Book Recommendation


If you had to recommend one book to a protestant, what would it be? What book would challenge a Protestant’s thinking the most?



And–if it’s OK, Stewart?-- please give a reason for your recommendation. I am very interested in this.


Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn

conversion from a Protestant perspective


Apologia pro vita sua, by Newman. Probably the most influential Protestant-converting-to-Catholic argument ever. (However, occasionally a difficult read—I guess it would depend on the friend.)



I suppose I’m one of those Protestants that enjoys having his thinking challenged. It’s no good to believe something and then never have it tested. There are plenty of know nothing Christians out there, and I don’t want to one of them. I also recently had a discussion with a friend about Presbyterian converts to Catholicism, and I want to discover the primary things that attracted them to it. I have some ideas, but I’d rather read a first hand explanation.

Now I did read Scott Hahn’s book several year ago and I intend to re-read it. I’ve also read Loraine Boettner’s book against Catholicism, and I know he is probably not on your favorite persons list. I personally found his tone over the top and his lack of citations and references somewhat annoying. Anyway, is there anything other than Scott Hahn’s book worth reading? I would also like to find some recorded debates, if such things exist.



I haven’t heard many—I’m kind of new at this myself—but I did like Tim Staples’ three-message series, “How Jimmy Swaggart Made Me Catholic.” Yes, that is the real title. :slight_smile:


If you’ve read Loraine Boettner’s book on Catholicism, a good book to read would be “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating. Keating’s book addresses many of the problems in Boettner’s book (including the lack of citations!). This book is from a Catholic perspective, but if you’re up for challenging thinking, I heartily recommend it!

If you’re looking for books on why people convert to the Catholic Church, another good source would be the “Surprised by Truth” books (1, 2, and 3). They are basically a collection of conversion stories (many from various Protestant backgrounds, though not all). It’s pretty insightful reading as each writer points to the major things that attracted them to the Catholic Church. The series is edited by Patrick Madrid. Each book has over a dozen conversion stories, so it would probably be useful for you in finding out what attracted a wide range of people to the Catholic Church.

God bless you on your search! :slight_smile:


It depends on the protestant.

Myself, I would love a copy of

Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption by Shoemaker, Stephen

because I am trained as an historian.

for the average protestant, I think KK book is still best,

Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” (Paperback) by Karl Keating

For a jack chick type protestant an non-catholic book called

The Babylon Connection? by Ralph Woodrow

maybe most challenging.

If the person loves testimonies than the books above would be good.

But those of us who love history, we would like books like,

Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths and Misconceptions About the Papacy by Patrick Madrid

Try matching the person’s background, history with the book you send.

I hear Dave Armstrong’s books are good, but I never been able to open the disk of his materials that I have somewhere.

Dave, if you reprint your books on disk again, you may want to use the PDF format, it is more universal.


If they’re someone that knows the Bible really well, then I recommend A Biblical Defense of Catholicism by Dave Armstrong. As someone who knew the Bible really well myself, that book filled in the blanks for me. There were many things I’d come across while reading the Bible that I couldn’t reconcile with my Protestant belifs. Dave Armstrong’s book touched on many of those passages. I highly recommend it.


This is all very helpful. Thanks.


I REALLY enjoyed reading ‘Fundamentals of the Faith’ by Peter Kreeft, while not strictly a book about conversion, it has some great points on Catholicism’s stance on various issues, and well worth holding up against other denominations in reference to biblical teaching.

On the issue of a book about conversion, Patrick Madrid had a series of books about Protestant conversions - can’t quite remember the name of it at the moment but I’m sure it will come up in a search - I couldn’t put this one down, read it in a few days, which for me is amazing :slight_smile:



I guess I would recommend the Jerome Bible Commentary nothing like putting the Bible in a proper historical context to realize that Catholicism is the true church.

In His love…

A Catholic Deacon


Hi. I’m a Protestant who has been doing a lot of readings about Catholicism over the last couple years, so I can give you the books that have been the most helpful to me.

  1. Catholicism for Dummies
    A great general introduction to Catholicism.

  2. :thumbsup: Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs by Alan Schreck
    This book was extremely helpful to me. It picks out all of those Catholic beliefs and practices that make Protestants gasp and gives well-reasoned, scriptural explanations for them. Even if you are not entirely convinced, you realize they might not be as crazy as you thought:)

  3. By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition by Mark P. Shea
    This book was charitable and well-reasoned. I especially appreciated that the author was not super-defensive and managed to retain an appreciation of his evangelical roots along with embracing Catholicism.

