Becoming an apologist

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kxq

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How does one become an apologist? Is there a course of study offered by Catholic universities or seminaries? Does one have to pass an exam like an accountant does to become a CPA? Is there a certifying organization?
 
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kxq:
How does one become an apologist? Is there a course of study offered by Catholic universities or seminaries? Does one have to pass an exam like an accountant does to become a CPA? Is there a certifying organization?
“No” to all of those. There is no formal way to become an apologist, and apologetics courses are virtually unknown. The only thing you can do is to read widely in the faith on your own and to intrude yourself into situations where you are forced to answer questions about the faith. The more questions you have to answer, the more answers you will look up and the more you will know.

The best book for the apologist-in-training is Frank Sheed’s “Catholic Evidence Training Outlines.”
 
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kxq:
How does one become an apologist? Is there a course of study offered by Catholic universities or seminaries? Does one have to pass an exam like an accountant does to become a CPA? Is there a certifying organization?
Next time the LDS missionaries come to your door, don’t send them away. 👍

We are all apologists to one degree or another. Every time we discuss our faith we are acting in an apologetic manner. We all may not be professional apologists, but in expounding the Truth of the Catholic Church, we become apologists by default.

Read, Read and Read some more. Hang around here and you’ll know enough to get into sokme trouble.

-Ted
 
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kxq:
How does one become an apologist? Is there a course of study offered by Catholic universities or seminaries? Does one have to pass an exam like an accountant does to become a CPA? Is there a certifying organization?
Two good resources are Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid and How Not *to Share Your Faith * by Mark Brumley. Catholic Answers also has some good “starter” tracts in the Practical Apologetics section of the tract library:

catholic.com
 
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kxq:
How does one become an apologist? Is there a course of study offered by Catholic universities or seminaries? Does one have to pass an exam like an accountant does to become a CPA? Is there a certifying organization?
Two good book are Patrick Madrid’s *Search and Rescue * and Mark Brumley’s How Not to Share Your Faith:

shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-B0414.html?L+scstore+txfd6491ff628b62+1122903678

shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-CB265.html?L+scstore+txfd6491ff628b62+1123127269

There are also some helpful articles in the Practical Apologetics section of Catholic Answers tract library:

catholic.com/library/practical_apologetics.asp
 
I make no claims at being an expert… but I’ve received some valuable “training” by posting on sites where atheists gather.

One in particular is called slashdot.org. It’s mostly a technology news site. But it also is the biggest collection of atheists I’ve ever seen. They have forums and God seems to come up in conversation fairly frequently. I don’t go there looking to pick a fight. But, since it comes up anyway, I jump on in and try to speak (or write) the truth in love. It’s challenging. There’s some bright people there. And sometimes there’s a fair amount of personal attacks and hostility. But it’s a very fulfilling experience.

If anyone is curious, you can see a sample in my slashdot journal at:
slashdot.org/~LawfulGood/journal/

WARNING: Slashdot.org is not a Christian site, by a long shot. It’s a hostile environment for a Christian. Don’t surf around randomly if you’re not prayed-up, armored and ready for battle. 🙂
 
I am a cradle Catholic, and the Church has always been an important part of my life. When others meet me this becomes obvious. And because of this, others often challenge me on some aspect of our faith.

But I get so frustrated with myself because when someone poses a question or concern, it doesn’t seem as if I can answer to their satisfaction. I walk away from the situation thinking, “I should have said this or said that.” :confused:

Does anyone else feel like this?

Thanks,
pat
 
Pat Laub:
I am a cradle Catholic, and the Church has always been an important part of my life. When others meet me this becomes obvious. And because of this, others often challenge me on some aspect of our faith.

But I get so frustrated with myself because when someone poses a question or concern, it doesn’t seem as if I can answer to their satisfaction. I walk away from the situation thinking, “I should have said this or said that.” :confused:

Does anyone else feel like this?

Thanks,
pat
Refer them to websites

newadvent.com (err… maybe not. Hardly readers friendly :p)
catholic.com
catholicoutlook.com
biblicalcatholic.com
catholic-legate.com
 
First and foremost they need to spend a lot of time learning from actual Shepherds of the church. The Early Church Fathers are a must but also the encyclicals of the past Popes and present Pope and councils. And I mean all of them top to bottom not just hit and miss. I see too many apologist’s who are self taught but they miss the most important things they need to learn. The actual History of the church from beginning to this day.

