Do you have family and friends who are Evangelicals? Maybe a family member married an Evangelical. Maybe they’ve left the Catholic faith for an Evangelical church. Maybe you have a child who is engaged to an Evangelical.
You’re wondering, how do I talk to them? How do I answer their questions?
Fulton Sheen said something like, “There are not many Americans who hate Catholicism, but there are thousands who hate what they think Catholicism is.”
The same quip can be applied to Evangelical Christians. For the most part they have some deep prejudices about Catholicism. They simply don’t know what we really believe.
Having come from that background, I’m sympathetic. However, I’ve never been very big on simply arguing theological points and engaging in Bible verse gunfights. This article over at my Patheos archive discusses the problems of getting into apologetic bible verse shooting matches.
As Patrick Madrid has pointed out, you can win an argument and lose a soul.
There are plenty of good resources out there: Catholic Answers is brilliant and Dave Armstrong’s work on the Biblical basis of Catholicsm is great also. You can direct them there as well as the Coming Home Network and Why I’m Catholic--which is a website that publishes conversion stories.
But I’d also like to recommend two of my books that were written to help Evangelicals understand Catholicism.
More Christianity explains the Catholic faith in a friendly way. The title says it all: Catholicism is not something totally different. It is something more. Yes, it’s also a pun on C.S.Lewis’ classic Mere Christianity. I tried to write it in the same, clear and positive language that Lewis used, but wanted to build on the idea of mere Christianity to show that it wasn’t enough. We need More Christianity not mere Christianity.
Scott Hahn’s wife Kimberley was asked what three things were the largest obstacles to her becoming Catholic and she said, “Mary, Mary and Mary.” The misunderstanding about Mary among Evangelicals is huge, and it needs its own book to explain.
Therefore, I wrote Mary-A Catholic Evangelical Debate. In this book I discuss the Marian dogmas and devotions with an old Bob Jones University classmate, David Gustafson. David is now a federal judge, and we wrote the book together when I still lived in England. The book sold out, and I’ve now re-published it. The new title is Our Lady?- A Catholic Evangelical Debate.
Professor Peter Kreeft said about this book, “There is simply no other book in print that explores this most immovable impasse between Protestants and Catholics in a way that both uncompromising Evangelicals and Catholics can wholly applaud. Clear, honest, mutually respectful uncompromising and illuminating.”