Sunday, May 24, 2015

Books by Dave Armstrong: Cardinal Newman: Q & A in Theology, Church History, and Conversion


 Completed on 24 May 2015 and published at Lulu on the same day. 367 pages.

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Miscellaneous

On the "Argument from Longing" [10 May 1828]

On the "Rule of Secrecy" ("Disciplina Arcani") and Development of Doctrine [26 Jan. 1834]

On How the Indwelling Holy Spirit Works in Us [29 Jan. 1835]

Prayer for the Dead is as Well-Attested in the Early Church as the Canon of Scripture [16 May 1838]

No Fundamental Difference Between Written and Oral Tradition [23 May 1838]

On the Definition of Grace [22 Jan. 1841]

On What Usually Persuades People of Christianity [Feb. 1841]

Cardinal Newman's Conversion Agonies: Jan. 1842 to Feb. 1844 

On Arian, Monophysite, and Donatist Analogies to Via Media Anglicanism [April 1844]

Still-Anglican Newman on Papal Supremacy in the Early Church  [19 May 1844]

On Pope Gregory the Great's Supposed Denial of Universal Papal Jurisdiction [ 5 Nov. 1849]

On the Falsity of Sola Scriptura [26 Feb. 1850]

On How Departed Saints Can be Aware of Earthly Events [8 March 1853]

On the Supposed Necessity of Infallible Proofs for an Infallible Church [24 April 1858]

Newman Virtually Predicts Vatican II (and a Greater Role for the Laity) in 1859 [17 July 1859]

On Biblical and Traditional Evidences for Mary's Immaculate Conception [30 May 1860]

On Invincible Ignorance and the Salvation of Protestants [4 Sep. 1862]

On the Possible Salvation of Protestants [7 Feb. 1864]

On Folks Who Pretend that Mere Theological Opinions Are Dogmas [10 March 1864]

Wonderful Argument on How we Know that Biblical Eucharistic Language is Literal [24 Aug. 1864]

On Much that is "Good and True" in Protestantism [18 Sep. 1864]

On the Importance of Catholic Laity  [30 Nov. and 2 Dec. 1864]

On the Communion of Saints and Veneration of the Saints [2 Oct. 1865]

On the Invocation of Mary [29 March 1866]

On Papal Infallibility in March 1867 [23 March 1867]

Newman's Rebuke of William G. Ward as an Exponent of a Renewed Novatian, Quasi-Schismatic, Rigorist Attitude [9 May 1867]

On Darwin and Theistic Evolution [22 May 1868]

On the One, True Visible Church [25 Jan. 1870]

On Whether Laymen Have to Interpret and Apply Church Proclamations [30 March 1870]

On Whether Pope Gregory XIII Gave Assent to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre [9 Sep. 1872]

On the Nature of Papal Infallibility [17 Sep. 1872]

On the Intolerance and Cramped Thinking of Atheism and Skepticism [11 Jan. 1873]


Table of Contents


Dedication 

Introduction [read online]

Bibliographical Sources

I. Apologetics

What Are Some Basic Guidelines in Defending Our Faith?.......25
Is Apologetics Only for Non-Catholics or Non-Christians?.......26
Should Laymen Have a Working Knowledge of Apologetics?...26
How is Faith Related to Apologetic Inquiry?..............................29
How is Grace Related to Apologetics and Rational Argument?.30
Is Logical Demonstration All There is to Apologetics?..............30
How Are Faith and Reason Related?...........................................30
Is Apologetics the Same as Proselytyzing?.................................33
Is “Controversy” in Apologetics a Good Thing?........................34
Should a Person Exercise Faith if Still Plagued by Difficulties?
Should we Avoid Ad Hominem Attacks in Argument?................36
What is the Reward of Apologetics?...........................................37
Should we Know People Before Trying to Persuade Them?......37
Does Proclaiming Theological Truth Offend Some People?......37
Are There Times When Trying to Argue with People is Futile?.37
Does the “Argument from Longing” Suggest that Heaven Exists?
How Can we Communicate Catholic Truths to Protestants?......38