So many of them start teaching what they think the church is when they have not fully understood what it is and has always been. The Church of the Apostles, lead by Christ’s chosen leaders. Human nature tends to want to put it’s own spin on everything and in the field of apologetic’s that is certainly evident when you see the differing stances many apologist teach. If they are not teaching what the church teaches then they are wrong to teach at all.
 
Karl Keating:
The best book for the apologist-in-training is Frank Sheed’s “Catholic Evidence Training Outlines.”
Funny, I was going to say the best book was Karl Keating’s Catholicism & Fundamentalism. 😉 At least that’s what got me on fire.

Granted, it’s not a book on “how to do Apologetics” but it will arm you with a lot of good information that you will need to answer the most common questions about (or accusations against) the faith.

I do a lot of Apologetics work on line. (Which I like because it helps avoid the “I should have said this…” issue. You can take your time and research an answer before you email a person back.) And I refer back to bookmarked sections in C&F frequently.

Also, have these sites bookmarked:
catholic.com
newadvent.org/cathen

You can use the articles on these sites to help you find specific information quickly, so that you can get back to those people asking questions (or making challenges) about the faith.

Most importantly, pray! God can use you in ways you cannot imagine. And that person that you think you gave a horrible answer to last year, may be coming into the Church next Easter. You’d be surprised.

Pax Christi,
Matt
 
Pray a lot and when in doubt pray more. One other thing I have found is that each time I get to talk with someone I learn something, I think it will scare me if I ever get to the point that I dont try to learn from every discussion.
 
Definitally pray about anything and everything. For me the most helpful thing in learning my faith is answering questions that are posed to me by Protestant friends. It not only ensures that you are up on your faith but that you also can explain and teach the faith to others. It also keeps you on your toes if you come up against a really bibically read person which most protestants are.
 
As St.Francis said, “Preach always and if necessary, use words.” We cannot be effective Apologists if we are not living the message of Love.

My Apologist inspiration is Roslyn Moss. You never hear her say a cross word. Honey drips from her mouth as she deals with online callers who are rude or argumentative. And is is not a false sweetness. It is Ros.
 
Marys daughter:
Can one be an apologist and a terrible speller? 😃
Only if you apologize for you poor spelling. I think I need a handbook for that one myself. Spelling and sentence construction are not my forte to put it politely. Poor young Smedley already has taken offense to my weird sentence construction. Kids! Wait till they get old and need tri-focals and someone to type for them. Maybe we should start a dyslectic apologists organization, we can search out those to convert who cannot spell and use strange abbreviated language only old people understand.
😃
 
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Peg:
My Apologist inspiration is Roslyn Moss. You never hear her say a cross word. Honey drips from her mouth as she deals with online callers who are rude or argumentative. And is is not a false sweetness. It is Ros.
You are so right Peg. Ros is a wonderful apologist. She makes you feel so warm and welcomed always. I love to hear her.

pat
 
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Marie:
Only if you apologize for you poor spelling. I think I need a handbook for that one myself. Spelling and sentence construction are not my forte to put it politely. Poor young Smedley already has taken offense to my weird sentence construction. Kids! Wait till they get old and need tri-focals and someone to type for them. Maybe we should start a dyslectic apologists organization, we can search out those to convert who cannot spell and use strange abbreviated language only old people understand.
😃
I want to be a charter member 🙂
 
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cmom:
I want to be a charter member 🙂
Your accepted if your glasses are coke bottle bottom thick and or you just can’t spell and don’t care. 😃
 
The only way to become an apologist is to just do it.Use some of the sources recommended in these posts and find something you’re interested in or that you’ve been challenged with recently. Don’t be afraid of not having THE answer to every question or of just not knowing something. One of the most valuable phrases you can learn to say is, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out and get back to you.” Not only will you cultivate humilty and avoid arguments by pretending to be a know-it-all, but you will keep the lines of communication open and increase your knowledge by the research. And don’t forget to pray, both for the one you are speaking to and for the virtues of charity, humility, and wisdom for yourself. This is basically how you grow as an apologist: being led to engage in charity, humility in conduct, prayer, and growth in knowledge as you go. God Bless and good luck! 👍
 
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