Are Catholic converts better than cradle Catholics in Apologetics?

I’m not sure which thread this actually go too, but I wonder are Catholic converts better than Cradle Catholics? I noticed most well know Catholic Apologists are Convert Catholics from the Protestant Tradition. :smiley:

I would only guess yes.

I am a cradle, so that tells you the rest of the story.

Yes, I think so
because Cradle Catholic, Like me take the Faith for granted.

No, I do not think they are better at apologetics but I think their credibility is better because they are converts. When one is explaining the faith and the reasons why things are one of the natural responses is to think … well that is the way the person was raised … the cradle Catholic is thought of as rigid and unbending.

The convert was on the other side … this can raise a serious doubts even though the message from the apologist, be it cradle Catholic or convert, is the same. A strong convert apologist seems to be a more challenging apologist because of their background.

Of course, that’s what we all tell you. :smiley:

“Advantages” converts may have could include
*]Scripture knowledge from a Bible-based background;
*]Having given a great deal of thought and consideration to the teachings and beliefs of the Church prior to making the change;
*]We know the “language” or “jargon” of our prior church and can, therefore, often explain Catholic doctrine in words and phrases that make sense to others from the same background
*]Have made an effort to learn, and continue learning, Church teachings
*]Came to the church as an adult, and, therefore, have an adult framework ("when I was a child, I thought as a child . . . ")
*]Learned to “defend” outselves from friends and relatives who oppose the conversion
*]The Holy Spirit gives us particular help, knowing we were not nurtured in the faith

But, mostly, “converts make the best Catholics” is something we like to spread around to make up for not having a lot of good Catholic school stories to tell . . . :thumbsup:

Given that the best apologetic for the Catholic faith is the Christian life lived by Catholics, I would say that cradle Catholics, steeped in Magisterium, Tradition, and Scripture since birth, by and large are better apologists than we converts.

At the risk of generalizing, I would say that most converts only converted following much examination of the differences in doctrine and history of the denomination they left, and catholicism. For this reason alone they would tend to be better versed in these areas than those who have been born into the faith and never left it.

If you’re defending the faith to a non-catholic, isn’t it an advantage that you’ve already been through the debate within your own soul?

I would say that the best apologists are those who have truly examined the Faith in light of the world’s charges against it, and have concluded (or affirmed) after that examination that the Faith is true.

This group could include converts, reverts (like myself), and cradle Catholics who at some point took an interest in the faith that went beyond the level of just being a cultural Catholic.

Pretty much sums up my thinking as well, although some of the very best apologists have proved to be those who are cradle Catholics that really know and live their faith. God help us to help raise up new generations of such.

God help us to help raise up new generations of such.

From your lips to God’s ears.

May my children’s faith be a witness to me as I have tried for mine to be to them.

Hard to say in such general terms. Both groups need each other. Converts give much needed zeal and inspiration and good Cradles give much needed stability and seasoned experience.

Catholic converts are good apologetics because they have to defend a bad choice

I am quite hurt that you would call listening to the voice of God and obeying Him a bad choice. :frowning:

Like spelling C.H. Spurgeon two different ways in your signature line, perhaps?


So what does that say about good *Protestant *apologists?:hmmm:

Usually that bad choice involves not converting to Catholicism earlier in life than we did.

Protestants often wrestle with several doctrinal issues before they convert. They can use the same explanations that helped them on others- in that sense, they are better apologists- personal experience is a very helpful resource.

In some ways, they are not better apologists. Cradle catholics have been in the Church- and experienced its problems (a common one I see is just as soon as things start to get “too deep” the priest or catechist or youth group leader backs away- the people who are longing for more get frustrated when those in charge give them mush in order to “meet people where they are”.

I tend to think it’s a wash and depends on the individual. Consider these outstanding Catholic Apologists:

Karl Keating
Patrick Madrid
Gary Michuta
John Martignoni

Jimmy Akin
Scott Hahn
Steve Ray
Mark Shea

You could really find volumes of each ilk that are great apologists.

It takes one to know one.

A person doesn’t know what it is like to be blind if they’ve never been blind.

On the other hand you can’t sell what you do not have.

Cradle Catholics have the opportunity to have much more to sell.

Converts have the opportunity to be great salesman because they better know the buyers.

So the Ideal apologist would be a convert who converted very early and spent many years learning the Catholic faith.

The one thing I’ve learned from Catholics as a convert is that many times the answer isn’t either/or–it’s both!

…not really…its always trendy to highlight a convert from that to this etc…it shows progress and somehow 'we’are winning! The apostles ,killing time one evening asked Jesus pretty much the same question…and Jesus replied…'no way,you who have followed me from the first will always be first!..In my communications class I would discuss how words do hurt…more then sticks and stones…see how the powers that be changed the meaning of ‘square’ from fair and honest to 'yesterday and out-dated"…the very word ‘cradle’ suggests an immaturity and blind following lockstep…while convert suggests meaningful and adult and mature value judgemental action!..Nino

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