How many Protestant apologetic books have you read?


I was once a Catholic and watched EWTN and listened to their apologists defending Catholic dogma. As a child, I believed whatever the nuns told me. The motto was in effect: “don’t think, don’t question, believe and obey.” Well, listening to the Catholic apologists on EWTN got me to thinking (in my 50’s) and their explanations didn’t always sit well with me. The basis for the Marian dogmas appeared to be very weak and yes, I’ve heard every Catholic defense of these beliefs.
So, on my own, I started to investigate the genesis of Catholic beliefs and read BOTH Catholic and Protestant apologists, along with the Bible and the Fathers. I left the Catholic Church, well into my middle age, after being convinced that the Protestants have it right, although it was really the grace of God that led me out of the Catholic church.
Now my question to current Catholics is: have you read books by Protestant apolgists? If you only read books or hear from Catholic apologists and their interpretation on Protestant beliefs you don’t get the complete picture. Sure, you can say that Protestants also are biased, but only after hearing BOTH sides of the issue, can you really make a decision. Too many of you just believe what the priests, nuns, and Catholic apologists tell you. Step up to the plate and study BOTH sides.
Please don’t respond to this post by saying that you’ll pray that I return to the church. I also don’t want to argue points of dogma. What I want from the Catholics is for you to list every Protestant apologetic book that you’ve read. And if you haven’t, how do you know if you have the real picture of their beliefs. Would you think that a non-Catholic would have a true picture of your Church without ever reading Catholic literature?


Most of my understanding of Protestant theology has come from James White. I have some of his books, as well as some from Eric Svendsen. I have also done a lot of reading online from people like Webster and others.

You say that the most beneficial learning comes from hearing both sides. I agree, however this is not always adequately done between books.

I prefer debates, as a means to hear both sides. Specific topics are addressed, and equal time is given to both debaters.

That being said, protestant arguments from protestants themselves have never proved convincing for me.



I have a list far too high to write in this email from work (perhaps when I get home I can take a tally of some of the major books for you)…however, I also come from the James White side of things (infact my ex-girlfriend and her family were friends of his…oh well, lol), and it was precisely in studying both sides of things that I found it absolutely clear…the Catholic Church is the One True Church!

(I can garuantee you that it WASN’T the grace of God that led you away from the Bride of Christ.)

But peace of Christ be with you!


I mostly read Protestant websites, and listen to Protestants debate the Catholic Church’s positions. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting trying to keep up with all their different viewpoints. It’s not really possible to for any one (Protestant or Catholic) to know what the thousands of Protestant denominations all believe and why.

You probably knew this question was coming: What Catholic apologetic books have *you *read?


I started once, but I got tired of being called a “Papist,” “Romanist” and I think Catholicism was even called a cult or something…very offensive apologetics.


I was raised a Protestant, and attended private school with daily religious instruction. I’ve been a ravenous reader since I could tell an “A’” from a “B”, and have spent many hours of study in the Scripture. In my daily 2-hour commute I spent literally tens of thousands of hours listening to such worthies as Swindoll, Sproul, McGee, etc., etc. on evangelical radio. And although I would never have called myself an anti-Catholic, I did firmly believe that the Catholic Church had strayed from the true faith.

But when I stumbled on Catholic radio, particularly Catholic Answers Live and the Al Kresta show, I discovered that I really knew nothing about Catholicism, that is, not with true Catholic teaching. Having professional training as an engineer, it’s my job to weigh evidence and mercilessly rip out my own hidden false assumptions, so I gave myself one year to seriously study it so that I could prove to myself that I should indeed remain a Protestant.

Within 60 days I was identifying myself as a Catholic, and I entered the Church last year. And the more I hear the various Protestant arguments against, the Catholic Church, the more firmly I’m convinced that I made the right decision.


Since there is no Catholic radio in this area I listen to hours and hours of Protestant radio (I drive a lot during the day). This way I can hear the arguments from their own mouths. I especially try to catch the Protestant apologist’s shows like the Bible Answer Man and I’ve read a couple of Hank’s books. I’ve read Norman Giesler’s book on Catholicism, several books by Josh McDowell, listened to several debates between Catholic apologists and the likes of James White and representatives of Calvary Chapel.

I’ve tried to read Protestant apologetics books by James McCarthy and others but I quit after running into the same old dodges, misrepresentations of Catholic beliefs and practices, and straw man attacks. In fact, the more I hear and read, the more I see how accurately those views are represented in Catholic apologetics materials and the more reinforced I am in my Catholic beliefs.

It looks like you’ve read your way right out of Christ’s Church and away from the Eucharist. Maybe you can read (and pray) your way back in. Whether you want my prayers or not, you have them. God love you.


