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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Apologetics (X2)

Karl Keating announces in his latest e-letter that the Apologetics organization Catholic Answers has launched a forum for what is sure to be a very lively and vocal discussion of various topics in theology.

Catholic Answers are also publishers of This Rock, a magazine I devoured as a college student and instrumental in leading me to the faith. Karl Keating has also mentioned that they are working on putting the entire contents of past issues of This Rock online -- 14 years worth! A long and arduous task to be sure, but which would ultimately be a great service to Catholics on the internet.

* * *
Speaking of apologetics, Cardinal Dulles has an article on "The Rebirth of Apologetics" in the May 2004 issue of First Things, starting with the decline of the practice of apologetics in the mid-Twentieth century and its renewal among Protestants and Catholics (Scott Hahn, Karl Keating, Steubenville, EWTN). The bulk of the article is devoted to laying out his own proposal of an "apologetics of committed religious testimony" as an alternative to previous methods of natural theology and the evidential approach appealing to scientific history:
Testimony has a religious character. The witness addresses us actively, placing us in the position of recipients who must seek to understand. Personal address can suprise and challenge us, furnish us with new categories, and thus dispose us for conversion. To the extent that we open ourselves up to testimony, we learn to rely on trustworthy witnesses and submit to their authority. This fiducial attitude prepares us for conversion as a personal submission to the divine witness who speaks to us in Christ.

While I applaud the resurgence of apologetics . . . I suggest it could benefit from the personalism that Pope John Paul II professes. I hae for some years been advocating an apologetics of religious testimony. It could capitalize on the personalist categories with which Christian philosophers such as Gabriel Marcel have familiarized us: testimony, invitation, response, engagement, fidelity and communion. These categories attune us to biblical thinking and especially to the Gospels as documents of faith.

That's the gist of it. Unfortunately, the article itself hasn't yet been published online, so those who aren't blessed with a subscription have a 30 day wait until it hits the archives.

From the new blog Against The Grain

About This Blog

Against The Grain is the personal blog of Christopher Blosser - web designer and all around maintenance guy for the original Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club (Now Pope Benedict XVI).

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