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Book ReviewsI Choose God: Stories from young Catholics

Book edited by Chris Cuddy and Peter Ericksen

Young Catholic men and women who might be struggling with their faith or know someone who is will find this book inspiring and helpful.  This book is a collection of 21 true stories of young people who either were Catholics, Protestants, or atheists who experienced a conversion.  The foreword is by Dr. Scott Hahn, the noted theologian who converted to Catholicism.  The introduction begins with the story of St. Augustine of Hippo who started out his life as a heretic and a father of a child who was conceived outside of wedlock.  He had a conversion experience and went on to become one of the great doctors of the Church in the West.

The stories are short, to the point, moving and inspiring.  There are stories about young Catholic women and men who are living life by partying, getting drunk, having sex, and thinking they are really living and experiencing freedom.  Then a major event happens like the death of a friend which causes them to rethink the path of life they are leading.  They begin to see what real life looks and feels like - they have a conversion event.

There are stories of non-Catholics: Protestants and atheists who begin to wonder about life.  The Protestants begin to question if their church is really the true one or if there is another.  They begin reading the Church Fathers, history and other materials.  They discover that the Catholic Church is the true one and begin the process being received into the Church.  Some even meet and talk with Scott Hahn and others.

There are two stories of homosexual conversions.  They tell about their lives before their conversion.  They did not have a good self image and thought they were really living their lives as they wanted to.  However, each one eventually discovered that it was a lie being told by the world and converted.  They discovered that the Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals, but the Church does condemn the act as sinful.  The persons in the stories became celibate and devoted to practicing their faith.  One has become involved in Courage, a group approved by the Church that is a support group and an aid to gays.

The age of these young men and women varies from older teenagers to those in their 20s.  Some of the authors’ names are actually pseudonyms to protect their privacy and that of others.

Chris Cuddy is a research associate for the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology founded by Scott Hahn (www.salvationhistory.com) and a staff writer and apologist for NextWave Faithful (www.nextwavefaithful.com). 

Peter Ericksen is cofounder of Neighborhood Communications LLC.  This book is highly recommended to teens and young adults, those concerned with or who care for teens and young adults, and those who minister to them.

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