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I’m sorry

posted by awelborn

But I must comment further on the apologetics article cited below.

Heh.

Anyway, one of the great mysteries of church life to me is how some folks can’t quite grasp the lesson of this past Sunday’s second reading: you know, many parts, one body.

“Apologetics” is…apologetics. It’s not theology. It’s not spirituality. It’s apologetics, which means it serves a certain purpose not served by other styles of religious discourse.

Very briefly, apologetics exists to answer questions and to address challenges, not to unpack the depths of theological resonance in various penumbras of doctrinal formulations.

Apologetics does not exist to replace theological thinking or spiritual reflection, although I do get concerned sometimes that with the current popularity of apologetics, we are sometimes tempted to forget that.

But the point is simply this: apologetics exists because people ask questions. They want to know how you, a reasonable person could actually hold belief in God to be reasonable. They want to know how you seriously could consider yourself a Christian, although you admit to being a Catholic. Apologetics answers those questions in the context in which they are asked. What is the alternative? Change the subject?

Update: Thanks to one of Those Apologists for stopping by in the comments!



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amarikidd

posted January 27, 2004 at 2:04 pm


“..apologetics exists to answer questions and to address challenges, not to unpack the depths of theological resonance in various penumbras of doctrinal formulations”
True! also…..
Always make sure that your apologist source is actually an authority on the subject (ex: Dan Brown would not make a good source on Catholicism); remember that Rome is the authority (always ask your Bishop, you may not like it but he is the local boss) and keep a copy of the Catechism on hand for those times a friendly/charitible fraternal correction is warranted.



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kathy

posted January 27, 2004 at 2:20 pm


OK. We have the “right-wing” (broad brush term, I know) apologists Hahn, Madrid, et al. Who are their “left-wing” counterparts? Apologists, not theologians, not spirituality gurus. Or are there any? Why or why not?



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Jason

posted January 27, 2004 at 2:30 pm


There is not “right wing” or “left wing”. Either you defend the Catholic faith, or you don’t. There’s no in between.



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John Hearn

posted January 27, 2004 at 2:53 pm


Kathy,
I guess that is the difference between explaining the faith and explaining it away!



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kevin2

posted January 27, 2004 at 3:09 pm


Oh yeah there are “left wingers” and “right wingers” while the Madrids, Hahns, Keatings, and Staples hang right with the Church.
Too Left? McBrien, Helwig, Curran, Ruether etc.
Too Right? Ferarra, Davies, Mattatics, Sungenis etc.
Judging? We all have to make a call. I say the ones in the middle are Catholic. The others………your guess is as good as mine.



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Tom Mohan

posted January 27, 2004 at 3:16 pm


I appreciate the call for balance. Well said Amy.
There is an abundance of well prepared apologetics these days and I would agree sound doctrine is important. It seems the place at the table for the apologist is primarily to correctly explain the explainable. But there is so much mystery to God and much to value about that which is unknown but that can be described uniquely by the artist or the theologian or the musician.
If I am driving and there is an interesting apologist on the radio, maybe I should listen to her/him or maybe not. Perhaps my time is best spent in silence, or with my rosary, or some form of worship.
I need the theologian or the artist or the fiction writer to help me understand something as abstract as why I love Jesus. The apologist cannot help much with that, not with his apologist hat on anyway. What’s in my Missal is worthy of discussion, what’s in my heart is also…even moreso.



