Saturday, 7 November 2015

Criticising the Critics, by Aidan Nichols

Aidan Nichols, Criticising the Critics, 2010 Family Publications

This book, by Dominican theologian Aidan Nichols, addresses the many critics of the Catholic Church. In each chapter, he addresses specific groups of critics, modernists, New Agers, academic exegetes, liberal Protestants, progressive Catholics, feminists and the 'erotically absordbed.' The latter section is particularly important, given how sexuality has become the key battleground of the Church today. The section on Biblical criticism is important too, though I would have preferred a more firm assault on Biblical criticism and a defence of Biblical Inerrancy. He concludes with an essay defending his view that secularisation is a bigger threat to Christianity than Islam, which I tend to agree with.

There is no chapter on objections to the Catholic Church from conservative Protestants, Eastern Orthodox or other religious communities. Perhaps Nichols thought that such objections had been addressed elsewhere, or perhaps his concern was to focus on mainstream secularised religious views. He is likely to see other conservative Christians as more allies than enemies to Catholicism.

This book is clearly aimed at thinking-people. It is a book for deeper reflection, rather than a collection of read-made apologetic arguments. Yet I think readers will find it very insightful and a worthy homage to St. Irenaeus' apologetic work.

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