Tag Archives: Books

A Call for the Return of [Proper] Christian Patriarchy

For a while now, I have been working my way through a thin volume from Tan Books/Saint Benedict Press 2010 releases: The Three Marks of Manhood: How to Be Priest, Prophet and King of Your Family. The length of time it took me to read this book in no way reflects the content or the author’s skill. What it does say is that I need to find more to time to pray and sleep.

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The Three Marks of Manhood: How to be Priest, Prophet, and King of Your Family. Cover image via AquinasAndMore.com

From the publisher:

Author G.C. Dilsaver writes that the time has come for Catholic families to re-discover true patriarchy – time for Catholic men to accept and fulfill their role as leader and head of their families. Christian manhood, as ordained by God and confirmed by Catholic teaching, is symbolized by three staffs: the Scepter of authority and self-discipline, the Crosier of spiritual stewardship, and the Cross of redemptive suffering. Three Marks of Manhood can help Christian families realize their identity to the fullest – empowering them to resist the encroachment of secular culture. Read it and learn how to build a strong and lasting marriage, raise children to become faithful men and women of God, and foster an authentic Catholic culture in your home.

On the surface, the above description seems to portray a self-help book for men. This is less a self-help book and more a splash of cold water to the face. Dilsaver does not pull a single punch it outlining the woeful state of manhood today, especially in the case of Christian men and even more especially those of the One True Faith – Catholics.

The book proceeds to build a comparison between the Mystical Body of Christ and what has long been called as the “little” Church otherwise referred to more recently as the “domestic” Church, that is the household of a validly married couple. In this, Dilsaver reminds men (and their spouses) that although the ordinary vocation of the espoused is to be a husband, we act in similar fashion of the ministerial priesthood by “putting on Christ” by means of the relationships in our lives. These relationships include our dealings with God, our wives, our children, our employers, etc.

Every point and lesson touched on in this book is certainly orthodox and on point. Perhaps it is fact that initially put me off as I flipped through the first few pages. Despite my fervent return to the Faith and my profession of fidelity to the Church and Christ, I felt a bit disturbed at the tone, which can most certainly be construed as counter-cultural especially by hardened feminists.

Long story short, this book does not mince words concerning the present state of manhood and offers valid, faithful and long-standing suggestions on how to reclaim our God-given roles as priest, prophet and king of our homes reminding us of St. Paul’s words in his Letter to the Ephesians:

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

— Ephesians (RSV) 5:21-33

You can purchase this book here.


I wrote this review of The Three Marks of Manhood for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


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A Call for the Return of [Proper] Christian Patriarchy

For a while now, I have been working my way through a thin volume from Tan Books/Saint Benedict Press 2010 releases: The Three Marks of Manhood: How to Be Priest, Prophet and King of Your Family. The length of time it took me to read this book in no way reflects the content or the author’s skill. What it does say is that I need to find more to time to pray and sleep.


The Three Marks of Manhood: How to be Priest, Prophet, and King of Your Family. Cover image via AquinasAndMore.com

From the publisher:

Author G.C. Dilsaver writes that the time has come for Catholic families to re-discover true patriarchy – time for Catholic men to accept and fulfill their role as leader and head of their families. Christian manhood, as ordained by God and confirmed by Catholic teaching, is symbolized by three staffs: the Scepter of authority and self-discipline, the Crosier of spiritual stewardship, and the Cross of redemptive suffering. Three Marks of Manhood can help Christian families realize their identity to the fullest – empowering them to resist the encroachment of secular culture. Read it and learn how to build a strong and lasting marriage, raise children to become faithful men and women of God, and foster an authentic Catholic culture in your home.

On the surface, the above description seems to portray a self-help book for men. This is less a self-help book and more a splash of cold water to the face. Dilsaver does not pull a single punch it outlining the woeful state of manhood today, especially in the case of Christian men and even more especially those of the One True Faith – Catholics.

The book proceeds to build a comparison between the Mystical Body of Christ and what has long been called as the “little” Church otherwise referred to more recently as the “domestic” Church, that is the household of a validly married couple. In this, Dilsaver reminds men (and their spouses) that although the ordinary vocation of the espoused is to be a husband, we act in similar fashion of the ministerial priesthood by “putting on Christ“ by means of the relationships in our lives. These relationships include our dealings with God, our wives, our children, our employers, etc.

