I need your help with recommendations


Hi all,

I am in need of your help on some book recommendations. The other day I was reading the book “Home at Last” by Rosiland Moss. My husband who is not sure what to think or really do with my Catholic journey, asked me if the book had any religious history in it. I know that this does not sound like much of a statement, but coming from my very Lutheran husband it was a huge start. It opened up a dialog (however brief) about the Catholic Church, the reformation, and religious history. I could tell that it pained him to hear me talk about Luther and the split from the church, but I did press on.

The discussion led to him wanting to learn more about reformation, why it occurred and why there are so many different denominations. He wants to know more church history, so I brought up the Early Church Fathers, and recommended that he read and research there. He also wants to know how theologians believe that the different religions were started, such as Buddhism, Hinduism etc. Here is the twist on the last request - he does not want the information to be tainted by any one religion. He just wants what is the theory or fact of how different religions came about. (Ok,some bias might be ok, but he really wants what honestly most Theologians believe).

This is were I could use some help. What are the books (or maybe a web site) that you would recommend?

On the Reformation, Early Church Fathers and on other religions formation.

I cannot express how HUGE this is for my husband to be thinking about any other religion. I think he is finally starting to think about why he is Lutheran rather than just always being Lutheran.

I think often when you are born into a religion you often don’t stop to know why you are that religion, you just are that. I believe that my Catholic journey, though it may not change his religious affiliation, will in turn strengthen his own faith.

Thank you for all of your help with this. I can’t wait to get your suggestions! :smiley:

God Bless,



I’d recommend Hillaire Belloc’s “How the Reformation Happened” which rather bracingly presents the Catholic point-of-view. It’s strong stuff, but I presume your husband’s read some Luther and doesn’t mind a bit of forceful argument. :wink:



I don’t know of any books off the top of my head (because I haven’t thought long enough), but one CD that I listened to that may have some value is I believe “Faith and Reason” by Fr. Mitch Pacwa. He explains faith from the philosophical viewpoint and seems to do it quite well.

In my studies of religious history, around the time of the reformation, there were kings and other powerful people feuding with one another, especially in Germany. I cannot remember which battles or which war it was, but the truce came at the price of dividing the country into groups of towns that were either Lutheran or Catholic. I have been told that is why certain parts of Germany is more Lutheran than other parts. This seems to be the case of many in history of families and areas being of a particular faith. Now with communications and travel the way it is, we can seek the truth of Christ and not rely on what others believed around us.

I hope others will be more helpful than I have been.


One of my favorite books about the period of the Reformation is volume 4 of Jaroslav Pelikan’s series on The Christian Tradition A History of the Development of Doctrine. The title of volume 4 is "Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700).

I don’t know if your husband is a reader or not. This book is not a fast, light read. Should add, the focus is on doctrine development, not historical events.

Pelikan was a Lutheran at the time he wrote it. I remember when I got to the end, I wondered - “How can this man remain Protestant?” I was not surprised when a few years later I learned he had converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. Wish he had come all the way home to the Catholic Church.



This book might be useful.


Dr. Warren Carroll’s multi-volume The History of Christendom would be a great help. Each volume may be purchased separately. The first volume, The Founding of Christendom, would answer your husband’s questions regarding Hinduism and Buddhism, and the fourth volume, The Cleaving of Christendom, deals with the Protestant “reformation”:



I have to concur that Belloc’s How The Reformation Happened and his book Characters Of The Reformation are the gold standard.

You need to get these books-- they are very readable and SO awesome.

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