Books by John Michael Talbot

Released: Sept. 6, 1999

Famed Christian musician Talbot is also a Catholic apologist. His Christian primer which treats a range of subjects, from the sacraments to the Paraclete, is unabashedly evangelistic—"Come on in. Take a look around. I believe you will find your home here." But it's hard to imagine that Talbot will accomplish anything other than stroking those who already agree with him. The author's delight in contrasting a near-faultless Catholicism with a quarrelsome, disorganized Protestant Church will not win the sympathies of Methodist or Presbyterian readers. Nor will those outright skeptical of Christianity find much that speaks to them; although he proclaims the value of mystery, Talbot flees from ambiguity. He raises difficult questions, such as the historical Jesus and religious pluralism, only to avoid engaging them, knocking over straw men and providing pat, unsatisfying answers instead. Throughout, Talbot's prose drips with condescension ("This all sounds so complex, but it's extremely important. Let me try to illustrate it with a story"). Halfway through the book Talbot observes that "It's music—not writing or speaking—that is my primary gift from God." Whether Talbot should take a vow of silence is debatable, but he should certainly forgo his pursuit of the written word, confining his attempts at spreading the faith to song. A desultory, grossly oversimplified summary of the Catholic faith. (b&w photos) Read full book review >