How not to share your faith


#1

That is the title of the book which explains the “seven deadly sins of Catholic apologetics and evangelization.” Written by Mark Brumley and available from Catholic Answers. This is not a “house ad.” This book came to my mind after reading some of the posts in this forum.


#2

[quote=banjo]That is the title of the book which explains the “seven deadly sins of Catholic apologetics and evangelization.” Written by Mark Brumley and available from Catholic Answers. This is not a “house ad.” This book came to my mind after reading some of the posts in this forum.
[/quote]

Have you read the book? It’s interesting! Makes some very good points. AND, I found that I was engaging in some of them. He goes into a very brief description of the “seven habits of effective apologists” at the end of the book. Hopefully he’ll write another book that goes more in depth into those.


#3

Pray, what are some of these sins we’ve committed here on the board? I’m sure I’m guilty of more than one. I would appreciate some fraternal correction.


#4

[quote=aridite]Pray, what are some of these sins we’ve committed here on the board? I’m sure I’m guilty of more than one. I would appreciate some fraternal correction.
[/quote]

Brumley cites such things as trying to prove the unprovable, biting off more than we can chew, being mindful of ecumenism not only in dialogue with people of different beliefs but among fellow Catholics; trying to “win,” pummeling the other person…and on…I think the one with the most serious implications is pride. However, I really recommend that you read the book. It’s short, a good read, and you will have answered your own question with an insight more satisfactory than an answer give by someone else.

Christ’s peace be with you.


#5

[quote=tkdnick]Have you read the book? It’s interesting! Makes some very good points. AND, I found that I was engaging in some of them. He goes into a very brief description of the “seven habits of effective apologists” at the end of the book. Hopefully he’ll write another book that goes more in depth into those.
[/quote]

I think his comments about charity, under ‘effective apologetics’ were especially important. It’s so easy to get frustrated when someone, after a kajillion posts, just doesn’t seem to get it. The things we grow up with and perhaps take for granted are not necessarily readily perceived by others who may be encountering them for the first time or trying to understand them for the first time.


#6

I thought it was good enough that I provided a copy for each of the high schoolers in the apologetics class I moderate. Among other items, they also got a copy of This Is The Faith by Canon Ripley. They provided their own copies of the CCC and the RSV Bible.


#7

[quote=banjo]Brumley cites such things as trying to prove the unprovable, biting off more than we can chew, being mindful of ecumenism not only in dialogue with people of different beliefs but among fellow Catholics; trying to “win,” pummeling the other person…and on…I think the one with the most serious implications is pride. However, I really recommend that you read the book. It’s short, a good read, and you will have answered your own question with an insight more satisfactory than an answer give by someone else.

Christ’s peace be with you.
[/quote]

Where is the line between pummeling the other person and debating? By debating I mean addressing one to several points in the other person’s argument and subsequent points s/he may bring up as the discussion continues.

If the object is to express one’s opinion with the hope of persuading others, some ineffective apologetic tools, those at least which cause me mostly to disregard someone’s arguments, include: sarcasm, ridicule, name-calling, misrepresenting what someone said or what someone’s source said, responding in anger when someone presents an opposing view.

Arguments which persuade me are those expressed courteously and rationally and, when relevant, backed up by Church documents which carry Magisterial authority.

I’m learning a lot from other members here including, I hope, how to present my arguments more courteously and with more awareness of ecumenism as explained it in the quote.


#8

[quote=MrS]I thought it was good enough that I provided a copy for each of the high schoolers in the apologetics class I moderate. Among other items, they also got a copy of This Is The Faith by Canon Ripley. They provided their own copies of the CCC and the RSV Bible.
[/quote]

Wow!!! High schoolers in an apologetics class??? I am IMPRESSED!!!


#9

[quote=marthax2]Where is the line between pummeling the other person and debating? By debating I mean addressing one to several points in the other person’s argument and subsequent points s/he may bring up as the discussion continues.

If the object is to express one’s opinion with the hope of persuading others, some ineffective apologetic tools, those at least which cause me mostly to disregard someone’s arguments, include: sarcasm, ridicule, name-calling, misrepresenting what someone said or what someone’s source said, responding in anger when someone presents an opposing view.

Arguments which persuade me are those expressed courteously and rationally and, when relevant, backed up by Church documents which carry Magisterial authority.

I’m learning a lot from other members here including, I hope, how to present my arguments more courteously and with more awareness of ecumenism as explained it in the quote.
[/quote]

I really think you answered your own question.

I think a lot of people here cross that line very often. Some who shall remain unnamed write as if they would enjoy or feel vindicated by the banishment of all Protestants or non-Christians into hell, as if we can tell God who He can and can’t spend eternity with. It is remarkably uncharitable and in itself can lead to eternal loss, because no doubt, it is a mortal sin to condemn those whom you do not know to be condemned (gravity+deliberate consent+full knowledge). If they spent as much love into trying to help other convert to Catholicism as they spent hate into condemning non-Catholics, they would reap great rewards for the Lord. I, as a Catholic, feel the oppression of sin when I read their posts. I look at them and think, “How is ANY Protestant going to read this and want to convert? These posters do not spread authentic Church teachings and confirm long-held suspicions.”

