[quote=JaneFrances]Of course, I can only speak from my own personal experience in aplogetics and theological discussions with those of other faith traditons. I never seek discussions or interactions as a way of “trapping” someone so that I may deliver a prepared arguement.
Indeed, I DO have certain “prepared” arguements. This comes as a result of years of preparation through many trials by fire, so to speak. After feeling “trapped” myself in numerous discussions with Evangelical friends and relatives, I found myself needing to come to the table prepared. And occasionally, I find myself in a position to invite them to the table. Not to trap them, but to engage them.
1 Peter 3:15 gives us such good instruction for how we are to defend the faith by “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
Of course, offense (evangelization) and defense (apologetics) are different sides of this issue. But, we all (Catholics and Protestants) alike should come with prepared arguments. This is the first step in sharing our faith, no matter which side of the field we’re playing. The next step, however, is to always LISTEN to the other side. Answer the questions the other side is asking.
Turn the recorded messages off. Interact. I know, from my own experiences, that when I truly listen to the other side and consider their arguements (some are better than others, of course), I not only learn more, but I also am motivated to understand my own faith better.
As a parent, I think I have a different perspective on how sometimes leading someone to say a certain thing, so that I can make a point is a good thing. It is the essence of the Socratic method and it often works much more effectively than merely saying your peace and expecting the other person (child, for instance) to be receptive. By leading them into a discussion through leading questions, you are preparing them to begin thinking critically. You are giving them equal footing, whether or not they are equally prepared.
As a child, this method is often frustrating, but I can not think of a better motivator in seeking truth than to be totally stumped in the face of someone who is better prepared and more knowledgeable.
My point. . .Sometimes, we are to act as parents. Sometimes, we are to be children. Our driving force should always be love and truth.
oh, if only everyone… lol