The ONE book you would suggest to a Protestant friend


#1

Let’s say you are good friends with a devout baptist (could be any Protestant, really, but I use baptist because it is a more radical sort of Protestantism). He is well-read in the Scriptures, has a strong relationship with the Lord, and is super-intelligent (has an IQ of 160). He knows you are Catholic, but when you talk with him about the Catholic faith, he counters your beliefs with a barrage of his own systematic knowledge of revelation. He seems not even to seriously consider your Catholic beilefs. One day he finally agrees that he will read any Catholic book you choose for him to read, so long as you read a Protestant book of his choosing in return. He says that he will consider your book choice as seriously as he can, but that if he discovers the book to be poorly argued, he will not read any more Catholic books.

Now, if you were in this situation and could rely on only one book to latch him onto Catholic truths, which book would you recommend?

By the way, the Protestant profile listed above actually fits a few of my friends, but I ask this question not in reference to them but because I am interested in which book best presents the truth of Catholicism and challenges even the best reasoned Protestant claims.

:slight_smile:


#2

The Catechism of the Catholic Church


#3

All I can think of just now is Scott Hahn’s “Rome Sweet Home”,Steve Ray’s “Crossing the Tiber” or Roy Schoeman’s “Salvation Is From The Jews”.


#4

It depends. Do you want a book you both can read and later discuss? Maybe you should seach Amazon for a recommended apologetics book. But if he is very intellectual, the best approach might be to more subtly plant a seed. Perhaps something like An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by Newman. It’s not an apologetics book but he might reconsider some of his assumptions after reading something like that. There are probably others but I it depends on your strategy.

A point to note is that intelligence doesn’t really determine who is correct. Supreme Court justices are some of the smartest people around yet they can come to diametrically opposed conclusions on something as simple as the meaning of a few words. If they can disagree while being so educated on the subject matter, clearly anyone can. Keep that in mind when dealing with someone who has a higher IQ than you.


#5

If your friend is as systematic and intelligent as you say he is, I would recommend Robert Sungenis’ “Not By Faith Alone”.

From experience, the Catechism is great for Catholics, but does not actively refute Protestant doctrine, so a Protestant reading it may leave the book with their pre-conceptions intact. Testimonials like “Rome, Sweet Home” and “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” are excellent testimonials, but carry a latent emotionalism and lack the depth of theology that a serious and intelligent person needs to jolt them from their smugness.

Sungenis’ book on the other hand uses Scripture to refute the Protestant’s pre-conceptions on the nature of salvation and firmly establish the Catholic view. His book is highly acclaimed, and is exhaustive in overturning every conceivable objection to the Catholic view of salvation (he was educated in Westminster Theological Seminary). If your friend gets through that book unscathed theologically, he is one hard-headed guy.:wink:


#6

[quote=teajay] Perhaps something like An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by Newman.
[/quote]

Perhaps Newman’s *Apologia Pro Vita Sua *as an alternative. Either would be a very good choice.


#7

There are many books that are good. However, if I were to select one book, it would have to be Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” by Karl Keating.

The information in the book is clear and to the point. It not only counters many of the claims, it goes into where those claims originated. I have used it many time on various BB’s to counter the claims made against the Catholic Church.

PF


#8

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#9

I would suggest “The Faith of Millions” by the Reverend John A. O’Brien. It is written in a style that held my interest (as someone who considers themselves to be very intelligent) but it could also be easily understood by someone who is below average in intelligence. In other words it is written for a broad audience. O’Brien begins by pointing out that the *first *moral obligation of anybody is to search sincerely for the truth. (If you don’t find truth in the first place how will you ever know what your second obligation is?). Then it goes on to explain where the canon of the Bible comes from, (which is a question that even very intelligent Protestants usually fail to consider.) After that it explains the 7 sacraments, and various doctrines of the Church -including things like purgatory and indulgences, showing that they do have scriptural support. On the whole, an excellent book for Protestants but also Catholics who want to know more about their faith.


