Book on Catholicism for a die-hard atheist?

Hello. I have been posting a bit in regards to a dear friend who has adopted atheism as his philosophy of life. All his “research” has been one-sided in that all his information has been gained from those who are quite clearly anti-catholic/christian. He was never a Catholic. To make matters worse he was burned very badly finacially in a land deal that somehow involved his former church (evangelical, I think?), which I feel is at the heart of his atheism. Although I do not know the exact details, what I gather from what little he has told me is his own church blocked at the last stage, after of years of red tape and numerous dealings/meetings with city councils etc., some land deal that he was trying to develop? I am pretty certain that he had close to his life savings lost in this deal? I will try to make this brief but I have finally got him to agree to at least read a book from the Catholic perspective with an open mind. My own dilemma is that I got him to agree without a particular book in mind! I would like something not too over the top complicated but not too simple either…he is a true genius and I fear something too simplistic would not suffice. He proclaims himself as a “true” scientist and science seems to be his religion?

Can someone please help me with a suggestion for a good book dealing with catholicism and/or anti-atheism from a catholic/christian perspective that may be appropriate especially with the perspective on the situation I outlined above?


Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (however, it is not Catholic)

Catechism of the Catholic Church - drawback is it’s length. Might suggest reading just the first part on the Creed, “Part One: The Profession of Faith”.

Thanks, any others?

These books might prove helpful (the first includes correspondence between the author and an atheist):

Also, some of these books by priest and physicist, Fr. Stanley Jaki:

Anything by Dr. Peter Kreeft. If you want to give him something shorter, try burning one of Kreeft’s 1-hour talks on CD about God, or send him the link or an MP3.

See here, there’s more than one about God and his existence.

Anything and everything by Peter Kreeft.

Frank Sheed would be another great author to tap-- Theology for Beginners and Theology and Sanity come to mind.

I’ll second *Mere Christianity *by CS Lewis. Though Anglican he wrote in a manner acessible to Catholics. Also look for “Surprised by Joy” which actually details his conversion from Atheism (and is also accessible to Catholics)

I’ll reccomend *Heretics *and it’s companion book Orthodoxy (which is perfectly fine on it’s own) by GK Chesterton who was a Catholic.

But was not a RC when he wrote HERETICS and ORTHODOXY.


Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution and a Rational Faith By Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Austria.

I haven’t personally read it yet, but he has an excellent reputation for his orthodoxy. The reviews on it alone make it appear to be a good book. I hope to read it soon

Alaha minokhoun

I wasn’t aware of that. Am I correct when I assume he was Anglican before hand? Does he have a book on his conversion to Roman Catholicism?

Here are a couple specifically aimed at this group.

The Dawkins Delusion by Allister and Joanne McGrath. (here)

There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese (here)

Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s "Misquoting Jesus by Timothy Paul Jones (here)

I hope this helps.

I love questions on my main man.

When he wrote HERETICS (not a book I’d recommend for an atheist, BTW), he was still an Anglo-Catholic. By the time he wrote ORTHODOXY (a very personal book, with wide appeal), he was on the verge of convincing himself to head for Rome. But for a number of reasons, he waited roughly 13 years to make the swim.

Lots of what he wrote subsequently was revelatory as to why he made the change. But look for THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND CONVERSION and THE THING: WHY I AM A CATHOLIC. The latter is a collection of stuff; the former more unified.


Anglicanus Catholicus

Hi, If he would be interested in a fictional depiction, I would be happy to send him a free copy of my novel, Woman Redeemed. I thought I was writing a woman’s book; however, I have had many men really get into it and my husband, a scientist, said they talked about it at Men’s Group last month because so many of the guys had read it…And this is over a poker game:) Further, a few of the NBA basketball players who live in our area have read - and enjoyed it and they’ve passed it on. So many “types” of men have read it…all of whom I have had intelligent conversations with…

Anyway, it has also been enjoyed by the “non-religious”, some of the scientists my husband works with as well as one of my reviewers on amazon who liked how it made the biblical accounts “real”…more tangible…see the rest of her review.
Again, I would be happy to send you or him a free copy, this is not a pitch for a sale…I just know it has touched men, scientists, and athiests…Look over my website and if you think it might be something he’d read, let me know where to send it -

GK Chesterton: Orthodoxy

St Thomas Aquinas: Shorter Summa

I’ve actually read several books on this thread at the request of people who were trying to get me to revert to Catholicism (or join some other Christian Church).

From personal experience, don’t give him a Peter Kreeft book. The only thing it convinced me of was to drop the person who recommened it as a friend.

I can’t remember if it was Orthodoxy or the Everlasting Man, but one of them shone out as being a cut above the rest. I didn’t agree with him, but I thought it was a well written and constructed book.

C.S. Lewis really only appeals to those who already have an inclination towards Christianity.

If it was a very personal book, what Chesterton called a sort of slovenly autobiography, it was ORTHODOXY. If it was based a good deal on history, it was EVERLASTING MAN, which was a repsonse to Wells’ OUTLINE OF HISTORY.

I have heard precisely the opposite from many readers of Lewis. Responses differ, of course.


You cannot go wrong with Thomas Aquinas in his philosophical mode.

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