II. Philosophy of Religion

How Important is Philosophy of Religion?.................................41
What is “Philosophical Theology”?............................................41
What is “Certitude” or Faith Held in “Certainty”?.....................41
Does Certainty Derive from Demonstration or Probabilities?...42
How Compelling is Cumulative Evidence?................................45
Does Conscience Surpass Intellect as a Way to God?.................48
Is Reasoning Key in Arriving at First Premises and Axioms?....48
Is the Epistemology of Religion Primarily Subjective?..............49
Must Christianity Necessarily be Proven, to be Rationally Held?
How Do Most Intellectuals Regard Natural Law?......................50
What is the Moral Law?..............................................................51
What is Rationalism and its Fundamental Deficiency?..............51
How Are People Usually Convinced of Christian Truths?.........52
What is the Essence of Religion?................................................53
What is the Relation of Faith to Culture?....................................54
Do Catholics Love the Philosophy of Plato and Socrates?.........54
How Strong is the Teleological (Design) Argument for God?....54
Does the Argument from Final Causes Prove God's Existence?.55

III. Church History

Are the Church Fathers Closer to Catholicism or Protestantism?
Does Christian Truth or Dogma Change Over Time?.................59
How Should Catholics View John Wycliffe?..............................59
Was the Protestant “Reformation” a Praiseworthy Thing?.........60
How Has Lutheranism Evolved?................................................60
Is Church History Fatal to Protestantism?..................................61

IV. Development of Doctrine

What is the Development of Doctrine?.......................................63
What is the Rule of Secrecy, or “Disciplina Arcani”?................69
Does Development of Doctrine Tend to Lead One to Rome?....71
How Did Newman Regard His 1845 Essay on Development?...71

V. Anglicanism

Do Anglicans Regard Themselves as a Species of Protestantism?
Are the 39 Articles “Protestant” in Nature?................................73
What is the Status of Anglican “Apostolic Succession”?...........74
What Was the State of Anglicanism in 1835?.............................75
Was Anglicanism Flourishing in 1839-40?.................................75
Has Anglicanism Unnecessarily Discarded Catholic Elements?
Did Newman Agonize Over Anglican Difficulties in 1840-1845?
What Did Newman Think of Anglicanism After 1845?..............86
Are Anglican Orders Valid?........................................................88

VI. Conversion (to Catholicism)

What Was Newman's View of the Catholic Church in 1834?.....89
How Far Was Newman from the Catholic Church in 1837?.......90
Were High Church Anglicans in 1839-40 Enticed to Catholicism?
What Was the Initial Troubling Blow to Newman's Anglicanism?
Was it “Thinkable” for Newman in 1839 to One Day Convert?.92
What Was Newman's View About Conversion in 1841-1845?...93
How Did Newman View His Conversion After 1845?.............110
Do Converts Sometimes Become Obnoxious and Lack Humility?
Does God Provide Overwhelming Assurance to Converts?.....119
Should One Convert Quickly?..................................................120
Should a Person Convert Merely to Alleviate Persisting Doubts?
Do Converts Typically Have Last-Minute Jitters and Qualms?
Are Non-Catholics Sometimes Cynical About Catholic Converts?
Do Protestants Hope that Famous Catholic Converts Will Return?
Can we Know Who is Likely to Convert to Catholicism?........122
Does God Use Curiosity to Bring in Converts?........................123
Must Converts Get Used to Catholic “Strangeness” at First?...123

VII. Lay Participation

Do Laymen Have an Important Role to Play in the Church?....125
Do Popes Consult Laypeople Regarding Dogmatic Definitions?
Do Laymen Have to Interpret and Apply Church Proclamations?
Was Newman's Thinking on the Laity Vindicated in Vatican II?

