Review of Father Dwight Longenecker’s Book; Catholicism Pure & Simple

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For those accustomed to Father Dwight Longenecker’s pithy and insightful blog posts, the thought of reading one of his books leaves us some questions, namely will it be like his blog? Thankfully the answer is yes. Somehow Father Longenecker is able to transfer his tactful writing abilities to the printed page or electronic device (whichever you prefer.)

I would recommend this book not only for those folks interested in Catholicism, but especially to those inquisitive souls who just want to understand religion, any religion and the formation necessary to subscribe to any belief system.

Father Longenecker first weaves his way through the thought process that makes up our belief system, or lack thereof, and melds our thoughts into a cogent pattern that helps us better understand why we believe what we do and why. This sort of devil’s advocate approach helps us realize that security in which he places his beliefs.

As Catholics we are obliged to preach our faith with love, charity and conviction. This is certainly not easy in an increasingly western secular world that hates anything that smacks of black and white. The secular powers that be love gray. In Catholicism Pure and Simple, Father Longenecker explains the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in a way that makes the reader shake his or her head in understanding.

In our reading of Catholicism Pure and Simple, we are taken on an intellectual but fun lovingly ride through history and our own senses. Father Longenecker examines where our beliefs and ideas about God came from and why we believe what we do. 

Again I can’t emphasis this enough; while this book will surely deepen our own faith, it will really open up the minds of some of our family and friends who don’t share are faith and are skeptical of religious faith in general.  All this coupled with the lively examples given to us by one of my South Carolina’s most interesting converts, makes for an interesting journey which will stimulate our intellect and senses, and imbibe us with a little humor along the way.


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