Every point and lesson touched on in this book is certainly orthodox and on point. Perhaps it is fact that initially put me off as I flipped through the first few pages. Despite my fervent return to the Faith and my profession of fidelity to the Church and Christ, I felt a bit disturbed at the tone, which can most certainly be construed as counter-cultural especially by hardened feminists.

Long story short, this book does not mince words concerning the present state of manhood and offers valid, faithful and long-standing suggestions on how to reclaim our God-given roles as priest, prophet and king of our homes reminding us of St. Paul’s words in his Letter to the Ephesians:

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

— Ephesians (RSV) 5:21-33

You can purchase this book here.


I wrote this review of The Three Marks of Manhood for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


St. Thomas Aquinas teaches a boy memorize all 265 popes

Okay, this is post all advertisement. The text below comes from an email offer from non-profit Catholic publisher Sophia Institute Press. The story used to make the case for buying the advertised book is pretty cool though.

Also cool is that I will be posting a review of this very book shortly. So stay tuned…err, subscribed.

Recently a wise midwestern priest wowed his parishioners by pausing in his sermon to recite from memory — and in order — the names of all 44 United States presidents!

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The 44 Presidents of the United States

“But wait,” he said, holding up a hand to stifle applause. “Greater things are yet to come.”

“However, before I show you,” he continued, “note this: although we’ve had lots of presidents, the Catholic Church already had 220 popes before the first American president was ever inaugurated. That’s how old our Church is, and how ancient the origins of our beloved Eucharist!”

“But I told you that greater things are yet to come.”

“John Paul,” he motioned to an eleven-year-old in the pews. “Come up here.”

John Paul walked nervously to the front of the Church, faced the tabernacle, and prayed silently.

Behind him, Father and an associate held up a large poster with the names and images on it of every single pope — from Peter to Benedict XVI.

Young John Paul then proceeded to name all 265 popes, in order and from memory!

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John Paul with a poster of the 265 popes.

John Paul with all 265 popes.

But there’s something here that’s even greater than that! You see, John Paul is clever, but he’s no prodigy.

He memorized all 265 popes by using a simple memory system created over 700 years ago by St. Thomas Aquinas, and recently revived by Dr. Kevin Vost

. . . a system so simple it also helped a 5-year-old learn her numbers, letters, shapes, and colors:

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Sonya

As they taught young John Paul and Sonya’s little daughter, Thomas Aquinas and Kevin Vost can teach you and your kids to remember virtually anything:

. . . names, dates, phone numbers, passwords, the first 12 digits of pi (3.141592653589, if you really want to know!), and even whether, on the way home, you’re supposed to buy ice cream and toffee (or was it truffles and coffee?)


In fact, by the time you finish Memorize the Faith!, you will have memorized dozens of key teachings of the Church (including all those listed left and right, above).

You and your children will know by heart countless other precepts, traditions, Scripture verses, and other elements of the Faith that every good Catholic needs to remember and to live by.

You already know your letters, shapes, and colors, and likely you don’t need to know all 265 popes, but I’ll bet that a good memory would make your life better all the way around, and would help your kids, too.

Order it today and Save 25% at checkout by entering code: HLVOST25 (shipping not included)

St. Thomas created this remarkable system to help him remember the teachings of our Faith. You can use it for that too!

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Memorize the Faith! (cover)

  • The Nine Beatitudes
  • The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
  • The Seven Virtues
  • The Ten Holy Days of Obligation
  • The Fourteen Stations of the Cross
  • The Seven Capital Sins
  • The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Twenty-Seven Books of the New Testament
  • The Forty-Six Books of the Old Testament
  • The Four Marks of the Church
  • The Six Sins Against the Holy Spirit
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • The Twenty Mysteries of the Rosary
  • The Seven Sacraments
  • The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • The Five Proofs for the existence of God
  • The Five Precepts of the Church
  • The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • The Four Last Things
  • Plus: the ten items on your grocery list and the birthdays of your seven nephews and nieces!
  • via Sophia Institute Press

    St. Thomas Aquinas teaches a boy memorize all 265 popes

    Okay, this is post all advertisement. The text below comes from an email offer from non-profit Catholic publisher Sophia Institute Press. The story used to make the case for buying the advertised book is pretty cool though.

    Also cool is that I will be posting a review of this very book shortly. So stay tuned…err, subscribed.

    Recently a wise midwestern priest wowed his parishioners by pausing in his sermon to recite from memory —- and in order —- the names of all 44 United States presidents!

    Presidents

    “But wait,” he said, holding up a hand to stifle applause. “Greater things are yet to come.”

