What are the qualifications for an Apologist?


#1

Is there a way to know if an apologist is speaking on behalf of the Church or is just speaking his or her own mind?

Is there a formal certificate or qualification of some kind to give credence to a individual who makes claims on behalf of the Church?

Does all one have to do is stand up and say, “I am an apologist.” Then go off on to what ever argument he or she deems note worthy?


#2

According to the Church, we all have the duty to defend the faith (which is what apologetics are). Some examples from the Second Vatican Council:

[quote=Lumen Gentium][The faithful] are more perfectly bound to the Church by the sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ (5*).
[/quote]

[quote=Dignitatis Humanae]The disciple is bound by a grave obligation toward Christ, his Master, ever more fully to understand the truth received from Him, faithfully to proclaim it, and vigorously to defend it, never-be it understood-having recourse to means that are incompatible with the spirit of the Gospel.
[/quote]


#3

As long as it corresponds with the truth, they can make any argument. Of course, it should be coherent as well.

Remember, apologists are fallible.


#4

There are so many differing views on this forum, it really is hard to know who is actually in line with the Pope and the Magisterium. It would be good to know what kind of education each apologist had in order to evaluate the validity of his or her statements.

I carefully read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and try to study other documents but there are so many ideas being tossed about that don’t necessarily agree with what I read in the CCC.

Is the CCC the solid source for information?


#5

Five Catechisms of the Catholic Church

Yes, they are reliable. Trust them before any of us here.


#6

At this place in my journey I will study the most recent Catechism because it is so readable and to me very clear. But it is good to know of the other sources. Except of the Baltimore Catechism, I was unaware of the others. Thank you.


#7

The other ones are in a question and answer format. Some like that, others dont.


#8

Being an apologist today – well, since the Internet, anyway – is a bit like being a philosopher in Ancient Greece: formal training is available through universities (“the Academy”), but it is not strictly necessary. A good apologist may be more-or-less self-taught.

I tend to think of contemporary apologetics as theology on the front lines: non-academic, directed toward the common man. The best avenues are distinctly Catholic publishers like Ignatius Press, websites like Catholic Answers, as well as blogs and even YouTube. Some of the best apologetics is very “grassroots.”

If I were to advise a young person who desired to become an apologist, however, I would highly recommend first doing undergraduate studies in philosophy (preferably at a strong Catholic university or liberal arts college), and then, if possible, some graduate work in theology (again, from a strong Catholic school). Some Catholic schools offer graduate degrees in apologetics. This doesn’t mean becoming an academic, but it does mean being forced to have a lot of pivotal skills that many self-taught apologists plainly lack.

You would be AMAZED at just how many arguments against Catholicism and Christianity in general, spewed forth from the mouth’s of atheists and agnostics, are simply invalid. The serious study of philosophy, first and foremost, teaches one to recognize these extremely common errors in every day argumentation. And once you correctly point out that an argument is invalid, you don’t even have to answer its conclusion. If one’s argument is invalid, one isn’t even saying anything substantial, that is, worthy of serious response – they’re just voicing opinions or emotions. Unless your opponent recants or tries to mend his/her argument, he or she has lost the debate, Q.E.D.


#9

I just thought of the same thing today while alternating between Plato and CAF:rotfl:


#10

A short course:

catholic.com/library/starting_out_as_an_apologist.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0403fea5.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0202fea2.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0411fea2.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1990/9007evan.asp


#11

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