apologetics

For those Christians who think that there’s no way your Atheist friends will ever believe in God: your life may be the only Jesus they see.  You may not be able to directly bring them to an understanding of God, but you can point them in the right direction.  Lee Strobel’s wife helped point him in the right direction.

This is my newest book, on persevering through trials, called Mad About God.

When life hurts, we often turn the pain into a teachable moment: but not every pain has a bow-tie. Sometimes life just hurts, and we need the space to grieve. In this journey, we discover the nuances of loss and grief. We encounter real stories of suffering from real people, with no spiritualizing and no easy answers. In dismantling what doesn’t work – we might find what does.

If you or your friend are in the middle of a mess: this book is meant for ground zero. I also go over handling depression, faith-shattering doubt, “sexy cancer,” second world problems, misquoting verses for inspirational Instagrams, the hijacking of Jeremiah 29:11, and the theology of True Detective, Louis C.K., and The Shawshank Redemption.

Here’s a free audio preview of the book. It’s on sale in paperback for only 8.99 and ebook for only 3.99. Be blessed and love y’all! — J.S.

I said, “Can I ask you a question? On every university campus I visit, somebody stands up and says that God is an evil God to allow all this evil into our world. This person typically says, ‘A plane crashes: Thirty people die, and twenty people live. What kind of a God would arbitrarily choose some to live and some to die?’” I continued, “but when we play God and determine whether a child within a mother’s womb should live, we argue for that as a moral right. So when human beings are given the privilege of playing God, it’s called a moral right. When God plays God, we call it an immoral act. Can you justify this for me?” That was the end of the conversation.
—  Ravi Zacharias

This image doesn’t “bust” anything.  The animals could have fit.

1. How many animals were on the Ark?

The Bible says that Noah took two of every kind.  Scientifically, a kind would be animals divided by a family.  There are about 929 distinct families of land animals, including Amphibians.  2 of each of these would be 1,858 animals on the Ark.  You add in the 8 people, and you only get 1,866 biological organisms that would have gone on the Ark, not over 2 million.

2. How big was the Ark?

According with the Bible, it would be 480’ long, 80’ wide, and 48’ high, with 3 floors.

Being those dimensions, each floor would have around 15,000’ of space.  The height was 48’, so each floor would have 16’.

Assuming the animals were the same size as they are today, the largest animal would be around 18’. 15,000’ per floor x 3 floors= 45,000’ floor space. 45,000 / 1,866 = 24.12’ per animal.  That’s plenty enough room to fit all of the animals.

The Unpopular Story of Atheism to Faith

i-think-i-found-something asked:

I just want to start out by saying that I love your blog, it gives me reassurance about my faith in Jesus Christ each day, which is something I have been especially needing lately, so thank you for everything you do. I wanted to ask you about your journey towards Christianity. How did you go from being atheist/agnostic to believing in the Christian faith?

 

sstellarr asked:

What made you convert back to Christianity after being an agnostic atheist? I am currently an atheist and I go to a catholic christian school. So far I can’t find anything worth converting to Christianity.

 

Anonymous asked:

I need advice J.S. I have a brother who is an atheist. I am worried that our relationship will come to an end because of our differences. He is looks at everything in a logical manner and it can be very frustrating to talk to him. He always wants to debate. He even has begun to twist my words which greatly upsets me. This is such a dumb question but how do I talk to an atheist like him? I’m tired of his ‘logic’ when there is nothing clean cut about humanity. He’s so emotionless to everything.

 

Hey dear friends. I know that as a former atheist turned Christian, my own testimony is very, very unpopular. I always hesitate to share this on my blog. I’ve been blasted through messages and reblogs for my lack of intellectual honesty or my shoddy reasoning or my void of self-respect, and to be truthful, it does sting. Of course, some of the hate is understandable, but some of it’s just plain mean-spirited and dehumanizing. I don’t mean to have a “persecution complex,” but I’m always surprised by the vilifying reactions.

So whenever I bring this up, I want you to know that my own story is exactly that, my own story, and it’s not a knock against other atheists or an attempt at converting someone’s view.  My own journey isn’t a “template” to throw at atheism, nor am I saying that every atheist will “come around” the same way I did.  

Please also allow me to blow up a few myths up front.

- Yes, atheists are capable of moral good.  They’re not eating babies in their basement.  The argument from morality (or ontology or design), while a worthy contender, is not going to win points here.

