The word 'Apologetics' is from the Greek word
'Apologetikos', which means a defense. Apologetics is referred to in several
1Peter 3:15, "Be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is within you."
Acts 17:2, "And Paul, as was his custom, went in to them and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures."
Acts 22:1, "Brethren and fathers, listen to what I have to say to you in my defense."
1 Corinthians 9:3, "My defense against those who question me is this:"
The first subject to discuss in apologetics is 'truth'. Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life", John 14:6. Therefore, whatever Jesus said must be true because He said it, right?
What is the foundation and pillar of truth? What is a pillar? A pillar is something which is upholding something while being firmly implanted on a solid foundation. Is the pillar of truth the Bible? If you think so, then why does the Bible say it is the Church? See 1Tim 3:15
The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and is therefore the dispenser of truth.
"But when He, the Spirit of Truth has come, he will teach you all the truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He will hear He will speak, and the things that are to come He will declare to you." John 16:13
GOD is truth. GOD is one. Therefore, truth is one. There can be only one truth.
See the other files posted on this website regarding "Truth", for much more.
The second subject is 'Authority'. Who has the authority to mitigate between two opposing systems of thought? Since Jesus Christ is the 'truth', then whatever He said is true, right?
Did Jesus Christ have authority? Well, He said He did, and if He said it, it must be true...
"I and the Father are one", John 10:30. I would say that is about as high an authority as there is, wouldn't you agree?
"All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me", He said that in Matt 28:18. See also
Matt 9:2-8. the story of the man on a pallet being lowered through the roof to Jesus.
"And He went down to Capharnaum, a town of Galilee. And there he was teaching them on the Sabbath. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority." Luke 4:31-32
See the other files posted on this website regarding "Authority".
Since Jesus Christ has all authority, He passed authority on to the Apostles...
"As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." John 20:21
"He who hears you, hears me; and he who rejects you, rejects Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects Him who sent me." Luke 10:16
"If they have kept My word, they will keep yours also." John 15:20
"When He said this, He breathed upon them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.'"
John 20:22-23. See also Matt 16:19 and Matt 18:18.
The authority which Jesus Christ gave to the Apostles is passed on to their successors in a process called 'Apostolic Succession'. When the office holder dies, the office does not die, but becomes vacant and is filled by someone else. The earliest example of 'Apostolic Succession' is the first thing the Apostles did after Jesus ascended into heaven. Judas was dead by his own hand and the eleven remaining Apostles voted to replace his empty office with another office holder, Matthias.
Read Acts 1:15-26.
"And his ministry let another take." Psalms 109:8, Acts 1:20
Read "The Catholic Church in the New Testament", or "Apostolic Succession", both found elsewhere on this website for an in depth look at this subject.
Did Jesus Christ say that the Bible is the final authority on earth? No, He did not. Jesus Christ said the final authority is the Church. See Matt 18:15-18. The Church has the final authority to mitigate disputes, and to dispense the truth.
See the many other files on this website regarding the Catholic Church.
The next subject we will discuss is Holy Scripture. Is the Bible a product of the Church or is the Church a product of the Bible? The Church was founded by Jesus Christ at about 30-33 A.D.. The first book of the New Testament was not written for several decades after this. How then could the Church be a product of the Bible?
Read, "Is the Catholic Church the Mother of the Bible or the Daughter?", found elsewhere on this website, for an in depth study of this topic. You will find it was the Catholic Church which gave the Bible to the world.
Is the Papacy an invention of the Catholic Church?
No Way. It is very Scriptural.
Read "The Papacy is Scriptural", on this website, for verses and much more on this subject.
