- From a Greek term meaning- to answer.
refers to general defense, or justification of any systematic approach, system, or grouping.
- Explanation of beliefs, or societal action.
- Justifiaction via common grounds.
- Creation, and building of common ground.
- Defense of a position of the Catholic Faith, via logical argument, reason, and the communication, whether directly or figuratively- of the true sense of the Saviour’s world, and her substance, and those things pertaining to spiritual edification.
The purpose of Apologetics
With the rise of illogic, and the human idea, and repetition of original sin, in the love of self to the point of despising God, and the idea that human beings can define their own truth, and not simply observe it,
truthful; explanation of actual truths is vital to the cause of Truth. The war between God and his enemies is one between that which is, and always will be, and that which, in God’s eyes, will pass, and is but like illusion in our universe (”like rags” Isaiah chapter 50 verse 9; James chapter 1, verse 11;Luke chapter 21- world pass away; Daniel chapter 2 verse 44; I Peter chapter 1 verse 22-25). Therefore, the apologist, has the greatest task- that of proving actual reality against the onslaught of self-enlightenment, and self-righteousness- which has abandoned the ancient greek form of Actual logic, in pursuit of secularism, and “enlightenment”.
The danger of such lies in the abuse of human rights throughout the world, particularily by companies, governments and systems which are largely unchallenged in false ideas of tolerance, and the propagation of good public images. The spread of apathy, and of dangerous religious, and secular mentalities has further spread, in a dangerous way.
Methods of Apologetics
The finding, or creation of common ground is vital to apologetics. If one cannot find a direct defense in such common ground, then one can find the concept, finally, if one cannot convince the fellow absolutely on a fact, the use of sections of the other’s world-view in order to justify, simply the allowance of a belief or action is useful. Generally, apologetics can be in a three part argument, the strongest coming first- that of absolute, and logical, contextual proof within common ground, the second part- furthers it, should this not satisfy- so as to show the concept of the practice or belief within such common framework, and further the idea that it is a strong, if not absolute truth. In all, one must remember who else sees such conversation, and remember that any conversion, can take time, or be instant, yet that while illogical people may reject truth, those around see an argument, and one cannot afford to allow certain perceptions from outside, friendly, neutral, or combative viewers of an argument. Action, also is vital to apologetics, and consistency, yet not submission to manipulative practices of others.
The order of the first two methods, should be determined by the situation, building on lesser arguments on concepts, (yet still never weak arguments) to stronger ones, can show other meaning to people, which is often vital to apologetics, when others have abandoned logical views. Strong arguments first, and then concepts in common ground, however are often just as, if not more useful, concerning circumstances, yet need to be used in a powerful way, and not appear to be withdrawals, so as to allow outsiders to see the logic of the Truth, over a combatent.
Finally, an escape clause is useful, a section in the other’s beliefs, which allows one to hold to practices even should they not be convinced. This clause would ideally include such options as allowing for the furthering of dialog on one’s own terms.
This duty to defend general truths, and Catholic truth is furthered by the history of Catholicism, and by the name of God (Yahweh- “I Am Who I Am”). It requires humble, yet not submissive determination to show truth true, yet prudence, and actual action, in the right amount of humble boldness.
Further, love aims at truth (I Corinthians chapter 13 verse 6), and we should pursue truth, and obey it(I peter chapter 1 verse 22).
The use of religious manuscripts for apologetics, is generally reserved for those who are either in need of explanations of actual faith, or those who believe in it to some degree.
This method can have use, however it shouild not purely be based in such, but arguments, such as bales method should be utilized, and the above listed method used.
The Bible was created by the church, and we believe it because of the church. Any religion in fact must admit that the bible they follow, they follow because it was handed on to them as Divine, by others who believe it so. The idea that this book is simply accepted by “true Christians” is illogical, as different groups have always believed different beliefs, and the perpetrators of such illogic, themselves often disagree with one another. Also, these people’s bibles are vastly different from those of early Christians, and cannot justify their beliefs in any reasonable historical substance.
As The church created the bible, the context in which it is accepted is that of the church, and it itself can never contradict the church, as it was created by the church. Here, reference to early belief, as recorded in the writings of early Christians can be useful, also- one does not have to only use their own arguments, but must remember to fit any argument into the actual situation, and use their own logic, yet never water down Catholic beliefs.
Depending on the beliefs of others, one may also show other truths to be so, or different from another’s perspective, particularly via metaphor, and comparison with common practices or sections of another’s religion.
This common law of morals, which is part of the makeup of man is useful, both in proving a common belief system, in that it is only damaged in areas that are commonly transgressed by specific individuals and societies, and in that all major religions, and all argument somehow recognises such, and appeals to such. Such law is a basis block of our legal system, and our version of what is just, unjust.
One may use the above method, examples, and parables to demonstrate similarities between practises and justify the beliefs of The Church. Often, with natural law, either showing the evidence for such, or talking conversationally about beliefs and similarities, can, via debate and conversation- show correct, Catholic beliefs, and practice.