Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism's 21st Century Opponents

Clarification in an Anti-Catholic Culture

HUNTINGTON, Indiana, July 10, 2013 – With his finger on the pulse of popular culture, acclaimed radio-show host Al Kresta addresses the primary challenges to the Catholic Church right now – some from within, others well beyond. 
 
Kresta – a former Protestant minister who became Catholic – is quick to admit that Catholics tend to be under-informed on the truths of their faith, and not well-primed to flag sophisticated and seemingly well-reasoned assaults on it. With 100 million self-identified U.S. Catholics, less than 20 percent attend weekly Mass. 
 
To assist the Church in telling its story, Kresta puts forth a first-of-its-kind clarification of popular worldviews at odds with Catholicism, unveiling truths and unmasking counterfeits. Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st-Century Opponents (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013) delves into many of the subjects discussed exclusively on Kresta‘s syndicated daily radio show heard on over 200 stations, while maintaining a tone that is fair, accessible and clear – as is Kresta‘s singular style. 
 
"No other book addresses as many modern-day counters to Catholicism as this one does," says Kresta. "I wanted to give Catholics and others intellectually mature arguments and rationale for identifying and understanding oppositions to the Church, and seeing how everyone is affected by them." To this end, he looks at the thought behind icons like Oprah, Christopher Hitchens, Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, Stephen Hawking, and Deepak Chopra. 
 
Whether clarifying the New Atheism or celebrity spirituality, ancient heresies like Gnosticism, abuses of science or philosophy, trendy consumerism, relativism, progressivism or transhumanism, secular governments, or false concepts of God, Dangers to the Faith addresses their errors and tackles challenges coming from all angles. Clarifying differences in plain language, Kresta allows readers to draw their own conclusions – from reading the actual facts, one issue at a time. 
 
With no shortage of hefty endorsements, the book has earned a thumbs-up from bishops, bestselling authors and syndicated writers, TV and radio personalities, major Catholic philanthropists, religious and academia. 
 
Describing in detail the origins and positions of the most significant adversaries to Catholicism, Dangers to the Faith gives readers a roadmap for navigating prevailing viewpoints while maintaining a firm understanding. 
 
Unlike any other, the book identifies opponents to the Church in many forms – misconstrued ideas of reality from philanthropists and celebrities; journalistic inaccuracies of history and fact; political rhetoric and its inherent misapplication; competing religious groups distorting Church doctrine; activist groups discrediting Catholic positions; and even professionals and scientists seeking to remake human nature. 
 
Catholics and others will come away with a sharpened cognizance of cultural mindsets, with common doubts assuaged, keener knowledge of Church teaching, and a healthier inclination to defend it.  
 

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Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor
Author: Al Kresta
Release Date: Summer 2013
Length: 208 Pages, Paperback
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-59276-725-0
Order www.osv.com
1-800-348-2440

The world’s largest English-language Catholic publisher, Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912, Our Sunday Visitor publishes a wide range of books including Bibles, biographies of the saints, books by Pope Benedict XVI, children’s books, devotionals, bible studies, inspirational works, and curriculum. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit www.osv.com.

Interview Questions

Al Kresta
Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st-Century Opponents

1. What compelled you to compile a book of modern-day pressures on the Church?

2. Do you feel that by having a better idea of what the overt – and covert – opponents to Catholicism are, people will be more inclined to defend the Church’s teachings and positions?

3. What is it about today’s Catholics that renders them ill-prepared to even discuss Catholicism, much less defend or inform others of it?

4. Shouldn’t the cultural assaults you mention in the book be identified in religion classes, church groups and even in sermons? What is your take on how the Church at large is doing its job of informing its faithful?

5. Are there any topics left out of the book that you might address either in a subsequent one or perhaps on your radio show?

6. Catholics seem to want to dismiss themselves from discussing ‘religion and politics’ in any setting, at any cost. Why is that? When did it become acceptable to keep religion and politics out of intelligent discourse – and how did that trend come about?

7. But there are positive changes coming about in the Church. Tell us about a few of them.

8. What do you think is the most serious opponent or threat to the faith we are currently facing?

About The Author

Al Kresta

Al Kresta is a broadcaster, journalist, President and CEO of Ave Maria Communication, host of the nationally syndicated Catholic talk show “Kresta in the Afternoon”

In 1997, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan recruited Al to launch the media apostolate, Ave Maria Communications. Heard through EWTN on over 220 stations and Sirius Satellite Radio, Kresta in the Afternoon is broadcast each weekday from 4-6 p.m. Eastern Time and looks at all areas of life through the lens of Scripture and the teaching of Christ’s Church.