VIII. Bible, Tradition, and Authority

How Fundamental is Revelation to Religious Truth?...............131
Does Revelation Tend to be Unpredictable By its Very Nature?
What is the Relationship Between Revelation and Faith?........132
Does Revelation Have Rational Evidences in its Favor?..........133
Can we Expect to Understand Revelation?...............................133
How Do we Come to Best Understand Scripture?....................133
Are Church and Tradition Necessary to Understand the Bible?
Is the Canon of Scripture Based on Tradition Only?................136
Are the Five Books of Moses (Pentateuch) of Late Origin?.....137
Is There a Method to Proper Bible Interpretation?...................137
Are Catholics Allowed to Interpret the Bible on Their Own?..137
How Are the Church Fathers Related to Bible Interpretation?.138
Does the Church Authoritatively Interpret Apostolic Tradition?
Is the Biblical Canon a Difficulty for Protestantism?...............139
Why is Tobit Considered Scripture by the Catholic Church?...140
What is the “Rule of Faith”?.....................................................140
Is Sola Scriptura (“Scripture Alone”) a True Principle?...........141
Does Prior Bias Influence Scriptural Interpretation?................142
Should we Memorize Scripture?...............................................142
In What Sense is the Authority of Scripture Supreme?.............143
Is the Bible Materially Sufficient for Salvation?......................143
Is the Bible Formally Sufficient for Salvation?........................143
Is the Bible Inspired?.................................................................144
Can the Bible Possibly Have Numerical Errors?......................144
Can Biblical Manuscripts Possibly Contain Error?..................144
What is Oral Tradition?.............................................................145
Does the New Testament Preclude Oral Tradition?..................145
Is Oral Tradition Superior to Written Tradition?.......................146
Are Oral and Written Tradition Fundamentally Different?.......146
How Should we Regard Extrabiblical Tradition?.....................147
What is the Relation of Tradition to Church Authority?...........147
What are Creeds?......................................................................148
How Sure is the Deposit of Faith?............................................148
Did the Jews Pass Down the Notion of Tradition to Christians?
Were the Apostles Ignorant of Tradition Until Pentecost?........149
Can One Possibly be Saved by Conscience Without Revelation?
Is Conscience an Autonomous Authority?................................149
What is Heresy and How Should it be Viewed?.......................150

IX. Doctrine of the Church (Ecclesiology)

Is There Such a Thing as One Visible, Institutional Church?...153
Is the Church Infallible in Her Dogmas?..................................156
How is an Infallible Church Similar to a Prophet?...................160
Is Infallible Proof Required to Accept an Infallible Church?...161
Must we Believe All Dogmas that the Church Teaches?..........164
What Are Catholics Free to Not Believe?.................................166
Can we be Absolutely Certain of Church Doctrines?...............167
What is the Difference Between Doctrines and Articles of Faith?
Are Dogmas and Theological Opinions Two Different Things?
How Authoritative are Ecumenical Councils?..........................169
What is the Relation of Popes to Ecumenical Councils?..........171
Is the Church Indefectible?.......................................................171
How Did Church Government Originate?................................172
Does the Church Extend Back to Apostolic Times?.................173
What is Apostolic Succession?..................................................173
Is the Catholic Church Our Authoritative (Orthodox) Guide?..173
Is the Catholic Church Universal?............................................177
Is There Salvation Outside the Catholic Church?.....................178
What are the Shortfalls of Contradictory Religious Opinions?.180
Is Schism a Bad Thing?.............................................................180
Who Tends to Jettison Orthodoxy in Order to Foster “Unity”?
How Shall we Regard Denominationalism and Sectarianism?.181
What is Rigorism or an Overly Dogmatic Catholic Outlook?..182
Should the Presence of Sinners in the Church Alarm Us?........185
Does the Bible Teach the Concept of Excommunication?........187
Is Excommunication a “Spiritual” Thing?................................189
Is Christianity Difficult and a “Narrow Way”?.........................189
What is the Principle of Unity in the Church?..........................189
Is Ordination of Priests or Pastors Necessary?..........................189
Must Bishops Always be Obeyed?............................................190
What is the Nature of a Bishop's Authority?.............................190
Are Bishops the Primary Authorities in Their Own Domains?.191
Did Newman Think that Vatican II Would Clarify Vatican I?..191