    “However, before I show you,” he continued, “note this: although we’ve had lots of presidents, the Catholic Church already had 220 popes before the first American president was ever inaugurated. That’s how old our Church is, and how ancient the origins of our beloved Eucharist!”

    “But I told you that greater things are yet to come.”

    “John Paul,” he motioned to an eleven-year-old in the pews. “Come up here.”

    John Paul walked nervously to the front of the Church, faced the tabernacle, and prayed silently.

    Behind him, Father and an associate held up a large poster with the names and images on it of every single pope —- from Peter to Benedict XVI.

    Young John Paul then proceeded to name all 265 popes, in order and from memory!

    Thumbs Up

    John Paul with all 265 popes.

    But there’s something here that’s even greater than that! You see, John Paul is clever, but he’s no prodigy.

    He memorized all 265 popes by using a simple memory system created over 700 years ago by St. Thomas Aquinas, and recently revived by Dr. Kevin Vost

    … a system so simple it also helped a 5-year-old learn her numbers, letters, shapes, and colors:

    Letter

    As they taught young John Paul and Sonya’s little daughter, Thomas Aquinas and Kevin Vost can teach you and your kids to remember virtually anything:

    … names, dates, phone numbers, passwords, the first 12 digits of pi (3.141592653589, if you really want to know!), and even whether, on the way home, you’re supposed to buy ice cream and toffee (or was it truffles and coffee?)


    In fact, by the time you finish Memorize the Faith!, you will have memorized dozens of key teachings of the Church (including all those listed left and right, above).

    You and your children will know by heart countless other precepts, traditions, Scripture verses, and other elements of the Faith that every good Catholic needs to remember and to live by.

    You already know your letters, shapes, and colors, and likely you don’t need to know all 265 popes, but I’ll bet that a good memory would make your life better all the way around, and would help your kids, too.

    Order it today and Save 25% at checkout by entering code: HLVOST25 (shipping not included)

    St. Thomas created this remarkable system to help him remember the teachings of our Faith. You can use it for that too!

    Memorize the Faith! (cover)

    • The Nine Beatitudes
    • The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
    • The Seven Virtues
    • The Ten Holy Days of Obligation
    • The Fourteen Stations of the Cross
    • The Seven Capital Sins
    • The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
    • The Ten Commandments
    • The Twenty-Seven Books of the New Testament
    • The Forty-Six Books of the Old Testament
    • The Four Marks of the Church
    • The Six Sins Against the Holy Spirit
    • The Twelve Apostles
    • The Twenty Mysteries of the Rosary
    • The Seven Sacraments
    • The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
    • The Five Proofs for the existence of God
    • The Five Precepts of the Church
    • The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit
    • The Four Last Things
    • Plus: the ten items on your grocery list and the birthdays of your seven nephews and nieces!

    via Sophia Institute Press

    A Testimony You Must Hear: Abby Johnson on Leaving Planned Parenthood

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    Cover image for Unplanned by Abby Johnson. Image via Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

     

    The audio above comes from last Friday’s (2/4/2011) edition of Catholic Answers LIVE. In this first hour of the two program, host Patrick Coffin speaks to Abby Johnson about her conversion from the 2008 Planned Parenthood employee-of-the-year to frontline pro-life, anti-abortion activist. They, of course, touch on Ms. Johnson’s recently released book Unplanned and even speak to Ms. Johnson’s own journey home to the Catholic Church.

    This is an hour worth listening to whether you are Catholic or Protestant, pro-abortion or anti-abortion.

    A Testimony You Must Hear: Abby Johnson on Leaving Planned Parenthood

     

    Unplanned

     

    The audio above comes from last Friday’s (2/4/2011) edition of Catholic Answers LIVE. In this first hour of the two program, host Patrick Coffin speaks to Abby Johnson about her conversion from the 2008 Planned Parenthood employee-of-the-year to frontline pro-life, anti-abortion activist. They, of course, touch on Ms. Johnson’s recently released book Unplanned and even speak to Ms. Johnson’s own journey home to the Catholic Church.

    This is an hour worth listening to whether you are Catholic or Protestant, pro-abortion or anti-abortion.

    Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest

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    The new Second Catholic Edition of the RSV. The cover illustration is called The Four Evangelists by Christopher J. Pelicano. Image via Wikipedia.

    The Catholic Bibles blog is looking to give away some pretty cool reading gifts (read more below):

    On the eve of not only a massive snow storm which will be hitting the Great Lakes later this evening, but more importantly the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, I thought it would be a great time to have a contest giveaway.

