Below is a list of books and other media which helped me connect the dots from my Evangelical background into the Catholic Church.
As a Protestant exploring a conversion to Catholicism I’ve found other conversion stories to be particularly helpful. I’m not the first to “cross the Tiber” and those that have gone before me have had similar questions (and found satisfying conclusions).
Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott and Kimberly Hahn
The largely narrative story of how an anti-Catholic pastor (and his wife) became Catholic. Hahn is a gifted academic and Rome Sweet Home follows his incredible journey into the Catholic Church. Co-written with his wife, the narrative is especially helpful for couples. Rome Sweet Home is the gold-standard of conversion stories.
Steve’s conversion story is half narrative and half a compendium of primary sources on Baptism and the Eucharist (from Church Fathers until present day). Far more eclectic and a great deal less narrative than the Hahns’ work, Crossing the Tiber is still filled with a lot of answers and resonated deeply with my own journey.
The Catholic Church and Conversion by G.K. Chesterton
If you love Chesterton you love Chesterton (and I love Chesterton). I read The Catholic Church and Conversion already deep into my conversion experience but even then he gave me an incredibly profound picture of my journey which begins, he says, the minute you give the Catholic Church a chance. While not terribly autobiographical (he writes that elsewhere), The Catholic Church and Conversion was nonetheless deeply insightful and rewarding.
Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed
Frank Sheed is a famous Catholic apologist and theologian and Theology for Beginners is a great primer on Catholic theology. While the first half gives a generally Christian theological overview the latter half of the book deals with specific Catholic doctrine and theology.
Bouyer is a 20th-century theologian and convert from Lutheranism. A contemporary of Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVII, Bouyer was one of the important theologians behind the incredible reforms of Vatican II. Bouyer’s text is decidedly theological in its approach but incredibly clear and concise in its presentation which is a comparison, in positive terms, of Protestantism and Catholicism.
Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn
A definitive textbook on the Mother of God as understood by the Catholic Church. Hahn focuses on Mary as reveal in the Old Testament and in the Book of Revelation.
We Worship: A Guide to the Catholic Mass by Oscar Lukefahr
A straight-forward guide to the Mass. Filled up puns and cheesy “dad humour” (from a Catholic priest) it’s still a very informative text and illuminates the Mass for the Protestant convert. Available for free from Catholic Home Study Service.
Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch
To be fair, I’m a History Major so history is kind of one of my things. MacCulloch’s text on the Reformation weighs in at about 870 pages so it’s not light Sunday afternoon reading. That said, Reformation was one of the most comprehensive and balanced historical presentations that I could find.
In addition to books, YouTube has been an inexhaustible source of education for me in my journey. While I’ve probably watch several hundred hours of videos I’ve whittled down the best and included them as links below.
I’ve also added my favourites to a public playlist that is continually being updated.
Jennifer Fulwiler (Former Atheist)
Dr. David Anders (Reformation history and theology professor)
Dale Ahlquist (G.K. Chesterton biographer)
Dr. Holly Ordway (Literature professor)
The Mass Explained by Michael Cumbie (Pentecostal pastor; convert to Catholicism)