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The Religion of the Plain Man

The Religion of the Plain Man

Roman Catholic Books

Regular price $16.95 Sale

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In plain English: why you’re a Catholic   

But more: why your Protestant neighbor should be one, too


Wrote the already-venerable London Tablet when Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson unveiled this gem in 1906:

“This is a book which sets forth in a plain, simple way the reasons for submitting to the authority of the Church. It is not a learned treatise, but a simple common-sense explanation [for] the man in the street.”


Benson methodically—yet briefly, and with characteristic wit—lays out the case for Catholicism and against its critics. He does it in seven brilliantly simple chapters, explaining in a preface:

 
“This book is intended for the ‘man in the street,’ who, after all, has a certain claim on our consideration, since Jesus Christ came to save his soul.”


The Catholic World did its part to send this book to the top of the charts in its day, explaining why Benson’s is an apologetics primer fundamentally different from all the rest:

 
“He addresses readers ‘who are entirely unable to discourse profoundly upon the Fathers of the Church or to decide where scholars disagree....[Benson] reasons that since the Catholic Church is intended by God to be known by all men, and at the same time, God has not granted scholarship or critical acumen to the multitude, there must be some plain, simple arguments for Catholic truth that are easily grasped by ‘the man in the street.’”


 Msgr. Benson found every one of those arguments. Better yet: he supports each of them with the apt Scripture reference. Of his extraordinary powers of persuasion, New Oxford Review recalls:

 
“He had been a powerful influence in prodding legions of Protestant readers to rethink deep anti-Catholic prejudices, and if, after having the case put before them in Benson’s inimitable fashion, they were not convinced on all points, at least their hostility was the less; some even called for a reappraisal of the Catholic position. A friend of Benson’s from those early days, writing for the Church Times, the publishing arm of the Church of England, described his daring mission sermons as appealing especially to the poor and ignorant, who responded easily to his simple ‘man next door’ renditions of the lessons of Scripture. Anglicans never forgave him his defection because in the course of his short life he drew thousands into the Catholic Church, and they knew it.”