Apologetics: A good or a bad thing?


#1

Since this is the place to discuss apologetics, I thought it would also be an appropriate place to ask that question. Through apologetics, are we learning to arm ourselves for a battle that will only lead to more people walking away from the faith, or will more people feel compelled to come into the Church?

Are we harming the faith through apologetics?


#2

[quote=TPJCatholic]Are we harming the faith through apologetics?
[/quote]

Yes if we do so with pride. No if we do so with humility.


#3

[quote=TPJCatholic]Since this is the place to discuss apologetics, I thought it would also be an appropriate place to ask that question. Through apologetics, are we learning to arm ourselves for a battle that will only lead to more people walking away from the faith, or will more people feel compelled to come into the Church?

Are we harming the faith through apologetics?
[/quote]

We are not doing anything other than giving the Holy Spirit a way in. If we are trying to WIN, then we could be causing harm. If we are just trying to explain the truth with love and sincerity, then we are following God’s will. Are we not to go forth into the world and teach the word of God?

Where did this come from? I’m assuming something pre-empted this question…


#4

It seems to me that a good percentage of apologetic dicsussion is in argument fashion…very confrontational. IMO, that does not work and is likely doing harm.

Jesus did not argue, He spoke the truth and let the truth either take root, or not. He never coerced or forced people.


#5

…as with all things, “moderation and charity” are the key…

IMHO!

Peace!:thumbsup:

http://jeannero.free.fr/dessins-animes-2/SpaceGhost.gif


#6

I’ve been thinking about this lately, and I’ve kinda come to the conclusion that people, in general, don’t really like to think, and value feeling nice above being certain.

It seems most people would rather belong than believe.

This pretty much explains Mormonism. If I weren’t the kind of person who desires logic and truth, I would probably think, “Man, those Mormon people are nice, and their kids seem pretty well behaved, and even though they belive God lives with his Wife on a planet circling the star Kolob, I’m gonna be Mormon!”

And who could blame me? I mean, look at Mormons: mostly nice. Look at Catholics: mostly not. (Now watch people get all defensive and apologetical about this.)

For all my apologetical skill, I have never once converted anyone with apologetics (that I know of.)

Apologetics is most effective AFTER someone has become Catholic, to explain, elaborate, and encourage.

For most new converts, it’s all about being nice and welcoming, an area in which Catholics in general are SORELY LACKING!

SORELY, I say!


#7

I agree with BenGeorge’s comments, especially the point that apologetics is more useful when talking to a catholic to explain.

In my opinion, catholic apologetics is at its best when a catholic feels invigorated and inspired by the teachings; feeling how solid the teachings really are.

I would rather inspire a wavering Catholic to feel just how unbreakable the Catholic Dogma is than win an argument with a noncatholic on a merely argumentative level.

I know that many people see apologetics as blind (found this in wikipedia) and that we forego certain arguments in order to prove our point. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case here, as I see many people who take into account all arguments, not just ones that will help them ‘win’.

And, as others have said, as long as the truth is spoken with humility, it isn’t a bad thing.


#8

[quote=TPJCatholic]It seems to me that a good percentage of apologetic dicsussion is in argument fashion…very confrontational. IMO, that does not work and is likely doing harm.
Jesus did not argue, He spoke the truth and let the truth either take root, or not. He never coerced or forced people.
[/quote]

What is so polemical about arguement, also called debate. Certainly ad hominum and name calling are sometimes used in arguementation, but a knowledgable person does not have to stoop to such denigration which is hardly a legitimate form of logic. I also cannot see why debate or arguement is a form of coercion or force. Certainly some resort to threats and intimidation, but these are not arguements. Disagreement is not equal to confrontation nor is hiding truth and knowledge humility.