- No, not every atheist thinks Richard Dawkins is the Queen of England. His work is a starting place at best, an amateur college essay at worst. There are much more thoughtul scholars out there on both sides, such as Bertrand Russell and the ever-reliable Hitchens.

- No one anywhere has ever been “proven wrong” into Jesus. What I mean is, it’s not like someone brought a foolproof argument where I replied, “You proved my atheism wrong, now tell me about Jesus.” So while apologetics (the defense of faith) is helpful, it can also be cold and arrogant. This is true of any relational interaction. The more you think you’re right, the less anyone will hear you.

 

There are three things to please keep in mind.

1) I became interested in Christianity because of Christians.

Every preacher I’ve heard is always guilt-tripping about “be a good witness,” which is true. The Christian is called to live out what they’re saying.  But think of the opposite way to phrase this without scare tactics.  It also means that when Christians live out their faith – not perfectly, but passionately – then it opens doors and hearts.  Rather than saying, “Don’t mess it up or they won’t believe Jesus!”, I would rather say, “Imagine the possibility if you lived like Jesus."  I don’t want to look backwards, but forwards.

No one ever beat me in my arguments over religion.  I studied it too hard, and the burden of proof was on an invisible creator.  I was the master of semantics and beating up a mistake in your logic.  Plus, Christians had a long history of atrocities to answer for; everything was stacked against them.  But what I could not argue with was when I met some dang Christian who clearly wasn’t insane.  I would meet yet another Christian who was living a wholly different life, an unnatural life, an unexplainable life. And these weren’t people who grew up in the church or had easy lives. These weren’t people who came to Christ out of fear or gullibility or a last resort. They were reasonable. They were loving. They sacrificed. They treated me like a human being and didn’t talk down to me. It wasn’t for a pat on the back or for my approval.  They loved me, but didn’t need me.  They served me, despite the fact that I was undeserving.

 

2) I came to Christ over a long, arduous, up-and-down journey that was not an overnight epiphany, but a slow-boiling awakening.

My dear friend, it doesn’t matter if you’re with a fellow Christian or atheist or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or Wiccan – everyone needs room to figure things out.  I know that for some of us, we can clearly remember our day of salvation, whether it was saying a prayer or going up to the altar or writing our name on a card.  I did none of these things.  It took months and years of wrestling with doubts, asking hard questions, and checking my own bias both for and against faith before I began to settle into Jesus.  I stretched and agonized my way into belief.  When you collide a worldview with another worldview, it takes a lot to process. It’s painful. Everyone inherently believes their own truth is just as true as yours. Each person is also figuring these things out on their own. So we really need grace for each other, regardless of what we believe.

If you’re anxious to bring everyone to Jesus all at once, I respect that.  Even atheists respect that.  But even the truly intrigued will need time to process, reflect, and rotate the prospect of faith before committing.  Please don’t rush that.

 

3) I care if you love me, not win me.

Sometimes when I’m asked, "How did you go from atheism to belief?” – it feels like someone is looking for a switch to flip in someone else.  I’m not saying that’s your motive.  But I hope you still love your atheist friend no matter what.  I hope we can just be friends even if nothing changes.  And if your atheist friend ever does believe, I hope you’ll still be their friend instead of moving on to the next one.

When I first went to church, no one treated me as a project.  I wasn’t some “get” for the Lord.  No one was keeping score.  They weren’t even self-conscious about being self-conscious.  They were confident and humble enough in their faith to simply let me be.  When we talked about faith, sure, we argued.  When we brought up church history and apologetics, sure, it got heated.  But most of the time, they just loved me.  I loved them back.  And slowly, I began to investigate what they were saying, because to my horror, I thought maybe there really was something to it.

You see, part of love is not winning, but losing.  It’s humbling ourselves.  It’s recognizing where we got it wrong, and to meet in our common weaknesses.  It’s not to overpower or prove a point or boast in our platforms.  Jesus won our hearts by losing, all the way on a cross.  This is the work of love. 

Christians are called to hang with each other, no matter who or what we choose to worship.  Even Christians themselves don’t always worship the right things, and we’re still called to love each other.  We carry one another’s burdens; we consider others’ interests better than our own; we love as Jesus loved us (Galatians 6, Philippians 2, John 13).  It’s not because we’re trying to win anyone.  Jesus did that part already.  But mainly, he does that through us. 

Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbor and you must love your neighbor.

– Timothy Keller

– J.S.

“The Bible is a book written by illiterate goat herdsmen.”

That’s a likely story, based on the scientific facts that it contains.

