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Theology for Beginners

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  809 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
…a brilliant book of immense practical usefulness. —Our Sunday Visitor

A Modern Classic

"The joy and excitement of theological knowledge is like the joy and excitement of any other love." —From Chapter One

Clear, precise and inspiring, Theology for Beginners has been acclaimed as one of the outstanding modern introductions to theology. More than a compendium of the cent
Paperback, 190 pages
Published June 1st 1982 by Servant (first published 1957)
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Dec 22, 2008 booklady rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all Christians
Recommended to booklady by: lh
August 3-November 14, 2016: Have read this at least twice before. This time my reading was very disjointed and frequently interrupted by other activities and required reading (for classes I'm conducting) so I lost the flow of the author's ideas more than I followed them. I'll just leave my rating from last time and try to come back to it again when I can concentrate on this better.

Dec 22, 2008: This is my second reading of Theology For Beginners -- mostly because I can barely remember the first
J.T. Therrien
Dec 26, 2013 J.T. Therrien rated it it was amazing
As Frank Sheed points out, many Catholics love and practice their religion, but most are illiterate when it comes to understanding some of the basic tenets of the Faith. Theology for Beginners addresses this problem.

Every Catholic should reacquaint themselves with the Faith: the Persons of the Trinity; the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory; the Sacraments, etc. Everything relevant to being a Catholic is mentioned in this short book.

What I enjoyed most about Theol
Silver Rose
Jun 05, 2012 Silver Rose rated it it was amazing
Deeply profound, brilliant, and insightful. It is a definitive volume that should be included on every bookshelf devoted to the subject. The writing is clear, yet eloquent and filled with Truth. It is paradoxical in that it is complex, yet simple, in approach and content. Then again, the greatest paradoxes often contain the most beauty and truth.

A cursory glance at the table of contents may lead the reader to believe that he is sufficiently knowledgeable about the subjects under discussion. But
Oct 27, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic-church
This book was a great introduction. It is short, 186 pages, but don't be misled; read them slowly. He does an excellent job of marking off the geography to be covered by Theology but does not delve too deeply into any single topic. The book is filled with facts and observations which will cause you to stop and really think.

I would recommend reading this book prior to taking on the catechism of the Catholic Church; it will give the reader the necessary hooks on which to hang the concepts from the
Ivan Herrejon mfd
Dec 28, 2015 Ivan Herrejon mfd rated it it was amazing
loved it!
Karyn Yager
Jun 25, 2010 Karyn Yager rated it it was amazing
A short but powerful book. In just 186 pages Frank Sheed takes complex theology and boils it down to its essence, and presents it in a way that's easy to digest. This book could be easily read in a week or so, but you could also linger over it's contents for months. It is that unique combination of being concise, practical, easily understood, but also with depth that can be pondered endlessly. For some, this could be the beginning of a life long study of theology. For others it could be the only ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent starting point for delving into Catholic thought. It is not an easy read, but only because the subject matter is hard. It is clearly and readably written, it's phrasing is carefully considered for accuracy, and, while it doesn't go into great depth on things, it doesn't dumb them down, either. When I first read this book, there were elements that I didn't quite understand, and claims that I did not necessarily accept. It, however, gave me the grounding (and the questions) to ...more
Dec 29, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for all Catholics. Sheed explains things I never knew needed explaining! This was a challenging read for me and was glad to have two friends read it with me as I may have just put it back on the shelf, left to my own devices. I needed clarification from my spiritual director on some things. Did you know that trees have a soul? It sounds new agey, but they do!

Here's a quote: "Man is made by God of nothing, is held in existence from moment to moment simply by God's
Apr 05, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book proved to be helpful in my getting a more in depth look at the Catholic religion. It was an enlightenment is many aspects.

However, although it was printed in 2011, there were some faulty statements in the book. In one case, it was explained that only the priest celebrant could receive Holy Eucharist in both species, that is bread and wine. According to the book, all other could receive the host only. It seems the proofreading was in need of a second proofreader.
Jan 18, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing
Sheed accomplishes just what he intends to do: convince the layman of the necessity of understanding fundamental Christian doctrines and set them forth with clarity and freshness of description. I really appreciate how much Sheed has reflected on the different topics. He has internalized them to make them more personal and express them more clearly. A bit dry toward the middle but overall thought provoking. I could see this as a good tool for group study and discussion.
Mar 09, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to the great mysteries of the Christian faith. Within these short 186 pages Frank Sheed brings light to many of the harder things to understand about our faith: the Trinity, Nature vs Person, the Soul, the Sacraments to name a few. Starting from who God is and ending with our final destination, Sheed walks us through the outline of what we need to know to be effective Christians.
Stephen Fahrig
May 31, 2007 Stephen Fahrig rated it really liked it
This is a fine introduction to Catholic theology in which the late Frank Sheed offers an accessibly and very orthodox
explanation of the Church's fundamental teachings. His way of explaining the Trinity - the central mystery of the Christian faith, yet one of the more difficult theological concepts to articulate - is especially noteworthy.

