Catholic Case for Christ?

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DougL

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I am trying to help a brother who is a lapsed Catholic (and after that a lapsed Evangelical). A serious person, he purports to think Christianity in all forms is shallow wishful thinking. I think he would read a book I would recommend to him–one book only. I am torn what to recommend. Can you suggest possibilities?

I was thinking about Strobel’s book A Case for Christ, which I enjoyed, but I think it’s too Evangelical and would confuse my brother. Similarly, Mere Christianity isn’t right either. I’d rather find him a book that is solidly Catholic, reasonably contemporary, apologetic in nature, and readable.

I would guess my brother still believes in God, but what that means seems to have gotten increasingly vague over the years. I believe my brother still has an affection for Christ, but that affection is stand-offish and has probably ceased from being a daily personal relationship. What should I give him to read?

Thank you.
 
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DougL:
I am trying to help a brother who is a lapsed Catholic (and after that a lapsed Evangelical). A serious person, he purports to think Christianity in all forms is shallow wishful thinking. I think he would read a book I would recommend to him–one book only. I am torn what to recommend. Can you suggest possibilities?

I was thinking about Strobel’s book A Case for Christ, which I enjoyed, but I think it’s too Evangelical and would confuse my brother. Similarly, Mere Christianity isn’t right either. I’d rather find him a book that is solidly Catholic, reasonably contemporary, apologetic in nature, and readable.

I would guess my brother still believes in God, but what that means seems to have gotten increasingly vague over the years. I believe my brother still has an affection for Christ, but that affection is stand-offish and has probably ceased from being a daily personal relationship. What should I give him to read?

Thank you.
Get him some Church Father like Aquinas or Agustinus or Anselm (Cur Deus Homo) and I’ll think he would want to revisit that shallow comment.
 
I read Strobel’s book A Case for Christ and I was not (name removed by moderator)ressed by it at all, infact, I found it to be very anti-Catholic. I mean, he used a fallen Nun as a referrence as a Catholic perspective. :rolleyes:

If I may make a suggestion, G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, is a good combination of Theology and humor, especially humor. I enjoyed this book very much and since it starts off from an “unbeliever” point of view, it may be right up your friends alley.

Joao
 
CA has a series called “Beginning Apologetices” it is not advanced but light and easy to use and I find for a lot of my Catholic friends as well as some who have wandered away this works very well.
 
By far, the best and most concise statement for Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, is Mark P. Shea’s By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition.

Mark P. Shea tried to answer the question you posed, and his search led him to the Catholic Church! A Case for Christ is inseperable from the case for his Body, the Church.

You can check out Chapter 6 of the book here.
 
“A Guide To The Passion,” in addition to being a fine companion booklet to the movie, also includes a chapter on the Catholic case for Christ (and the Church!). It’s available at www.catholicexchange.com along with free downloadable group study materials. The book itself is inexpensive but well done, and can be ordered in book quantities. A member of our men’s group bought 200 copies which he distributed to, among others, our entire RCIA class.
 
I too read Strobel’s book and couldn’t quit wondering what was preventing him from going the rest of the distance and asking the questions that would get him the rest of the way home :banghead: . I would not recommend giving this book to someone who is not firmly grounded in their (Catholic) faith. It was somewhat enlightening, (mostly because I read it during Lent), but will most likely never bring anyone home

Irishman - May You Live as long as you want, and Never want as long as you Live!
 
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DougL:
he purports to think Christianity in all forms is shallow wishful thinking
Could you expand on this a little more? I’m having a little trouble understanding how “take up your cross and follow me” can be interpreted as “shallow wishful thinking.” I suppose if he came from an evangelical experience that emphasized the “health and prosperity” gospel his remarks would be understandable.

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
  • G.K Chesterton, What’s Wrong With The World, Chapter 5, 1910
 
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Irishman:
I too read Strobel’s book and couldn’t quit wondering what was preventing him from going the rest of the distance and asking the questions that would get him the rest of the way home :banghead: . I would not recommend giving this book to someone who is not firmly grounded in their (Catholic) faith. It was somewhat enlightening, (mostly because I read it during Lent), but will most likely never bring anyone home

Irishman - May You Live as long as you want, and Never want as long as you Live!
I always felt like the author was running to the ocean, but when he got there, just decided to run along the beach, instead of getting into the water? But I suppose, that is true for many Protestants.

Joao
 
I also read Strobel’s Case for Christ and found it a bit unconvincing. After a while, it seemed as though he stopped asking the “tough questions” of a reporter and started throwing hanging curve balls. I would consider it a better book for beginner’s apologetics, not a book for trying to bring someone into the fold.

I’m a little confused over this situation: your brother still has affection for Christ, but you aren’t quite sure if he believes in God or not?

Whatever you do recommend, be sure to pray for him. His wake up call won’t come from a book alone.
 
The best case for Christ I have found is in a book entitled “Evidence for Our Faith”, by Joseph H. Cavanaugh, C.S.C.
In this book, he uses the Bible as an historical document (not necessarily the Word of God) and lists the prophesies of the Messiah from the Old Testament, as was predicted long before Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth.

Then he goes line by line and shows how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all these hundreds of prophesies. The conclusions are pursuasive, in my opinion. He shows how it is simply not reasonable to believe any other possibility than that Jesus is indeed the foretold Messiah, especially since many of the prophesies depended on the actions of others to come true.
 
The best book that I have found is “Life of Christ” by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He has a beautiful way of explaining Jesus, and what he means to men today. After reading a copy of it, I found a first edition copy of it on Amazon.com.
 
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Sanosuke:
I also read Strobel’s Case for Christ and found it a bit unconvincing. After a while, it seemed as though he stopped asking the “tough questions” of a reporter and started throwing hanging curve balls. I would consider it a better book for beginner’s apologetics, not a book for trying to bring someone into the fold.

I’m a little confused over this situation: your brother still has affection for Christ, but you aren’t quite sure if he believes in God or not?

Whatever you do recommend, be sure to pray for him. His wake up call won’t come from a book alone.
I read Strobel;s book and I contacted him to evangelise and challenge him to write “The Case for the Catholic Church”. My logic being, if he was objective, he would have to convert and then all the people who read his first book would have to read the second one. Etc etc.

He refused, givng many lame excuses. I kept badgering him with logic. He still refused and said he was too busy with TV etc. I then recommended that he read - Rome Sweet Home - By Dr Scott Hahn.

As luck would have it, he was given this book by Dr Hahn (a guest on his show 2 days later). Mr Strobel told me this. I contacted Mr Strobel only a couple of weeks ago to see how he got on with the book. He still has not read it. Interestingly, I discovered that Dr Hahn’s appearance was cut and he did not appear as he did a RATHER TOO GOOD a job defending our faith on a evangelical TV show.

You can lead a horse to water etc etc etc
 
In nomine Jesu I offer you peace,

I would suggest something like “Catholic & Christian” by Alan Schreck.

It’s subtitle is “An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs”.

Peace.
 
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