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Surprised by Truth (Surprised by Truth #1)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  1,027 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A bestseller! These 11 personal conversion stories are unlike any you've ever read. They're packed with biblical, theological, and historical proofs for Catholicism. Each year thousands of atheists, Evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Pentecostals find themselves surprised by Catholic truth... and these converts tell you why. Includes the stories of Paul Thigpen, Tim Staple ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Basilica Press (first published September 1994)
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The Lamb's Supper by Scott HahnRome Sweet Home by Scott HahnSurprised by Truth by Patrick MadridCrossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul IIRediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly
Catholic Apologetics
3rd out of 67 books — 24 voters
Catechism of the Catholic Church by The Catholic ChurchRome Sweet Home by Scott HahnConfessions by Augustine of HippoOrthodoxy by G.K. ChestertonThe Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
Books that explain the Catholic faith
40th out of 145 books — 45 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,634)
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K.D. Absolutely
Feb 22, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: Sir Henry
This book failed to create much impression to me. In fact, it is a bit pretentious. Maybe because I have been Catholic since the time I was baptized (49 years ago) few months after I was born. Since the time I was tagging along with my mom going to the church during my elementary days, I have never thought of joining or converting to other religions. I was born a Catholic and I will die as a Catholic. No ifs nor buts.

Don't get me wrong. I admire people, some of my friends included, who are conve
It seemed that I traveled the road alone on my own journey into the Catholic Church. This book proved that many have traveled that road before me.

I was not alone in concluding that Jesus did establish a church, that church is visible, and it has authority. Other former Evangelicals also realized that the belief in the Real Presence of the Eucharist is supported in scripture and has been the historical belief in Christianity.

Interesting to see how other people's journeys so closely paralleled m
Yes this is my 5 book this month about Catholic theology by converts (along with a metric ton of online research). If you think I'm thinking of doing the unthinkable, you could be right.
Bob Costello
Here are my highlights from this great book:

“Knowledge of Church history is the death of Protestantism” John Henry Newman

One cannot examine Catholicism and not develop an admiration for it – an admiration that almost invariably leads to becoming convinced of its truth. Chesterton

Early Church was ruled by bishops. Early Church history attested that the apostles had laid hands on men and installed them as bishops.

The very foundation doctrine – the doctrine of what Scripture is – we have to trust
I read this book years ago. The conversion stories always inspire me to learn more about my faith.
Most of these eleven 'converts' seem to speak with virtually identical voices. Of the eleven ten are male, and it sems to me, big fat American egos at that. Mostly the are coming from a fundamentalist protestant background and are convinced by the authenticity of Catholic teaching and its traditions when compared to the endless splitting of the protestant world.
These are not really spiritual stories, they speak to your head, not your heart. They are about power, being elite, in with the in cro
Ben De Bono
I read this slowly over the past six months and found it to be a wonderful resource. The book is exactly what it promises on the cover: stories of converts to Catholicism - mostly evangelicals but several are from wider Protestant backgrounds as well.

While I really got a lot out of the book, I would probably only recommend it to a limited audience. Committed Protestants are unlikely to be swayed as the book is more testimonies than hardcore Catholic apologetics. Likewise, long time Catholics wo
Madrid is a publisher and editor and has written many aplogetic books. I have listened to him on TV but have not read him. This book turned into a much better book than I expected. One person in particualTim Staples offer so much information on the Bible I would love to read his story over. He also stated that for him it was not sex or drugs or music but books. He felt he was addicted to books and I'm not sure if he considered that good or bad but placed it in the same catagory as drugs. But the ...more
Jeff McCormack
I found this book pretty sad, mainly because all of the "converts" seemed to not have a good foundational view of Christianity to begin with. The truths they discovered were only discovered because of their faulty theological views they held to already. The response to this book, entitled Seduced by Error: A Protestant Response to "Surprised by Truth" by Greg Loren Durand showed point by point how these errors led to the ease of conversion for these converts.
Joan Haselman
I learned that God seeks us even more than we
seek Him. I learned that He is incredibly
generous in Mercy. I learned that we are all in
this together and we are so fortunate when we find
our One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.
An amazing read for anyone on a spiritual journey!!!! This book is filled with short stories of conversion that are an inspiration. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in a day. I highly recommend it!
The testimonies in this book and the biblical and historical information within them brought me hope and joy!
Let's start with my biggest criticisms of this book. There are eleven conversion stories and only one of them is by a woman. While Scott and Kimberly Hahn's book achieved the perfect balance, Surprised by Truth does not come close. When a family converts, it is just not the head of the household that converts. We could use a wife's perspective.

