Sunday, March 07, 2010

the Catholic Champion Says: No More Pop-Apologetics


Let's send Matthew a little blog traffic. His recent post takes a jab at the Roman Catholic pop-apologetic empire:

In recent years the popular Catholic apologetics industry has been relatively stalled with material aimed at the neophyte or those who have little knowledge about the Catholic faith. Most of the books that are marketed these days that are classified as being "apologetic" in nature are usually of this type. They are usually very elementary and do not penetrate the Catholic faith or tradition far beyond the surface.

-snip-

In order to bring Catholic apologetics to a new level, it will take each individual Catholic who is willing to put in the time and effort to doing their own research. We have to go back to the Church sources ourselves, and return to reading real Catholic scholars and theologians, instead of relying on the same shallow arguments and regurgitated interpretations of the same material that has been presented over and over by the same circle of laymen over the past 15 to 20 years.

Well, as difficult as Matthew can be when he stops by over here, I've got to give him a thumbs up for not running with the pack. Attacking an entire industry, and also questioning the worth of the work of his fellow Roman Catholics is indeed bold.

He's right on. I can look on my bookshelf at a number of such Roman Catholic books that fit his description. Some of the stuff is... awful. I'd like to ask Matthew to do a new post, a follow up, of which books he thinks fit his description above. On my list would be, almost all of Patrick Madrid's books, Karl Keating's books, and definitely Steve Ray's books. I'd also be interested in knowing which apologetics books he recommends.... my guess would be those produced by Mr. Sungenis.

41 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

James, you can see the books that I have recommended on this post. Perhaps you missed it.
http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2010/03/beef-up-your-catholic-apologetics.html

James Swan said...

On the run- but did you provide a list of books to avoid? That's what I'm asking. Which books do you think should be avoided?

steve said...

Of course, how that MB has expressed his disapproval of pop Catholic apologetics, I assume he'll do the honorable thing and fall on his sword to set a good example for his pop comrades.

Matthew Bellisario said...

As usual Steve, more logical fallacies. Do you see me going around the country speaking and selling books, and advertising myself as a professional apologist? Learn the art of logical argumentation before you make ridiculous statements.

steve said...

I see. So as long as you bill yourself as a hack pop apologist, then it's okay for you to instruct the faithful. It's only a problem of a hack pop apologist bills himself as a "professional" apologist. Likewise, if you bill yourself as a quack neurosurgeon, then it's okay if you cut into somebody's brain since you haven't made any false professions of competence.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I do not advertise myself as an apologist. I'm interested in promoting good Catholic theological sources. I think we all know who the hack is. I mean masturbation is an Olympic sport used to train people for marriage right? Loser!

Rhology said...

Don't you ever stop talking about masturbation, Matthew? You're a little bit disgusting.

steve said...

Matthew Bellisario said...

"I do not advertise myself as an apologist."

In that case we can safely discount your amateurish efforts to defend the Catholic faith. Thanks for the disclaimer.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Swan said...

Matthew,

Which apologists should Roman Catholics avoid? I think you could help your side by making a list of those books and authors you describe as:

"aimed at the neophyte or those who have little knowledge about the Catholic faith."

"They are usually very elementary and do not penetrate the Catholic faith or tradition far beyond the surface"

"relying on the same shallow arguments and regurgitated interpretations of the same material"

Whom exactly do you mean?

Thanks.

James Swan said...

In other words Matthew, which "middle men" do you want to cut out?

EA said...

"We have to go back to the Church sources ourselves, and return to reading real Catholic scholars and theologians..."

Okay, I'll admit I'm adding emphasis here, but who is going determine which are the "real" Catholic theologians etc? Is there an infallibly defined list or do I need to rely upon someone's private judgment? HELP!!!

Matthew Bellisario said...

In case any of you are wondering, I really could care less about what any of you think about anything. I just like to come over a yank on your chains so I can watch all of you fly off the handle.

Alex said...

Actually, I'm happily married with children Steve. It's very interesting to see that you are the one who argues in favor of masturbation, yet we are the ones who are sexually repressed. Seriously Steve, you might be stupid enough to buy into that comment since you’re the one who made it, but I'd be surprised if anyone else did. I guess if I have a problem with homosexuality, then I must be a closet homosexual too? Are you married Steve, or still in training?

Alex said...

Using the same logic, Steve, you seem to be overly obsessed with pedophilia. It seems to me that you aren't really concerned with protecting children from predators; rather you're fighting the urge to be a predator yourself. However, I find that sort of "logic" to be quite misplaced and I urge you to do the same...Master Logician. I will sit at your feet, and await your reply.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
zipper778 said...

Why has every topic turned into something about masturbation lately? Will everyone stop it unless it's the topic? It's disgusting. I don't understand why Matthew brought it up and I really don't care.

The main reason that I wanted to post in this topic is because I saw the cover to the book "Where Is That In The Bible?" That book was the most laughable excuse for an apologetics book that I started going through all of the errors in it and wrote the down.

Like James Swan has said to Roman Catholics here, what would be a list of Roman Catholic apologist's that we should avoid if we want to understand what the Roman Catholic Church truly teaches? Should we avoid Patrick Madrid, David B. Currie, or Scott Hahn just to name a few?

Alex said...

It's disgusting.

Finally a protestant who agrees with the Catholic view.

James Swan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Bellisario said...

"I don't understand why Matthew brought it up and I really don't care."

Like I said, I just like to watch Steve Hays squirm over the stupid comments he has made in the past. Its like going over and yanking on his chain to see what dumb comment he will make next.