I really like John McArthur, RC Sproul, Used to listen to Walter Martin. Josh McDowell is good.

Saved by Grace! a former Catholic


It seems that we are being blessed with the presence of folks from James White’s website (who saw that coming?)…Hello Barbara and Kaycee! Welcome!



Hi Lilith!



is it too harsh to say that the only thing all protestant apologists agree on is that they are not Catholic? Which protestant apologists should I listen to? I can find another to disagree with any position any give protestant apologist takes … if the defintion of “protestant” is broad enough to include Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals, JWs, Baptists of various flavors, Methodists, Prebyterians, Anglicans of various stripes, CoC, AoG, WCC, etc, etc, etc.

Perhaps I should find a protestant apologist with whom I agree, or one that affirms my OK-ness and listen to him … or her.

Nope. I’ll listen to the witness of the Fathers, thank you. Read the ECF without prejudice … they are Catholic through and through.


A lot of people on this site are former Protestants, myself included. So, you are going to find people here that are very knowledgable about both sides of the debate. Maybe you could start a different thread on what specific beliefs led you away from the Catholic Church.


[quote=kaycee]I really like John McArthur, RC Sproul, Used to listen to Walter Martin. Josh McDowell is good.

Saved by Grace! a former Catholic

Hello Kaycee,

In another thread you said that you were probably too busy with work to start a thread on the problems that you have with the Catholic Church. It is nice that you have stayed and found time to post. Maybe you can start that thread now.(did I mention that I was a nag) I hope that we get to hear more from you.:slight_smile: Welcome to both you and Barbara.:thumbsup:


I can try to create a thread. Not exactly sure how, but will investigate. :smiley:


BarbG << I left the Catholic Church, well into my middle age, after being convinced that the Protestants have it right, although it was really the grace of God that led me out of the Catholic church. >>

Sorry to hear that. :frowning: But which “Protestants” ? There are so many.

BarbG << Now my question to current Catholics is: have you read books by Protestant apolgists? >>

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions. :smiley: Way more than you. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well at least these:

Roman Catholicism: A Contemporary Evangelical Perspective by Paul Schrotenboer (Baker, 1987)
The Fatal Flaw by James R. White (Crowne Publications, 1990)
Answers to Catholic Claims by James R. White (Crowne Publications, 1990)
The Facts on Roman Catholicism by John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Harvest House, 1993)
Protestants and Catholics: Do They Now Agree? by John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Harvest House, 1995)
A View of Rome by John Armstrong (Moody, 1995)
Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites Us edited by John Armstrong (Moody, 1994)

The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary by Elliot Miller and Kenneth Samples (Baker, 1992)
Mary, Another Redeemer? by James R. White (Bethany House, 1998)
Who is My Mother? by Eric Svendsen (Calvary Press, 2001)

Salvation, the Bible, and Roman Catholicism by William Webster (Banner of Truth, 1995)
The Matthew 16 Controversy: Peter and the Rock by William Webster (1996)

Far From Rome, Near to God edited by Richard Bennett (1994)
Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Robert Zins (White Horse Publications, 1994)
A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days by Dave Hunt (Harvest House, 1994)
Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics by Ron Rhodes (Harvest House, 2000)

The Two Babylons or the Papal Worship by Alexander Hislop (Loizeaux Brothers, 1959, orig 1916)
Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1962, two editions)

And these:

Sola Scriptura! The Protestant Position on the Bible edited by Don Kistler (Soli Deo Gloria, 1995)
The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith Mathison (Canon Press, 2001)
Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith by David King and William Webster (2001, 3 volumes)
Scripture Alone by James R. White (Bethany House, 2004)

The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns (Moody, 1989)
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words by W.E. Vine et al (Thomas Nelson, 1985)
Evangelical Affirmations edited by Kenneth Kantzer and Carl F.H. Henry (Academie Books, 1990)

Life in the Son: A Study of the Doctrine of Perseverance by Robert Shank (Bethany House, 1989)
Chosen But Free: A Balanced View of Divine Election by Norman Geisler (2001, 2nd edition)
Right With God: Justification in the Bible and the World edited by D.A. Carson (Baker, 1992)
Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification by R.C. Sproul (Baker, 1995)
The God Who Justifies by James R. White (Bethany House, 2001)

Have I missed any prominent devastatingly unanswerable evangelical or anti-Catholic books? I’m always looking to add to my collection. :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue:

And I’d like to ask again which “Protestants” you think got it right? There are so many. Thousands in fact. And No, Svendsen did not rebut this article.

The PhilVaz book shelf here

Phil P


From the perspective of a Catholic revert, following 35 years of not giving a darn.

