Any Interest in a Shameless Popery Book or e-Book?

A few of you have approached me in the past about this topic, but I wanted to open this up to general discussion.  If I put together a book and/or an eBook, would any of you be interested in buying it?  Most likely, I’d take material I’ve already written for the blog, lay it out in a more straightforward format, and combine it with some additional original content.

Here’s what I’m looking to find out from you:

  1. How interested or uninterested are you in this?  (Please, be honest!  If interest levels are low, that could save a lot of unnecessary hassle).
  2. What topic or topics would you most like to see addressed?
  3. What’s your preference on the format?  Do you prefer traditional books over e-books?
  4. How long should the book be?  
I can’t promise I’ll take every suggestion, but it’d certainly be helpful for me!


  1. I sure would, Joe. You’ve turned into one of the best resources on the web. I’d be most interested in the specific side-by-side arguments that you make so well here with commenters and emailers, both Orthodox and Protestant. Not thrilled with the idea of an ebook from you though as one could just as easily go back through your old posts. I’d buy an apologetics book (a real book, 3D and all!) with your name on the cover in a heartbeat though.

  2. It’s funny you should mention this. I was actually just thinking about that today. I recently discovered your site–I’d come across it occassionally on New Advent, but didn’t check it out in depth–and I find it all very fascinating. I’ve wanted to sit down with a coffee and go through the old posts, but a book would also be wonderful.

  3. (1) This will come as no surprise to anyone since I have been predicting and hoping for such a development for over a year, but I would be extremely interested in this.

    (2) I feel strange offering suggestions since really whatever moves you is what you should do. You may want to take a narrower topic than I am envisioning, which would be great. But since you asked, what I would suggest is guiding the reader from the presumed materialistic atheism of most intellectuals today to “mere” Christianity and then from there make the argument for Catholicism.

    (3) I prefer traditional books, but I use and enjoy both all the time.

    (4) It really depends on the topic. I’m a huge fan of short, well written books. But, if you were to take my suggestion in (2), I would say probably 250-400 pages. Keller’s the Reason for God is structured somewhat like that and runs 293 pages, which seemed about right.

    Anyway, this really excites me, it will be great. I doubt you’ll need it, but let me know if I can be of any help if you go ahead with this.

  4. (1) I’d be an eager consumer and promoter.

    (2) Probably something on Catholic apologetics or commentary from the Church fathers on Catholic doctrine and Scripture. How about something like “Share Your Faith Like the Fathers”?

    (3) I think you should do a both/and solution. Put out some proposals with traditional publishers for a longer book (~175-200 pages) and then do some shorter eBooks on your own (~50-100 pages).

    (4) See my suggestions in (3).

    I’ve been telling people for a long time–including you–that you should write a book. You’re a great thinker who writes with clarity and intelligence, an increasingly rare combination.

    Shoot me an email once you move forward as I’d love to offer whatever advice, help, and connections I can.

  5. Joe,
    I would buy your book. I promise. I am very interested in a combination of Catholic history and apologetics. There may be books out there like that, but you appear to be able to reach all generations with accuracy and clarity. I am looking for a book that would describe the history of the Church from Peter to present with emphasis on Catholic influence on the world. The book should continuously drive home the point that the Catholic Church is the one Jesus intended to be his voice throughout time. If you could do that in less than 300 pages, I believe you would get a wider audience.

  6. What wonderful news!

    1) Yes, yes, yes! I’ve been refering so many people to this site, and refering them to a book where many of your concise arguments will be contained will be fantastic!

    2) It’s difficult to limit it to only certain topics, but I’d say the argument from history and necessity and biblical validity of Sacred Tradition should be the starting point and then the rest can build on that. Just a suggestion 🙂

    3) Traditional book, but only because here in South Africa Kindles are expensive. (would make it more accessible in e-format though…)

    4) As long as needed. I hope I don’t offend by saying this, but I consider your blog as something between a reference and a “systematic theology”. So it would be great to have a lengthy book where you can jump to a particular topic and then enjoy the explanation, like the tag cloud at the bottom of the home page.

    Those are my humble suggestions. Hope and pray that you will go ahead with the project!

    God bless.

  7. I would probably buy a book you wrote if it was available from the Kindle store. I would be more likely to go for a shorter cheaper book than a longer more expensive one.

    Devin Rose spoke about his success with a low price ebook strategy: charging $2.99.

    Personally I would be pretty much a certain buy if it came in under £5 (GBP), and fairly likely in the £5-10 bracket.

    Judging by my past buying habits, I would probably buy several smaller e-books at a low price while being put off by a longer more expensive one.

    If it is not a cheap e-book, but something in print at a more substantial price I would probably only buy it if I could look at it in a store first. Would a print book by you reach shops in England?

  8. I’d not only read a book you put out, I’d gve out copies. I send friends and family your website all the time to answer questions about the faith (I’m one of two Catholics in my entire family so there are a LOT of questions). I particularly apprecite the historical perspective you provide in most of your posts, so that would be great in a book. Price point a under $20 makes it easier to afford extra copies to give as gifts. As far as length, I think shooting for 500 pages is a good start. One thing I get frustrated with in apologetics books is that they are either gigantic theological tomes or they are easy readers that are short and only really touch the very surfaceof the issues they discuss. A happy medium between the two- where we could get a lot of meat without it being a textbook- would be ideal, in my opinion.