X. The Papacy / Papal Supremacy and Infallibility

How Powerful Was the Pope in the 5th Century?.....................193
Does the Pope Have Supreme Authority in the Church?..........193
Does the Pope Possess the Gift of Infallibility?........................197
What Historical Evidence Suggests Belief in Papal Infallibility?
What are the Limits and Parameters of Papal Infallibility?......217
Are Papal Encyclicals Infallible in Their Entirety?..................220
Should Popes Normally be Obeyed, Infallible or Not?............220
Did Pope Gregory the Great Deny Universal Papal Jurisdiction?
Have Popes Properly Been Disagreed With?............................221
What Are we to Make of the “Bad Popes”?..............................222
Did Pope Gregory XIII Give Assent to a Massacre?................223
Can Popes Personally be Heretics?...........................................224
Does the Pope Honorius “Scandal” Disprove Papal Supremacy?
Does Pope Liberius' Failure Disprove Papal Infallibility?........227
What Was Newman's Personal Opinion of Blessed Pope Pius IX?
Does 1 Clement Confirm Papal Supremacy in Apostolic Times?

XI. Theology of Salvation (Soteriology)

What is Grace?..........................................................................231
How Powerful is Grace to Transform Men?.............................232
Is Grace Required for Salvation?..............................................233
What Does it Mean to Be in a “State of Grace”?......................233
Is Grace Given in Different Measure to Different Men?..........233
What is Apostasy, or Falling from Grace?................................234
Are we Saved by Verbal or Creedal Professions Only?............234 
What is Faith and Where Does it Come From?........................235
What is the Gospel?..................................................................237
How Do we Prove that we Have a Genuine Faith?...................238
What are the Fruits and Objects of Faith?.................................238
What is “Fiducial Faith” or “Faith in Faith”?...........................239
Will Faith be Tried and Tested?.................................................239
Can we Obtain Absolute Assurance of Salvation?....................239
Can we Know Someone Else's Eternal Destiny?......................240
How Can we Discern Another Man's Spiritual State?..............241
How Shall we Approach the Doctrine of Predestination?.........241
How Important are Good Works According to Scripture?........243
Are we Saved by Works?..........................................................243
What is Merit?...........................................................................243
What is Infused Justification?...................................................243
What is the Relationship of Justification to the Sacraments?...244
Is Sanctification a Difficult, Lengthy Process?.........................244
Does Sanctification or Holiness Admit of Degrees?.................245
How Close is Anglican Justification to St. Robert Bellarmine's?
How Should Evangelists Approach Dying Persons?................245
What is Antinomianism, or “Cheap Grace”?............................246
Is Preaching a Primary Instrument of Saving Faith?................246
What is the Goal of Preaching?................................................247
What Will Judgment Day be Like?...........................................247
What is Original Sin?................................................................247
What are the Consequences of Sin?..........................................249
Does Sin (or Rebellion) Have Degrees of Willfulness?............249
Can we Sin in Ignorance?..........................................................249
What are the Conditions for Mortal Sin?..................................249
What is Invincible Ignorance in Relation to Final Salvation?..249

XII. Jesus Christ (Christology)

Can we be Certain of the Divinity (Godhood) of Jesus?...........253
How Central is “Christ Crucified” in Christianity?..................253
Was the Incarnation Strictly Necessary?...................................253
How Are Christ's Two Natures Explained?...............................254
How Shall we View the Atonement or Propitiation of Christ?.254
Was Jesus Omniscient (All-Knowing)?....................................255
Was Jesus Subjected to Concupiscence?...................................256
Can God Suffer?........................................................................256

XIII. God the Father (Theology Proper)

Is God Self-Existent and Self-Sufficient?.................................259
How Much Does God Love Us?...............................................259
How Shall we Regard God's “Superintendence”?....................261
How Should we Conceive of God's Will?.................................261
What is God's Providence?........................................................261
Is Discerning God's Providence Difficult?................................262
Are Images of God the Father Permissible?..............................262

