Similar book suggestion, please?


Without getting into the details of the situation, what would the Catholic equivalent of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion be?

Especially if I want to suggest the Catholic equivalent (or more than one would be wonderful, too :slight_smile: ) of Calvin’s book to a Calvinist. I plan on reading both books as a part of the process of catechizing myself…(I find I better understand things if I have other stuff to compare my Catholic beliefs to, the same applies to any other subject, in fact, especially in college. It helps me remember things more.)

Thanks :slight_smile:


Can you summarize what kind of book this is for those unfamiliar with it? :slight_smile:


Sure :slight_smile: I haven’t read it yet, but here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin’s seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. Highly influential in the Western world[1] and still widely read by theological students today, it was published in Latin in 1536 and in his native French in 1541, with the definitive editions appearing in 1559 (Latin) and in 1560 (French).

The book was written as an introductory textbook on the Protestant faith for those with some learning already and covered a broad range of theological topics from the doctrines of church and sacraments to justification by faith alone and Christian liberty, and it vigorously attacked the teachings of those Calvin considered unorthodox, particularly Roman Catholicism to which Calvin says he had been “strongly devoted” before his conversion to Protestantism. The over-arching theme of the book – and Calvin’s greatest theological legacy – is the idea of God’s total sovereignty, particularly in salvation and election.[1]

The Institutes are a primary reference for the system of doctrine adopted by the Reformed churches, usually called Calvinism.

I don’t know if this helps, but thank you for trying! :slight_smile:


Well, I’d have to start with the Catechism, of course. And if he makes arguments against other faiths, I’d recommend Karl Keating’s Catholicism & Fundamentalism (although Calvinists aren’t necessarily Fundamentalist). And although I have not read it, there is The Salvation Controversy by Jimmy Akin comparing Catholic and Protestant teachings. Jimmy is the best!! :smiley:


Catechism…got that :slight_smile: And Catholicism and Fundamentalism is at the library, so I’ll check that out…and read the Salvation Controversy already :smiley: I’ve had it checked out (renewals) for about 3 months now!

Perhaps I can suggest Catholicism and Fundamentalism to the Calvinist who was talking about the Institutes? Or perhaps even the Salvation Controversy…not sure what exactly is best for sharing information about Catholicism :slight_smile: (new to the whole apologetics thing…)


I would suggest Lugwig Ott’s book, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. (available here.) It is somewhat scholarly, but fairly complete. A true classic.

Another seminal work is An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by John Henry Cardinal Newman (available here.)

Of course, do not forget St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologea (here) and Summa Contra Gentiles (here). Each of these multi-volume works describe the heart of and core of Catholic Theology. These last two suggestions are useful if you have a couple of decades to spare reviewing them.


You might want to check out John Martignoni’s book about Scriptural apologetics…not sure of the name, but he focuses on Scripture for Catholic teaching, which may be more effective for a Calvinist? Your call! Godspeed! :slight_smile:

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