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Nuts & Bolts: A Practical, How-To Guide for Explaining & Defending the Catholic Faith [Paperback]

By Tim Staples (Author) & Patrick Madrid (Foreword by)
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Item description for Nuts & Bolts: A Practical, How-To Guide for Explaining & Defending the Catholic Faith by Tim Staples & Patrick Madrid...

An exciting , step-by-step introduction to apologetics, adapted from the popular "Nuts & Bolts" department in Envoy magazine. Tim Staples presents over a dozen "real life" scenarios that teach you how to explain and defend Catholic doctrines confidently, charitable, and effectively. He writes from experience; A former anti-Catholic Protestant who converted to the Church, Tim shows you how to use Scripture to respond to the very arguments he used against Catholics. Filled with solid Biblical meat you can really sink you teeth into!

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Basilica Press
Pages   137
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.51" Width: 5.62" Height: 0.44"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1999
Publisher   Basilica Press
ISBN  0964261022  
ISBN13  9780964261020  

Availability  15 units.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Nuts & Bolts: A Practical Guide for Explaining and Defending the Catholic Faith?

Enlightening yet disappointing  Dec 14, 2007
Having benefited from the insights of Catholic writers in the past, and wanting always to learn "from the horse's mouth," I bought this book to learn more about Catholic doctrine. Tim Staples has defended fourteen distinctives of the Catholic faith (though a couple of the doctrines examined are those in which conservative Catholics and Protestants would find no disagreement). To do so, and for readability, he has presented fourteen different scenarios in which a Catholic's belief is challenged on a particular point. He then sets out to defend the Catholic position basing his argument predominantly on Scripture. Staples is to be commended for his obvious high view of Scripture and his determination to examine it in context. From time to time, however, his hermeneutic falls short. As I followed his arguments and the scriptures on which he based them, I had to ask myself if it would be possible to reach the conclusions he had without a preconceived notion of what the outcome would be. To be sure, it is difficult for anyone to start at zero, for we don't always recognize our own biases. It is even more difficult for one who is defending a particular point of view that he has long since adopted as his own. On doctrines such as those concerning baptismal regeneration, the use of statues and imagery, praying to the dead, confession to priests, the papacy and other matters, Staple's arguments curve away from consistent exegesis.

While it seems that Mr. Staples has a bone to pick with those he defines as Evangelical Protestants, his understanding of Protestantism is both narrow and stereotypical. One can only assume that he is reacting most strongly to the Pentecostal group with which he was formerly aligned and has as a result thrown all Protestants into that same camp. Time and again, he stages his Protestant detractors as pulling out their King James Version of the Bible. Mr. Staples might be surprised to learn that most Protestants no longer use the King James Version. He has made a similar error in his effort to refute the "faith alone" doctrine held by Protestants. This is understandable since there exists a sizeable community that has mistakenly understood faith as just getting the right idea about Jesus. Therefore Staples insists that salvation comes by faith plus works. However, the core teaching that came out of the Protestant Reformation is that works is the evidence of true faith, not something that comes in addition to it. Staples would do well to examine works such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship or John MacArthur's Gospel According to Jesus, The before proposing that all Evangelical Protestants believe in a cheap grace that has no real effect in their lives.

While I remain convinced that many Protestants and Catholics will one day be singing the same song around the throne of the Lamb that was slain (although many of both camps who have failed to truly embrace a living relationship with Christ will not), I am disappointed to have learned from this book that some doctrines of questionable basis and which serve to divide us are of such importance to the Catholic Church.
This is my third-favorite Catholic book!  Oct 12, 2004
(After the Bible and the Catechism, of course.) This book is an excellent starting point for people seeking to learn more about their Catholic faith. It's short enough to read in its entirety in a few evenings, yet it's chock-full of valuable, orthodox teaching presented in a down-to-earth, average-Joe style. In fact, I think that's just the point: we don't need advanced degrees in theology to understand and explain our Catholic faith.
Well written and very descriptive from a Biblical standpoint  Apr 14, 2004
Tim Staples focuses on the Bible to support Catholic Doctrine. All of the chapters and arguments are in the context of debates between a Catholic and a non-Catholic. Even though Staples portrays the Catholics in the debates as negative and severally critical individuals towards the Catholic Church, his picture is fairly accurate. I am of course speaking from personal opinion. I found the arguments made in "Nuts and Bolts" to be similar, if not identical to those that are always made by fundamentalists and non-denominationals towards Catholics.
A previous reviewer seemed to think that this was very imaginitive and that Staples wasn't speaking from personal experience. However I can tell you that from personal experience that the situations he describes are arguments that most passionate Catholics have with fundamentalists and non-denominationals. Chances are that Staples is speaking from experience.
Entertaining, but Really Practical?  Sep 11, 2003
I am awed by the theological, doctrinal, linguistic, and scriptural dexterity of Mr. Staples (and others affiliated with Envoy). And perhaps this awe is what makes me doubt the utility of this work.

If apologetics is the frontline of ecumenical engagement, and the "straw men" that serve as examples in this book are indicative of real evangelical challenges, then count me out. My memory is far too shoddy to recall chapter, verse, and number, let alone the variations in ancient Greek and how its gender-sensitive derivations impact our interpretation of Aramaic. Even if I had this book on hand during an apologetics confrontation, I'd spend more time thumbing through it than actually arguing.

Still it's a great read, and provides a converted-Catholic perspective to us poorly catechized (and never scripturized) cradle-Catholics.

So, to Mr. Staples, et al... go get 'em! As I see we're in good hands, I'll just go back to reading St. Augustine. Let me know how the whole ecumenical outreach thing goes...

Superb Book  Apr 21, 2003
Truth be told, I am Catholic. I loved this book since it sets up so many real life scenarios of how a Catholic can defend the faith to non-Catholics. Tim has an addictive way of writing. And having heard him lecture I know where this energy comes from - his love for the Catholic Church.

While I can imagine how some would take offense to the "Catholics always win the argument" style of the book I will only respond by saying this...

When I hear anti-Catholic arguments such as silly statements like, "why do you 'worship' Mary" my faith grows stronger since I know the truth. For someone to take offense to this book they may want to make sure they aren't really upset because the arguments Mr. Staples make are difficult, if not impossible, to dispute.

Buy the book and judge for yourself.

Pax Christi


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