Apologetic Study Group Formation


#1

Greetings!

With all the numerous points of discussion on these forums, it can be so overwhelming at times to ingest all information. My problem is that I find it so difficult to have the answers at my fingertips especially when in the verbal conversation (where most debates occur). A few people in my parish are trying to form an Apologetics Class/Discussion group to help sort out all these issues and come to plain, concise strategies to refute anti-catholic arguments while “in the moment”.

Has anyone tried forming such a group? I feel that individually I have done plenty in terms of reading variuos Catholic Answers publications, etc (Such as "Beginning Apolegetics), but it is so difficult to keep all the info in the brain!!

So, if anyone has ever been involved with an Apoologetics “course”, please reply. I’m talking course outines, curriculums, etc.

I think the biggest weakness of the people in our faith is the inability to accurately defend it.

Thanks,

Ken
:slight_smile:


#2

Allow me to post a previous post of mine on this issue:


My wife presented a beginning apologetics bible study for her women’s group which was very well received. We worked on it together and here’s the topics we covered:

Apologetics 101: What Do Catholics Believe and Why?

Week 1: Sola Scriptura? (The Bible Alone?)
Where did we get the Bible? What is the role of the Bible in the Church? What is Sacred Tradition?

Week 2: Salvation – How do we get to heaven?
Do Catholics really believe we can work our way to heaven? Can we lose our salvation?

Week 3: The Sacraments
What are sacraments? Why are they necessary? Why do we baptize infants? Why do we believe in the Eucharist?

Week 4: The Pope, the Bishops and the Magisterium
Where does the pope get his authority? Why do we have a church hierarchy? When does the pope speak infallibly? What exactly is “Church teaching?”

Week 5: Mary and the Marian Doctrines
Do Catholics worship Mary? Does she have a role in salvation? What about the Marian Doctrines (The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption) and Marian apparitions (Lourdes, Fatima, etc)?

Week 6: Communion of Saints
What do Catholics believe about the saints? Why do we pray to them?

Week 7: Tour of the Church/The Meaning of Catholic Practices
What is the meaning of the various items in the church? Why do we have statues, paintings, icons, holy water, incense, candles, etc? Why do we have a crucifix instead of just a cross?
Why do Catholics cross themselves? Why do they kneel, stand and sit at various times of the mass?
What are relics, scapulars and medals?

Week 8: The Last Things – Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and the End Times
Do Catholics still believe in Purgatory? Why? What do we know about heaven and hell? What is “Limbo”? What do we believe about the end times?

In our experience, you cannot assume your audience, even lifelong Catholics, have any working knowledge of apologetics, the Scriptures, and an adult level knowledge of Catholic teaching. Be prepared to explain the basics.


You also might want to check these previous threads for more ideas:

forums.catholic.com/showthre…ogetics+classes

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=26508&highlight=apologetics+class


#3

[quote=muzteach]Greetings!

With all the numerous points of discussion on these forums, it can be so overwhelming at times to ingest all information. My problem is that I find it so difficult to have the answers at my fingertips especially when in the verbal conversation (where most debates occur). A few people in my parish are trying to form an Apologetics Class/Discussion group to help sort out all these issues and come to plain, concise strategies to refute anti-catholic arguments while “in the moment”.


:slight_smile:
[/quote]

A Bible Cheat Sheet is a valuable resource:

geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/biblecheatsheet.html

But also, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, BUT I will get back to you.”

I’ll let others answer your other questions.


#4

[quote=Fidelis]Allow me to post a previous post of mine on this issue:


My wife presented a beginning apologetics bible study for her women’s group which was very well received. We worked on it together and here’s the topics we covered:

In our experience, you cannot assume your audience, even lifelong Catholics, have any working knowledge of apologetics, the Scriptures, and an adult level knowledge of Catholic teaching. Be prepared to explain the basics.


You also might want to check these previous threads for more ideas:

forums.catholic.com/showthre…ogetics+classes

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=26508&highlight=apologetics+class
[/quote]

Thanks! Thats a great start!


#5

our beginning apologetics course, using the Beginning Apologetics first book from CA (actually San Juan Catholic Seminars) was a huge hit. It serves as its own outline. Kellneyer’s Bible Basics is a resource. It was offered as a post-Confirmation course for Jrs & Srs. but opened up to college and adults, we kept adding people who came by word of mouth (nobody reads the Bulletin). We will repeat next year. We were assisted by CA and EWTN videos, Scott Hahn, Truth Exposed, Steve Ray’s videos on Peter, Mary and Jesus, Bishop Wuerl on the Eucharist & Mass.

Next year by request we will add segments on Mormons and JWs


#6

Are there any online apologetics “courses” with information along with the outline?


#7

Stand to Reason (at www.str.org) is an excellent Christian apologetics organization. I have found their stuff very helpful. They have a free bi-monthly newsletter (Solid Ground) that they’ll mail to you (see the menu on the left of the home page). In each issue, they address a specific topic or challenge and illustrate how to respond to it. (A note: It is NOT a Catholic organization, but I have never encountered any anti-Catholic rhetoric from them. I have attended events sponsored by them, and they are a classy group, full of nice, dedicated people.)
They offer lots of really good learning materials. One is called “Tactics in Defending the Faith,” and I have found it to be great.

And don’t forget about This Rock magazine from Catholic Answers! It’s like getting an apologetics class in the mail every month. I love it! It’s well worth it!


#8

[quote=infoguy]Stand to Reason (at www.str.org) is an excellent Christian apologetics organization…(A note: It is NOT a Catholic organization, but I have never encountered any anti-Catholic rhetoric from them.
[/quote]

Maybe their rhetoric is mild but their statements about Catholic teaching are erroneous. An example from their website:

**Are Catholics Saved?**And the answer is: Maybe.
I think that in the area of the doctrine of salvation, that Roman Catholic doctrine as I understand it is unbiblical. It is equivalent to the Galatian heresy, which is that faith plus works makes salvation.

Be very careful using Protestant sites. Some are nicer people than others, but keep the antennas up.


#9

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