Evangelization, Catechesis & Apologetics
Evangelization (spreading the faith to those who have no knowledge of it), catechesis (educating those who have some knowledge) and apologetics (defending it against those who would attack it) may seem like very different disciplines, but all of them require the same knowledge. All of them require knowledge of Christ and His Church - and that is what these articles are designed to provide.
But, for the most part (while there are still opportunities for evangelization and catechesis), most of what Catholics engage in today is apologetics - defence of the faith. Bearing that in mind, these articles are slanted towards that discipline.
The first-century Christians understood what we often seem to have forgotten that being a Christian means to be a soldier in a war. That war is not against flesh and blood, but against sin and wickedness and ignorance. Our enemies have used many weapons swords and flames and wild beasts in the early years of the Church but now, especially in the West, seem to rely exclusively on lies, deceit and half-truths.
All of us, at one time or another, been faced with someone asking a question perhaps in a genuine sense of inquiry, or perhaps as a provocative attack about the Faith which we cannot answer. These questions stem from ignorance either ignorance caused by hatred of the one true faith, or ignorance simply because of poor education and a lack of knowledge.
In our war against ignorance of the teachings of the Catholic Church and the reasons behind them, our most powerful weapons are knowledge and so we have assembled an armory here of short, incisive essays dealing with specific questions and challenges to the faith. Each of these essays contains the essential details needed to answer a question or refute a challenge on that subject.
A word of warning many times people will ask a question which does not seek knowledge, but rather seeks to tell you that you are wrong. These are characterized by presuming an incorrect fact in the question. For example, the question, Do Catholics read the Bible? is a question seeking an answer the person does not assume Catholics do or do not. But the question, Why don't Catholics read the Bible? assumes that Catholics do not read the Bible.
When answering questions such as this, the first and most important thing to do is correct the person's erroneous assumption. With individuals blinded by hatred of the Catholic Church, this can be very difficult they may assume that everything you say is a lie or blind obedience to Rome, or that you are deluded.
Use the weapons in this armory to defend the faith and to attack lies spread about the Church. But do not attack the people who ask the questions always spread the faith with charity and clarity. And, if the person is blinded by hatred for the Church and does not believe that you are speaking the truth, the only weapon you have left is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
In addition to these articles, we have prepared a complete course in apologetics (designed to be used in conjunction with the videos of Saint Michael's Basic Training : Apologetics). We have also prepared a practical guide to apologetics.
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