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Patrick Madrid

posted January 27, 2004 at 5:00 pm


As one of the “apologists” named in the article, I’d like to express my view on this issue.
As I see it, apologetics is to theology what first-aid is to medicine. An apologist is like a paramedic who arrives on the scene of an injury and uses specialized skills to help stabilize the patient and make sure he or she can be delivered — alive — into the competent hands of physicians who can provide long-term, high-level medical care that will save the patient’s life. The paramedic’s role is lowly when compared with the role of the surgeon, but his role is, nonetheless, important.
The paramedic, like his wartime counterpart on the battlefield, the medic, is not a physician, he isn’t a surgeon. He doesn’t pretend to be in the category of a cardiologist or oncologist or surgeon, but he does have a useful and necessary role in the Big Picture. He helps ensure that the physicians can perform their specialized work on the patient. But if the patient dies on the scene of the accident, the physician has no patient.
Many, many Catholics these days are reeling under the effects of challenges from non-Catholic proselytizers. I know. I meet them by the hundreds at parishes around the country. They’ve lost sons and daughters to the Watchtower or the local Evangelical mega-church down the street. Co-workers, friends, family — they’ve seen people dear to them reject the Catholic Church and head elsewhere, often with a bitter anti-Catholicism roiling inside them. These people need help. That’s the province of practical, popular apologetics, to help people come to understand the answers to the challenges they and their loved ones face. Someone has to help. The trustworthy, orthodox, dedicated apologists I know are doing what they can to help.
People should also understand that apologists typically, are not theologians (Scott Hahn being a notable exception). They usually have at least some formal training in theology, typically at the graduate level, to inform and conform their practical experience to the authentic Magisterium.
What sometimes puzzles me is how worked up some people become when the subject of apologetics (and apologists) arises. I’ve read some pundits who bemoan the so-called “cult of the expert.” They fret and fume and wring their hands over the popularity of apologists such as Tim Staples or Scott Hahn or Karl Keating. Is it because they sell a ton of books? Is it because their name on the bill can pack a parish auditorium with hundreds of hungry Catholics on a cold, snowy Tuesday evening in Lansing or Hoboken? Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing I do know: Mainstream, reputable, and orthodox Catholic apologists, such as the men named above, are simply trying to live out the call of Vatican II, the mandate for lay Catholics to do what they can, according to their own temperament, circumstances, and abilities, to further the life and mission of the Church. That’s the authentic role of apologetics, as I see it. To help. To be in and with the heart of the local Church, performing a needed, if lowly, function in the Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 12). [Whoops, I hope that doesn’t look like prooftexting.]
As an apologist, I have no presumptions — zilch — of somehow encroaching on the territory of the theologians. I respect and am indebted to the theologians (speaking here about those who are orthodox and faithful to the magisterium, not the Monika Helwig, Richard McBrien, Charles Curran, Rosemary Reuther rabble) for their teaching and expertise — an expertise I don’t have but from which I benefit. Some apologists, such as Hahn and Kreeft, inhabit the academy as well as the world of practical apologetics, but they are the exceptions.
Most of us “apologists” are just plain folks like anyone else. Catholics who love the Church and want to do what we can to help people who are badgered and battered by the arguments and misinformation leveled at Catholics by some aggressive Fundamentalists, Evangelicals Mormons, and JWs (who, of course, we do not lump into the same category).
We take seriously Vatican II’s exhortations to lay people to do what they can to help the Church. This section from Apostolicam Actuositatem summarizes the point I’m hoping
to make with these comments:
“Since, in our own times, new problems are arising and very serious errors are circulating which tend to undermine the foundations of religion, the moral order, and human society itself, this sacred synod earnestly exhorts laymen–each according to his own gifts of intelligence and learning–to be more diligent in doing what they can to explain, defend, and properly apply Christian principles to the problems of our era in accordance with the mind of the Church” (Apostolicam Actuositatem [Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity], 2.6).
Thanks for taking these impromptu thoughts of mine into consideration.