Reasons for belief. Part 3

Why do I believe in God? 

Because I believe that God is a reasonably intelligent answer to the cosmos, their existence, and the intelligence, beauty, grace, order, and laws of nature which surround us in the universe. Why do I believe in the Catholic Church? Because I think that the Catholic Church is a reasonably intelligent answer to humanity, our fallen and wounded nature, and what we need to do to repair and make holy both human persons and human endeavors.

Do I doubt? Yes, of course I do. So, I open books. I read articles, from science to cooking to history–anything which can shed light on God and why the Church is here. Then I follow blogs and testimonies of faithful Christians. Most importantly–no, SERIOUSLY, most importantly–I engage in human contact. 

I get involved in community and social concerns. I “interface” and deal with other humans all the time, be it church, family, co-workers, the local town, the larger diocese, etc. I need that human activity and social interactions that will expose me to new answers and perspectives. All the complications of friendship and love across all human landscapes continually feed my sense of God. 

Some of the best proofs for the existence of God are not found in books or debates. They are found in the flesh and blood people who you meet, and who leave an impression in the heart. By the way, our human contacts and relationships can also be the cause of numerous doubts, and even loss of faith in God.

Doubt comes not just from ideas. Let us say you read some atheist argument against the “Magical Fairy in the Sky” or whatever pithy sarcasm atheists come up with today. Now you are doubting God. If you are Catholic, you may also be doubting the Church. Is all this doubt in your brain, your mind, your head?

I don’t think so. Some of your doubt, at times a lot of doubt, comes from your brain chemicals. Or there might be an imbalance with hormones. Then again, it can just be good old-fashioned loneliness and feeling unwanted and unnoticed. If you have been betrayed by people, or by life in general, this also turns your mood darker, which in turn affects whether or not you are open to faith in God.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that problems of faith are all up in your head, in your brain. They are often in your body and heart also. Not all doubts come from what is difficult or negative in your life. Plenty of people fall in love, or they fall in lust, and do not want to deal with God and beliefs and doctrines. I see it often where a person has been told a certain relationship is sinful, or wrong, or against God plan. 

Their response is, “To me, this is love. If it’s against God’s plan, or the Church’s rule, then I need a vacation from God and the Church.” So, there you have it. You think you are doubting God and the Church–and you are. But more to the point, you are doubting whether you can be a happy, free, and fulfilled individual, and still be “burdened” by God and religion.

Besides reading, studying, and praying over things that lift your spirit back up to faith in God, you also have to challenge yourself with some really, really hard questions. Such as, “have you noticed that you don’t want to believe in or follow God since you became god in your life? Isn’t it nice that you are so smart and now have all the answers?”

kings-and-lionheart asked:

Hi friend! Just wondered why you define yourself as a skeptical Christian instead of just a Christian? I have read all your answers and find myself mostly in the same ball park as you, except I believe that these doubts are not something that should define me as a "not strong Christan", but in fact a strong one. The doubts that I face everyday about Christ force me to turn to him for answers, to discover what little of him I can comprehend. You make it seem as if the doubts make you lessen you?

Hey there dear friend, I believe you’re referring to this post and my bio.  Thank you for being so generous and encouraging.

I call myself a “skeptical Christian” because my natural default mode is to doubt God.  I’m on the spiritual edge of the abyss more often than I want to admit.  Really.  I’m like that guy in school who mostly gets good grades but has to study hard like crazy to get them. Some students are just whip-smart and they can both party it up and get the A’s.  I’m not like that.  I fall out of the zone very easily, and there are many nights where I look up at the ceiling fan at 3am and ask myself if I’m just crazy to believe all this.

I don’t say that to sound hipster or relevant or emergent.  Skepticism and doubt are immense burdens that I do not wish upon anyone.  It’s not a popularity contest for me to say “I’m a struggling Christian.”  I wish I wasn’t. 

But I had to quit fighting so hard to be like one of those on-fire emotional super-Christians in the front pew.  I had to eventually realize that two kinds of people went through the Red Sea: the victoriously triumphant fist-pumpers and the terrified toe-tipping screamers.  I’m a screamer.  I’ll cross the Red Sea with the rest of them, sheerly by His grace — but I’ll be running for my life nearly the whole way through.

God has room for both the victorious and the doubting.  He has room for the guy who takes notes in every sermon and the guy who can’t stand journaling.  God has room for the loudest singer and the quiet contemplator.  Jesus himself said that even a tiny mustard seed of faith can move a mountain.  And certainly God wants us to grow beyond a mustard seed — but God also knows we each have a tempo, a pacing, an individual rhythm to find Him. 

