Wisdom - for protestants

Hi folks,

I am an ex protestant who is making plans to start RCIA. I’ve learned that reinventing the wheel ain’t wise! So I’m asking - is there already a thread or a website or a book or something that is a nice guide for protestants about the difference between RC and protestant basic theology, basic practices, etc, so that I might get a handle on what changes are before me?

It would be helpful if there was a table of major biblical topics and then how RC is different to protestantism. If this doesn’t exist - then oh well! It was worth asking.

Thank you and God bless you

Which Protestant communion are you interested in comparing to Catholicism?


Hi Jon,

I was a baptist.


It would also be helpful to know why you are entering RCIA. Nothing personal, just your faith reasons. It would give us a starting point, or a reference point, so we don’t tell you what you already know. :slight_smile:

I believe that your best start is the Catholic Catechism. It is Biblical in its basis and goes through the major tenets in a fairly easily read. God bless you in your journey.

Ok. My suggestion is to continue your path in RCIA, and continue to compare what you learn there,** firsthand**, about the Catholic faith to what you were taught as a Baptist.
Additionally, the Catholic Catechism is online. I like scborromeo.org/ccc.htm because I find it easy to search. I’m sure there are similar Baptist resources.


There’s a number of good videos on youtube about the differences between Catholics and protestants. Here’s one by Steve Ray who has been a guest on Catholic Answers radio show. Anything by him is a great teaching tool. I also just found this explanation of the Catholic Mass from the protestant perspective by convert Michael Cumbie which you might find enlightening. Hope these help.

I would suggest reading 3 books by Patrick Madrid called. “Surprised by Truth,” Vol I, Vol. II and Vol. III. I as a Catholic have learned a LOT from them, not only about the Catholic Faith but also in understanding many things about Protestant faiths. I think they can be purchased from Catholic Answers. Prayes for your Journey, God Bless, Memaw

I converted last year. I’ve found Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn to be very helpful since he too converted. Steve Ray has been very helpful as well. They both have videos on YouTube. I’m currently reading Catholicism for Dummies :slight_smile: helpful and has a bit of humor as well.since Mass is completely different from what you’re used to I found A Biblical Walk Through the Mass by Edward Sri to be a great insight. He walks you through pretty mch the whole Mass and explains why and where to find it in the bible. I’ve really enjoyed this year of study! I hope you do as well :slight_smile:

The single biggest thing to bring is humility and patience. I came from a SDA->Baptist->LCMS Lutheran->Catholic past, becoming Catholic last year. What I found was many times my background caused me to think in one way but those who didn’t come from it approached things differently.

Take my priest. A good man who was born and raised in Ireland and who lived there until about 8 or so years ago. He was, and is, in an order where he was in an administrative function. He once said to me “growing up you were either athiest or Catholic”. As such he isn’t really in tune with all the various questions and approaches of all the various US protestants.

I have come to understand that its a blessing to have grown up without all the “controversies” that we have over here.

As to books hard to say for sure. One I really liked was Where We Got The Bible by Graham good, and I am particularly partial to GK Chesterton.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the Michael Crumbie link. I needed this explanation to bring my daughter from the edge…of going into the protestant church. A long story, basically my fault for not bringing her up in the Church as she was growing up, but over the last four years, she’s been open to learning a little here and there about Catholicism. She’s almost there, but she still had lots of questions about the Mass that just puts it all together with a nice clear understanding and a touch of humor, that will keep her interested long enough to listen to the whole thing.

God Bless you.

I’m so glad to hear that Mary! The Holy Spirit surely works in wonderful ways.:smiley:

Sure :slight_smile:

After study I came to reject sola scriptura. Then I wondered how to have faith without it and where?

I started reading the early church fathers and they were saying stuff that surprised me - a little bit more Catholic than I realized.

But I was still a Protestant and the whole deal about Mary being worshipped was still a concern. I bought a book by Scott Hahn called Hail Holy Queen.

I guess that was the tipping point. The symbolism in Mary is amazing. I actually got angry that I’d never heard it preached from the pulpit.

From here I need to work out what differences I might not be aware of. I’ve never been to a liturgy. Or a mass.

Thank you! I’ll watch them both.

If you like Dr Hahn he has a ton of audio lecture available online for free. He was instrumental in helping me relate to my baptistish, unchurched, evangelical in-laws.


Thanks for the link.

An easily read book that I believe will be of great help to you is Catholicism for Dummies. A Catholic now for 26 years, I still learn something about the faith each time I read it. You will be able to refer to it for years to come. Highly recommended.

Thanks for the recommendation. That recommendation has been made a few times now which probably means it is a good read :thumbsup:. I’ll have a look in my local bookstore.


Inquire at your parish. Some RCIA programs use it - all of them should, I think. But, as to outlining the differences between your current/former communion and the Catholic Church, hmmmm. Maybe search Marcus Grodi’s “Coming Home Network” for Baptist converts. He has 28 different Baptist conversion stories listed on this page if you scroll down. In describing their journey, they normally provide explanation of their former beliefs as contrasted with their current beliefs. There are certainly some thoughts and feelings expressed that you can identify with. Just a thought.

The CHnetwork has been so helpful! I am really looking forward to RCIA and I’ve bought the book already.

Is it common for RCIA’s to feel angry? I am so angry with my protestant teachers - I feel like I’ve been deceived and kept in the dark. Being angry is not really good - and I can’t muster up any gracec for them so I’ve kept my distance. But I am so cranky.

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