Apologists: How did you learn (outside of formal education)?

This is a question for Catholic apologists who are converts or who studied the Faith deeply outside of formal education. How did you learn? Are you self-taught? Did you find a group of like-minded Catholics to work with? Attend scripture studies at your local parish? How did you solidify your foundation of knowledge?

Thank you and God Bless!

From the dinner table, listening to others, from old apologetics books, from new apologetics books, from priests and parishioners, from RCIA and catechism-as a teacher, student, assistant, from Bishop Sheen’s programs, from radio and EWTN, from this CAF forum, from having a questioning mind and seeking answers.

Not sure I’ll ever be a “fully qualified” apologist but I love apologetics. I’m aiming to be more of a catechist on my RCIA team once I’m through RCIA. What I’ve learned has been from reading and studying online sources, books, EWTN, Catholic Radio, Catholic Answers. I’ve learned tons in my RCIA class (a number of us are sort of “theological nerds!”). I also watch a lot of apologetics on TV. Most of that tends to be from a Protestant perspective but the techniques are useful regardless.

I read lots of books and spent lots of time in this forum.

I will never make an apologist, I just don’t have the memory for it. But I do love reading apologetics.

I have to say my favourite source are the older books, pre-Vatican ll. I know that attention has to be paid to things that changed with Vll, but I find the older apologetics more robust and often more carefully thought through. JMO.

Most apologists are self-taught. Karl Keating, the director of Catholic Answers (and our host on this Forum) was a lawyer by trade.

Books are the primary source, and the Good Book is absolutely the most essential (especially the NT). You cannot be a good apologist without knowledge of the Bible. You don’t need to memorize chapter and verse, but you need to know the content.

Among the “old books” that folks mention here I recommend Radio Replies by Frs. Rumble and Carty.

I would never actually consider myself to be a good apologist, but I have always had an interest in spirituality and other theological subjects. When I was a kid, my family always watched Bishop Sheen. I was fairly young at the time, but I still listened to what he said, so a lot of that stuff still got absorbed. (Yeah, I’m pretty old.) I’ve also read a lot of books about Saints and spirituality that most people my age (at the time) wouldn’t have even thought about reading, back then.

More recently, I’ve spent a lot of time reading stuff online, like at New Advent. Watching EWTN and reading CAF have been great sources, too. I’ve been very lucky to have had a lot of very spiritually minded friends and relatives that taught me a lot over the years, too. But, I really started getting into apologetics when I joined a couple of other forums, where the occasional thread popped up about religion. But, I was really horrible at it back then. I said some things that were so far off base that I’m embarrassed to even think about them, now. I hope I do a little better than that, now, but I’m still very far from being an expert, by any means. :blush:

Seeking, reading, listening, teaching, praying. That’s the way to go. :thumbsup:

Learned Apologetics in college. I took 8 semesters of theology at 2 credits each semester.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.