  4. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll
    This book is actually by an evangelical! (and one of my favorite authors). This book is helpful in that it gives you as an evangelical a survey of some of the historical/cultural forces that shape your own faith. Often, we are completely unaware of these influences!

  5. I would recommend almost anything on church history, regardless of whether the author is Protestant or Catholic. Many times, we as Christians have an amazing ignorance of our own history. I got a lot of surprises as I learned about the early church. Many things that I assumed were bizarre innovations of the Catholic church go back to the beginning! Some overviews of church history that I have read from a Protestant perspective are
    Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley
    Turning Points by Mark Noll
    I would also recommend reading primary source documents like the early church fathers. At my college library I found an abundance of these sources available and checked out a nice little volume including Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, the Didache, etc. I almost think it is better not to have too much commentary; let the writings speak for themselves.

  6. Any biographies about great Catholics, the writings of saints, etc. There is nothing like the witness of a holy life to testify to truth. For instance, reading about Mother Teresa really started me rethinking the significance of the Eucharist. She seemed to think receiving the Eucharist was so essential to loving and obeying Christ. (This surprised me, as in my background, communion was seen as fairly tangential to living your faith, but I couldn’t argue with Mother Teresa’s results!) I think she opened my heart to reexamining the scriptures concerning the Eucharist and coming to believe in the real presence. I have also enjoyed the writings of St. Francis de Sales. Being strengthened spiritually by the writings of Catholics makes you take Catholicism more seriously. Other Catholic writers I like are Thomas Merton and G.K. Chesterton. I am cureently reading Cardinal Newman’s Pro Apologia Vita Sua and agree with cpayne that it is excellent.

Now that I’m at the end of this long list of books, I just realized that only one was requested. Oops. So if I had to choose one, I would go with Catholic and Christian by Schreck. Hope this helps!


For a non-Sacramental Protestant - The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn

For a Sacramental Protestant - That one is tougher and nothing springs to my mind right away.

God Bless,


I agree–by opposition, we learn. And if we fear to hear the other, we cut off a way to understand better what it is we do and don’t know, and do and don’t believe.

There are plenty of know nothing Christians out there, and I don’t want to one of them.

me, neither–it bothers me that I am often vague on the niceties of Christian non-Catholic thought. It is Protestant friends, with whom one wishes to speak clearly and fruitfully, who motivate me to seek clarification.

I’ve also read Loraine Boettner’s book against Catholicism, and I know he is probably not on your favorite persons list. I personally found his tone over the top and his lack of citations and references somewhat annoying.

In reading Boettner you have gone right to what Karl Keating considers the source book for much of fundamental Protestantism’s view of Catholicism. So if you read the KK book, *Catholicism and Fundamentalism, The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” * you’ll get the other side, with nothing attributed left without citation.

I would like to find some recorded debates, if such things exist.

Patrik Madrid has available, for a price, his debate against James White on, along with other recorded debates. Tim Staples has also debated White, and I would check this site for the trail on those… John Martignone (sp?), at www.biblechristiansociety, I think has recorded debates… and he is great on bible citation. God bless you on your way!


A good book is Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft. It is a basis overview of the Catachism. Very readable, and gives a very detailed and biblical view on all of the main Catholic beliefs. It shows the depth of the faith.



I have got to check out Peter Kreeft! He seems to be held in high esteem around these forums…:slight_smile:

Anyway, I know this isn’t a perfect book that will convice everybody, but I just finished reading No Price Too High by Alex Jones. He was a Pentecostal preacher, when he decided to research Christian history. Along the way, he decided to restore his services to its “true” Christian form. It had a loud outcry from his people, who protested that it was becoming “too Catholic”. That’s when he really started researching. I wish I had the exact quote, but he said that this religion was begun in the 1800s. This religion began in the 1600s, this in the 1500s. But the only Christianity true to form was the one begun in the Upper Room, 2000 years ago. And that was Catholicism.

He began sharing his findings with his “flock”, not quite ready himself to convert. But as time goes on, he decides himself and persuaded a quarter of his people to convert to Catholicism, because they all realized that it was the true Christain religion.

It was a quite nice story, and I learned a few things from him. :slight_smile: He eventually became a deacon just so he could keep ministering :slight_smile:


More great stuff. Thanks, guys. I’ve managed to get my hands on a copy of Catholicism and Fundamentalism. I must say that I wasn’t aware of all the inaccuracies Boettner’s book. I’m embarrassed for Boettner.

So does Karl Keating have any recent stuff?



“Salvation is Forever” by Robert Gromacki


You’re so funny, allischalmers! How could a Baptist book which promotes the Protestant error of “once saved, always saved” challenge a Protestant’s thinking, as the OP requested??


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