The New Evangelization requires a new apologetics, that is, a defense of the faith that responds to the questions that believers and non-believers alike are asking today with philosophical and theological arguments rooted in Sacred Scripture, Catholic Tradition, and the best philosophical reflection available. Why Believe? offers just such a new apologetics and in a format that appeals to our contemporary desire for beauty.A year-long apologetics course, Why Believe? is intended for the use in the senior year of Catholic and independent high schools as well as by home educators and in home-school cooperatives. The curriculum consists of:
The textbooks and videos are marked by significant works of art, literature, and Sacred Scripture, offering teachers the opportunity to enliven the student’s experience of the apologetic material.
Or, purchase individual copies on the Catholic Market.
The Why Believe? curriculum is composed of a two-volume textbook set along with 60 short-form videos produced by the award-winning Augustine Institute Studios.
Today’s Catholic high-school students daily confront the implicit claim that our secular culture provides fully for human happiness. Why Believe? responds directly to that claim by a compelling argument that faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, is the only adequate answer to the human heart’s desire for happiness. That argument unfolds over the 30 chapters of the two-volume textbook and is supplemented by two short-form videos per chapter.
A significant feature of the Why Believe? textbooks is their beauty. Throughout the two volumes are dozens of high-quality photographic reproductions of significant artistic works. One of the series of videos provided on formed.org/whybelieve consists of commentaries on some of those artistic works. Teachers use the images in the text as the basis for their own expositions of the beauty of Catholic culture.
The Why Believe? textbooks also include numerous discussions of significant works of literature (e.g. The Lord of the Rings, Macbeth, Pride & Prejudice,), compelling passages from Sacred Scripture (e.g., the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Bread of Life Discourse from John 6), and the lives of Catholic witnesses and saints (e.g. St. Dismas, St. Polycarp, St. Augustine, Caryll Houselander, Servant of God by Fr. Walter Cisczk). These selections and features provide teachers with an opportunity to enliven the student’s experience of the apologetic material.
A comprehensive Teacher Manual contains valuable tools and tips for teachers to effectively convey the material included in the curriculum. This handbook includes a main objective for each chapter, resources for further reading, and useful suggestions for assignments and classroom activities.
The following outlines how the text and video content unfolds throughout the curriculum.
Why should I believe what the Church teaches?
Each human life is a dramatic search for happiness that requires both friendship and truth to be successful.
Sustained reflection upon our common experience of the world enables us to vindicate that we can arrive at philosophical truths that are independent of the claims of modern experimental science, among which are the immortality of the soul and the existence of God as first cause or Creator of the universe.
The stance of the relativist is self-defeating.
The claims of materialist and reductionist versions of evolutionary theory are unconvincing.
The biblical testimony to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Divinity of Jesus Christ, his Only-Begotten Son are convincing, as are Christ’s establishment of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation.
Our weekly recitation of the Nicene Creed is a fitting act, both morally and intellectually.
Or, purchase individual copies on the Catholic Market.
Will believing what the Church teaches make me happy?
The essential personal drama of each human life is an interior one, at the level of the conscience. In response to our sins, God unfailingly offers his mercy.
The contemporary moral landscape is characterized by a relativism and individualism that are logically defective and incapable of providing true happiness.
Each human person is a unique unity of body and soul, each of which makes an essential contribution to our character and happiness. From this perspective, we are able to understand the proper relationship of emotions and reason, the rightful and good purpose of human sexuality, and the essential and beneficial role of the family in human life.
The paradox of human life is that even when we know what will make us happy, we sometimes fail to choose according to that knowledge. The defects in our characters—ultimately stemming from Original Sin—can be healed by Divine Grace offered by the sacraments and by our efforts to live according to that Grace and under the direction of God’s law. The resulting good changes to our characters are the virtues, theological and moral, that enable us to live happy lives here that will prepare us to be happy in heaven with God.
The essential principle or cause of human happiness is love: the love of God and the love of neighbor. We live that love most effectively in the Church founded by Christ, with the help of his sacraments and the illumination provided by the prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture and the example of the saints. The love we experience—by giving and receiving—enables us to bear the suffering that results from sin and to live in the hopeful expectation of life after death.
The happy life is founded upon a mature commitment to Jesus Christ as teacher and Lord, a commitment that manifests itself in prayer and good works, especially the work of evangelization.
Why Believe? is exactly what today’s students need. It offers reasoned responses to students' questions about the faith and argues convincingly that growing closer to Christ does indeed lead to happiness and fulfillment. These textbooks are indispensable for teachers who want their students to graduate confident and secure in their faith.
The Augustine Institute hits it out of the park again with Why Believe?,the answer to today’s practical questions concerning the faith. Outside of the Holy Bible and the Catechism, Why Believe?really is the best resource one can have in the arsenal.
Why Believe? explores the great truths in the journey of faith in a way that allows students to discover themselves as a part of God's great story.
As partners with the Augustine Institute, the Diocese of Rockville Centre welcomes Why Believe? into its high schools with joy and deep satisfaction. I am convinced that this curriculum—with the help of the Lord’s constant offer of grace—will enkindle and illuminate the faith of our youth, ground them more firmly in hope, and inspire them to beautiful deeds of love.
With eye-catching visuals and engaging explanations, Why Believe? is the perfect resource to help deepen your faith without going over your head!
This text recognizes the importance of addressing moral relativism in evangelization, which almost no other text does. As Cardinal Newman rightly argued, religious assent begins with the recognition of a moral law on our conscience. Why Believe? treats this topic and many others with an unusual combination of intellectual depth and accessibility for teen readers.
This book does a great job of breaking down the teachings to make them very easy to understand. There is so much to learn from it in a more academic way, but it presents God in such an Almighty way and how He is so truly good that reading this book also helps and encourages me to go deeper in my own prayer life.
Our youth badly need to dare to be truly happy by living generously for God and neighbor. Why Believe? invites them to do so with arguments that are both engaging and convincing. It will raise their vision to things that are above.
Why Believe? is ideal for youth ministry groups, High school curriculum, and home school curriculum.