XIV. The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) and Trinitarianism

How Can we Conceptualize the Mystery of the Holy Trinity?.263
Is Faith in the Holy Trinity Necessary for Salvation?...............264
How Does the Indwelling Holy Spirit Work in Us?..................264
How Does the Holy Spirit Interact with Christians?.................265
Is the Unitarian Rejection of Trinitarianism Based on Scripture?
What is Circumincession or Perichoresis?................................266
What is “Divine Nature” or “Divinity”?...................................266

XV. The Blessed Virgin Mary (Mariology)

Does Mary Intercede for us in a Special Way?.........................269
Should we Invoke, or Ask for the Intercession of Mary?.........270
Which Heresies Denied that Mary was the Mother of God?....271
What Does it Mean to Call Mary the “New Eve”?...................271
What is the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary?
How was Mary's Immaculate Conception Proclaimed in 1854?
Why Do Catholics Adhere to Mary's Immaculate Conception?
Why is the Immaculate Conception Implausible to Protestants?
What is the Historical Evidence for the Immaculate Conception?
Why Did the Immaculate Conception Take So Long to Develop?
Is the Immaculate Conception Rationally Difficult to Accept?
How Could Mary Have a “Savior” if She Was Immaculate?....280
Does Mary's Immaculate Conception Have a Physical Element?
Was Mary's Assumption Very Widely Believed Before 1950?.281
Is Mary Our Spiritual Mother?..................................................281
Should we Venerate Mary?.......................................................282
Did Mary Have an Extraordinary Intellect?..............................282
Did Mary Die?...........................................................................282
Is Mary a Mediatrix and Channel of God's Graces?.................282
Do the Marian Devotions of Some Catholics Go Too Far?......283

XVI. Angels and the Communion of Saints

What is the Communion of Saints?...........................................285
Are Departed Saints Aware of Earthly Events? …....................286
Should we Venerate the Saints?................................................286
Is Veneration Infinitely Different from Adoration of God?......288
Should we Venerate the Angels?...............................................288
Does Everyone Have a Guardian Angel?..................................288
How Eminent is Rome as a Place of Saints and Martyrs?........288
Was Prayer for the Dead an Apostolic Practice?.......................289
Was Prayer for the Dead Well-Attested in the Early Church?..289
Is Prayer for the Dead a Biblical Teaching?..............................289
What is the Anglican Teaching on the Communion of Saints?.290
Is Invocation of the Saints Unbiblical?.....................................291
Do the Saints Pray (Intercede) for Us?.....................................291
Are All Images in Worship Idolatrous?.....................................291
Do Miraculous Relics Exist?.....................................................293

XVII. Purgatory

Are There Experiences in This Life Analogous to Purgatory?..295
Is Purgatory a Third Possible State After Death?......................295
Is Purgatory a Biblical Doctrine?..............................................295
Is Everyone in Purgatory Saved?..............................................296
Do Souls in Purgatory Suffer More than we Do?.....................296
Is There Fire in Purgatory?.......................................................296

XVIII. Penance and Asceticism

Are Penance and Absolution Necessary?..................................297
What is an Indulgence?.............................................................297
Is Self-Denial for the Cause of Christ a Good Thing?..............298
Is Suffering Spiritually Beneficial?...........................................298
Should All Clergymen be Celibate?..........................................300
Is Celibacy a “Higher” Calling?................................................301

XIX. The Holy Eucharist and Sacrifice of the Mass

Is the Holy Eucharist Necessary for Salvation?........................303
How Do we Know that Biblical Eucharistic Language is Literal?
What is Transubstantiation?......................................................304
What Did Newman Believe About the Real Presence in 1834?
Does the Grace Received from the Holy Eucharist Vary?........305
Is Eucharistic Adoration Spiritually Beneficial?.......................305
What is the Reasoning Behind Communion in One Kind?.......306
Does Validity of the Eucharist Depend on the Priest's Holiness?
What Does it Mean to Say That the Mass is a Sacrifice?.........307
Why Do Catholics Offer Masses for the Dead?........................308
Was the Last Supper a Passover Meal?.....................................309