Al is the co-author with Nick Thomm of Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories From Well-Known Catholics, and is the author of Why Do Catholics Genuflect?, Why Are Catholics So Concerned about Sin?, and the newly released Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st-Century Opponents.


Endorsements

The great need today is to love our enemies into the saving power of Jesus Christ.How can we do that unless we know who they are? Many thanks to Al Kresta for showing us the field of our love with Dangers to the Faith. --Bishop Earl Boyea, Diocese of Lansing, Michigan

Al Kresta is like a powerful satellite for Catholics in this country. He picks up the signals of cultural trends and he beams us the message we need to take home. --Scott Hahn, Professor of Biblical Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville

In this primer on the intellectual potholes in our increasingly bizarre culture, Al Kresta helpfully scouts some of the roughest terrain on which the New Evangelization must contend for the soul of the West. Fasten your seat belt for a bumpy -- but essential -- ride through the wastelands. --George Weigel, author of Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church

Al Kresta has saved you about 10,000 hours of study and research with this book. Read it. --Matthew Kelly, founder of DynamicCatholic.com

Dangers to Faith is for our century what Chesterton'sHeretic sand Belloc's Great Heresies was for the last century. It is a damning indictment and demonstrative demolition of the major errors of our age. --Joseph Pearce, literary biographer, writer in residence Thomas More College

Al possesses a unique array of talents: intelligent, articulate, witty and incredibly aware of those issues most pertinent to today’s Catholics. If Al takes the time to write it, it is worth reading. --Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and founder of Ave Maria University

Al Kresta is one of the modern Church's most articulate, thoughtful and authentic minds. His book, Dangers to the Faith, is a superb analysis of the challenges not only to contemporary Catholicism but the whole of global civilization. --Matthew Bunson, author Pope Francis, general editor of the Catholic Almanac

Al Kresta’s new book offers a tour through today’s pretenders to spiritual superiority over Jesus Christ by a warrior who takes our age as a wonderful time to be alive.--Michael Novak, Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute

Al Kresta is as fearless as he is comprehensive, covering everything from Islam to New Age, from reincarnation to relativism to consumerism. Through it all, Al Kresta remains … well, orthodox. --Paul Kengor, Ph.D., professor of political science, Grove City College

There is no lay person better qualified to address the threats to our Church than Al Kresta, who five days a week, two hours a day for many years has explained, proclaimed, and defended the Catholic faith on his Ave Maria radio broadcast. Kresta, in short, has become our nation's preeminent Catholic apologist. --Deal W. Hudson, founder of Catholic Advocate, former publisher Crisis Magazine

Dangers to the Faith is a serious, substantive, significant work of cultural apologetics. Al Kresta deserves much credit for providing such a long overdue taxonomy of toxicity — a guide to what ails the body politic. --Patrick Madrid, host of the “Right Here, Right Now” radio show

Kresta communicates in an accessible, enjoyable style that edifies any truth-seeking reader. The book has already informed my teaching because it meets people where they are and leads them to the fullness of faith in Christ. --John Love, S.T.D., Assistant Professor of Theology at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary

With Dangers to Faith, Al Kresta brings his gift for clear-eyed analysis to bear on specific ideas, trends and personalities and even idols that, having taken hold of public imagination, are creating formidable opposition to the church and the eternal truths she is charged to uphold. --Elizabeth Scalia,Author of Strange Gods, Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life and the blogger known as The Anchoress

Al Kresta is one of the most insightful and intelligent commentators on the Catholic scene. In Dangers to the Faith, he exposes the sources of confusion and demolishes them one-by-one. --Jimmy Akin, Senior Apologist, Catholic Answers.

"I have been a fan of Al Kresta for years, listening to his insightful commentary and finding real wisdom in his analysis of current events. His book offers food for thought about the moral bankruptcy facing our culture as we have rejected Biblical truth.." --Gary Bauer,former Presidential Candidate, president of American Values

Far from offering an extended scholarly complaint,Dangers to the Faithgraces readers with time-tested solutions rooted in the faith of his fathers. Kresta brings the same flawless logic, tireless research, and personal warmth to his new book as he does to his daily radio program. --Ben Johnson, U.S. Bureau Chief of LifeSiteNews.com.

