What books may former protestant keep?


#1

I have a large Christian library, but mostly protestant given my background. Does one purge, keep or purge some? If so, what?

I am not yet a Catholic, but moving in that distinct direction.

Any ideas?


#2

I would suppose it would depend on the nature of the material. Even material that is anti-Catholic might be helpful as a resource to remind you of arguments that you might encounter among family and firends or in discusssions that end up having an opening for apologetics discussion.

Unfortunately, I can’t write from the vantage of having your experience, since I am not a convert. I am sure more valuable advice will be coming.


#3

I kept most of them. As I learned more, and would reread some stuff, I would gradually get rid of stuff. I finally got to the point where if it was not Catholic, I just no longer read it. I got tired of wading through that which wasn’t true to find what I could use.

I did use it as an opportunity to witness though. I would give away books to my protestant friends. When they asked if I wanted it back, I would decline telling them to pass it on, but I found it had too many errors from a Catholic Christian perspective.

Sometimes the conversations would end there. Other times they would inquire what errors and you have an opportunity to plant a seed of truth.

God Bless you on your journey,

Maria


#4

Given the limits of space, I would like to make room for my growing Catholic section. Which, therefore, should be purged first. Perhaps the more off the wall views on eschatology etc.


#5

[quote=Almost Catholic]Given the limits of space, I would like to make room for my growing Catholic section. Which, therefore, should be purged first. Perhaps the more off the wall views on eschatology etc.
[/quote]

I would say that anything not by C.S.Lewis and which conflicts heavily with Catholic teaching should get sent somewhere else. Donated to local n-C churches is nice…the local county jail/prison etc will always have needs. (BTW these places also are always in desperate need of good Catholic stuff!) I kept some of the better Bible translations, but only a few…an RSV w/the DCs and some mutilple translation editions because they save space and time.
Pax vobiscum,


#6

Where is the collection in your home? I would shunt anything you don’t want your guests to read into a back room, like that copy of the BOM you keep around for discussions with the two guys on your doorstep (fill in the blank as appropriate for you).

I find that original source material is useful (like the BOM) but in general, the anti-whatever literature is less useful that a good constructive book or an apologetics book. An overall reference work (New Interpreter’s Bible, for ex) could still be useful. So could any Greek or Hebrew resources. I suppose it depends on your collection and its primary use.

I would not donate any literature that is a dangerous read. I’d throw it out. But then, I am a cautious sort.


#7

You ‘may’ keep any or all or them, as long as they are not offensive or pornograpgic :slight_smile:

You may want to note where they really mis-represent the Catholic faith, but I see no harm in having them around.

As far as spreading them around, I not sure it is wise to put out more propaganda especially if it is really anti-Catholic.

Maybe you can annotate the errors and misrepresentations and give them to Protestant ministers so they can see where they are off base :slight_smile:

WC


#8

Books Protestants-on-the-verge-to-converge may keep, without endangering the happiness of their immortal souls:

  1. On the Origin of Species: we know you Protestants just love Darwin

  2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Protestants have this intense attraction to Zen minimalism, perhaps because of the iconoclastic flavor of this Japanese form of Buddhism

  3. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: Yes, you may keep this book; but don’t think it’ll help jumpstart your career as a rapper

and, last but not least,

  1. Why Christianity must change or die: Protestants love to deconstruct, demythologize, and deChristianize, but I fear that the '60s are over

#9

Generally it is good to keep books by the “opposing sides” to know what those sides teach and believe. Irenaeus and many other early Christians had a firm understanding of non-Catholic heresies. They most likely read the works of these pagans and gnostics. So, keep your library.

If you have some books that are repetitive in content, then see if you can donate to your parish library. Personally I believe that parish libraries should have a shelf that contains works by Protestants, Orthodox, Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses, since it is valuable to know what the other side teaches to know what you yourself believe. But that’s just my fantasy. A more reaslistic possibility is for you to give those books to your Protestant friends.


#10

[quote=Madaglan]Generally it is good to keep books by the “opposing sides” to know what those sides teach and believe. Irenaeus and many other early Christians had a firm understanding of non-Catholic heresies. They most likely read the works of these pagans and gnostics. So, keep your library.

If you have some books that are repetitive in content, then see if you can donate to your parish library. Personally I believe that parish libraries should have a shelf that contains works by Protestants, Orthodox, Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses, since it is valuable to know what the other side teaches to know what you yourself believe. But that’s just my fantasy. A more reaslistic possibility is for you to give those books to your Protestant friends.
[/quote]

I agree Madaglan. Christianity in the last two hundred years has not encouraged much scholarship by keeping yourself engaged in dialogue with those with whom someone disagrees. I think that it is important for us to keep sharp by understanding the best and most popular of the opposing viewpoints. Otherwise educations is limited to a confirmation of prejudice–and that is not really education at all.

This attitude also make seekers (especially postmoderns) more receptive to what you have to say. They will then believe that you are not just following the traditions of your culture or parents, but are truly more objective than Christians are many times characterized to be.

Michael


#11

[quote=Madaglan]Generally it is good to keep books by the “opposing sides” to know what those sides teach and believe. Irenaeus and many other early Christians had a firm understanding of non-Catholic heresies. They most likely read the works of these pagans and gnostics. So, keep your library.

If you have some books that are repetitive in content, then see if you can donate to your parish library. Personally I believe that parish libraries should have a shelf that contains works by Protestants, Orthodox, Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses, since it is valuable to know what the other side teaches to know what you yourself believe. But that’s just my fantasy. A more reaslistic possibility is for you to give those books to your Protestant friends.
[/quote]

I like this idea…saves you from havin’ to shop for christmas presents… :smiley:


#12

The Index of Forbidden Books is a dead issue. From the wording of your question it sounds like you believe you would be forbidden to own or read certain books. As a general rule I would say you can keep(note I said can) any book that does not endanger your growing Catholic Faith or perhaps like pornography present a danger of other sins. I have kept a collection of pamphlets put out by Melody Green and her dead husband some twenty years ago. They fascinated me in the sense that I could not get my arms around some of the fantastic distortions they believed about the Catholic Church. They recently turned up in my boxes of literature and I “round filed” them because they were plain dull reading. I am concluding that except for a few reference books one might consider pitching any book you haven’t looked into for a couple of years. I just managed to dispose of my Chemistry and Physics collection from over thirty years ago. Love of books and nostalgia made this difficult. I pray you come to love and chrish the Catholic Faith as many of us do. Dick


#13

I’d probably keep them as future reference but I’d definately remove them from my bookshelf so that friends or family don’t get the wrong impression. I’d probably stuff them in a box somewhere. The only time I’d pull them out is if I need to get clarification on areas where protestants are sadly wrong.


#14

I would keep anything of interest, if your faith is strong you could read/study them with detachment. I have never heard of any of the more well-known apologist-converts tossing their libraries, usually you’ll hear them comment about something or other “boxed up” in the basement.

One of my favorite old religious authors is Spurgeon. I could go through his sermons and mark out all of the non-Catholic influences and still find something of interest there.

I have a small collection of books from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, their unique “Bible” and some other horrible texts. Whenever I see a different hardcover in the used bookstores I’ll pick it up (if it’s cheap). I don’t find them in the least bit entertaining, they are more of a curiosity, but it has turned out to be helpful when I have read a certain book the JW has.

You may keep any books you want! The beauty is, Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) can stand on it’s own merits, our faith is truly an open book.


#15

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