Can I read the books of Non Catholics?

One of my Anglican friend gave me a book called “Wisdom of the Sadhu: Teachings of Sundar Singh”.
This book is written by a Christian Sadhu (mystic) from India who converted from Sikhism to Christianity (Anglican) . He lived from 3 September 1889- 1929 . His death is a mystery , no one knows where his body is. Some say that he died in Himalayas while going to spread Gospel to Tibet. He was declared dead by the then Government of India in 1933.
He is Venerated in Anglican Communion, Coptic Church, Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.

So can I read his book .If it is not so Catholic. If I find something useful in it can I apply those with my Catholic belief.
What are your views on It.
Peace to all

It depends.

How strong is your Catholic faith? Are you going to be able to just set aside anything you read that might be contrary to your faith?

Why did your friend give you the book? Is it because they thought you would find it interesting, or are they trying to convert you to Anglican faith?

Why do you want to read the book? Just to see how Anglicans think or to have an interesting discussion with your friend? Or are you questioning Catholicism and looking for answers elsewhere?

In the end, it depends on your motivation and whether you will be influecned against Catholicism by the book.

I’ve read books on Zen and some books written by Protestants where they talk about their faith a lot, but I don’t get influenced by them to turn from Catholicism. Sometimes I find something that is useful for me to consider in my own Catholic spiritual life. Sometimes I just learn something about another faith.


I will never say that I have never questioned my faith .As a new convert from Hinduism I had challenges. I would be frank with you sometimes there were tough movements when I questioned myself ,Catholicism, and even God but it didn’t come to a point where I thought to leave and go away. God is great , he is our Creator and our Protector he knows what his children suffer from.
When there are tough movements we become weak in faith and in our responsibility we forget that it is a test by God that during that period how much we trust him. By that the Devil gets a chance to hit on our weak spots.
I know that Anglicanism is a mistake made by King Henry VIII of England and of Pope during that period.
My friend gave me that book so that I can be inspired by Sadhu Sundar and his submission to Christ.

As long as you are strong and well-informed in the Faith, and are not susceptible to being led to think “the truth lies elsewhere”, a lot of good can be had from reading carefully selected non-Catholic books.

On the advice of my catechist, I read Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers, and the central message is “praise God for everything, both the good and the bad”. It is counter-intuitive to “praise God even when things aren’t to your liking”, but isn’t that Christianity 101 in the first place? It has occurred to me, that this somewhat resembles the Joel Chandler Harris character Br’er Rabbit begging not to be thrown in the briar patch, when in fact he was born and bred in that briar patch — kind of like “using reverse psychology on God” — but isn’t this just an elaborated take on the words of the Our Father, “Thy will be done”?

I was also positively influenced by a comment I read in one of Norman Vincent Peale’s pamphlets, “you have to give up everything in your life that you know is wrong”. In my case, this came across as “quit dissenting against the Church’s moral teachings and accept the magisterium whether you want to or not”. I did precisely that, 40-odd years ago.

Song of the South is a troubling film in some ways, but this is not one of them.

I read everything that Dr. James Dobson writes. And I am in the process of reading everything that Pastor John Ortberg has written.

Good stuff is good stuff, whether it is Catholic or not.

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I agree with most of the above. If you’re well versed in Church teaching and can separate the false from the good then there may be something to be gained from reading non-Catholic writers.

I have a great love for some of Lewis’ works, and reread The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce regularly because I find they point my mind towards God in a way that few other things I’ve read are able to manage. There are theological issues to be sure, but they don’t harm my faith any because I just recognize that they are issues on which Lewis was not properly formed.

There is an excellent book written by a formerly-Protestant pastor on the origin of the Bible. (I believe writing the book actually lead him to become Catholic, but I may be wrong about that.) It was written but a Protestant but is very accurate with it’s expression of how the Bible came into being.

Similarly, there are many youtube channels run by Protestants which are exploring the historical evidence for the OT. There’s one show I watched just recently where the man examines new evidence for an actual, physical location of Eden. These videos are focused primarily on the historicity of the Bible, rather than on teaching, and I find them to be deeply informative, despite being written/filmed by non-Catholics.

(In case anyone is interested, here’s that video. He makes a pretty convincing argument. )

You just have to be careful. If a book is causing you to question your faith then set it aside and seek answers to the questions it has raised.

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Sure. It’s not like everything a non-Catholic says is wrong. There are plenty of non-Catholics with interesting, insightful things to say.

Obviously, you have to be a little careful and read critically, but it’s not a hard no.

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