The Ultimate Apologist’s Reading List

This is not an exhaustive list, and just because a book is on this list does not mean I endorse everything in it. Instead, this list should serve as a helpful guide for anyone who wants to learn how to defend the Faith. I have ordered it based on topic and noted if a book would best serve beginners (B), is of intermediate difficulty (I), or is an advanced work (A).
Abortion and Unborn Human Life by Patrick Lee (A)
20 Answers: Abortion by Trent Horn (B)
Persuasive Pro-life: How to Talk About Our Culture’s Toughest Issue by Trent Horn (I)
Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice by Francis Beckwith (A)
The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice by Christopher Kaczor (A)
Biblical Apologetics
20 Answers: The Bible by Trent Horn (B)
Beginning Apologetics 7: How to Read the Bible by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham (B)
The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures by Edward Sri (B)
Light on the Dark Passages of Scripture by Mark Giszczak (B)
Free From All Error by Fr. William Most (I)
On the Reliability of the Old Testament by K.A. Kitchen (I)
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg (I)
The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel by Craig Blomberg (I)
The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellentistic History by Colin Hemer(A)
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham (I)
The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible by Curtis Mitch and Scott Hahn (I)
A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, eds. Bernard Orchard et al. (A)
Church Fathers
The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers by Mike Aquilina (B)
The Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words by Rod Bennett (B)
The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church by Jimmy Akin (I)
Faith of the Early Fathers vol. 1-3 by William A. Jurgens (A)
Church History
Seven Lies About Catholic History: Infamous Myths about the Church’s Past and How to Answer Them by Diane Moczar (B)
How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods (I)
The Popes and Slavery by Joel S. Panzer (I)
The Glory of the Crusades by Steve Weidenkopf (I)
The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis by Rabbi David G. Dalin (I)
Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion, ed. Ronald L. Numbers (A)
Inquisition by Edward Peters (A)
A History of Christendom by Warren H. Carroll (A)
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by John Henry Cardinal Newman (I)
Apologia Pro Vita Sua by John Henry Cardinal Newman (I)
The Catholic Evidence Training Outlines by Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward (I)
The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam (I)
Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed  (I)
The Soul of the Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard (I)
The Catholic Controversy: A Defense of the Faith by St. Francis de Sales (I)
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (I)
Evidence for Our Faith by Joseph H. Cavanaugh (I)
The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism by Louis Bouyer (I)
The Third Day by Arnold Lunn (I)
Catholicism by Henri de Lubac (I)
The Faith of Our Fathers by James Gibbons (I)
The Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas (or The Summa of the Summa by Peter Kreeft) (A)
The Summa Contra Gentiles by St. Thomas Aquinas (A)
Sex Au Natural: What It Is and Why It’s Good for Your Marriageby Patrick Coffin (B)
Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life by William E. May (I)
Why Humane Vitae Was Right: A Reader, ed. Janet Smith (A)
End of Life Issues
20 Answers: End of Life Issues by Jason Negri (B)
Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and the New Duty to Die by Wesley Smith (I)
Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life by William May (I)
Faith and Science
20 Answers: Faith and Science by Trent Horn (B)
Philosophy of Mind by Ed Feser (I)
Finding Darwin’s God by Ken Miller (I)
The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution by James Hanman (I)
Faith, Science, and Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge by Christopher Baglow (I)
General Apologetics
The Seven Deadly Sins of Apologetics by Mark Brumley (B)
A History of Apologetics by Avery Cardinal Dulles (I)
Handbook of Catholic Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli (I)
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (I)
Five Views on Apologetics, ed. Steven B. Cowan (I)
General Catholic Apologetics
Beginning Apologetics 1: How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham (B)
The Protestant’s Dilemma by Devin Rose (B)
Where Is That in the Bible? by Patrick Madrid (B)
A Biblical Defense of Catholicism by Dave Armstrong (I)
Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by Bible Christians by Karl Keating (I)
Radio Replies by Fr. Leslie Rumble and Fr. Charles Carty (I)
The Essential Catholic Survival Guide by the Catholic Answers Staff (I)
General Theology
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (I)
The Code of Canon Law (I)
Vatican Council II: Constitutions, Decrees, Declarations, ed. Austin Flannery (I)
Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott (A)
The Sources of Catholic Dogma by Henry Denzinger (A)
20 Answers: God by Trent Horn (B)
The Reality of God: The Layman’s Guide to Scientific Evidence for the Creator by Steve Hemler (B)
Who Designed the Designer? by Michael Augros (B)
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Brian Davies (I)
God Under Fire, eds. Douglas Huffman and Eric Johnson (I)
Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity by Trent Horn (I)
Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide by Ed Feser (I)
The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness and Bliss by David Bentley Hart (I)
The Kalam Cosmological Argument for God by Mark Nowacki (A)
God and Moral Obligation by C. Stephen Evans (A)
The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, ed. William Lane Craig (A)
Homosexuality and the Catholic Church: Clear Answers to Difficult Questions by Fr. John Harvey (B)
Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction, eds. Janet Smith and Fr. Paul Check (I)
The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert Gagnon (A)
Jesus Christ
20 Answers: The Real Jesus by Trent Horn (B)
Jesus Shock by Peter Kreeft (B)
Jesus of Nazareth vol. 1-3 by Pope Benedict XVI (I)
Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus by J.P. Moreland (I)
The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christby Brant Pitre (I)
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona (I)
Jesus Christ: Fundamentals of Christology by Roch A. Kereszty (I)
The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory Boyd (A)
The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach by Michael Licona (A)
The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright (A)
20 Answers: Divorce and Remarriage by Jim Blackburn (B)
Annulments and the Catholic Church: Straight Answers to Tough Questions by Ed Peters (B)
Getting the Marriage Conversation Right by William B. May (B)
Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom by Ryan Anderson (I)
What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense by Sherif Gergis, Robert George, and Ryan T. Anderson (A)
Mary and the Saints
20 Answers: Mary by Tim Staples (B)
Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham (B)
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines by Tim Staples (I)
Any Friend of God’s Is Friend of Mine: A Biblical and Historical Explanation of the Catholic Doctrine of the Communion of Saintsby Patrick Madrid (I)
The Incorruptibles by Joan Carroll Cruz (I)
Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Maryby Michael O’Carroll (A)
Non-Christian Religions
20 Answers: Mormonism by Trent Horn (B)
20 Answers: Jehovah’s Witnesses by Trent Horn (B)
20 Answers: Islam by Andrew Bieszad (B)
Beginning Apologetics 2: How to Answer Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham (B)
Beginning Apologetics 9: How to Answer Muslims by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham (B)
Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses by Jason Evert (I)
Salvation Is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History by Roy Schoeman
Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe by Isaiah Bennett (I)
Catholics and the New Age by Fr. Mitch Pacwa (I)
The New Mormon Challenge, eds. Francis J. Beckwith et al. (A)
Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John by Robert M. Bowman Jr. (A)
The Papacy
20 Answers: The Papacy by Jim Blackburn (B)
Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths and Misconceptions About the Papacy by Patrick Madrid (I)
Jesus, Peter, and the Keys: A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacyby Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess (A)
Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church by Stephen K. Ray (A)
Studies on the Early Papacy by Dom John Chapman (A)
The Priesthood
Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood by Scott Hahn (B)
Holy Order: The Apostolic Ministry from the New Testament to the Second Vatican Council by Aidan Nichols (I)
Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy by Christian Cochini (I)
Women in the Priesthood?: A Systematic Analysis in Light of the Order of Creation and Redemption by Manfred Hauke (A)
Recent Papal Writings
Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI (I)
Veritatis Splendor by Pope John Paul II (I)
Familiaris Consortio by Pope John Paul II (I)
Fides et Ratio by Pope John Paul II (I)
Evangelium Vitae by Pope John Paul II (I)
Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II (I)
Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I)
The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I)
God and the World by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I)
Truth and Tolerance by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I)
Spe Salvi by Pope Benedict XVI (I)
Deus Caritas Est by Pope Benedict XVI (I)
Caritas in Veritate by Pope Benedict XVI (I)
The Sacraments
20 Answers: The Eucharist by Trent Horn (B)
Swear to God: The Promise and Power of the Sacraments by Scott Hahn (B)
The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn (B)
Beginning Apologetics 3: How to Explain & Defend the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham (B)
Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession by Scott Hahn (B)
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre (I)
The Biblical Basis for the Mass by Tom Nash (I)
The Sacraments and Their Celebration by Nicholas Halligan (I)
Eucharist: Theology and Spiritualty of the Eucharist by Louis Bouyer (A)
20 Answers: Salvation by Jimmy Akin (B)
20 Answers: Death and Judgment by Trent Horn (B)
The Drama of Salvation by Jimmy Akin (I)
The Rapture Trap: A Catholic Response to “End Times” Fever by Paul Thigpen (I)
Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization by Raplh Martin (I)
Scripture, Tradition, and Authority
 20 Answers: Scripture and Tradition by Jim Blackburn (B)
By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition by Mark Shea (I)
The Case for the Deuterocanon: Evidence and Arguments by Gary Michuta (I)
The Meaning of Tradition by Yves Conger (I)
The Pope, the Council, and the Mass by James Likoudis and Kenneth D. Whitehead (I)
Not by Scripture Alone: A Catholic Critique of the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura, ed. Robert Sungenis (A)
Tradition and Traditions by Yves Conger (A)
Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I)
Sexual Ethics
Good News About Sex and Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions About Catholic Teaching by Christopher West (B)
Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri (B)
Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation, & Defense by William May (I)
Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) (I)
Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II (A)
One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics by Alexander Pruss (A)

Written by Trent Horn

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

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