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Neil Dhingra

posted January 27, 2004 at 5:13 pm


I am not nearly familiar enough with the so-called “new apologetics” to judge whether Professor Gaillardetz’s specific critiques are warranted. Nevertheless, his concerns echo those of various other theologians, particularly Fr Thomas Rausch, SJ. I will excerpt two paragraphs from an article by Peter Huff from the 1996 Horizons that perhaps give a context for these concerns – the “new apologists” are still distinctly Evangelicals. The root of this controversy is ultimately then the extent to which Catholicism can be “inculturated” in an American Evangelical form.
Here is Huff:
“Due to the new ecumenical climate, the new Catholic apologists have redefined Catholicism according to an evangelical paradigm. Some Catholic apologists have begun publishing with once exclusively evangelical houses such as InterVarsity Press, Thomas Nelson, and NavPress. Still others have appropriated the very term ‘evangelical’ to describe their type of Catholicism. At the same time, many of the new Catholic apologists give their work an unusually ecumenical character by importing features of evangelical piety into their defense of Catholic teaching. For over two decades, the Catholic charismatic movement has incorporated evangelical and Pentecostal folkways into Catholic life. Because of their influence in noncharismatic Catholic circles and their penchant for a Reformed-style rationalism foreign to Catholic charismatics, the work of the new apologists signals a fresh ‘evangelicalizing’ of American Catholicism. Borrowing elements as diverse as evangelical rhetorical styles, an emphasis on Bible memorization, evangelical witnessing techniques, the use of the New International Version of the Bible, and even conventional Protestant pulpit humor, the apologists transfer cultural capital from the evangelical ethos into their Catholic spirituality.”
“If the ecumenical nature of its evangelical Catholicism marks the new apologetics as a peculiarly American movement distinguishable from preconciliar apologetics, so does its distinctively separatist approach to social issues. While apologists of the Catholic Revival period fueled their defense of Catholicism with romantic dreams of restoring what Chesterton and Belloc called the agrarian ‘distributive’ state of the Middle Ages, the new Catholic apologists foster a social vision tailored especially to the secular climate of urban postmodern America. Though critics often portray the new apologetics as integral Catholicism profoundly insulated from American culture, the new movement’s separatist stance makes it as American as the progressive ‘Americanist’ Catholicism it vigorously opposes. As recent studies have shown, agonizing over the purity of the Gospel, erecting strict boundaries between the Church and the world, and cultivating an institutional ‘outsider’ status are properties of an enduring and successful strategy in American religious history. In this regard, the new Catholic apologetics figures as a contemporary incarnation of what may be the original Americanism: Christian separatism.”
– Neil



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John Hearn

posted January 27, 2004 at 5:32 pm


Neil,
“Nevertheless, his concerns echo those of various other theologians, particularly Fr Thomas Rausch, SJ.”
I have had occasion to talk with Fr. Rausch (who is the head of the Theology Dept. at LMU out here in LA) as (guess what?) a VOTF meeting. He was the main speaker, and although I liked and respected his intellectual honesty somewhat, I would hardly recommend the good father as a model of orthodoxy. He has typical AmChurch takes on Ecclesiology and Moral Theology and allowed himself to be used as a willing shill for the typical and disgusting VOTF “survivor” freak show featured at this meeting (as if VOTF has ever done one positive thing for these poor people). No, I would not take Fr. Rausch’s word on an issue like this.



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c matt

posted January 27, 2004 at 5:39 pm


To refine Pat’s metaphor a little further – I would liken the apologist to an Emergency Room Doctor or a general practicioner, maybe even a surgeon. The theologist is more like the researcher or scientific doctor, and in many cases a specialist. ER docs, general practicioners and surgeons (apologists) rely on the information, clinical studies, research trials, techniques, etc. developed by the physicians and scientists in the research fields. Like the front-line doctors, apologists have to deal with the “real” patients hands on. Like the research phyisicians, theologians provide the technical expertise needed to correctly diagnose and treat patients. And, like in the real world of medicine, both are needed. The average patient/believer is not going to have the time to sift through the latest research on translations of the Greek manuscripts, nor the expertise to evaluate such research or explain it to the uninitiated. Thus, the apologist’s role is critical, but dependent upon the theologian.



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Dale Price

posted January 27, 2004 at 5:47 pm


Reading Mr. Dhingra’s quoted paragraphs, I’m struck by one thing–that for Mr. Huff (and other critics), the opportunity to criticize the new apologetics movement is a truly priceless one. It allows them to condescend to two groups of people–evangelicals and conservative Catholics.
Unlike Prof. Gaillardetz, there’s not even a pro forma statement of respect in the quoted section from Huff. It’s all separatism, stolen cultural capital, etc.
OTOH, the Huff piece is useful for its (correct) observation that conservative Catholics and evangelicals are growing more cooperative, which nicely kneecaps the Professor’s “anti-ecumenical” charge against the new apologetics.
BTW, Karl Keating does a nice job of responding to various attacks on the new apologetics movement by Rausch and others in his essay “No Apology from the New Apologists.”



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John Hearn

posted January 27, 2004 at 6:12 pm


I could not find Keating’s essay online, but I did find this talk, which I think is relevant to this discussion:
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0036.html



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c matt

posted January 27, 2004 at 6:58 pm


Theologians are ticked off because Apologists are more visible and in the limelight. To switch metaphors, Apologists get to do the battles armed with the weaponry developed by the Theologians.