I’m becoming comfortable with the grace that God has apportioned me.  I will not compare my journey of faith with anyone else, neither my success nor my failures.  And nor will I let my doubt become permission for someone else to be lukewarm, including me.

But in the end, I choose Him.  Amidst the swirling darkness of confusion and uncertainty and the spinning ceiling fan, I choose to believe the story of God.  It’s a daily choice, and it doesn’t happen perfectly — but even one percent of my tiny seedling faith is enough for Him, and it’s enough for me too.

— J

No, Astrobiology Has Not Made the Case for God

By Lawrence Krauss

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published a piece with the surprising title “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” At least it was surprising to me, because I hadn’t heard the news. The piece argued that new scientific evidence bolsters the claim that the appearance of life in the universe requires a miracle, and it received almost four hundred thousand Facebook shares and likes.

The author of the piece, Eric Metaxas, is not himself a scientist. Rather, he’s a writer and a TV host, and the article was a not-so-thinly-veiled attempt to resurrect the notion of intelligent design, which gives religious arguments the veneer of science—this time in a cosmological context. Life exists only on Earth and has not been found elsewhere. Moreover, the conditions that caused life to appear here are miraculous. So doesn’t that mean we must have come from a miracle at the hand of God? “Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?” Metaxas writes.

Continue Reading

I touched on this recently (see here). For a more detailed look at responses to different versions of the Fine-Tuning Argument, take a look at my review of Strobel’s The Case For A Creator.

So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic — it’s hard to be anything and Catholic — because I don’t always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I’ll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted, but John Lennon was kind of an idiot.
—  Steve Gershom, a Catholic, gay, young man

anonymous asked:

I just saw ur post about pro choice and gay marriage. Honestly, I'm very offended by this because I am pro choice and wish equality for all. What makes someone catholic is their belief in Christ, in no way are we put into this life to cast judgement on any person. I pray you remember our purpose in life is to serve Christ by being loving and compassionate to everyone no matter their choices or orientation. God created us all and he makes no mistakes

I have no idea to which post you are referring, but I can only assume it said something along the lines of “Catholics by definition are individuals who believe in and strive to follow Church teachings, including those of abortion and same sex marriage.”

Honestly, I’m very offended by this because I am pro choice and wish equality for all. 

I am assuming you are a Catholic if you took offense to whatever words I said. I will continue to say - if you are baptized Catholic and are pro choice/pro gay marriage, I suggest you research your faith as to why it is against these things. Because being both Catholic - aka believing our Church is divinely inspired by God Himself and therefore is incapable of being flawed in its teaching - and simultaneously claiming that it is flawed by being “wrong” about gay marriage/abortion - doesn’t make much sense. 

What makes someone catholic is their belief in Christ, in no way are we put into this life to cast judgement on any person. 

I judge no one. Stating the definition of a Catholic should not be offensive because it is not something remotely controversial. The definition of a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat. The definition of a female is someone that was born with female chromosomes and genitalia. The definition of a Catholic is someone who is baptized Catholic and believes what the Catholic Church says.

I pray you remember our purpose in life is to serve Christ by being loving and compassionate to everyone no matter their choices or orientation.God created us all and he makes no mistakes

I strive to be loving and compassionate to anyone who passes through my life. God loves everyone with His whole passionate heart, regardless of what they do or believe. This does not change that certain things are sinful to do. I am not sure how stating what a Catholic is can be unloving. God Bless you my friend.

Christian Scientists:
Dr. Paul Ackerman
Dr. William Arion
Dr. E. Theo Agard
Dr. Steve Austin
Dr. S.E. Aw
Dr. Geoff Barnard
Dr. Thomas Barnes
Dr. John Baumgardner
Dr. Kimberly Berrine
Dr. Jerry Bergman
Dr. Derek Burke
Alister McGrath
Isaac Newton
Nikola Tesla
Galileo Galilei
Max Planck
Nicolaus Copernicus
Francis Bacon
Johannes Kepler
Blaise Pascal
William Herschel
Gregor Mendel
George Washington Carver
If you actually look, you’ll find plenty of scientists who believe the Bible.

Oh wait, I forgot, scientists are too ‘logical’ to believe in God. I’m sorry, I’ll stop listing the ones that did/do believe in God.

Anti-Catholic bashing and bigotry

You can answer this publicly if you wish too.

