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A Faith Brief

A Lawyer's Argument to Why Faith Prevails Over Doubt

Patrick M. Garry

Professor Garry proves himself to be a valued counselor well beyond the legal profession. He has used an attorney’s keen logical and rhetorical skills to demolish one of the most widely accepted premises of modern life: the assumption that skepticism and doubt are intellectually and morally superior to faith in God. Indeed, his thoughtful argument for faith over doubt is valuable to anyone who has questioned their faith in God, or more frequently today, has had that faith questioned as the source of small-mindedness, bigotry, and violence. In other words, this “brief for faith” is rather a unique and splendid sort of work which everyone who is struggling with doubts about their faith needs to read

Patrick M. Garry has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Constitutional History from the University of Minnesota. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Dakota School of Law, Professor Garry was a research scholar at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center and a visiting scholar at Columbia University Law School. He also served as a legal advisor to the Silha Center for Media Law and Ethics at the University of Minnesota. In addition to being a professor of law, Garry is Director of both the Hagemann Center for Legal & Public Policy Research and the Hagemann Center Press. He also serves as a Legal Studies Expert for the American Action Forum.


ENDORSEMENTS

Patrick M. Garry has used an attorney’s keen logical and rhetorical skills to demolish one of the most widely accepted premises of modern life: the assumption that skepticism and doubt are intellectually and morally superior to faith in God. Readers of this book will never again see that premise in the same way.
Wilfred M. McClay, Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center, Washington, DC

In the great Catholic tradition in which, following St. Augustine, “We believe in order to understand,” Garry writes with a lawyer’s intellect about the intersection of faith and reason, about belief in an age of doubt. I found many echoes of the wisdom of St. Benedict’s counsel that only when we “listen with the ear of the heart,” will we can find true understanding. It is an inspiring book.
Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB, President, Saint John’s University

Reason is not an antonym of faith. So begins the argument by the indefatigable law professor, Patrick M. Garry. In clear and crisp prose, Garry methodically builds the case for reason, not as a bane to belief, but as a tool, given by God, for breaking down the opponent’s positions that cause doubt.
Carl H. Esbeck, R. B. Price Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law; Director, Center for Law & Religious Freedom and Senior Counsel to Deputy U.S. Attorney General, 1999 to 2002

Patrick Garry’s Faith Brief is not just a lawyers’ read. It is for everyone. It is in fact a most engaging read. Faith Brief is a unique and splendid sort of work which everyone who is struggling with doubts about their faith needs to read. If you are among the fortunate who are not presently in that category, read the book anyway. You will nourish your own faith, and be all the more effective at giving an account of your faith when called upon to do so.
Gerard Bradley, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

This is not only a book about faith, it is a book about doubt. More precisely, it is a book about the conceit of doubt – that is, the contemporary and conventional arrogance that the true thinking person must close his or her mind even to the possibility of faith in God. By shifting the burden of proof to “the foe of doubt,” Patrick Garry encourages the genuine truth-seeker to “clear away the falseness of doubt just long enough to get a glimpse of the truth of faith.”
Gregory C. Sisk, Pio Cardinal Laghi Distinguished Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

Patrick Garry is a lawyer and law professor. But his Faith Brief is not just a lawyers read. It is for everyone. Garry has published a lot of law scholarship. But Faith Brief is not polemical or argumentative. It is not about the law at all. It is in fact a most engaging read, learned but not laden with footnotes, conversational but never condescending, challenging in its way but always charitable with the reader. Faith Brief is philosophically and theologically astute, but it is a work of neither. Nor is it quite an apologetic. It is rather a unique and splendid sort of work which everyone who is struggling with doubts about their faith needs to read. If you are among the fortunate who are not presently in that category, read the book anyway. You will nourish your own faith, and be all the more effective at giving an account of your faith when called upon to do so. This book which I read today is really fine, excellent.
Gerard V. Bradley, Professor at Notre Dame Law School, director of Notre Dame's Natural Law Institute, president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, vice-president of the American Public Philosophy Institute, and a member of the board of advisors of the Cardinal Newman Society and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.

Reason is not an antonym of faith. So begins the argument in this economical volume by the indefatigable law professor, Patrick M. Garry. In clear and crisp prose, Garry does what good lawyers do in a legal brief directed to a busy judge: he methodically builds the case for reason, not as a bane to belief, but as a tool, given by God, for breaking down the opponent’s positions that cause doubt. Some in Garry’s intended audience are already believers, but believers who need help because their work a’ day week is immersed in a world of reason that operates as if there is no God. Others in Garry’s audience are churched, but who have never made a personal commitment to Jesus as Lord, for they operate in a sea of doubt in which they not only live but secretly share. Garry’s monograph will help both audiences work through those questions that impede the integration of reason and faith.
Carl H. Esbeck, R.B. Price Professor of Law, University of Missouri

In this deep but easily digestible book, Patrick Garry discusses the very concept of faith, tests the logic of Christian faith, and shows readers how to bring faith more fully into their lives. In the tradition of the finest Christian writing, A Faith Brief is simple yet profound. Garry draws on history's great thinkers and provides modern examples in a way that exposes the shallowness of the 'new atheism' movement. I will be recommending this book for years to come.
Ronald J. Rychlak, MDLA Professor of Law, Author of Hitler, the War, and the Pope

I have long been familiar with Patrick Garry’s scholarly and historically well informed insights into the Constitutional protection of religious liberty. But in little more than four score pages, Professor Garry proves himself to be a valued counselor well beyond the legal profession. Indeed, his thoughtful argument for faith over doubt is valuable to anyone who has questioned their faith in God, or more frequently today, has had that faith questioned as the source of small-mindedness, bigotry, and violence. In other words, this “brief for faith” merits everyone’s thoughtful attention.

The reader will find this short book a worthy companion to keep close at hand. It is in our nature, to readily exalt ourselves, but as with all self-promotion, this limits rather than enlarges our potential. A few sincere words of gratitude to a Creator whose desire was only to love us, Professor Garry argues, conquers fears that strangle the doubtful mind. Moreover, it is in the imitation of the love of that Creator which allows faith to magnify the best in us and others. Garry’s trump for faith over doubt thus rests ultimately in the proposition that no logical appraisal of lived experience has been otherwise. Think about it.
Douglas W. Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador (ret.); Caruso Family Chair in Law & Human Rights, Pepperdine University.

A Faith Brief provides a insightful, engaging, and compelling explanation of our journey from doubt to faith. This pithy, Biblically grounded book is recommended reading for anyone interested in exploring the rational aspects of Christian faith, for one's own understanding or to encourage others. With incisive and lawyerly logic, Garry shows how one's faith starts, deepens, and grows through a lifetime relationship with God."
Sally Wagenmaker, Board of Directors of the Christian Legal Society

Patrick M. Garry has used an attorney’s keen logical and rhetorical skills to demolish one of the most widely accepted premises of modern life: the assumption that skepticism and doubt are intellectually and morally superior to faith in God. Readers of this book will never again see that premise in the same way. Such readers, which I hope will be many in number, will find that Garry has not only made a wonderful contribution to Christian apologetics, but that he has taught them something vitally important about how to live their lives—with greater confidence, courage, and joy.
Wilfred M. McClay, He holds the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is a member of the advisory council at the journal "First Things."

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ISBN: 1-933794-47-X
92 Pages
xSize: 6 x 9
Binding: Perfect Bound
Publisher: Kirk House Publishers
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