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Carl Olson

posted January 27, 2004 at 7:45 pm


Actually, the separation of apologetics from theology is a relatively recent move. For many centuries, what we often call “apologetics” today was referred to as “fundamental theology.” Which explains, I think, some of the disdain that certain theologians now have for it, because it focuses on fundamental, core issues, including the unique nature of the Catholic Church, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, etc., etc.
Last year I was invited to speak at a Catholic liberal arts college back East. The priest who invited me is not, I think I can fairly say, a so-called “conservative.” He is the head of the religious studies department and is probably theologically moderate (I dislike such terms, but I think they provide some assistance for those used to the vernacular). But he truly enjoys the “new apologetics,” he told me, because it is real and it meets the needs of people, including his students, in the real world. He was very frank about his frustrations with the academic disdain of the new apologetics, and told me that he thinks it’s little more than sheltered arrogance and a fair amount of jealousy. He has been trying for five years to get the college to allow him to teach an apologetics course, but with no luck. So he simply brings in apologists to give regular talks.
Finally, all of the new apologists who I am acquainted with are very open about the dangers of apologetics, especially of trying to do too much, or do things that apologetics is not meant to accomplish. All of this reminds me of those ivory tower types who wail and moan about how horrible it is that average Americans own firearms and shoot guns. Yet few, if any, of them own or use guns—and yet they are the experts. Why? Because they are simply smarter than all of the rubes out there in blue collar U.S.A. However, I know from personal experience (my father is an internationally-renowned gun maker and designer) that the average gun owner is far more careful and knowledgeable about guns than these self-appointed experts. This doesn’t meant that gun owners don’t have accidents, or don’t make mistakes. But I’d much rather go shooting with Jethro and Billy Bob than Dr. Know It All. :-)



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Neil Dhingra

posted January 27, 2004 at 8:25 pm


Just to clarify. As far as I can tell, Peter Huff didn’t mean to be condescending, and, before noting Evangelical influences, discussed the influence of Chesterton, Frank Sheed, and other figures of the Catholic Revival upon the “new apologists.” I don’t know very much about Father Rausch.
That said, perhaps I can ask a few rather speculative questions. I have noticed that many of the “new apologists” are converts and can specifically speak to fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and those attracted to their language and reasoning. Is it safe to say that the “new apologists” represent an Evangelical inculturation of Catholicism? This is not a bad thing – it might even be a much needed corrective, but it will strike some theologians as, at the very least, foreign.
Now, this is not merely a matter of the “cultural capital” that Huff mentions. Although Evangelicals are a diverse group, we can identify very broad areas in which they usually differ from ordinary American Catholics. Here are two relevant ones:
1. Religious language. To take an example, one of the leading Evangelical theologians of our time, Carl Henry, wrote directly against Aquinas’ view of religious language as analogical – “If no proposition means to man what it means to God, so that God’s knowledge and man’s knowledge do not coincide at any single point, it follows by rigorous necessity that man can have no truth at all.” From this perspective, Aquinas’s theological method “seems therefore finally to channel into theological agnosticism” in a “futile attempt to explore a middle road between univocity and equivocity.” Henry says instead, rather strongly, “Only univocal assertions protect us from equivocacy; only univocal knowledge is, therefore, genuine and authentic knowledge.” Thus, Evangelicals – and perhaps “evangelical Catholics” – will be more skeptical of Biblical criticism and ecumenism, because these practices tend to challenge the supposed univocal character of religious assertions.
2. Separatism, or what Huff calls “cultivating an institutional ‘outsider’ status.” Evangelicals – and perhaps “evangelical Catholics” – will be more skeptical of phrases such as “pilgrim Church” and “eschatological modesty” because they tend to challenge the need for (Huff again) “the purity of the Gospel (and) erecting strict boundaries between the Church and the world.”
Again, these are not necessarily bad things. We should regularly be reminded of the importance of specific doctrines and also about what the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder once called “the otherness of the Church.” But, to say the very least, they are open to criticism. The question is how we can better become blessings to one another.
I apologize if I have mischaracterized everyone; I should also add that I pray and study Scripture with Evangelicals regularly.
– Neil



