The Works that Influenced me to return to the Catholic Church


Seek for answers, and when you find what seems to be an answer, question that too. Louis L’amour, The Walking Drum.

My return to the Catholic Church was not something that happened in an instant. The works mentioned here were read by me over a twenty year period. Here are a few golden nuggets I picked up on the way.

  1. The Writings of the Early Church.
    If one wishes to know about a period of history, what makes more sense? To ask someone who actually lived, worked, and experienced the events first-hand? Or to ask someone thousands of years and miles removed from the events who has his own prejudices? An honest historian will seek to hear the voices of those who lived the events. Here are a few:
    A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, edited by David W. Bercot.
    The Teachings of the Church Fathers, edited by John R. Willis.
    For those unwilling to sift through the volumes of writings by the Early Church Fathers, these two books give a comprehensive reference guide of how the Early Church thought in the first 300 years. The fundamentalist will avoid these books like a vampire does the sunrise.
    The History of the Church by Eusebius.
    This was a major shock to me while I was still in fundamentalism. Written in the 4th century, Eusebius gives an undeniably Catholic picture of the early church. It tears apart ‘Trail of Blood’ revisionist church history.
    *The City of God *and Confessions by St. Augustine.
    These works fascinated me with what is a clearly Catholic view of Christianity.

  2. The Writings of the Medieval Church
    The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.
    The Soul’s Journey into God, The Tree of Life, and The Life of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure.
    The Little Flowers of St. Francis, unknown.
    These works blew me out of the water. How could these men, in the “DARK AGES”, write what was so obviously born of the Holy Spirit? A Kempis especially moved me and brought me to my knees.

  3. The Writings of the Reformation, two wonderful bad examples:
    Selected Works of Martin Luther.
    Luther comes off as a cold theologian who appeared to lack humility and spiritual guidance. He is an angry man given to exaggerations, distortions, contradictions, inconsistencies within his own writings. Emotion, not reason, dominated his writings. His chief supporters were the humanists, rebellious, immoral clergy and those with revolutionary tendencies. The Renaissance introduced and greatly fostered the conditions Luther played into at the time. In short, Luther was not reaching back into Church history to recover Biblical Christianity (as what had been told to me), he was instead a product of his time.
    Selected Works of John Calvin.
    Calvin fares a little better. But his cold and lifeless approach to predestination left a sour taste in my mouth. The more I read Calvin, the less of a Calvinist I became.

  4. Modern Works.
    The Ministry of Malcolm Smith.
    Malcolm Smith is a Charismatic Episcopal Priest from England. His sermons had a major influence on why I returned to the Catholic Church. Still available on audio are these:
    Blood Covenant.
    Preached while Malcolm was a young Pentecostal preacher in New York during the 1960s ‘renewal movement.’ This series punched a huge hole in my dispensationalist beliefs while still a fundamentalist. That led to his next series of sermons:
    The Seven Covenants of Scripture.
    Unfortunately no longer available.
    The Power of the Holy Spirit in Liturgy.
    This is perhaps, the most powerful dissertation on the Sacraments I ever heard. If one has never been a part of a sacramental church, I would recommend this series of sermons to help explain the way. Malcolm uses much scripture, and wonderful illustrations to introduce to a non-sacramental audience the beauty of the Sacraments. I also recommend:
    The Holy Spirit in the Sacraments.
    Covers much of the same ground, but goes much deeper.

Fundamentalism and Catholicism by Karl Keating.
The final nail in the coffin (for me) of fundamentalism. Keating writes with intelligence coupled with extensive background information that is a must read for any convert.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Recommended for anyone who wishes to know what the Catholic Church believes.
Roots of the Reformation by Karl Adam.
In this short work, Adam gives the best analysis of the Reformation I have ever read.
Journeys Home by Marcus Grodi.
The journeys of Protestant clergy back to the Catholic Church.

There were many others, but these came immediately to mind.


You should be on EWTN’s Journey Home -ha!
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


The Works that Influenced me to return to the Catholic Church.

I know Grace and the Holy Spirit had a hand in it as well. :thumbsup:

God bless


What were the works that influenced other converts/reverts to return to the Catholic Church?


Wow! Like you there were quite a few over a much shorter period of time.

All of the free courses from the Catholic Home Study Service.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating.

Surprised By Truth 1-3, Edited by Patrick Madrid

The Douay-Rheims Challoner Bible

Catholic For A Reason by Scott Hahn (Editor), Leon J. Suprenant (Editor)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Ecclesia de Eucharistia by Pope John Paul II.

There were other things as well but these are some of the ones that come to mind.

One other thing also was a factor. The near constant challenge of people offering every conceivable anti-Catholic argument that they could come up with. These I did not take lightly but actually dug in and researched in order to ascertain the truth.

The result you see here today. :slight_smile:


You’re right. The anti-Catholic claims, when compared with the light of Sacred Scripture, simply do not hold up when one begins to research.
The Bible. Darn, should have added that to the list.:wink:


As a cradle catholic who went through Catholic School and has always had the certainty of correct faith I must say I am extremely impressed that you as a Protestant took your salvation so seriously to investigate it. Wow! You found the truth through exhaustive searching and are a perfect case of the scripture passage that says “seek and ye shall find”. Catholicism’s claim as the one true faith can be ascertained by direct revelation of the Holy Spirit and an inner awakening or through natural appeal to common sense and reason. You took the long and and more difficult road. Most people would read 1 or 2 books and satisfy basic curiosities then accept or reject. You went more than the extra mile and wanted to remove all doubt and found all the amazing consistency from many angles (history, inspiration of the saints, intellectualism, spirituality etc.). Bravo. What an inspiration. :thumbsup:

Now you need to try and leverage all that perspiration and get the fruits of your labor into the heads and hearts of others of your past Protestant associates that will not have the same drive to know the truth with such certainty.



The Gospels :smiley:
Surprised by Truth (I’ve read vols. 1 and 3)
By What Authority? by Mark Shea
Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie
Jesus, Peter and the Keys: A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy
Early Christian Doctrines by JND(?) Kelly (a protestant)
Early Christian Writings by Maxwell Staniforth

The CDs from the Bible Christian Society
Articles at the Catholic Bridge and Catholic Answers
The Scripture Catholic website

Mostly it was forum discussions with other Catholics (most of them converts themselves) asking me hard questions that showed me the holes in my theology and where it didn’t line up with Scripture.


Read this during RCIA. Rocked my world.


That is easier said than done.:wink:


I actually studied it for about a week straight from beginning to end. Absolutely inspired! :thumbsup:


Thanks for an excellent thread.

Possibly a silly question, but is the title highlighted above the same as Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History? Same meaning, but is it the same work?

What really did it for me, a formerly-lapsed Catholic, was the unbeatable combination of concurrently:

  1. finding Catholic Answers Live! on KBVM here in Portland, while
  2. reading Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism, and
  3. having a mother-in-law in my home for 2+ months intent on taking me to a Korean Baptist service each Sunday!

God bless that woman - in her attempt to show me her Jesus in her church, she almost single-handedly brought me directly back to Him and His Church.

I would also highly recommend Dave Armstrong’s A Biblical Defense of Catholicism.


Its the same. The copy I have (which is old and falling apart) was marketed for a mass readership. That’s probably why it has a slightly different title.


Anyone else?

closed #15

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