An acquaintance of mine is reading ‘Far from Rome, Near to God’. I read one of the testimonies. It totally distorted and twisted the Catholic Church and its teaching, so much so, that I wanted to throw up. I know this person is reading it and believing it. I can tell this from our conversations. I literally don’t know what to do. I’m currently getting frustrated with this ignorance and distortion, and this person’s being so gullible and believing it.

Do you have any advice? Also do you have any comments or thoughts about this book?

— berad995

Hello,

This is what blacks, or “poor white trash” or what gays and lesbians feel when they are hated and put down, not for what they have said and done, but simply because they exist.

The difference is that while racism, social elitism and homophobia get plenty of condemnation in the media and social networks, anti-Catholicism is still a socially acceptable bigotry. You can not only get away with hating the Catholic Church, but there is a peer pressure to trash the Catholic Church as an evil and ridiculous cult.

The roots of anti-Catholic hatred go back to Elizabethan England, and were imported into the East Coast by Protestant colonizers, who were raised from childhood to despise Catholic “superstition” and “dangerous acts of sedition” against the righteous Protestant monarchs of England. Even in universities like Harvard, professors taught the “black legend” which made hyped up and exaggerated the Catholic failings of history, while glossing over and ignoring the roots causes of certain injustices of history.

In the 13 colonies, until the First Amendment was drafted, Catholics at times were forbidden from openly practicing their religion. Even then, Protestant preachers continuously preached about the “menace” that Catholics were to American democracy.

The term “Nativism” comes from a deeply held conviction that America, the U.S., was founded by God to be a white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon (or Northern European) nation.

From the beginning, Catholicism was seen as idolatrous, immoral, and an anti-democratic, pro-monarchist seditious, treacherous movement. To be a true American, was to beware and vigilant of the menace of Rome!

During the arrival of Catholic immigrants from Ireland, France, Germany, and England in the 1800’s, nativist anti-Catholicism reached a fevered pitch. An entire political party called the “Know Nothings” was founded to combat “Rome, rebellion, and rum” which the immigrants brought with them. 

The Know Nothings were even permitted between the 1840’s and 1860’s to form gangs and mobs, and with permission of the local police, to burn down Catholic schools, convents, and churches back East.

In New York, they would go down to the docks with bats and literally seize and savagely beat on Irish Catholics as they arrived poor and starving from Ireland. Later on, Italians were the subject of vicious attacks as well. This was depicted in the movie, “Gangs of New York.” When pressed for details of their criminal conduct, these anti-Catholics would simply respond, “I know nothing,“ hence the term "Know Nothing” party.

In the late 1800’s, people tired of the hatred of the Know Nothings when they saw how patriotic Catholic Americans served with bravery and distinction during the Civil War, and how numerous Catholics had given shelter, comfort, and charity to the sick, the dying, orphans and widows left over from that war.

But the Know Nothings were soon replaced by the Ku Klux Klan, who pressed on the struggle to foment anti-Catholic hatred. The Klan worried that Americans were becoming too accepting of Catholics. They warned Americans to defend only “the old time religion”–a catch phrase for untainted, Bible based Protestantism.

Protestant preaching during the Great Awakening, from practically every denomination, kept up a steady onslaught of anti-Catholic bigotry as well, from the 1800’s, well into the 1960’s, campaigning vigorously in many corners to defeat the Kennedy campaign from bringing the “Roman menace” to the White House.

There is actually a bibliography or library of classical books from the 1800’s that was utilized to convert Catholics out of the Catholic Church to “real Christianity.” 

There are such titles as Hislop’s “The Two Babylons” that “proves” that Catholicism is a modern form of Babylonian and Egyptian pagan idolatry, or “Fifty Years in the Church of Rome” by Chiniquy, with its sordid tales of Catholic priests trying to overthrow democracy.

A famous book is also “The Diary of Maria Monk” about the Canadian nun who describes how every nun is a whore, and every convent is a whorehouse. Maria Monk’s diary was actually the cause of a number of convents being burned down in the United States.

This heritage of bigotry is a gift that keeps on giving in the form of anti-Catholic bigotry across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, the inner circles of the Democratic, Republican, Tea parties, etc. and across the literature of the “Pro-Choice” and Feminist movements. Even people raised Catholic often use the Know Nothing and Klan catch phrases to describe their Church, unaware of the roots of such words as “papalotry.”

So this is the background to the book you have written to ask me about.

