This review has been a long time coming. I’ve started reading Hostile Witness by Gary Mitchuta a while ago. I actually had to read it twice–once on my Kindle and finally I gave up bought a paperback. This is why I have multiple copies of the same book.
This book was a treasure for me, because I love history. I love learning about our faith through the eyes of history and seeing how events that surrounds the Bible helps the time period (and culture) make sense. Learning about our history makes the lives of those who lived during the time of the Bible and after, come alive.
Gary Mitchuta starts this book by taking us all the way back to the New Testament times, and uses historical witnesses to prove Christianity. Instead of using testimony from people who agreed with Christianity, he pulled testimony from people who dismissed the faith, or who were against (hostile) against it.
This was the part that made this book so interesting. He starts with King Herod the Great, and takes us through history up until WWII and the National Socialist Party (Nazis). He gives just enough information to whet your appetite about that time period, while leaving you wanting to know more about it.
Dispelling the Lies
In our day and age, we have so many people who use information incorrectly, or just choose to be willfully ignorant about history. Mitchuta takes the common arguments such as: Jesus doesn’t exist, Crusades and Christianity evils, and of course WWII and how the Pope was on the Nazis side–and dispels them.
Not only does he goes through the evidence, he gives enough evidence to prove his point. From a historical standpoint, a person can look at the evidence, and see what the people understood at the time. If you tend to use any information with someone (assuming they have historical integrity), there is enough evidence to turn the common believe that Jesus doesn’t exist and prove to them that that ideology is incorrect.
Again, he doesn’t use arguments from people who were in favor of Christianity, but those who were against it and who were trying to make an argument against it. My favorite sections were about the Crusades and The Inquisition (which he rightfully explained that “The” Inquisition was the referred to the Spanish Inquisition but there were many Inquisitions held throughout Europe.
Favorite Part of This Book
• At the end of each section, before he head off into a new area to discuss, he gives us suggestions for further reading. There are more than a dozen books all together that he suggests to read further in the topic of your choosing. Again, for a person who loves reading, and who loves learning about our faith and history, this is pure gold.
• Each area is well researched and he gives just the right amount of testimony to prove the existence of Christianity, and the status of the Church during these troubled times (such as during WWII, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Crusades).
• Only when discussing the New Testament does he use Bible references. Of course why would this be my favorite part? In a world today where people dismiss God, and dismiss the Bible, to have talking points that directs people to look at history, makes the argument for Christianity more approachable. There are too many people whom I know that will just shut down when you start quoting Scripture. This helps a person who is looking for other ways to evangelize and reach the masses.
• This information helps solidify and gives you confidence in knowing more about your faith. If it’s not to evangelize others, then it’s to evangelize yourself. This book is a perfect example to look into all the information and not to be led astray by pretty words.
Overall, this is a book that I would recommend reading–slowly. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve read it twice. Once on a Kindle–and that was just too fast for my taste. The formatting was okay but for my brain to fully grasp it, it was so much better when I got paper back. Once I started reading it again with a physical copy then it all started to make sense.
This book is awesome to share with others, even those who are not Christian. This makes a great discussion piece and to further go into the Church and what we believe. Of course this would mean nothing if the person whom you are talking to is inclined to have an open mind and hear truth. This book does not teach you to get others comfortable with you, but it does teach you to get comfortable (and have some correct information) to face to onslaught of false accusations that are usually hurled at our Faith.
So my advice to you (if you think like I do–and constantly surrounded by distractions), paperback is the way to go. There are other books that Gary Mitchuta wrote that are now on my wish list:
- Behind the Bible: What the Bible Assumes That You Already Know
- Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger
- Case for the Deuterocanon
- Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger
- How to Wolf Proof your Kids
Have you read anything from this author? If so, what is your favorite book?