A hypothetical
Consider this: I’m a Protestant being called to conversion and I read that hateful “all salvation comes through the Catholic church” thread. Now, am I to proceed into a conversion into a faith which has members that tell me that I’ll be saved, but all my friends, family, parishioners, missionaries, etc., etc., etc., who love Jesus dearly and live their lives for Him are going to go to hell because they’re not Catholic?

In that context, I think you can easily see how some things on this board cross over that line, even if pope so-and-so said that one day.


#10

ya… it strikes me that way, too. but turning the other cheek (grin) in this case, i think, means realizing that the people (like marineboy) who are so up in arms about catholics being the only ones saved are trying to establish that it DOES matter whether you’re catholic or not. in other words, the watering down version of ecumenism (as opposed to TRUE ecumenism, which i point out, also exists) makes some people worry that eventually the catholic church will say ‘you know what? it doesnt’ matter what you believe or do. as long as you’re happy with your beliefs, and sincere in them, then God is ok with that, and you’ll be saved anyway.’

it’s the line between truth and love. of course, we know that we’re called to love first and foremost. the way we live in, and express, truth the most believably, the most readily, is through love.

God is love, and He is truth. we don’t experience Him hammering us for being wrong, though. we see Him reaching out to us in love (sometimes that love is corrective), while BEING truth. i think that example is a good one to follow when deciding what approach to take in apologetics.


#11

[quote=marthax2]Where is the line between pummeling the other person and debating? By debating I mean addressing one to several points in the other person’s argument and subsequent points s/he may bring up as the discussion continues.

If the object is to express one’s opinion with the hope of persuading others, some ineffective apologetic tools, those at least which cause me mostly to disregard someone’s arguments, include: sarcasm, ridicule, name-calling, misrepresenting what someone said or what someone’s source said, responding in anger when someone presents an opposing view.
[/quote]

I think you answered your question, but I’ll give you a quote from the book. “it is much better to let someone discover the truth for himself than to try to browbeat him into submission to your case for the truth.” pg.72

Christ’s peace be with you.


#12

[quote=tkdnick]Wow!!! High schoolers in an apologetics class??? I am IMPRESSED!!!
[/quote]

Yes.

In the high school my kids go to it’s a required class.

That would be Kapaun Mt. Carmel in Wichita.

Alan


#13

[quote=jeffreedy789]ya… it strikes me that way, too. but turning the other cheek (grin) in this case, i think, means realizing that the people (like marineboy) who are so up in arms about catholics being the only ones saved are trying to establish that it DOES matter whether you’re catholic or not. in other words, the watering down version of ecumenism (as opposed to TRUE ecumenism, which i point out, also exists) makes some people worry that eventually the catholic church will say ‘you know what? it doesnt’ matter what you believe or do. as long as you’re happy with your beliefs, and sincere in them, then God is ok with that, and you’ll be saved anyway.’
[/quote]

I had started a thread that didn’t seem to go anywhere in which I noted that the Church’s teaching on invincible ignorance seems to make Catholics indifferent and lax about their own membership in the Church and about leading others to the Church. I asked how can you make a compelling case for becoming Catholic when Catholic teaching seems to say one can be saved without being Catholic. From the many theads on the topic, it seems that one response is to deny that invincible ignorance happens very often, and EENS. (I think we have gone down that road, and don’t need to do it again.) But I still have the practical question: how do you make the case for the Church without falling into the indifferentism of false ecumenism, or scaring them off with EENS? How do you tell people being Catholic makes a difference without turning into marineboy (which I really would like not to do)? It is my experience that many (perhaps, most) Catholics are at “you know what, it really doesn’t matter.”

I am much more wordy on the original thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=23856


#14

[quote=jeffreedy789]ya… it strikes me that way, too. but turning the other cheek (grin) in this case, i think, means realizing that the people (like marineboy) who are so up in arms about catholics being the only ones saved are trying to establish that it DOES matter whether you’re catholic or not. in other words, the watering down version of ecumenism (as opposed to TRUE ecumenism, which i point out, also exists) makes some people worry that eventually the catholic church will say ‘you know what? it doesnt’ matter what you believe or do. as long as you’re happy with your beliefs, and sincere in them, then God is ok with that, and you’ll be saved anyway.’

it’s the line between truth and love. of course, we know that we’re called to love first and foremost. the way we live in, and express, truth the most believably, the most readily, is through love.

God is love, and He is truth. we don’t experience Him hammering us for being wrong, though. we see Him reaching out to us in love (sometimes that love is corrective), while BEING truth. i think that example is a good one to follow when deciding what approach to take in apologetics.
[/quote]


This is worth reading again. Thanks.


#15

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