#9

[quote=rwoehmke]What is so polemical about arguement, also called debate. Certainly ad hominum and name calling are sometimes used in arguementation, but a knowledgable person does not have to stoop to such denigration which is hardly a legitimate form of logic. I also cannot see why debate or arguement is a form of coercion or force. Certainly some resort to threats and intimidation, but these are not arguements. Disagreement is not equal to confrontation nor is hiding truth and knowledge humility.
[/quote]

I agree completely. Historically speaking, and this is especially true during the ancient and medieval time-periods, the whole point of argument was not fundamentally to conquer or coerce, nor even necessarily to persuade someone over to your view. It was always more humble than that, seeing that you could, after all, be wrong. The point of argument was to bring two minds to unity - and unity in the truth, as best as it could be gotten by the two minds engaging each other. Certainly that is my intentional approach, and I am very apologetically oriented.


#10

I feel we must take into account the tactics we use. If a Protestant argued heavily against our faith, we may have the maturity to respond with charity and with calm responses to their issues. Yet, in the end the Protestant is likely to view the situation as an argument with no result.

Jesus taught by example. How can we use examples to teach people the truth of the faith?


#11

The greatest apologetics does come from the way we live. For me being involved in apologetics has been more beneficial personally, in that I have grown to fully understand the Catholic faith that I had grown in ,for the first time in my life. So it has been good for this reason.
As for those I have had to defend our faith from I can say that on the whole it has at times been extremely frustrating, especially when the aim is to prove how wrong the Catholic church is: To continuously answer the same objections from non-Catholics with no attempt made on their part to investigate for themselves the issues. To have the same questions thrown at you after taking time to find answers. The complete disregard of logic. The verbal gymnastics involved, so as not to agree with you - where even simple everyday words take on whole different meaning.So if anything when it is bad - it is bad personally when you are beaten with the same stick. The few times when you do manage to correct someone on a previously held belief often there is silence.
I do not think it will make people who are non-catholic walk away from their faith - if anything it may lead to a greater understanding of other Christians. It is about planting seeds. I do not aim to convert as true conversion comes from the mind with the help of the Holy Spirit.

CCC:

2478 To avoid rash judgement, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbour’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favourable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favourable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.


#12

[quote=TPJCatholic]Since this is the place to discuss apologetics, I thought it would also be an appropriate place to ask that question. Through apologetics, are we learning to arm ourselves for a battle that will only lead to more people walking away from the faith, or will more people feel compelled to come into the Church?

Are we harming the faith through apologetics?
[/quote]

Are we? No.

Apologetics is a neutral thing. It is the knowlege and ability to explain and defend what we believe against assertions and allegations that are often totally wrong.

Every Catholic should know why he believes what he believes (IMO) and it is virtually a necessity since every day we encounter those who have “studied up” on their anti-Catholic rhetoric with the stated purpose being to “lead us to Christ” and away from "the cult of Romanism and the whore of Babylon).

How are we turning people away from the faith I ask you?

I have not seen it…in fact I have found that (by God’s grace and the influence of the Holy Spirit) God has used me to win some folks to His church who were indeed heavily a-C.

Futhermore, I know that it was apologetics that caused me to return to the faith after wasting many long years outside it.

The NT plainly tells us in 2nd Timothy 2:15 Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

My dear brothers and sisters if you think that those who vehemently deride our most holy faith on this forum are intensely interested in undermining the faith of you, your family, and friends, then you have only seen the tip of the iceberg. There are far more of them…

Apologetics, done prayerfully and charitably, does not drive anyone away from the church.

As for those of us who seem to find ourselves regularly “in the trenches”, and the burnout that some feel. One must understand that we are not alone and that we do not have to answer or engage every attack. There are plenty of us and more in training who are here among us even now. Choose your battles brothers and sisters…as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Pax vobiscum,


#13

[quote=TPJCatholic]I feel we must take into account the tactics we use. If a Protestant argued heavily against our faith, we may have the maturity to respond with charity and with calm responses to their issues. Yet, in the end the Protestant is likely to view the situation as an argument with no result.

Jesus taught by example. How can we use examples to teach people the truth of the faith?
[/quote]

By living our faith and by not doing to them as they have done to us.


#14

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