In Dangers to the Faith Al has given all who love the Truth articulate and logical ways to answer the many false ideas and philosophies now passing through modernity as truth. One by one he shows them to be shallow houses built on sand. --Dr. Ray Guarendi, best-selling author, psychologist, radio host of The Doctor Is In, and television host of Living Right with Dr. Ray

There’s a reason why Al Kresta is the eminence grise of American Catholic broadcasters: he has a preternatural knack for dissecting headlines and exposing the story behind the story. Here he gives us a clear-headed look at the big “isms” that have screwed up the world (and tainted the Church) and what to do about them. Patrick Coffin, Author and host of Catholic Answers Live

Al Kresta has answered “How do we stand up against the constant attacks on Catholicism?” brilliantly in Dangers to the Faith.This book should be right next to your Bible and Catechism --Teresa Tomeo, bestselling Catholic author, syndicated talk show host

In his remarkably wide-ranging yet completely accessible book, Al Kresta provides a compelling case for the logic of orthodoxy and the reasonableness of the Faith. Kresta has the gift of a common man’s touch combined with a first class intellect. --Fr. Robert Sirico, President, The Acton Institute

Radio host Al Kresta wades into the culture wars with Catholic guns a-blazin'. With a clear vision of today's enemies of the Catholic faith, he helps us recognize our foes so we can engage in the battle for the faith with clarity and charity. --Fr. Dwight Longenecker, parish priest, author of The Quest for the Creed, blogger, broadcaster, writer and speaker.

The enemies of our Catholic faith have redesigned their masks and their devices. Kresta nimbly exposes them, reveals their intentions and methods and gives us a clear plan of action.Study it as a torch to light the way into a new century. --Steve Ray, author, speaker, apologist, creator of the Footprints of God series

Al Kresta provides ordinary Catholics with an accessible and clearly-written guide to how one should respond to many of the cultural and intellectual challenges that the Church is facing today. --Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University.

Al Kresta provides a vigorous defense of the church he loves, debunking scores of myths, both historical and current. His felicitous writing makes his analysis of the multidimensional threats to Catholicism a joy to read. Educational and entertaining, Kresta has hit all the right notes. --Bill Donohue, Executive Director of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

Brilliant, fascinating and timely—In Dangers to the Faith Al Kresta urges us to truly learn our faith and enlightens us to twelve opponents or enemies to the Catholic faith. He warns us to recognize and acknowledge the dangers—challenge them, and even love the enemy. --Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, EWTN’s TV host and author of numerous Catholic books

Our world has become a chaotic marketplace of competing ideas with serious consequences.Dangers to Faith does a remarkable job of surveying and making sense of the chaos, showing the sources and patterns of thought that are shaping our culture in disturbing and dangerous ways. --Paul Thigpen, author of The Burden: A Warning of Things to Come.

Al Kresta has a knack for explaining religious debates in simple but lively language. I particularly enjoyed his explanation of how secular journalists and academic researchers (who should know better) are repeatedly seduced by fraudulent claims that support ancient heresies, when they pride themselves on being skeptics about any evidence that supports the ancient truths of the Christian faith. --Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News

Al Kresta’s new book is a virtual lesson plan on how to recognize the dangers in religions new reality ...the 21stcentury 3Rs …Relativism, Reductionism and Redefinition , it’s a realistic look at a radical world view that challenges our core beliefs and contests daily for the very cultural soul of our nation --Doug Keck, COO of EWTN and Host of “Bookmark”

“Al Kresta does more for the New Evangelization in a year than most of us will do in our lifetime. In Dangers to Faith, he takes us inside the threats facing Catholicism in the 21stcentury in a way that illustrates the more insidious obstacles to spreading the Faith. Read and learn. I certainly did.” --Samuel Gregg, Director of Research, Acton Institute

“Everyone” knows the Catholic Church is wrong about nearly everything, so “everyone” is looking for answers to life’s questions elsewhere: in exotic religions, in science elevated to a religion, in relativism, in consumerism, even in a refashioned Christianity that bears little resemblance to the historic thing. But none of these alternatives proves satisfying. This book points toward the one thing that will bring real fulfillment to the “everyone” who seeks it: the Catholic faith. --Karl Keating,President, Catholic Answers

We ignore Kresta’s cogent and eloquent warning at our culture’s extreme peril. --Wesley J. Smith, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

In defending the Catholic Church from its many detractors, Al Kresta succeeds in equipping all orthodox Christians, no matter their denomination, to resist the multi-faceted onslaught of secular humanism. --Louis Markos, Professor in English and Scholar in Residence, Houston Baptist University

Al Kresta is one of today's most incisive Catholic commentators, and Dangers to Faith shows Kresta at the top of his form as a reporter and analyst. From reincarnation and New Age to evolutionism and militant secularism, Kresta turns the spotlight on a diverse gaggle of the 21st century's typical heresies. --Russell Shaw, Washington correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor

Al Kresta demolishes the supposed historical arguments against Christian orthodoxy, and he does so by giving us the plain facts — the essentials — and never bogging down in the marshes of minutiae. This may be the most useful book you read this year. Mike Aquilina, prolific author and Executive Vice President of The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Christianity is under attack and Christians must be prepared for the assault. In the midst of the melee, Al Kresta delivers a much needed strategy to disarm our opponents and, maybe even win their hearts for Christ. A must read. --Gregory K. Popcak, Ph.D., Author:Holy Sex!and host of More2Life Radio.