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Jason

posted January 27, 2004 at 8:54 pm


>>>””evangelical Catholics” – will be more skeptical of Biblical criticism and ecumenism, because these practices tend to challenge the supposed univocal character of religious assertions.”
All people need to be “skeptical”. A better word is “Careful”. Even the Magisterium is. There is a fine line between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. What you call “Criticism” can just mean trying to critically understand what the inerrant (yes, it is absolutely inerrant) Word of God is saying. But, we must beware of those who want to cross into heterdoxy, and actually “Criticize” the Word of God, putting themselves above it and the Church. The same is true of Ecumenism. There is nothing wrong with Ecumenism, properly understood. But the way it is employed can either be ambiguous or lead to ambiguity. This is unacceptable when dealing with the Truth. It can also become heretical, confusing false irenicism with true Ecumenism. Walking the line between orthodoxy and heterodoxy is a tight one, and requires “Skepticism”, or rather, “Caution”, using the Magisterial teachings of the Church as the foundation.
>>>”evangelical Catholics” – will be more skeptical of phrases such as “pilgrim Church” and “eschatological modesty” because they tend to challenge the need for (Huff again) “the purity of the Gospel (and) erecting strict boundaries between the Church and the world.”
Again, such phrases require skepticism, or, again, “Caution”, because they are ambiguous and easily carried into heterodoxy. The Church is NOT a “Pilgrim Church” in that it sheds what it previously taught for new teachings. The Church is a pilgrim, and grows in her understanding of the faith. But that flowering of knowledge never contradicts what was previously taught. As for “eschatological modoesty”, it just sounds like an AmChurch goobeldygok phrase, whatever it’s supposed to mean. The Truth needs to be proclaimed to all men, in all it’s fullness. There are those who have the Truth, and those who don’t. Our mission is to unabashedly proclaim it, not hide behind “eschatological modesty” (again, whatever that means).
And no, “specific doctrines” are not “open to criticism”. As Catholics, the Magisterial teachings of the Church are true. “Criticizing” the Truth is not allowed. You either accept it or you don’t. You can struggle to understand it, certainly, but that does not mean you criticize it. I think St. Augustine said, “10,000 questions do not equal one doubt”.
As for Catholic converts taking elements of Evangelicalism with them, I think that’s a positive. Those elements, of course, need to be “Catholicized”. But, things like a deep devotion to personal scripture reading, a deep desire for evangelizing, for truly coming together as a community (parish), etc. These things are all good. It’s not that they arent part of Catholicism. The Church calls us to do all those things. But, they are lost in the day to day functions of Catholic culture. Those elements of the Protestant religion they leave (most especially the heresies, but other things) that are at odds with Catholicism are disgarded, of course. But, many converts respect their former Protestant roots as a very good preparation for the fullness of Truth found only in the Catholic Church.



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Christopher Rake

posted January 27, 2004 at 9:22 pm


I think some of this discussion is over my head, though I can at least begin to grasp the difference between, say, theology and apologetics.
But for my part I’d like the say these dern new-fangeled apologetics are a life preserver for this cradle Catholic, so keep apologetics-izing. I’m sure that’s a word.
Finally, all of the new apologists who I am acquainted with are very open about the dangers of apologetics, especially of trying to do too much, or do things that apologetics is not meant to accomplish
Interesting. What would be an example of the dangers of apologetics or of “trying to do too much?”



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Carrie

posted January 27, 2004 at 10:47 pm


Back in the days when I belonged to a liberal parish and was coming home from Mass angry most Sundays, the salvation of my faith rested with Dr. James Dobson. And frankly, he taught me to appreciate the faith in ways that I had never considered before.
It is the evangelicals who find ways to hold a 24/7 faith. If there is any message I got from them, it was that one. It’s totally compatible with Catholic theology, but it has not been part of Catholic thinking since Vatican II.
If we are getting back to this type of thinking, I suspect it is largely the influence of former Protestant converts who are leading the way.
Prior to Vatican II, there was little talk of Apologetics. Back then we spoke mostly of missionaries. But perhaps they really are one and the same.