Still if you like conversion stories, there are several here. They seem to all follow somewhat of a pattern. They stereotyped and strawmaned Catholicism
Daniel Lower
I actually really enjoyed this. The book is almost worth it just for the stories of conversion alone, all of which are quite fascinating. Most of the stories are of double-jump converts to Catholicism via Protestantism, and the converts' theological as well as personal journeys provide lots of moments for laughing and for introspection on the part of the reader. While the book is definitely edited with an angle to conversion to Catholicism, it should be noted that as it challenges Protestants, C ...more
Apr 26, 2009 Richly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: new catholics, returning catholics, seekers, converts
Recommended to Richly by: Tim O'Brien
Shelves: catholicism
Great book of testimonies of those who converted/returned to the Catholic faith. Some of the testimonies diverged into apologetics which didn't seemed to detract from the powerful personal stories of the converts, but a great, quick read nevertheless. A great book for seekers of the Faith and for those who need a book to strengthen it.
Victor Chininin
It is hard to write and read about testimonies of others. In general, I appreciated the candor of the contributors to this book. However, I feel the tone of the book betrayed a little uncharitableness towards the "other side" if not a little animosity. This is the kind of book one must read soaked in prayer and with the Bible at hand.
I actually received this book from our married couple I said before in a previous review, I'm not turning catholic, however I do want to read this book....stay tuned!

So honestly...if you aren't catholic this book can be VERY offensive. Just to warn you...I didn't like it at all.
Hevel Cava
It is one of the best books I ever read about convertion and the path to the Holy Catholic Church. I love all the testimonies and I recomend it fully to friends and catholics alike.
Clare Omvig
This book has helped me heaps to come to grips with the questions that I have been asking for decades...really ispiring and useful! I really recommend it to everyone.
Hortensia Alvarez
Oct 24, 2012 Hortensia Alvarez rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Faithful christians who are willing to search for the truth
Truly inspiring.Testimonies that made me cry. Journeys of faith that arrived to our Blessed Catholic Church. Libro de testimonios maravillosos, me llegaron al alma.
Interesting accounts of conversions to the Catholic Church. I found some of the accounts too detailed but enjoyed the book for the most part.
All of the Surprised by Truth books, as well as The Journey Home show on EWTN, were very helpful in my Conversion to the Catholic Church.
I loved reading about people's conversion stories and the apologetic arguments. Very interesting book.
Amazing conversion stories that fill me with such hope and love! I love being a Catholic!!
Very powerful book ... fascinated by the testimonies and nearly became a revert.
11 stories of how the Holy Spirit guided others into all truth (Jn 16:13). Amazing how, while all of the stories (including my own) have common threads, they're all vastly different as well. I plan to read this again throughout my lifetime - it will be a renewal of the passion and excitement for the truth that I've experienced on my journey home!
Jon Kopecky
Really good. Easy read that inspires the faith. Each new conversion story has something to offer even a cradle Catholic.
Mar 26, 2014 Judy added it
Wow. Extremely informative .
Laura P.
Though it looks ugly and screams "I MAY HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ON A TYPEWRITER!" this is one of the best books I've read about Catholicism. Each convert give their reasoning and it has a bunch of solid Bible verses to back up everything. It gives solid reasoning and is a great book to learn about Catholicism from, as well as be inspired by the transformation these people experienced. A must read for Catholic, Protestants, and anyone!
As a cradle Catholic I have always learned so much from those brothers and sisters coming over the Church! There are times I envy their journey. One thing is clear to me: I love our Catholic Church!
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PATRICK MADRID is the publisher of Envoy Magazine, a journal of contemporary Catholic thought, and the director of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College. Since its inception in 1996, the Envoy team has garnered numerous journalism awards, including several first-place awards in the magazine-of-the-year “General Excellence” category from the Catholic Press Association.

Patrick is the author o
More about Patrick Madrid...

Other Books in the Series

Surprised by Truth (3 books)
  • Surprised by Truth 2: 15 Men and Women Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons For Becoming Catholic
  • Surprised by Truth 3: 10 More Converts Explain the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
Surprised by Truth 2: 15 Men and Women Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons For Becoming Catholic Where is That in the Bible? The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism Surprised by Truth 3: 10 More Converts Explain the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy

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