Experiences of Apologetics to share?


#1

**Here, I thought it’s great to share some of the live apologetic experiences. **

I had a boss, elderly and respectful man he is. He happened to come to my room at my work place. On the table, he saw the encyclicals of the Pope JPII. At a very confident tone, he said your church has to change the tilte of mary from ‘mother of God’ to ‘mother of Jesus’. With and air of confidence and as if to poke fun he asked me the question “Is mary the mother of God or mother of Jesus?”.

Honestly, at that time I really did not like to enter into arguments. But, I had to give some answer … I said “Jesus is both God and Man”. :eek: You should have seen his expression. I can’t forget that blank stare, stunned enough to speak. Frankly speaking that answer came as a bit of surprise even to me. I didn’t want to put him in that situation, and as he began to get up and leave the room he said something to cover that up. Something like “Jesus has two sides one is God and another is Man and Mary is mother of Jesus”. Out of respect for him and not to argue further, I just had to nod “yes … yes”. And, he tried to change the topic before saying goodbye. hehe :rotfl:

Well, if there was someone else I would have repeated “Jesus is BOTH God and Man” and how can we mere mortals try to segregate that?

Infact, this deduction of the divinity into human understandable terms and making him exclusively or exclusively God has the patterns of heresies that date back to the early Church history … for example …Arianism and Nestorianism.

If you have something to share? drop it here


#2

I’ve been into Apologetics since my freshman year in high school (now I’m a senior…woo graduation in May) so I’ve got a couple of good stories.

The first real experience I had with apologetics was when I was a freshman. I had a teacher who was an avowed Baptist and had little bits of anti-Catholicism mixed into his lectures–he was a history teacher. Good man, just a tad misguided for most of his life. It was about that time that I came into contact with Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism. I read through this, laughing most of the way–the things that my teacher was saying were not only answered in this book, they were stated basically verbatim. One day I challenged my teacher. I said “Peter was the first Pope.” He said “No, Peter couldn’t have been, Peter was never in Rome, we have no evidence of Peter ever being in Rome.” I was thinking–of all the answers he could have given to my statement, he gave me the easiest one…So I responded with the passage from one of Peter’s epistles “the Church in Babylon sends its blessing.” As the actual city of Babylon had been destroyed some time before, this refers to either pagan Rome or apostate Jerusalem. My teacher was dumbfounded…had not one more cross word about the Catholic Church for the rest of the year.

I had another teacher, another Baptist–this time my Spanish teacher. Since we learned about Hispanic culture in our Spanish class, there were also lots of opportunities for him to inject his own opinions into the lecture. One day we began arguing about the canon of Scripture. I asked him “If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why isn’t there a ‘table of contents’ so to speak, of what belongs in it.” He paused for a long time and then said: “Well, someone wrote a book on that a long time ago…and it takes more explanation than I can give you…and it’s a very expensive book…” Of course I could have responded that this type of explanation denies sola scriptura as it relies on a man’s teaching, but I didn’t know what to say. I just left.

I have a good friend who is a Pentacostal. One day, I showed her my Miraculous Medal and explained it. She was amazed at how much teaching was packed into such a small medium. The MM is a great apologetics tool–and it’s one you can wear around your neck!

-ACEGC


#3

I have a really close friend who is Pentecostal, he is extremely faithful and intelligent. I was new to the faith and not nearly as confident in my ability to quote Scripture. On a visit I had with him we went out to eat and while we ate the subject of religion came up. I had recently been listening to some Scott Hahn tapes about sola scriptura.

I got him to agree that the New Testament Canon was determined by Roman Catholic Bishops at Roman Catholic Councils and then later ratified by the Pope. I then asked him if he believed their determination regarding which books were inspired and which ones were not, was infallible. He didnt answer right away so then I shared with him the conclusion that Protestant speaker R.C. Sproule had reached on this same subject. He says that all we really have in the NT is a fallible collection of infallible books…it doesnt take a genius to see the problems that arise with a statement like that. But the truth is either the Catholic Church acted with authority and infallibility (at least in this one instance) or we can have no confidence that the books in the NT are actaully inspired by God.

After thinking about this for a few minutes he said, “ok, i will admit that in this one case they taught infallibly.”

I was so shocked by his admission I decided to change the subject before I could go on to screw things up. I cant help but think that he was as shocked as me that he would ever utter such statement.


#4

I’ve been engaging in some on-campus apologetics these past few days. There’s been a few fundamentalist and evangelical preachers on the mall. They’ve had some signs, including a list of groups that need to repent and trust Jesus- (these are from the sign, not my own words, not that I disagreed with all of them)- “Homos, Lesbos, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, Racists, Sports Nuts, Unloving Husbands and Unsubmissive Wives, Pot-Smoking Little Devils…” and of course, no such list would be complete without this…drum roll please…pause for effect…“Roman Catholics.” No “Eastern Orthodox” or “Episcopaliens,” just “Roman Catholics.” I’ve debated a few issues with these guys- faith alone v. faith and works, Apostolic Succession, praying to Saints, honoring Mary, the Priesthood, Baptismal Regeneration, Confession, the Immaculate Conception, Sola Scriptura and the many and varied disagreements within protestantism, etc., etc. Of course, the guy with the sign I talked about was a former Catholic who called the church a “very bad” system, though he and the others said they believed there are “true believers” within the Church. The good thing is I actually had civil and thought-provoking discussions with two of them. I think I held my own in defending the faith, for the most part. So much of what they said just sounds like the most contrived arguments anyone could ever come up with, like saying that its an argument from silence to say that Christ was speaking literally about receiving His body and blood when the only scriptural instructions we have for Communion indicate that He was speaking literally, not figuratively. It sounded like they have the logic reversed on that one. Or saying that when Christ said “you must be born of the water and spirit” the “water” part referred to amniotic fluid in your mother’s womb when you’re born as an infant. I’m sure they feel the same way about my arguments though. What was kind of discouraging is that while there were other Catholics arguing with one guy, many of them were compromising the faith, basically indicating there’s nothing wrong with being a protestant (or anything else) and that we only believe in Christ’s “spiritual” presence in the Eucharist. In some ways, sadly, I find myself doing this sometimes, saying things like “well, in the end, we trust in Jesus, and that’s what it really comes down to” or some other protestant-sounding line. Pray for me guys, I need to be able to present the faith without compromise, but charitably too.


#5

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