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Jane M

posted January 27, 2004 at 11:12 pm


My mother, a convert from 1944, says that there used to be a rule that converts could not speak publicly for X number of years after their conversion. This rule has certainly been changed but perhaps this accounts for the seeming snippiness of those theologians who feel that they have lost their place as the expounders of the faith. Good thing too since many of them don’t do a good job. I happen to like Deal Hudson’s book about his conversion even though it takes a very different approach from many of the mentioned apologists (I guess you could say his conversion took a different approach also). But the thing that really struck me is his longing for lots of different stories about lots of different conversions at different times in people’s lives. There is a whole field there where I think apologetics and theology would come much closer. Just in case I haven’t been clear, I am a fan of the new apologists…



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Carl Olson

posted January 28, 2004 at 2:57 am


What would be an example of the dangers of apologetics or of “trying to do too much?”
One danger is the temptation to reduce everything to arguments, believing that everything in the Faith can be “proven.” Another temptation is thinking that apologetics is the Faith, or is the goal of the Faith. It isn’t. We must never think that our arguments for, say, the divinity of Christ are the sum total of what Christ’s divinity is all about. We mustn’t think that because we can offer rational reasons for accepting the Church’s teaching about transubstantiation that we fully understand the mystery of the Eucharist, or that our intellectual grasp of said reasons is the goal. Another temptation is to orient our spiritual lives around apologetics, instead of keeping apologetics in its proper place. The Catholic Faith is about communion with God, holiness, and grace; apologetics should always be at the service of those realities. An excellent, accessible book addressing these issues in more detail is Mark Brumley’s How Not to Share Your Faith (Catholic Answers, 2002). I highly recommend it.



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Elena

posted January 28, 2004 at 8:05 am


I just know that in my own life, it was FINALLY hearing a good apologist, Scott Hahn, that brought the study of the faith and the prayerfulness back into my life. A good apologist, in my opinion, does all three and does them well and inspires people to do the same.



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Patrick Madrid

posted January 28, 2004 at 8:28 am


I myself am a cradle-Catholic who never left the Catholic Church, nor was I ever tempted to leave. It’s true that many of the better known apologists are converts or reverts, but there are some of us who have been Catholic all along. In my case, 43 years and counting.



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Alan Phipps

posted January 28, 2004 at 10:57 am


My primary concern is self-styled apologists, still wet behind the ears in the Catholic faith, using irresponsible methods in order to make their case and justify their cause to the whole world with very little experience into actually living the Catholic faith. I don’t doubt that it’s done sincerely, but I do question whether it’s healthy.
With regard to being trained or educated, I once talked with an Eastern Catholic, also a convert, about this issue, and he expressed his concern that modern apologetics reflects little from the articulations of the Church’s tradition with regard to many issues. It doesn’t have to be hard-core theology, but it is theology, and it should be educated. As a Roman, and a convert myself, I tend to agree. I think an understanding of the development of doctrine and knowledge of important conciliar definitions is essential to apologetics. It doesn’t bore people, but it doesn’t give them quick answers either. It keeps those who want to be apologists from reinventing the wheel or worse, reinventing a wheel that doesn’t actually roll! My two cents. Thanks for all of your thoughts.



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Vincent

posted January 28, 2004 at 1:00 pm


Some of Rick Gaillardetz’s points have been made by the so-called “New” Apologists a long time ago. That’s not to say that they don’t break their own principles from time to time, or that we don’t need to be reminded of what we should and should not do. God knows how inconsistent we are.
That said, I’m sure everybody would agree with the following advice:
“When arguing do not argue to win. You can ‘win’ yet drive people further from the Church. Argue to explain. Your task is to show fundamentalists the Catholic position from the inside, not to make cheap deabter’s points. You must scrupolously avoid striving for quick victories with which to impress onlookers, and you must realize that each time you sink to ad hominem, you alienate another listener and the Church loses another present or prospective member. People who interpret ‘argument’ to mean raised voices, large gesticulations, and cutting remarks are not suited to apologetics. All these are out. The skills of a good apologist are not the same as the skills of a good orator or a good debater. Instead, strive for the skills of a good missionary, because that is what an apologist is.”
— Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Chapter 24: Practical Apologetics, p. 306-307



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Vincent

posted January 28, 2004 at 1:10 pm


Here’s something to consider:
Greg Krehbiel’s A Tune-Up for Catholic Apologetic Methods



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Patrick Sweeney

posted January 28, 2004 at 11:05 pm


The calling for all Catholics to invite all they meet to come into the Catholic Church is part of their vocation of Baptism.
Some Catholics will be able to do this in silence by good example, or by their joy and generosity, or simply by being in the right place at the right time and saying the right thing.
A knowledgeable, articulate Catholic who isn’t afraid to answer a question about the faith is — perhaps without knowing the word — an apologist for the faith.
The Catholic Evidence Guild in the New York area http://www.catholicevidence.org/ is looking for Catholics who want to train to be apologists.



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