When I took an inventory of my life and realized something went dratically astray, I began to investigate the philosophies of “holy molies” (as I used to call the church going people who would cause traffic on Sunday mornings) .

In doing this I was more exposed to the evangelicals, such as R.C.Sprowl, John McCarthur, Hank Hannegraff…others (who I still respect and admire).

These well intentioned men told me that everyone I knew was going to hell. The neighborhood Jewish woman who baked cookies for all the children in the neighborhood; all my friends who never gave God more then a passing thought; ALL Muslims; All Mormons: All JW…nearly everyone.

When I pictured this loving wonderful caring 80 year old Jewish woman swimming a lake of molten lava for eternity I knew somethign was wrong.

I was devistated beyond comprehension. Thank the merciful God I went a step further and reconsidered the love and understanding of the Catholic Church.

Now I have hope.



[quote=kaycee]I can try to create a thread. Not exactly sure how, but will investigate. :smiley:

Oh Goody!!:smiley: I can help. :dancing: Go to the main forum page, the one with all the listings of different forums. Click on the appropriate forum for your topic. For example a bible question would fall under the scripture forum. At the top left of the particular forum page, there should be a button that reads either start new thread or just new thread. Click on it. You can then start your thread.

I hope that I was clear enough and didn’t confuse you.


KC << I really like John McArthur >>

I used to like him many years ago (late 80s, early 90s) then I found out what an anti-Catholic bigot he is. Very disappointing. That and his young earth views are quite pathetic. Other than that his Faith Works and Gospel According to Jesus are good informative books, and much in line with Catholic teaching on salvation.

KC << RC Sproul >>

Good Reformed guy, some day he’ll have to debate a Scott Hahn. I own or have read his Faith Alone (1995) and Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (1992).

KC << Used to listen to Walter Martin >>

Liked him on John Ankerberg Show in his debate with Fr. Pacwa. Good guy, he has his anti-Catholic misconceptions but was fair with Pacwa. Plus he was the expert on the pseudo-Christian cults before his death in 1989.

KC << Josh McDowell is good >>

He’s OK, but the Kreeft / Tacelli Handbook is more rigorous. McDowell is good for “beginners” in apologetics, William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Peter Kreeft are for the more advanced among us. :smiley: .

KC << Saved by Grace! a former Catholic >>

Sorry to hear that, but the Catholic Church believes in salvation by grace. I’d suggest a careful reading of the Catechism on grace and salvation.

Phil P


Whoops I forgot a few. Of course there’s

Definite 4 or 5 star book by Orthodox scholars:

The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church edited by John Meyendorff (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1963, 1992), my excerpts from this book here

Definite 3 star book by prominent evangelical scholars:

Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences by Norman Geisler/Ralph MacKenzie (Baker Books 1995)

Definite 2 star book by prominent anti-Catholic apologist:

The Roman Catholic Controversy by James R. White (Bethany House 1996)

And a little lower on the anti-Catholic apologist food chain…

Definite 1 1/2 star book, which claims Mary is “mother of only the non-God part of Jesus”, my favorite line:

Evangelical Answers: A Critique of Current Roman Catholic Apologetics by Eric Svendsen (New Testament Restoration Foundation 1997)

Definite 1 1/2 star book, claims with amazing logic that the Immaculate Conception of Mary was invented by Pelagius in the 4th/5th century since he said everyone was free of original sin (including Mary), and that original sin didn’t exist. In other words, poor logic, poor history, poor use of sources in this book:

The Church of Rome at the Bar of History by William Webster (Banner of Truth 1995)

Definite 2 star book:

The Gospel According to Rome by James G. McCarthy (Harvest House 1995)

I was working on a long detailed response to this one, but Gary Michuta did a nice job already.

Now which of these do you have? Or which do you recommend? BTW, this is the “best” that modern anti-Catholic evangelical Protestantism has to offer, and it ain’t that great.

Phil P


BarbG << What I want from the Catholics is for you to list every Protestant apologetic book that you’ve read. >>

Now can you list every Catholic apologetics book you have read. Show me yours, I’ve shown you mine. :stuck_out_tongue:

And don’t forget the B.C. Butler response to George Salmon

Two more books you should try to find:

The Primitive Church and the See of Peter by Luke Rivington (1894)
Studies on the Early Papacy by John Chapman (1928, originally from articles late 19th, early 20th century)

Fortunately, I painstakingly typed in the majority of the Chapman book (articles on Cyprian, Augustine, Jerome, Athanasius, John Chrysostom are all online). I also have Rivington in complete photocopy. In fact with the new scanner we bought for the office, I just might make this old book publicly available. Dave Palm has had only the last chapter online (The Byzantine Plot). The old books are still the best.

Sorry, OK you’re turn.

Phil P

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