Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Author Monsignor Andrew McLean Cummings offers Apologetics without Apology
By Michael Heath / selfpublishingUS.com
Most people who see the word apologetics think of guilt and begging for forgiveness. Apology is typically used in that context, so the reference is understandable. A look in the dictionary yields a first definition dealing with admission of an offense and regret. Review further and the reader learns that an apology is also an explanation or defense. Apologetics in the Catholic religion is a defense of the faith. Pope Francis warns against proselytizing; wanting instead for those in the church to use reverent persuading pursuant to the validity of Catholic doctrine.
Monsignor Cummings is concerned about the future of his religion. More than 50% of US adults who were baptized Catholic leave the Church sometime in their lives. A few will return; most do not. That is why the Monsignor uses apologetics in his third book, Three Questions from your Uncle. It was written for his 18 nieces and nephews to drive home the message of why the faith into which they were baptized needs to be a part of their lives.
The Catholic Church is under assault from many quarters including efforts at political correctness, a national culture leaning toward secularism and some deeply disturbing scandals. Monsignor Cummings does not get entangled in any headlines; he goes directly to the reason why people should practice the religion to which he is devoted. He posits that what differentiates humans from animals is that people have souls, and that our purpose on earth is to prepare for everlasting life. According to the Monsignor, the way to assure entrance into heaven is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is through following Church doctrine that discipleship is formed.
Monsignor Cummings is no lightweight when it comes to writing about Christian teaching. His vast knowledge comes through in a scholarly way and, although the book is very readable, I believe it was smart to keep it under 100 pages. He references theologians and philosophers more than he does Scripture, which is more relatable to Catholics who may not have picked up a bible in a long time. The Monsignor makes some excellent cases as to why returning to the Church is necessary for this life and the next one.
For anybody contemplating their own disconnect from God, they may find a new perspective after reading the words of this wise uncle.