“Far From Rome, Near to God” is, in its very title, an offensive and unChristian attitude to take toward Catholics. Even if a Protestant believes that Catholics are idolaters and sinners, it is neither Biblical nor very Christian to imply that people who “follow Rome” are far from God. After all, did not the Lord Jesus show love and compassion for the sinner and the publican?

Secondly, this book (“Far From Rome”) is written in the long tradition of gossipy, rambling, scandal mongering “testimonies” of people who can dish on the “nasty secrets” of Catholic life from the “inside.”

When Chiniquy wrote his book 150 years ago, he wrote in the exact same style—“Far From Rome” is an angry, bitter “tell all” where we see the old anti-Catholic diatribes repackaged by new haters. Nothing is new, really, under the sun.

I was a newly ordained priest over 20 years ago when “Far From Rome, Near to God” was published by anti-Catholic Protestants in 1993. I think it was bandied about as a “ground breaking” work because it was the testimony of 50 CATHOLIC PRIESTS who had “escaped the Church of Rome” in order to find Jesus Christ as “real Christians.”

The alleged priests portrayed in the book struck me as odd. They did not describe the Catholic Church of today. Most all of their stories were descriptions of pre-Vatican II seminaries, liturgies in Latin, and being forced to wear full habits and memorize catechisms.

It was even more odd that although the identities of five or six priests could be identified by me, the other 45 could not. These were the days before Google, and in “Far From Rome” these men could say they were priests but did not give enough information to check out their stories. I think that is kind of sneaky.

You are expected to read this book and trust its authors, but not verify their identities or what they say. I wondered if these men who claimed to have juicy dirt on the Catholic Church did not have their own dirt to hide? One of them, for instance, claimed to fall in love while he was teaching at an all girls, Catholic high school. Hmmm. Was he a “reborn Christian” or just another guy who seduced an underage girl and got kicked out of the priesthood?

The reason I heard about this book was because back in 1993, one of the locals who had left the Catholic Church gave a copy of the book to her Catholic relative and said, “Give this to your priest so that his eyes will be opened!” 

My eyes were opened, to see how gullible some adults are and easy to fool about the “errors” of the Catholic Church. If your friend has fallen for these distortions, be patient with him and simply challenge him. If he wants to learn about the Catholic Church, why doesn’t he just ask you for your opinion? Does he think so little of you now because you converted to Catholicism? Does he think that now that you are a Catholic, you are also a liar?

Also, if we live in 2014, why is he reading about the Catholic faith from these men who confessed to leaving the Catholic Church 30, 40, or even 50 years ago? “Far from Rome, Near to God” is decades old now. How is that an accurate picture of Catholicism?

If these men in the book were afraid to escape the Catholic priesthood because the Church is “so powerful” then why do so many priests continue to happily minister right now? After all, the Church is no longer powerful and it would be easy for more priests to “escape Rome”, no?

Ask your friend, also, why these ex-priests work so hard to accuse the Church of harming people? Because when we read the stories of Protestants who become Catholics, we find their stories to be uplifting and positive.

When ex-Protestants turned Catholic talk about their former Protestant churches and congregations, they speak of them as “devout” or “lovely” or “hard working” in the service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Doesn’t this guy you know find it quite curious that these ex-Catholic priests could only say mean spirited and hateful things about the Catholic Church? How is that the sign of a “joyful, born-again Christian?” By their own admission, the men who write “Far From Rome” admit that they had a limited knowledge of the Catholic Church, which is a worldwide Church.

You see, a real conversion of a Christian should be a story of growth and maturity in dealing with new truths, new theological studies, new spiritual quests. It is a story where you speak of your sins and your failing and struggles, not those of others. It shouldn’t be a chance to trash your old church and stereotype the people there, most of whom don’t fall under labels or stereotypes.

What do you say to a Protestant friend who is reading through ignorance and wallowing in it happily like a pig in mud? As I said, be patient, but focus on parts here and there of the book and then just pick them apart with brutally honest questions. Under scrutiny, a gullible person will at least stop and think about what he is swallowing hook, line, and sinker.

Also, there are some links that can help you polish your skills as a Catholic apologist. It take a long time and long discussions in order to become good at defending the Catholic Faith. So be patient as well for yourself, because you are just beginning. At least you had the integrity to recognize bigotry and to call it out in the form of this book.

Here are the links:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/sola-scriptura-unbiblical-tradition.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2562697/posts

http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/apolog.htm

God bless and take care, Fr. Angel