Turretinfan said...

"In case any of you are wondering, I really could care less about what any of you think about anything. I just like to come over a yank on your chains so I can watch all of you fly off the handle."

That's the very definition of a troll.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"That's the very definition of a troll."

An your point is?

Edward Reiss said...

Zipper,

"Why has every topic turned into something about masturbation lately? Will everyone stop it unless it's the topic? It's disgusting. I don't understand why Matthew brought it up and I really don't care."

Because if the facts go against you, a debating tactic is to change the subject.

steve said...

Alex said...

"Actually, I'm happily married with children Steve."

One couldn't tell that from your evident infatuation with your hobby horse. Just judging you by how you present yourself in public discourse. If you have a problem with that, then the problem lies with your self-representations.

"Using the same logic, Steve, you seem to be overly obsessed with pedophilia."

I don't constantly introduce that issue in off-topic, out-of-context situations. The fact that you can't tell the difference speaks poorly to your powers of rational discrimination. But, then, we already knew that.

But since you've decided to draw a comparison with clerical pedophilia, how do you define being "overly obsessed" with child abuse among the Catholic clergy?

Do you have a quota of how many abuse victims is acceptable to you? Would you like to put a figure on that?

Suppose Alex has five sons. Suppose a priest abuses one out of five. Suppose the archdiocese shields the abusive priest from prosecution.

Is that an acceptable ratio? What percentage of his sons would have to be abused to cross the magic threshold?

Alex said...

Uh ... Steve ... again ... let ... me ... write ... this ... as ... slowly ... as ... possible for you to understand. I ... don't ... find ... it ... to ... be ... the ... case ... that ... because ... someone ... highly ... objects ... to ... the ... immorality ... of ... some ... sexual ... act, ... then ... he ... must ... be ... sexually ... repressed. That ... is .... your ... argument, ... not ... mine.

So Steve, are you married?

zipper778 said...

Well then, it's clear to me that Matthew doesn't want to have a real discussion about what Roman Catholic apologists to avoid, especially since he won't address the topic. Anyone else want to add to the list that James Swan posted?

steve said...

The fact that Alex takes an obsessive interest in the details of my private life is yet another symptom of his unhealthy compulsion.

Alex said...

Asking if you are married is not taking an obsessive interest in your private life, especially since you claim that masturbation helps in marriage preparation. Taking issue with someone who promotes immorality is also not an unhealthy compulsion, unless you are ready to condemn both yourself and Turretinfan...and James Swan, and Rhology, and everyone else who writes about pedophilia, homosexuality, etc.

Actually, if you write about anything at all, then you must have an unhealthy compulsion. James Swan must have an unhealthy compulsion regarding Luther, for instance.

Nope, I think that the reality is that you are just making more stupid comments.

steve said...

Alex,

It's ironic that in the context of a debate over homosexuals in the priesthood, you take such a peculiar interest in the sex life (or not) of another man.

You apparently attend the church of St. Peeping Thomas. Do you also have a telescope in your home trained on the apartment windows across the street?

Alex said...

Steve

You made the argument that masturbation is a useful act in preparation for marriage.

I ask: Are you married?

Turretinfan said...

The more times you ask, Alex, the more it looks like an obsession. I think most people also realize that Hays actions aren't logically related to the validity of his positions. People try to obtain personal information in this kind of context to employ an ad hominem argument - something your side is getting notorious for thanks to you and Bellisario and your single-minded focus on this particular topic.

Alex said...

Turretinfan, inquiring into one's state in life is also useful in determining their knowledge of the subject matter in how they describe something's utility. First hand knowledge isn't the end-all in everything, but it certainly is helpful.

Turretinfan said...

Alex:

It is sufficient for that purpose to note that Hays has not used the anecdotal evidence of his own experience as a ground or basis for his argument.

-TurretinFan

Alex said...

Nor did he use logic, and yet you accept his argument.

Alex said...

For that matter, he didn't use anything even remotely scientific but merely asserted that masturbation is useful. We are left to assume what the basis for his evidence would be.

Alex said...

Not to mention that even if something is useful, that does not mean that it is morally permissible.

steve said...

Alex said...

"I ask: Are you married?"

When one man exhibits a voyeuristic interest in another man's sex life, I begin to suspect his orientation. Do you represent the Queer as Folk wing of the Roman Church?

James Swan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dozie said...

"Why now do you resist simply putting up another post explaining to your readers what to avoid?"

He should resist your temptation until you can show that you've read the books he recommended. Besides, the man has no obligation to you nor should he care what you read; his recommendations and concerns are to Catholics primarily. Can you get that?

James Swan said...

He should resist your temptation until you can show that you've read the books he recommended. Besides, the man has no obligation to you nor should he care what you read; his recommendations and concerns are to Catholics primarily. Can you get that?

None of this follows. It seems as if I'm the only one who cares with Matthew over current trends in Romanist apologetics.

Carrie said...

I do not advertise myself as an apologist.

Actually, it seems that you do, assuming you wrote up the following link material:

Catholic Champion
Catholic Champion is an apologetics website in which many authors contribute to the defense and understanding of the Catholic faith. The website is more oriented towards a Catholic journal type format.
http://www.catholicchampion.com/

Source: http://www.catholicity.com/links/119/


I guess you could argue that someone who advertises on another site that he runs an "apologetics website" in "defense and understanding of the Catholic faith" is not directly advertising himself as an "apologist" but that would be a tough row to hoe.