XX. Devotions, Liturgy, and Worship

What is the Relation of Faith and Emotions?............................311
How Shall we Prevent Formal Prayers from Becoming Trite?.311
Are Shorter Form Prayers Preferable to Longer Ones?............312
What Makes The Lord's Prayer so Unique and Special?..........313
How Relatively Important are Sermons for the Clergyman?....313
How Does Kneeling Help Us to Receive Christian Truths?.....313
In What Sense Can a Crucifix be Worshiped?..........................314
How Much Does Scripture Teach About Public Worship?.......314
How Should we Regard Purported Miracles?...........................314
What is the Great Attribute of Catholic Devotional Literature?
What is the Evidence of a Particular Personal Calling?............316
What is the Relation of Doctrine to Devotional Practices?.......316
Do Catholics Have a Wide Freedom of Devotional Practice?..317
What is the Rationale Behind Devotion to Jesus' Sacred Heart?

XXI. The Sacrament of Baptism

What is the Relation of Baptism to the Church?.......................319
Does Baptism Regenerate?........................................................319
How is Baptism Related to the Holy Spirit and Justification?..320
What is Conditional Baptism?...................................................320
Is There Such a Thing as “Baptism of Desire”?........................320

XXII. Sacraments and Sacramentals

How Do we Define a “Sacrament”?..........................................321
What are the Attributes and Benefits of Sacraments?...............322
What is Sacramental Disposition?.............................................323
What is the Relationship of Preaching to Sacraments?.............323
What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?..................................323
Is Confession a Helpful and Biblical Practice?.........................324
Can a Person Possibly be Saved Without the Sacraments?.......325
Is the Sign of the Cross Permissible?........................................325
How Can we Know that We Have a Vocation to the Priesthood?
How Important is it to Follow Our Vocation?...........................326
Can People be Mistaken About Their Supposed Vocation?......326

XXIII. Heaven and Hell / Satan and Demons

What is the Beatific Vision in Heaven?.....................................327
What is the Blessedness of Heaven?.........................................327
Is Hell Eternal?..........................................................................327
Does Eternal Punishment in Hell Make Any Sense?................328
What is it Like to Experience Eternal Punishment?..................329
Is Satanic Oppression a Continuing Reality?............................329

XXIV. Education

How is Christianity Related to Education?...............................331
What is the Purpose of a University?........................................332
What is the Philosophy of History?..........................................332
Does Much Education Tend to Counter Christian Discipleship?

XXV. Atheism, Agnosticism, Liberalism, and Secularism

What is Philosophical and Theological Liberalism?.................333
How Should we Regard Theological Liberalism?....................333
Is Political Liberalism Hostile to Catholicism?........................336
Are There Jewish Analogies to Christian Theological Liberals?
What is the Result of Resisting Theological Liberalism?.........337
Where Does Accommodation to the “Spirit of the Age” Lead?
Is Atheism Fundamentally Bigoted Against Christianity?........338
Do Skeptics Assume Certain Premises Hostile to Christianity?
Will Atheism Satisfy the Deepest Longings of the Soul?.........340
How Should we Approach a Media Hostile to Christianity?....341

XXVI. Ecumenism

Can a Person Have Faith Without Having Heard the Gospel?..343
Can Non-Catholics Receive Grace?..........................................343
Can Non-Catholics Possibly be Saved?....................................343
Can a Good Man in Another Religion Espouse Christianity?...344
Can God Use Mistaken or Heretical Men for His Purposes?....344
How Should Protestants and Catholics Personally Interact?....344
Does Protestantism Have Within it Much Truth?......................348
Are Catholics Too Often Ignorant About Protestantism?..........350
Does the Holy Spirit Act Beyond the Catholic Church?...........350
How Should we Approach Religious Differences of Opinion?
What is the Ultimate Aim of Ecumenism?................................351