    Prize: Brand new copies of Edward Sri’sThe Bible Compass: A Catholic Guide to Navigating the ScripturesandRevelation: A Devotional Commentary from the Word Among Us Press.

    Here are the rules:

  • If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don’t, you can still enter the contest.)
  • This contest is only for people who are in the United States or Canada. (Again, overseas shipping costs are a bit too high for me right now. Sorry.)
  • The question you need to answer in the comment box: In one sentence, what is your Bible translation of choice and why? (Remember, I will only accept one sentence, so be concise. (Humor is also something I look for, but is not necessary.)
  • The contest ends on Saturday at 11:59PM EST.
  • One entry per person.
  • via Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest.

    Here goes my answer and entry:

    The Ignatius Bible (RSV-CE2) is the one for me as it offers familiar, traditional phraseology coupled with modern English and is present in a manner that is not thereatening to Protestants and chock full of orthodox footnotes.

    A slightly more expanded explanation is:

    My Bible translation of choice is the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition as published by Ignatius Press. This is not really much of a surprise for many Catholics who follow EWTN, Catholic Answers, etc. However, the primary reason for this being my translation of choice is due mostly to the seeming balance of in terms of familiar, traditional phraseology in English for both Catholics and Protestants (real nice to use when evangelizing our separated brethren) and solid, orthodox footnotes. This is a vast improvement to the our USCCB-endorsed translation the New American Bible.

    The NAB is a great translation when sticking to the verses, with exception to the manner in which Mary is addressed by Gabriel in the first chapter of Luke; however, it is the confusing and sometimes unorthodox footnotes that does this translation in when considering it for study and daily reading. This was made very apparent to me when a Protestant was using this very translation to refute our deutercanon. Very sad in my opinion.

    Anyway, it is the RSV-CE 2 for me and I literally carry it with me every where I go. Just love it!

    Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest

    The new Second Catholic Edition of the RSV. Th...

    The Catholic Bibles blog is looking to give away some pretty cool reading gifts (read more below):

    On the eve of not only a massive snow storm which will be hitting the Great Lakes later this evening, but more importantly the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, I thought it would be a great time to have a contest giveaway.

    Prize: Brand new copies of Edward Sri’sThe Bible Compass: A Catholic Guide to Navigating the ScripturesandRevelation: A Devotional Commentary from the Word Among Us Press.

    Here are the rules:

    1. If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don’t, you can still enter the contest.)
    2. This contest is only for people who are in the United States or Canada. (Again, overseas shipping costs are a bit too high for me right now. Sorry.)
    3. The question you need to answer in the comment box: In one sentence, what is your Bible translation of choice and why? (Remember, I will only accept one sentence, so be concise. (Humor is also something I look for, but is not necessary.)
    4. The contest ends on Saturday at 11:59PM EST.
    5. One entry per person.

    via Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest.

    Here goes my answer and entry:

    The Ignatius Bible (RSV-CE2) is the one for me as it offers familiar, traditional phraseology coupled with modern English and is present in a manner that is not thereatening to Protestants and chock full of orthodox footnotes.

    A slightly more expanded explanation is:

    My Bible translation of choice is the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition as published by Ignatius Press. This is not really much of a surprise for many Catholics who follow EWTN, Catholic Answers, etc. However, the primary reason for this being my translation of choice is due mostly to the seeming balance of in terms of familiar, traditional phraseology in English for both Catholics and Protestants (real nice to use when evangelizing our separated brethren) and solid, orthodox footnotes. This is a vast improvement to the our USCCB-endorsed translation the New American Bible.

    The NAB is a great translation when sticking to the verses, with exception to the manner in which Mary is addressed by Gabriel in the first chapter of Luke; however, it is the confusing and sometimes unorthodox footnotes that does this translation in when considering it for study and daily reading. This was made very apparent to me when a Protestant was using this very translation to refute our deutercanon. Very sad in my opinion.

    Anyway, it is the RSV-CE 2 for me and I literally carry it with me every where I go. Just love it!

    Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

    General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

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    Catholic Answers Topic Tabs. Available at AquinasandMore.com

    Features include:

  • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
  • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
  • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
  • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
  • Compatible with all Bible translations
  • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark
  • via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

    General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

    topic tabs

    Features include:

    • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
    • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
    • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
    • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
    • Compatible with all Bible translations
    • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark

    via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and
    did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.