Waking Up Catholic – Book review

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Waking Up Catholic book cover

Book cover, Waking Up Catholic – Chad Torgerson

Waking Up Catholic: A Guide to Catholic Beliefs for Converts, Reverts, and Anyone Becoming Catholic

by Chad R. Torgerson (2013), Assisi Media and Waking Up Catholic

Amazon: Kindle Edition | Paperback Edition

“Waking Up Catholic” on Facebook


In his new book, Waking Up Catholic, Chad Torgerson describes his journey into the Catholic Church.  He discusses how his faith in Christ developed over the years, from Lutheran, to agnostic/atheist, to born-again Protestant, and finally Catholic.  Specifically, he brings in how his relationship with Christ was influenced by his study of Catholic teachings and practices, and shows how they can bring one closer to Christ.  The book is easy to read, but gets to the point of complex issues remarkably well without becoming too complex on the one hand, or being too simple on the other.

Chad discusses several important topics that non-Catholics find problematic and often misunderstand, and shows how he overcame that misunderstanding, how these issues eventually made sense to him, and how he saw that there was indeed no conflict between Catholicism and the Bible.  The important topics he covers are Tradition vs Sola Scriptura, the continuous transmission of Christ’s teaching through the authority of the Church from the first century till today, the priesthood and the hierarchy of the Church, the Trinity, Mary and the saints, the Eucharist and the Real Presence of Christ, and prayer.

He goes on to a discussion of what it means to be Catholic and live one’s life as a Catholic and why we have “obligations” and what their purpose is, and ends off discussing the difference between apologetics (my forte, not unnecessary) and evangelisation (what the Church badly needs).

In particular, I found his discussion of the saints as prayer warriors particularly enlightening – I hadn’t thought of putting it the way he did, and it’s a particularly powerful explanation.

When you are facing a time of struggle, have you ever asked someone to pray for you? Have you prayed for sick relatives, friends going through financial troubles, or loved ones dealing with emotional issues? We, the communion of saints on earth, pray for each other all the time, and we can ask the communion of saints in heaven to do the same. By asking the saints to pray on our behalf, we are inviting a team of prayer warriors to join us by our side.

The book definitely has a place on the apologetics bookshelf, although it was not written as a systematic defence, but rather as an experience of someone discovering the Catholic faith, and as an evangelising tool.

As part of the New Evangelisation, the book is great for cradle or lapsed Catholics who want to get to understand their faith better; it is a useful guide for new Catholics wanting to apply their new faith; and it is an experiential explanation for non-Catholics who want to understand what the Catholic Church really teaches and practises.  Lastly, anyone who wants a good conversion story should read this book, whether they know a lot or just a little about their faith.


Update 1 Oct 2013 – for St Francis’ Feast Day, 4 October, the book will be on sale on Amazon: US$ 1.04 for the Kindle version and US$ 10.04 for the print version.

Most people voted: I agree
Your reaction to this post:
  • I agree 
  • I disagree 
  • I am not sure 
  • Awesome 
  • Interesting 
  • Boring 

2 comments

    • Arik Warwick on August 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Nothing wrong with intercessory prayer, but praying to dead saints is not biblical. In Scripture we have not one example of anyone praying to the dead, nor in Scripture are we instructed to do so. In fact in Sripture necromancy is strictly forbidden. But as usual the Catholic church has made special provisions for the souls of the dead appearing to the living, much in the same way it reinterpreted the command not to make graven images or bow down to them. Truth is the dead know nothing, and prayers to them are nothing. God can wink at ignorance but He can not accept it, so prayers to the dead are prayers unheard.

    1. Nothing wrong with intercessory prayer, but praying to dead saints is not biblical. In Scripture we have not one example of anyone praying to the dead, nor in Scripture are we instructed to do so.

      God is the God of the living, not of the dead, according to the Bible. Addressing living non-humans in heaven is okay – addressing the angels is fine in Psalm 103 and in Psalm 148. So why not living humans in heaven?

      In fact in Sripture necromancy is strictly forbidden.

      Necromancy is the summoning of the dead. There is a huge difference between asking a deceased loved one to pray for you, and holding a seance to summon the spirits of the dead to speak to you.

      But as usual the Catholic church has made special provisions for the souls of the dead appearing to the living

      Much like the passages in the Bible where Samuel (1 Sam 28) and Elijah and Moses (Matt 17, Mark 9, Luke 9) appeared to the living.

      much in the same way it reinterpreted the command not to make graven images or bow down to them.

      The command not to make graven images was not absolute, and was given in the context of worshipping the graven images. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a graven image (or a photo) nor with bowing, which was common enough in the Bible. God commanded certain graven images to be made, and Israel was not allowed to worship them. Catholics do not worship statues or icons. See The use of statues, pictures, and other icons in worship.

      Truth is the dead know nothing, and prayers to them are nothing.

      The Bible teaches that the dead are alive in heaven (or hell). God is the God of the living, not of the dead. See:
      Soul sleep – are the dead alive in heaven, or not?
      Paradise vs Heaven
      And no man hath ascended up to heaven

      God can wink at ignorance but He can not accept it, so prayers to the dead are prayers unheard.

      Yet the prayers of those in heaven are not unheard – Luke 16. And those in heaven offer our prayers to God. Rev 5:8, 8:3.

Comments have been disabled.