XXVII. Science

Is Process Antithetical to Creation?..........................................353
Is Theistic Evolution Antithetical to Catholicism or Theism?..353
Is Darwin's Theory of Evolution Indicated by Anatomy?.........355
Do Science and Revelation Clash?............................................356
Do Scientists Unduly Interfere in the Domain of Religion?.....356
Is There But One Interpretation of Genesis Chapter One?.......356
Must Catholics Believe that Noah's Flood was Universal?......357

XXVIII. Miscellaneous

How Should Christians Regard Great Riches?.........................359
Is Exorcism a Legitimate Christian Practice?...........................359
How Serious of a Matter are Vows?..........................................359
Do Anti-Catholics Misrepresent Catholicism?..........................360
Is There But One Interpretation of the Book of Revelation?....361
How Does Catholicism (and the Bible) View Slavery?............361
What is Newman's Advice for Aspiring Writers?.....................364
Is Spanking or Corporal Punishment Permissible?...................365
How Do we Know that Souls Exist?.........................................365
Are the Last Days Near?...........................................................366
Should Unbaptized Persons be Married by Christian Clergymen?
What Did the First Protestants Think of Polygamy?.................367


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Last updated on 24 May 2015.






Saturday, May 23, 2015

Introduction to Cardinal Newman: Q & A in Theology, Church History, and Conversion

 
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote in a letter dated 10 February 1869:

I am not a theologian. A theologian is one who has mastered theology – who can say how many opinions there are on every point, what authors have taken which, and which is the best – who can discriminate exactly between proposition and proposition, argument and argument, who can pronounce which are safe, which allowable, which dangerous – who can trace the history of doctrines in successive centuries, and apply the principles of former times to the conditions of the present. This it is to be a theologian – this and a hundred things besides – which I am not, and never shall be.

He stated “I am not a theologian” many times in his letters. He often qualified any theological instruction he gave, making sure to note that it was not cast in stone, and subject to correction by the Church or credentialed theologians. In the above, strict “academic” or “scholarly” sense, indeed he was not a theologian. Yet in another broader (and in my opinion, far more important) sense, he certainly was one.

Whether Newman was a theologian or not, he wrote exquisitely on theology. The very fact that he was seeking to write (especially in his personal letters) on a popular, non-technical level, makes his work in this regard so important. In effect, he becomes a catechist, and in part, an apologist, in these informal remarks in his voluminous correspondence.

Scholars – for the most part – write to and for other scholars, whereas the goal of Catholic catechists, apologists, and evangelists is to reach the masses (and Catholics) with the joyous good news of the glorious fullness of the Catholic Christian faith.

Furthermore, in Cardinal Newman's writing we find (always and everywhere) extraordinary prose almost unequaled in its eloquence: a feast of 19th century English style. Lastly – of supreme relevance and importance – we encounter a saintly (as of this writing, beatified) man, who will most likely one day be canonized as a saint. I personally firmly believe that he will also be honored as a Doctor of the Church in due course.

This is the third book of Newman quotations that I have compiled. I do so partly out of obligation for the central role that he played in my own spiritual and theological odyssey, but primarily to widen the availability of his lesser-known writings, and to share his profound thought and insights with as wide an audience as possible.

My present goal (and what makes this book different from the previous two) is to create almost a “systematic theology” from Cardinal Newman. By use of categories, I have sought to arrange his thoughts in such a way that they can be accessed all the more quickly.

Cardinal Newman (as one can see in the Table of Contents) covered a very wide range of topics in his correspondence. I have sought to collect the “cream” of his theological thoughts therein. As such, this volume might be regarded as Newman's “catch-all” book, in which he deals with many theological subjects; very unlike most of his books, which are devoted to a single topic.

May you enjoy this treasure-trove of wonderful theology, as well as Newman's ruminations on Church history and the complexities of the conversion process. In conversion, often theology, Church history, personal experience, and apologetics are all merged together. No one exemplified this mixture and the process of conversion more than Blessed Cardinal Newman.

Thus, this volume may be of particular usefulness for possible converts, as well as Catholics seeking to revive an uncertain or tentative personal Catholic faith. In these fabulous quotations, in any event, there is much precious treasure for anyone who loves theology and God, Who is at the center of it.

[see the info-page for this book]