To the Editor:
This letter is a reflection on Patrick Schmadeke’s column on evangelization and apologetics. I concur with the main points of the article that “evangelization is the mission of the Church” and “humility is a necessary foundation of evangelization.” I also agree that apologetics, if used incorrectly, can be problematic or even harmful. However, I am excited to share that throughout my life I’ve had a very positive experience with apologetics as a component of evangelization bringing me closer to Christ. Moreover, far from growing stagnant, I’ve observed the apologetics movement getting better and better over time. These days, apologists are squarely focused on the broader mission of evangelization and rarely seem to be more concerned with winning arguments than clearing up misconceptions and removing stumbling blocks to a personal, loving relationship with God.
I highly recommend readers search “The Counsel of Trent,” “Pints with Aquinas” or “Father Mike Schmitz” followed by any topic they are interested in learning more about or any Church teaching they may be struggling with. They will find knowledge and truth, but also compassion and understanding — and often even humor and entertainment!
Over the past few decades, the need for apologetics has only grown. Whereas 25 years ago the effort seemed concentrated on Protestantism and non-Christian religions, our culture now challenges foundational concepts long held by believers of all sorts. I am so very grateful to God for how apologetics has been used as a tool of evangelization in my life. I pray others within our diocese may have a similar experience with apologetics as they live out the mission of the Church.