Dear Steven:

A fellow Canadian here (grew up in Halifax, went to grad school at McGill). I first saw you in the Fox News days and have appreciated your blend of comedy chops and conservative worldview. (Very few people doing that.) The fact that you’re a pro-life Christian who makes no bones about it adds to the esteem. Plus, we have a couple of show guests and friends in common.

About your call to invite on Catholics to “convert you,” for a Catholic to bring a dogma and papacy show onto Louder With Crowder strikes me as analogous to the famous atheist publicity stunt of paying a Christian a million dollars if he can prove the existence of God. Of course, no evidence quite suffices, so the atheist doesn’t have to pay a dime.

Much more effective, it seems to me, is if you approached the issue from the opposite direction. Come on my show and tell me why you’re not Catholic.

That is, if you’re serious. If I announced a “#convertcoffinweek” on The Patrick Coffin Show and invited Protestants to come on to convert me away from the Catholic Faith, my audience would know I was being glib.

For almost eight years, as host of Catholic Answer Live, along with our crack guests, I explained and defended the teachings of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church with callers of every imaginable faith, or none at all. I’m very familiar with the standard Protestant misunderstandings of Catholicism and how to resolve them.

My only caveat is an admission: I can’t convert you. No one can – on or off the air. Conversion is wrought by the Holy Spirit. And if some Catholics told you were “hell bound” if you don’t become Catholic, or that “if you were reallllly a truth seeker, you’d be Catholic,” well, that’s regrettable. Those are stupid things to say.

While we’re definitely allies in the broader culture war, truth matters. So regardless of whom you dialogue and debate, mad props for opening the door to the conversation. Not long before He died for our sins, Jesus prayed a prayer that will be answered one day if we don’t throw obstacles in His way: “Father may they be one as you and I are one” (John 17:21). We all know what Jesus said from reading the Gospels. The thing is: what did He mean, who’s to say, and what am I going to do about it?

We can even dialogue publicly, in writing, and post on our respective blogs. Up to you.

Your brother in Christ,

Patrick

@Patrick_Coffin

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