Feb 02, 2009 Denise rated it it was amazing
I am reading this now as a preparation for reading with my husband who is on his long road to confirmation.
The for Beginners part is a bit misleading.
It is indeed ideal for beginners and anyone who wants a lucid meditation on the fundamentals of the Catholic faith.

I urge you, Molly to read it with us...
Aug 06, 2008 Wanda rated it it was amazing
This was a good review of "Theology and Sanity" which I read a while back. I probably should have read this one first. I actually liked "Theology and Sanity" better, even though it was more difficult.
Michael Raphael
May 29, 2013 Michael Raphael rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. It provides pragmatic answers that are easy to understand. Every Catholic regardless of his/her vocation, should read this book and follow up the examples in the book. I would highly recommend this book.
Mark Lewin
Sep 19, 2012 Mark Lewin rated it it was amazing
A wonderful introduction to theology for Catholics. Sheed tells us the questions we should be asking and guides us to the answers. For a more comprehensive approach, try his "Theology and Sanity" which is equally good.
Aug 27, 2013 Compots rated it really liked it
Explained the Trinity well. Only touches on the other doctrines, but like the title suggests, it is a great start.
Mar 02, 2008 Jon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This has been sitting on my shelf for years and now that I am reading Theology and Sanity...I want to go back and read this book as well!
Jan 05, 2010 Kerath25 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read so far on the topic of theology. It covers a lot of ground, but, as the title suggests, it is only the surface.
John DeCuir
Mar 30, 2009 John DeCuir rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, religion
FANTASTIC introduction to basic Catholic theology. This is stuff you never learn in Church or at school but it is foundational to the faith. Highly recommended.
Julia Mccoy
Jul 23, 2013 Julia Mccoy rated it it was amazing
Great! If you have some theology background or none, this is the book for you. My mind was blown on each page with F. Sheeds insights.
The newer edition has new cover design
read portions while Wendy was teaching catechism; appeared quite good
Wil Roese
Aug 14, 2011 Wil Roese rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, catholic
One of the best books on theology that I have read.
Ted Leon
May 19, 2013 Ted Leon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Really good survey of basic theological truths and understandings.
May 19, 2012 Jeanie rated it it was amazing
Because of this book, I will never doubt my faith again. Yeah, it's that good.
Jan 20, 2012 Meg rated it it was amazing
A very thorough introduction to Catholic theology. I learned quite a bit I thought I already knew.
Cheryl Terrel
Aug 05, 2008 Cheryl Terrel is currently reading it
I've been reading this for at least 5 years now. I'll finish it eventually.
Louie Mascorro
Jan 03, 2017 Louie Mascorro rated it it was amazing
This book is great in the beginning phases of studying theology. Frank Sheed did a fantastic job on answering everyday basic questions that a Catholic will come across. The explaining of Mary and original sin is perfect. The explanation of the holy trinity is nothing short than amazing. Frank Sheed has created a stepping stone to the beginning of the theological journey.

This book has intrigued me from the very beginning. Not only am I able to understand the basic teachings of the church but I c
Feb 20, 2013 Paulina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, nonfiction
This book is eloquent and incisive. Frank Sheed describes complex theological issues in a way that the average lay Catholic can grasp without in any way simplifying said issues.

I especially enjoyed his explanations of the nature of spirit, of man's relation to God and how sin and grace change that relationship, of the need for God's redemption and of man's ultimate purpose and the Beatific Vision.

He uses analogies and posits truths that take awhile to process and that I know I will need to revis
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  • Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
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  • The Spirit of the Liturgy
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • Life of Christ
  • Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within
  • Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith
  • Love and Responsibility
  • Catholicism and Fundamentalism
  • Death On A Friday Afternoon: Meditations On The Last Words Of Jesus From The Cross
  • Mary: The Church at the Source
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life)
  • Abandonment to Divine Providence
  • The Soul of The Apostolate
  • 7 Secrets of the Eucharist
Frank Sheed was a Catholic apologist and street-corner speaker originally from Australia. He lived in London from 1926 onward. Unlike many of the other prominent Catholic writers in England at that time Sheed was not a convert, but raised Catholic and of Irish descent. Along with his wife, Maisie Ward, he founded Sheed & Ward. The couple tend to be linked together in accomplishments. The coupl ...more
More about Frank Sheed...

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“The man who knows of the universe of spirit walks upright, the materialist hugs the earth.” 2 likes
“Sin, for instance, is an effort to gain something against the will of God; but the will of God is all that holds us in existence;” 1 likes
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