What to Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and Confidence

What to Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and Confidence

by Brandon Vogt
What to Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and Confidence

What to Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and Confidence

by Brandon Vogt


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Winner of a third-place award for popular presentation of the faith by the Catholic Media Association.

Have you ever been put on the spot and asked to explain or defend Catholic teaching on sensitive topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, or the Eucharist?

In this straightforward and practical resource, Brandon Vogt, bestselling and award-winning author of Why I Am Catholic(and You Should Be Too) offers essential tools for articulating even the most contentious aspects of your Catholic faith with clarity and confidence.

What to Say and How to Say It is based on the content of Brandon Vogt’s ClaritasU—an online community which helps Catholics to understand the Church’s teachings on critical topics, to anticipate the common objections to those issues, and to know how to respond in a calm, clear, and persuasive way.

Vogt gives readers the tools to calmly and intelligently discuss these topics, which dip into the Church’s moral, theological, and philosophical teachings. What to Say and How to Say It provides straightforward, memorable talking points for explaining Catholic teaching in the areas of

  • atheism
  • same-sex marriage
  • transgenderism
  • abortion
  • the Eucharist
  • the problem of suffering
  • the veracity of the gospels

Each chapter offers you an overview of the topic and a clear explanation of what the Church teaches. Then you’ll learn about the most common contemporary arguments against the Church’s teachings followed by step-by-step instructions for responding intelligently and confidently.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594719592
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 05/29/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 473,297
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Brandon Vogt is a bestselling and award-winning author of ten books, including Why I Am Catholic (and You Should Be Too) and What to Say and How to Say It. He is the founder of ClaritasU, which trains Catholics in how to talk about their faith, especially hot-button issues. He works as the senior publishing director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

Vogt is the cohost of The Word on Fire Show with Bishop Barron, and The Burrowshire Podcast with Fr. Blake Britton. Vogt runs several websites including StrangeNotions.com, the largest site of dialogue between Catholics and atheists, and ChurchFathers.org, the go-to resource for people wondering what the earliest Christians believed.

Vogt's work has been featured by media outlets including NPR, Fox News, CBS, EWTN, America magazine, Vatican Radio, Our Sunday Visitor, National Review, and Christianity Today.

Brandon has served as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. He is on the board of the Society of G.K. Chesterton and serves as president of the Central Florida Chesterton Society.

Along with his wife and seven children, he lives on Burrowshire, a small farm outside Orlando, Florida, with chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, and a garden.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Answering Atheism 1

The Shocking Rise of Atheism 2

Is There Evidence for God? 5

The Kalam Argument 8

The Contingency Argument 12

The Moral Argument 16

Expert Interview with Robert Spitzer, S.J. 23

Tips for Talking with Atheists 24

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 26

2 Evil and Suffering 29

The Best Objection to Christianity 31

The Threefold Problem of Evil 35

The Logical Problem of Evil 36

The Evidential Problem of Evil 38

Expert Interview with Peter Kreeft 42

The Emotional Problem of Evil 43

Answering the Best Objections 46

Talking Points and Tips 50

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 53

3 Trusting the Gospels 57

Three Key Principles 57

Why Do People Doubt the Gospels? 61

Who Really Wrote the Gospels? 66

Did the Gospels Change Over Time? 71

Legend or History? 76

Expert Interview with Brant Pitre 82

Answering the Best Bible Critics 83

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 90

4 Explaining the Eucharist 95

What Catholics Believe about the Eucharist 96

Where Is That in the Bible? 100

Eucharist in the Early Church 106

Expert Interview with Joe Heschmeyer 110

Answering the Best Objections 111

Talking Points and Tips 116

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 120

5 Abortion 123

Understanding the Abortion Issue 123

The One Key Question 129

Trot Out the Toddler 134

Expert Interview with Trent Horn 137

How to Discuss the Hard Cases 139

Answering the Best Pro-Choice Objections 146

Tips and Strategies for Discussing Abortion 152

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 156

6 Same-Sex Marriage 161

Today's Most Controversial Issue 162

What Is Marriage? 165

Why Marriage Matters 169

Three Marriage Facts 172

Expert Interview with Ryan T. Anderson 176

Responding to Same-Sex Marriage Slogans 177

Getting the Marriage Conversation Right 183

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 187

7 Transgenderism 191

Why Transgenderism Matters to You 193

Understanding Transgenderism 198

The Catholic View of Transgenderism 203

Expert Interview with Dr. Michelle Cretella 207

Five Questions to Ask Transgenderism Advocates 208

Answering the Best Objections 214

Tips for Talking with Transgender People 219

Recommended Books, For Reflection and Discussion, For Practice 224

Conclusion 229

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 233

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Few people can explain Catholicism as well as Brandon Vogt. He fearlessly tackles even the most difficult issues, and does it with grace and kindness.” —Jennifer Fulwiler, SiriusXM host and author of Something Other Than God

“Brandon Vogt is great at breaking down the defense of the faith into easy-to-understand lessons. This is a great starting point for anyone who wants to learn how to explain some of the most criticized aspects of our Catholic faith.” —Trent Horn, Author of Why We Are Catholic

What to Say and How to Say It is pure gold for anyone hoping to have better, more fruitful conversations about these vitally important issues.” —Holly Ordway, Author of Apologetics and the Christian Imagination 

“I know few Catholics who have studied the arguments for and against the existence of God more thoroughly than Brandon Vogt. If you're looking for a book of apologetics that is as practical as it is theoretical, you won't find a better one than this.” —Matt Nelson, Assistant director of the Word on Fire Institute

“With truth in charity, Brandon Vogt does a masterful job of handling many of today’s hot-button issues. From atheism to the Eucharist and from transgenderism to the problem of evil and suffering, the reader will be equipped with a clarity of thinking to help them know What to Say and How to Say it. I highly recommend this book!” —Curtis Martin, President and founder of FOCUS

“In an insightful, practical, and very readable way, What to Say and How to Say It presents reasons for belief in God, and for several teachings rooted in reason and faith that our secular society rejects. I highly recommend it. This book fully delivers on what its title promises.”—Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto

“Crisp and brisk, but never trite or brusque, this is a clear, useful, up-to-date guide that will help you defend the faith and address hot-button issues relating to sex, marriage, and identity A book that is balanced, reasonable, practical and, best of all, charitable—‘speaking the truth in love.’” —Michael Ward, Coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis

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