I was raised in a Conference Baptist church. My pastor’s wife was Evelyn Christenson, my associate pastor was Gary Smalley, and I grew up with John Ortberg in my Sunday School classes and youth groups. Also, Steve Douglass was a member of my church (while he was on staff with Campus Crusade). Regular speakers at our church included Erwin Lutzer, Leighton Ford, and Josh McDowell.
Your friend will recognize all these names as stellar evangelicals. What I’m trying to do is prove that I have impeccable “credentials.”
Please feel free to do some searching through my past posts for the testimony posts.
It might encourage you to know that my husband and I spent three years studying and investigating Catholicism before deciding to convert. We tried very hard to NOT become Catholic. We looked for reasons not to become Catholic! We tried to disprove it.
Basically for me, it came down to recognizing that the Catholic Church matches up with the Bible. I had read the entire Bible dozens of times in my life (that’s what evangelical do, or at least, we used to do that). When I started attending Mass and reading about Catholicism, I saw that it all lined up with the Scriptures.
I would challenge your friend to actually begin attending Mass and bring his Bible along. Listen, look, smell, and touch (don’t taste yet). He will see the Bible come to life.
Another thing that put me over the top was recognizing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I had asked Jesus into my heart when I was 7, and I knew Him, my Savior and Lord. When I saw the Blessed Sacrament, I saw Him, the same Jesus that I had known all those years. (I was 47 when I became Catholic.)
A third thing that helped was reading up on the history of the church. I suggest that your friend read Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley.
It’s easy to read, not boring, and I’ve read it several times. I read it before I became Catholic, as an attempt to “talk myself out of becoming Catholic.”
This is a Protestant history written by a Protestant professor, but it lines up with Catholic histories. I brought this book along to a Catholic apologetics class taught by a college professor (a former evangelical who converted to Catholicism). Never once did the professor say anything to contradict what was in my PROTESTANT history book!
Reading the history written by a Protestant helped me to see that the church of the apostles, the church in the New Testament, was Catholic. It was the reformers who broke away, and this Protestant history text did NOT present compelling arguments as to why they broke away. To me, it was obvious that they broke away because they rebelled against the Christ-granted authority of His Church.
Another book that really helped me as an evangelical was Evangelical is Not Enough by Thomas Howard. This man is Elisabeth Elliot’s brother (she is another evangelical with a huge following). I highly recommend this book to your friend.