#10

While “Not By Faith Alone” is an excellent book, I don’t know if it’s that good for “starters”. I used to be big on “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic”, but there seem to be a few errors in it.

“Jesus, Peter, & The Keys” might be good.


#11

Originally Quoted by challenger:

While “Not By Faith Alone” is an excellent book, I don’t know if it’s that good for “starters”. I used to be big on “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic”, but there seem to be a few errors in it.

I read that book, and I didn’t see any major problems in it. However, the author did offer a disclaimer stating that not everything is his book is necessarily error-free, since he is just a beginning Catholic and is still learning. I do not believe the book even has a imp. or a nihil obstat.

Which errors are you referring to?


#12

[quote=WanderAimlessly]There are many books that are good. However, if I were to select one book, it would have to be Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” by Karl Keating.

PF
[/quote]

Agreed. This book helped me tremendously (I am a former Baptist). The one book that “sealed the deal” for me was “By What Authority” by Mark Shea. It goes to the heart of the Fundementalism.


#13

Originally Quoted by pnewton:

Agreed. This book Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by "Bible Christians] helped me tremendously (I am a former Baptist). The one book that “sealed the deal” for me was “By What Authority” by Mark Shea. It goes to the heart of the Fundementalism.

I read Catholicism and Fundamentalism, and at the time I thought it did an all right job of debunking some of the more ludicrous claims made by fundamentalists. However, I believe that the tone was at times a little too polemical and that the book could have gone into greater depths. Scripture was used to counter the Scripture fundamentalists used, but sometimes I felt that Karl could have been more detailed and methodical in his Scriptural argumentations.

I have not read By What Authority, but thanks for the suggestion.


#14

Catholicism and Fundamentalism is good, but it does cover a pretty wide subject area, and is best read with some intention to look into any particular subject that interest you or to give you a broad understanding about the differences and reason for Catholic positions. This is the first book I read, and I was really moved by it, but at that point I was having problems with Evangelical theology.
I would second the suggestion then on giving a book which focuses primarily on one subject matter. Something that illustrates the Catholic vs Protestant position on something such as Faith Alone or Sola Scriptura. Anyone who is well educated will probably be more interested in an in depth explanation, if they have some bias in their reading comprehension, they would be looking for wiggle room on their understanding of it.


#15

I’m going to second Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn. It is his converstion story of being anti-Catholic and then realizing how biblically (not merely historically), the Catholic Church really is on the mark.

It is a humble story with profound truths in it, so it is not attacking Protestantism (as to make your friend defensive), and it has very sound important-to-a-Protestant arguments for the Catholic Church.

I had read other books by Scott Hahn and other authors, but reading this book really sealed my convictions to go to RCIA. I read it cover to cover without stopping, and all the way through it I kept wanting to call all my Protestant friends and talk about the truths in it!


#16

I would suggest Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper.
It has just the biblical analysis that would appeal to most Protestants. I’ve also seen it linked to a conversion of heart. :yup:

ak_mike:whistle:


#17

“Journeybread for the Shadowlands” by Pamela E J Jackson


#18

I would suggest first and foremost that you try and get your friend to open his mind to the possibility of more than one book. I think the attitude he takes is one of intense pride. “I will read one, and when (not if) I disprove it, I’ll be able to stay Protestant with a clear conscience. If anyone tries to convince me again, I’ll let them know that I did have an open mind- I even read a Catholic book!- but I am still convinced.” I say, inundate him with good books, let him have his choice. Hopefully one will open his mind to more, but you never know. Make sure you pray for him!

I think the litte book Why do Catholics Genuflect? by Al Kresta. Succinct and to the point. Not terribly deep, so judge for yourself whether such a book will do anything for him.


#19

The Douay-Rheims Bible.


#20

*Theology and Sanity *by Frank Sheed.

For a taste of Catholic spirituality one would not go wrong with *The Lord *by Romano Guardini.

+T+
Michael


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