Category Archives: Apologetics

Common pitfalls of Apologists

Apologists are prone to commit certain mistakes. In trying to win arguments with particular opponents, they sometimes mistakenly take over the assumptions of their adversaries. Exaggerating the powers of reason, some try in vain to demonstrate mysteries of faith such as the Trinity and the Incarnation. Others, as I have mentioned, make Christianity uninteresting by minimizing the element of mystery. I am convinced that it is best not to conceal the offense–the scandal, if you like–of the God who died on the Cross.

From The History and Purpose of Apologetics: An Interview with Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. by Carl E. Olson

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Evangelism, apologetics, catechesis??

Q: What is the difference between evangelism, apologetics, and catechesis?
A: Not method but CONTEXT! The context sets the intended end.

The same discourse can be evangelistic, apologetic, or catechetical depending on the context.

  1. When addressed to someone who has no relationship with Jesus, it is evangelistic.
  2. When addressed to someone outside of the Church but with a relationship with Jesus, it is apologetic.
  3. When addressed to someone inside the Church, it is catechetical.

So the end of the discourse is:

  1. Faith in Jesus
  2. Full communion with the Church
  3. Full intimacy and communion with Jesus in the Church

The methods may be slightly different. Yet the context establishes the intended end of the discourse and, hence, the terminology used.

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