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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Where are the young apologists?

Giovanni Battista Crespi The Blessed Virgin Guiding St. Dominic to Victory over the Albigensians
It may be too late, but we need a generation of apologists who are trained in debate and know the Catholic Faith inside and out. What I have seen in discussions concerning the events of the past few days indicates a woeful ignorance on the part of most Catholics regarding history, politics, civics, and debate.

What happened in the school systems of America and England was the destruction of rational discourse.

Very few young people know how to debate. They cannot think rationally and objectively. They do not have the knowledge they need to argue points of religion or politics.

We may have lost the battle already, or maybe not.

War is the result of a breakdown of communications and aggression. So there is an oppressor and a defender, offence and defence.

Why cannot some people understand that Catholics can take the offence in arguing and win? We have the best teaching in the world and God for the Founder of our religion.

Ours is not a man-made but a revealed religion and we are given grace to understand and appropriate our Faith.

What has happened is that relativism and subjectivism have destroyed people's ability to think.

One must learn how to think. Those who know how to think must teach others.

I taught logic for more years than I can remember. I taught debate. It must be learned.

Very few of my university and college students knew how to think before my classes.

They learned.

If Catholics cannot enter into debate and argument, we cannot evangelize.

Souls are being lost because some of us are lazy and many are ignorant of the Faith, even priests.

This must change.

We Catholics have 4,000 years of salvation history at our finger tips, as explained by the Catholic Church.
We have encyclicals, catechisms, sermons, the writings of saints, and more. We have the teaching of Christ, Who is God, Himself.

We can only win. We cannot lose the argument. But, if we are ignorant or lazy, we give the argument away.

And, we are not arguing or debating trivia. We are engaged in warfare for the souls of men and women. We are fighting for civilization.

If we lose, it is our own fault. We need prayer but we need intelligence and training as well.

4 comments:

Edward said...

Can you recommend a course for apologetics? Off the top of my head, I think it would need at least the following components:

- Logic and its abuses
- History of the Church (especially things that are often used to attack Catholicism, eg Galileo)
- History of Western thought (especially Descartes, and how his assumptions now dominate)
- The four parts of the Catechism, and how to defend them (esp Creed and Morality)
- What Protestants, atheists and others believe, how they arrive at these beliefs, and why they're wrong
- Rhetoric - how to win a verbal or written argument - with practice debates.

I would happily attend such a course, even with a full-time job. Perhaps it could even be adapted for online use.

Supertradmum said...

Edward, let me think about this and get back to you.

Edward said...

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you if you have time.

Supertradmum said...

Give me until Sunday as I am at a blognic tomorrow.