When discussing Apologetics with non-Catholics, you must do it right from Holy Scripture. When Protestantism was first formed in the 16th century, the reformers lost all Authority which they enjoyed in the Catholic Church. They therefore turned to the Bible as their 'sole rule of authority'. This is called 'Sola Scriptura', or 'Bible Alone'. They also could not claim Apostolic Tradition anymore since they could not show Apostolic Succession. They put Apostolic Tradition in the same category as man made tradition and in so doing condemned all tradition. Holy Scripture specifically says to keep the traditions with which you have been taught, which are the Apostolic traditions, and to reject man made traditions. Interestingly, the false doctrine of 'Sola Scriptura', is a man made tradition with its origin at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Using the reformers very own rules, 'Sola Scriptura' should then be condemned by themselves.
Read "For Whom the Bell Tolls", and "The Origin of Sola Scriptura", found elsewhere on this website for an in depth study of this topic. In these files, I have shown that 'Sola Scriptura' is not Biblical, as the doctrine of 'Bible Alone' is nowhere to be found in Holy Scripture. I have shown its root beginnings by Martin Luther, and why it is impossible for it to have worked for the first 1400 years of Christianity.
Why do Catholics worship Mary? Mary had other children. Mary could have not been conceived without sin. Mary is not the Mother of GOD. Mary is not ever virgin.
Our dear Blessed Virgin Mary is attacked with these false statements over and over again. These false charges and more are all answered with the truth in the many files found on this website.
Go to "Blessed Virgin Mary's Corner" on this website for a wealth of information regarding the Mother of GOD.
"To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." That statement was made by Cardinal John Newman, a convert to Catholicism from the Anglican Church.
If anyone would take the time to research the hundreds of years of writings of the Church Fathers, and their successors, they would see a rich treasure of the history of the Catholic Church from the very beginning of its founding, and continuing on through today. So many false charges made against the Catholic Church fall away like the pruned dead branches from the vine. Any subject you can think of is covered in these writings. As just one example, detractors say the Church which Jesus Christ founded, apostatized around the time of Constantine and is not the Catholic Church of today. This is saying that the 'Gates of Hell' did prevail against Christ's Church. Read Matt 16:18. These same detractors cannot produce one shred of documentation to back up what they charge. However, by reading the Church Fathers, you will find just the opposite. The writings make no mention of this 'great apostasy', but instead they show the Church, which Jesus Christ founded, growing and expanding just as He said it would. Read Acts 1:8. You will see that the 'Gates of Hell' did not prevail. Sadly, Protestants are told not to read the Church Fathers. From what Cardinal Newman said, you can readily see why they are taught this. What a waste to disregard such a goldmine of truth.
Go to the "What Church Fathers Had to Say" section on this website for a whole new world, a wealth of information on practically any subject having to do with the Church. These writings are readily available on the internet for free. I list the URL's in some of these pages for you to see for yourself.
"But there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed,
and nothing hidden that will not be made known." Luke 12:2
Let us review what we have learned so far...
01. The Church is the guardian and the dispenser of truth, because the Bible said so.
02. Truth is one. There can be only one truth.
03. The Church is the final authority on earth, because Jesus Christ said so.
04. Jesus Christ gave authority to His Apostles.
05. The Apostles in return passed on this authority to their successors through 'Apostolic Succession'.
06. The Church is the mother of the Bible, and not the daughter.
07. The Bible is a product of the Church, therefore it is a Catholic book.
08. Catholic Bishops in Catholic Councils decided which books were to be included in the Bible.
09. The Papacy is well represented by Holy Scripture
10. Sola Scriptura is a man made doctrine and is therefore condemned by Holy Scripture.
11. False charges against the Mother of GOD, fall away like dead leaves when the truth is manifest.
12. Writings of Church Fathers are a wealth of information about the Catholic Church.
"Be not afraid", Matt 14:27, to discuss Apologetics with others. Every Catholic is duty bound to do so. Catholics have a truthful answer to any question put to us. If you do not know the answer, then there are many resources with which to turn. Make use of them.
1. Catholics have the truth and we can back up what we say with documents.
2. Catholics have the Pope and the Magisterium, the dispensers of truth.
3. Catholics have the Holy Spirit guiding the Church and He prevents it from teaching error.
Written by Bob Stanley, December 30, 1999
"Have I then become your enemy, because I told you the truth?"
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