As our cultural skies grow darker, the light of Christ becomes more visible.Al Kresta shines that light and shows us the way to the truth and love who is Christ in an increasingly dark and loveless world. --Mark P. Shea, author,Salt and Light: The Commandments, the Beatitudes, and a Joyful Life

In his new book, Al Kresta has provided the faithful with a concise but detailed examination of the most dangerous threats we face. The bad news is that too many souls have already suffered an ignominious fate by falling prey to one or more of them. The good news is that Catholicism— as Al so lucidly points out— remains the only hope of vanquishing these mortal threats to mankind. --Jerry Usher, founder Third Millennium Media

With traditional Catholic values under attack in our radical secular society today, Al Kresta in his timely and insightful new book, Dangers to Faith, encourages us to "not be afraid" as Pope John Paul II so often courageously did and defend our faith in "the public square --Raymond L. Flynn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston.

Like a lens coming into focus, Dangers to Faith provides a clear vision of the pseudo spiritual and intellectual influences in our lives. Yet, rather than feeling dismay at an unraveling of society, Kresta presents the power and glory of our human destiny and leaves us feeling relieved. --Patti Armstrong, author and co-editor of the Amazing Grace series

InDangers to Faith iconic radio personality Al Kresta puts a post-modern face on the enemies of the Church. He concludes that there is only one antidote to man’s ageless pre-disposition to march into a black, bottomless abyss. It is an old formula, tested and proven. It is personal holiness.--Brian Gail, consultant to Fortune 500 companies, author of the novels,Fatherless, Motherless, Childless

Al Kresta is one of the most knowledgeable and informed Catholic commentators on the contemporary scene that we have today. If you want to be informed about the challenges the Church is facing today – and be better equipped to confront them – this is the book. --Ralph Martin, President of Renewal Ministries, Director of Graduate Programs at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

The timing of this book could not be more acute and astute. Catholics need to be educated and intellectually armed, and this does exactly that. Essential. --Michael Coren, author, speaker,host of The Arena with Michael Coren

Dangers to Faith is a must-have tool, from one of the leading defenders of the Church in our day. More than ever, as Al Kresta explains, dangers to our faith are in fact dangers to our very survival. --Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

I am thrilled that my friend— and one of my heroes— Al Kresta has written Dangers to the Faith. It is a missionary manual for all Catholics and other Christians who want to understand the mission field in order to be more effective missionaries. --Deacon Keith Fournier, Constitutional Lawyer, Editor in Chief, Catholic Online

Al Kresta’s erudite treatise on “Consumerism” as “Branding of the Heart” is most timely in the light of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis. I believe Pope Francis would deeply appreciate a reading of Dangers to the Faith It certainly appears, at least to this reader, they are on the exact same page. --Mother Assumpta Long, OP, Foundress of Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

We are all called to be protagonists for rebuilding a Christian culture. This book helps Catholics become aware of and understand the forces in the culture working against the Church so they can be better prepared to witness the truth. --Bill May, Catholics for the Common Good

The book is a modern Catholic manifesto, ripped from today’s headlines, taking down the many and sundry –isms that most challenge the present-day Church. Kresta equips us to fight the battle before us. --Tim Drake, Director of News Operations/Senior Editor, The Cardinal Newman Society

Dangers to the Faith is an important guide to the contemporary issues and challenges confronting Christian believers at the start of the 3rd millennium. This is a unique book, full of wisdom and insight that casts light on current ideologies of which every Christian needs to be aware, and to which a serious and informed response must be given. --Monica Migliorino Miller, Director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, author of Abandoned--The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars,

Al Kresta takes apart the fashionable absurdities of the modern world. It's about time someone did. --Tom Woods, author of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

Al Kresta has proven to be an astute commentator on religion and culture. In his new book heprovides a true "State of the Union," identifying through examples the various erroneous ideas and values afflicting our culture, as well as providing the remedy —love and challenge those who propose them.”--Colin Donovan, Eternal Word Television Network