Good Book for a Protestant Pastor

Hi all,

First post, so I’m not entirely sure if this is in the right location — I apologize in advance if it’s not.

My wife and I are devout Protestants looking at entering the Catholic Church. I’ve begun RCIA and will enter at the Easter Vigil. My wife is a bit behind with some of the bigger questions but following the same path. God is good!

We’ve had a long-time relationship with a devout non-denominational, evangelical Protestant community. All of our friends are connected to this community and we’ve “grown up” in the faith together. Our pastor, a non-denominational minister, is a close family friend.

The pastor and I met this week to talk about my conversion and he’s deeply interested. We’re good friends. Many, if not all, of his favourite authors and those who’ve formed his faith are Catholic. He’s very well-read.

We plan to get together once a month to chat and he plans to come to the Easter Vigil to see me confirmed into the Church.

He’s asked if I can recommend him a book to read before we meet again in the a month, then we can discuss the book.

I’ve been “reading my way” into the Catholic church and have read probably a few dozens books in the last year but, still, I thought I’d see if this forum had any other suggestions I hadn’t thought about for a book to recommend my Protestant pastor.

He’s well-educated, well-read, and isn’t afraid of a little theology so it doesn’t need to be geared towards a popular audience. It can be something more tough and more meaty.

I’ve told him that so many of the theological questions I’ve had as a Protestant were so satisfied by Catholic theology — scripture that we couldn’t explain as Protestant’s like Peter’s keys, communion of saints, Jesus’s first miracle. I’d like to give him something that he can sink his teeth into that will leave him breathless!

Thanks in advance, everyone.

Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn

Scott was a pastor, too, and he and his wife, Kimberly had to work through all the issues.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating and available on
Catholicism for Dummies is also a good primer.

Theology for Beginners by Franks Sheed is awesome. Don’t let the title fool you, it’s deep. Goes into Catholic theology very succinctly.

Also if you want a Scott Hahn book, I think A Father a Who Keeps His Promises is a great place to start.

Surprised by truth by Patrick Madrid.

Lots of good suggestions already.

A book I thought was very good is titled “An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine” by John Henry Cardinal Newman (who was a convert to Catholicism). It’s not a quick read - 400+ pages.
(You might like to read some of the reviews on the link.)

You beat me to it!
1st on my list!

2nd on my list is also by Scott Hahn - working on the basis of viewing scripture from the covenant view point: “God’s Covennat Love in Scripture: A Father Who Keeps His Promises”

3rd on my list is actually a series called “A Biblical Walk Thru The Mass” by Dr. Edward Sri. My parish presented this just after I completed RCIA and it really filled in the gaps and our Parish has the DVD’s and the book available for checkout for our parish, Once again, at my parish, if you want the workbook my parish will order it for you or you can go online etc… You might check with your Parish, the Diocese Faith Formation Office, The Local Public Library, the Catholic Book stores, and of course - online for the series. You might also bring this to the attention of the Pastor or Leader of the RCIA group you are in… even if they don’t put it in the main RCIA program, I’ve recommended offering it on a separate night… we packed our little Parish Center with RCIA, Cradle Catholics, and few people that sat in the back in a little group. You would have thought we were going to eat them from the way the acted at first, by the end of the series, one asked about RCIA.

4th, but not the least, is the Catechism of the Catholic Church which is this huge unwieldy tome that you can current get online directly from the Vatican: Catechism of the Catholic Church (click here for the language selection page) I would recommend that one look at the YOUCAT - The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church which is usually sitting right next to the full tome. It’s an easier read as the audience for the text is geared more for those learning the faith instead of those needing to verify the faith.

Sorry I know this isn’t a book - but we’re not sola scriptura, a good sponsor and spiritual adviser. Both should have a firm understanding of the Catholic faith, the former shouldn’t be afraid to physically drag you to the confessional and the latter should be Holy. IMHO, we often need these people to help us find the way of the Word of God - which is why our Lord gave us the Church and the Apostles.

Finally, click thru the links in my sig… set aside about 20 minutes for the last one.

Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church, by Henry G. Graham.

This is has a lot of Catholic zest to it so if you get it for him, warn him in advance that it might be a bit much in an apologetical approach to Protestantism. But if he is interested in knowing how the bible survived until today, and if he has a hard shell, this is filled with a lot of facts and interesting reading. It gives the answer to what really did happen to the bible and why it is available to us today.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

Thanks for all the responses, everyone. Lots of great recommendations. I’ll take a look at what I can find in our parish library; I already have many of these in eBook format but I think he’d prefer to read on paper.


Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

p.s. Prayers for the two of you. It is a grace of the Holy Spirit.

I’ll suggest a book that I gave to the Pastor of the Church I grew up in, my parents are members of, and whom my grandfather was recently given a good funeral service for.

** The Lord** by Romano Guardini

This is not an apalogetic book. So its not really the book you’d want to use for Catholic specific discussions. It’s a look at Jesus from strictly using the four Gospels from the faith of a very significant priest. Romano Influenced the theology of Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. He was a briliant man and had a genuine beautiful faith. He was pre Vatican II but you wouldn’t necessarily guess so.

It is one of the first “Catholic” books I ever read. I converted in my mid 20’s. I was very impressed with this man’s genuine adoration from his heart in the way he expressed his faith in Jesus. I never really heard someone articulate things like he does in this book. And the cool thing about it was, it did not have a “Catholic” agenda. It is merely a witness to who Jesus is and an examination of what he did and said.

Oh, and check out some G.K. Chesterton! He is called the “apostle of reason”.

But Scott Hahn has written some great stuff. He has been called “Luther in reverse”.

Oh, and check out some G.K. Chesterton! He is called the “apostle of reason”.

But Scott Hahn has written some great stuff. He has been called “Luther in reverse”.

Surprised by Truth is a great place to start. You can get it here:

There is also Surprised by Truth 2.

If you can get him to go the the Coming Home Network:
The Coming Home Network seeks to assist non-Catholic clergy who often face acute difficulties and struggles during their journeys.

I believe its the protestant delima is a good book I know its menchend on the radio program catholic answers

I am so happy for you Keith! I was a former baptist. Me and my wife were confirmed last year and I can tell you it was the best thing i have ever done. It really is Heaven on Earth. So much Grace… I never had that before. I am so happy for you!

God bless!

That’s more red meat for those already with their foot in the door. As someone looking into it, it could come off a bit caustic.

That said, I love The Protestant’s Dilemma. Depending on the pastor’s tolerance level, it wouldn’t be a bad read.

Kinda strikes me as driving him away from something as opposed to attracting him to something.

An interesting read is There We Stood, Here We Stand by Timothy Drake. It contains the stories of eleven Lutherans who found themselves drawn to the Catholic Church.

Check out the Called to Communion website, as former Prot myself their articles were very helpful and they also have a recommended reading list. Great resource for Protestants thinking about the CC.

A nice short read that is not polemical or apologetic in nature but nicely clarifies some of the catholic teachings most frequently misunderstood by non-catholic Christians is
Catholic and Christian by Alan Schreck. Great book!

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