For years, the Catholic Television Network (EWTN) has had a show called The Journey Home. My parents used to watch this show when I was a child, for the few years that we had a dish before we tore the roof off the house. To the best of my recollection, the purpose of the show is to display how Catholicism is an awesome religion because so many people convert to it. When I found out that all the episodes are available online, I decided to watch them and review them. It’s undeniable that people convert to Catholicism; my question is, do they have good reasons? How many of them started as some form of Christian in the first place? How many came from other religions? How many were atheists or skeptics? Why did they convert, and would the answer to that question be a convincing reason for a skeptic?
If you decide to watch these episodes with me, you may notice that I ignore a lot of things I could respond to. The target audience is Catholics, and this is clear from the very first minute that Marcus Grodi begins speaking. These stories aren’t necessarily meant to convince a skeptic, but to strengthen the faith of a Catholic, or possibly convince a non-Catholic Christian to convert, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Nonetheless, I’d like to see if this collection of conversion stories contains any compelling reasons for a skeptic to convert.
The fifth episode is titled “Dr. Kenneth Howell, A Presbyterian Minister Who Became A Catholic – The Journey Home Program” and aired October 3, 1997. It can be viewed online here.
Exactly like the last episode, this guest was a Presbyterian minister when he became Catholic. Come on, guys, at least switch it up a tiny bit.
This time, what convinced the guest to change denominations was the fact that the Catholic Church teaches about the Eucharist what Jesus and the early Church Fathers taught – that it is the actual, for reals, body of Christ. Of course, this would never convince someone who didn’t already believe in the authority of the Bible or Christianity, so this episode was particularly boring for me.
So far, our breakdown of the guests’ religious state before conversion to Catholicism looks like this.
- Serious Christian: 5
- Lax Christian: 0
- Non-Christian, but religious: 0
- Non-believer, but not very skeptical: 0
- Skeptic: 0