  9. 1. Very interested. See comments above about quick reference and your writing style is great.
    2. Protestantism and its problems/why the Papacy is right/needed (your series on the papacy is excellent)
    3. Traditional book
    4. As long as it needs to be. Write a couple of books if there’s too much to say. I’d buy them all 🙂

  10. I’d be interested as well. Traditional or e-book. Your arguments against Protestantism and against the Eastern Orthodox are always solid. I especially have enjoyed the Pope Peter series as well as your arguments against Sola Scriptura. This is the only blog I actually go through the old posts on (frequently printing them off to read at my leisure) so a book would be great from where I sit.

  11. I would be very interested.

    I think taking your posts, and making an apologetics primer would be nice.

    Maybe an “easy answers to not so easy questions” type of thing. 2-5 pages on each question.

    I dont know, I think you do such a good job with the blog I just want to read whatever you organically create… hope you dont get painted in by too many suggestions.

  12. 1. of course!
    2. I’d like to see you categorizes your different arguments by chapter, rather than a narrative.
    3. I prefer parchment…
    4. 333 pages

    This may already be a priority for you, but I’d really like to see the book have proper citation, end notes, and bibliography. Flipping to the back for further reading suggestions is one of my favorite things about books. It’s like getting a peak into your library!

  13. 1) Definitely interested. Me and my dad are on this blog soooo much. You’ve inspired and taught so many people! A book would be freaking amazing.

    2)You should definitely do the book on pretty much everything. Atheism vs Intelligent Design; Catholic traditions/dogmas; the holes in other Protestant doctrines (in a nice way of course); and just generally talk about the Catholic Church. Maybe not always defending it against people, just preaching her and her awesomeness.

    3)Definitely a traditional book. They’re so much better.

    4) Have you ever read the Essential Catholic Survival Guide put together by Catholic Answers? That kind of size should suffice 🙂

    Considering all of your arguments are so logical and make so much sense, a book would be awesome.

  14. I have been trolling on your site for a little while now, and have to say that I really enjoy your logical method for dissecting the arguments for and against Catholicism.

    I would be very interested in purchasing a book by you, and would in turn share it with my friends and church as well.

  15. Do write! But make it more than just a collection of blog posts. You develop some great themes, but they wouldn’t be book material without being organized systematicly and developed a little more to flow together even a little more seamlessly. You’re especially strong on solid arguments backed by Bible and Church Fathers and made interesting. Keep all that. Maybe fill in the holes a little. Holes? What holes? I donno.

  16. I’d love a Shameless Popery book! (Real, not e-book) Like another commenter said, if I wanted an e-book, I’d just search your blog. You’re one of my favorite apologists, so I’d love to have a concrete resource.

    I like how you respond to common misconceptions or myths about Catholicism – perhaps organize it in major sections like “Why not other religions?” where your posts about things like Seventh-Day Adventism and all that are… I like your objection-response format rather than just straight apologetics, because when I see a post from you I say “Oh, I HAVE heard people say that. Huh. I guess now I’ll recite this blog post to them.”

    Keep us posted! Very excited!


  17. Joe,
    Thank you for sharing your talent with us through your blog.
    1. Very interested…I would be willing to pre-order a copy.
    2. Canon of the Bible, Inquisition, Relics, Indulgences, talking with Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses…anything.
    3. Traditional book
    4. As much as you can write

  18. I’d willingly contribute shameless gushing laudatory quotes for the dust jacket if it was a real book. I would read either one and as others have said buy it as gifts for people…

  19. Joe,

    I am with everybody else on this one. You have been blessed with amazing talents. The blog has certainly been a great way to invest them, but don’t bury the idea of a book ;). There’s a reason I’ve probably been 2,000 of the hits on your site over the past year; you are informative, succinct, timely, and charitable. I would buy and redistribute your book to friends. I’d prefer you produced a traditional book, but would buy an E-book just because it was yours.

    Your blog has often made me question whether I ought to be attending Franciscan/Augustine Institute/Catholic University after I finish law school so that I may more intelligibly evangelize/converse about Church history and theology. My wife would prefer I continue to self-teach; you’re book would undoubtedly be instrumental in my development. PS–My wife and I have been considering FOCUS mission work after I graduate from law school. If that decision were made, I’d definitely want your book in my bundle of Catholic sticks. I’m certain it would be one of my top resources and would sit on my shelf right next to Scott Hahn, Mark Shea, Frank Sheed, and Karl Keating. I’ve got a suspicion that I would reach for it first in many situations.

    I’ll be praying that God makes His answer to the question clear to you.


  20. BROCK!

    DO FOCUS! DO IT! It brought me to the faith…well indirectly, but they are absolutely doing God’s work. We have several friends that are and have been a part of the organization and they need people like you all!

    In Christ

  21. It seems that that doing valid apologetics and communicating the validity of apologetics are entirely different things. It is extremely hard to avoid framing issues in a manner that creates the sort of toxic deliberative environment in which individuals perceive that the positions they adopt are tests of loyalty to one or another side in a contest for cultural dominance. If an individual forms a belief about religion that is “heretical” within her community, she might well forfeit the friendship and respect of people she depends on most for support in her everyday life.

    And you see this from the response to debates, like William Lane Craig’s. Everybody leaves thinking their position is stronger (even if they may admit that their guy was a lousy debater) and is re-entrenched in that position. I’m not totally sure how you avoid this. But, if you were to write a book, I would keep it in mind. If the book is to be truly transcendent it will overcome the communication deficit at least to some degree.

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