Author Peter Mazurek has compiled a clear and comprehensive guide that educates Catholic believers on matters of faith stretching from the beginnings of the church to the future.
Mazurek, a Catholic with a law background, aims to support lay believers seeking to understand how their faith directs them to live. He begins with careful grounding in the key tenets of Catholic belief—God’s existence, Jesus Christ’s divinity, Catholicism’s stature as the one true
church—and examines various ways those beliefs might be tested. He then addresses issues of concern to contemporary Catholics and discusses how Jesus’s and the church’s teachings can provide guidance on everything from abortion and stem cell research to dealing with terrorism and anti-Catholic sentiment.
Mazurek’s approach is deeply logical, signaled by opening discussions on reason, evidence, the nature of truth, and how to reconcile scientific theory with faith. A strong example is how he fits theories like the Big Bang and evolution into the design of an omniscient Creator. Thereafter, he explores morality, consciousness, conscience, and the existence of evil.
Where he brings in deeper theological elements, for instance touching on the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas, Mazurek aims to clarify, not impress. And while his arguments are inescapably teleological, his reasoning is sound and his prose, barring some necessary repetition, is solid. Mazurek occasionally acknowledges other biblical scholarship and conflicting sources, for instance his discussion of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Most persuasively, the author doesn’t apologize for church misdeeds, like the Inquisition, Crusades, or more recent child abuse. Instead, he concedes that “our church has made some serious mistakes in the past which warrant opposition and criticism.” Still, he validates Catholic dogma and belief and considers what the church can offer the modern world.
A tome of logical philosophy rather than religious fervor, this compendium will interest practicing and lapsed Catholics, as well as readers curious about how thoughtful Catholics regard their faith and the vast institution that is their church.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.