By Aloysius Kayiwa-Staff Apologist
(Source: The Splendor of the Church Blog)
What is Apologetics? Apologetics is a branch of Theology. It comes from an ancient Greek word (apologia) which literally means an apology. An apology (an ancient sense of the word) meaning to make a reasoned defense or justification of something. In the New Testament the word apologia is found at many places such as Act 22:1, 1 Peter 3:15 etc.
“In your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence. ” (1 Peter 3:15, RSV)
Apologetics is all about knowing why we do what we do and believe what we believe. It is building the case for our Faith, learning how to explain and defend our Faith with confidence and ease. Apologetics is an important part of the Church’s work. In Jude 3 we are told to "Contend for the faith, which was once for all delivered to the saints."
To my Catholic brothers and sisters,we should always remember these facts:
1. The Bible is a Catholic book!
2. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church gave it to the world!
3. There is nothing in the Bible that contradicts anything in the Catholic Faith.
4. There is nothing in the Catholic Faith that contradicts anything in the Bible.
These are important facts to keep in mind because a lot of time people will quote loads of passages from the Bible to “claim” that the Catholic Church is wrong. As a Catholic Christian, you should point to them that you believe everything the Bible says, however, you disagree with their private interpretation of those passages.
The reasons you do not agree with their personal interpretations are:
I. The Bible verse has been taken out of context.
II. They are reading into the Biblical text what isn’t there in order to force the interpretation of the text to conform to certain preconceived ideas or theories.
If you are ever asked a question about the Catholic Faith that you cannot answer, don’t worry. There is an answer, you just need to go and find it. Use that situation as an opportunity to learn about your faith. Ask a Catholic Priest, a Catechist, an Apologist or get some good Catholic books and CDs that explain the Faith. As Catholic Christians, we need to read the Bible, study it, and pray it daily. It is our book. We need to use it to bring our precious separated brothers and sisters back to the Church. Also learn to detect heretical doctrines(1 Timothy 4:16, 2 Timothy 4:3) promoted by cults like Jehovah’sWitnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Ang Dating Daan, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Mormons etc who exploit people with fabricated fantasies disguised as “gospel”. The condemnation of these wolves like Eli Soriano has been long hovering above them and their destruction has not been sleeping( 1 Peter 2:1-3)
Some basic Apologetics rules and advice:
1. Pray to the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom to choose your words and courage to share your faith.
2. Learn a little bit more about your Faith each and every day by reading the Scripture,Church History and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
3. Aim at winning souls (for Christ) not arguments.
4. Always remember that the conversion of hearts is the job of the Holy Spirit not you. Just plant the seeds and let the Holy Spirit take care of the rest.
If you keep these things in mind, then you are on the right path of becoming a very effective Apologist and Evangelist for the Catholic Faith. Thank you.