, read, thought, and discussed and came out the other end a Catholic. 
I'll admit it's a weird decision. It goes against the grain. It's radical. It is, in a word, rebellious."
Brandon builds has case based on three key principals; Catholicism is True, Catholicism is Good, and Catholicism is beautiful. And he does an excellent job of laying a great ground work. I myself returned to the Catholic Church while studying theology and pursuing ordination in a different denomination. Like Brandon what brought me home was I became convinced of the theological truth of Catholicism. And Once I knew that truth I either had to accept and embrace it or reject it live a lie.

Brandon presents his story in a clear and concise way. He writes in a very engaging style that is easy to read. Brandon's energy and passion comes through on the pages. He also addresses many of the common misconceptions about Catholicism and the key arguments against it. It is a good read and I believe that anyone who reads it will be challenged or encouraged in their faith. Well done Brandon.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Brandon Vogt:
Saints and Social Justice
The Church and New Media
The Saints' Favorite Books
Catholicism: The New Evangelization Study Program
Why I Am Catholic (and You Should Be Too)
Read More Books Now

Contributed to:
One Body, Many Blogs: A Guide for Christian Bloggers
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for this one! I've been excited about the book and the promo he's been running. Your review sealed the deal!