Apologetics Camp

Jennifer Fulwiler has a great interview with Patrick Madrid about the teen apologetics camp in North Carolina run by Envoy Institute Check it out here.

  • VeLafInDerFuerhersFace1945

    So, Fr. Longenecker, do you have the fortitude to post this?


    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      I don’t even have the fortitude to watch it…:-)

  • Paul Rodden

    St Paul was a great guy, and I believe in Evangelism’, as the late, great, David Watson, one of the sound Evangelical theologians of a bygone era they’ve now replaced with Ecclesial Consumerism and marketing, put it.

    …aren’t we becoming terribly Protestant about all this? We should always have an answer, as St Peter advises, but to me it seems that Catholic Apologetics has just morphed into crypto/quasi-Calvinistic Presuppositionalism, and, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that to call oneself a ‘neo-’ or ‘post-liberal’ Catholic means one has discovered that Sola Scriptura IS the foundation of our faith, and the Church lost it when it disappeared up its neo-scholastic backside. In other words, a ‘Ressourcement’ à la Luther. Everyone seems to be catching what I call ‘Scott Hahn Syndrome’.

    In other words, the few really good Protestant sites/blogs I visit have an excellent, but completely cerebral approach, to Apologetics, and so much of what I read on Catholic blogs now seems like like that, too. How is the conference going to be much different to this, for example?:

    I haven’t got any answers, and I have no evidence, apart from gut feelings and a growing sense of unease, but I think we’re not praying, reflecting and discerning our own, unique Catholic ‘charism’, but just relying on an easier route: importing Protestant models, or allowing our ‘celebrity’ ex-Protestants to bring into the Church what they did best, just because it seems to ‘work’ (gets converts).

    Success at what price? Success or succissa – pruning – as the Pope Emeritus (boo, hoo) had as his motto?

    I’m really torn.

    [PS. I know you won't take this as a personal attack, Father, and I don't expect a reply. I'm 'just sayin', as you'd put it, I believe]

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      I actually agree with you, and have written a few posts on the need to balance intellectual apologetics with the other aspects of the faith–true devotions and spirituality, the lives of the saints, service to the poor etc. However we must consider that the apologists are just one aspect of our faith. They should do their job well and be what they can be in the Body of Christ. They’re not the full story.

      • Paul Rodden

        Hi Fr. If you can lay your hands on links to that post easily, then please can you list them? If not, no worries. Your busy enough as it is. Just that I’d like to read them if poss.
        I know the magisterium makes your main point in its teaching on Catechesis and Evangelisation, but I often point people here because you have a knack of summarising important ideas briefly and in layman’s terms and they’d be useful.

  • Christi S.

    Fr. Longenecker,

    Would you happen to know if there any camps available to adults?

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      I think Pat Madrid is working on it.

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  • http://www.CatholicApologeticsCamp.com Patrick Madrid

    Thanks for mentioning our 2013 camp, Fr. Dwight. We’re delighted that you’ll be joining us again as a presenter for this, our 4th-annual event.

    Yes, we are about “this close” to formally launching intensive apologetics training sessions for working adults. In fact, the first event will be held June 20-23 in Newark, CA (the Bay Area). Please see http://patrickmadrid.com/speaking/calendar for more details. Folks who are interested in this, please keep an eye on http://www.CatholicApologeticsCamp.com for the announcement.

    Now, as for Paul’s comments and questions (to which I do not take offence), I would simply respond that, like it or not, knowing how to explain, defend, and share one’s Catholic Faith in the face of the myriad of religious, secular, and ideological challenges that beset us from every side these days is a must for today’s Catholics. Factor in the fact that a great number of contemporary Catholics, perhaps a majority, simply do not know why they believe what they believe as Catholics. That’s because they were never properly taught the biblical, historical, and logical foundations of the Faith.

    Therefore, like it or not, something must be done to help them learn the skills and information they need to live a more apostolic life when it comes to “earnestly contending for the Faith” — something every lay Catholic is called to do in his own way, according to his own circumstances, talents, and temperament.

    Please take note of the fact that Catholics were engaged in apologetics, and training for apologetics, for 1500 years before Protestantism appeared on the scene. It’s a venerable Catholic activity that many Protestants have discovered and have become active in. Not vice versa. And, for that matter, the challenges posed by faulty Protestant theology are just a part of the overall set of challenges Catholics face today, perhaps even a minor part in the big picture. Atheism, militant secularism, and other challenges also require good Catholic answers. That’s what we’re seeking to accomplish at the Envoy Institute Apologetics Camps and sessions for adults. To equip them to do what St. Peter called us all to do in 1 Peter 3:15-16: Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; but do it with gentleness and respect.”

    As for the gratuitous jab about “celebrity” converts, I don’t see how saying that is either helpful or charitable to those who convert and who are trying to help the cause when so many life-long Catholics are apathetic and disengaged. If by “celebrity” you mean simply “well-known,” like a Scott Hahn, a Marcus Grodi, or a Tim Staples, then fair enough. But if it’s intended to be snide, then it’s unworthy of you.

    As for me, I am not a convert. I’m a life-long Catholic, just trying to help out as best I can.

    Thanks again, Fr. Dwight!

    • Paul Rodden

      Hello Mr Madrid.
      I agree with you.
      Maybe I wasn’t clear, but ‘internally’ I believe we need strong Catechesis to woo wayward Catholics back on track, and to re-engage the lapsed, and ‘externally’, we need to be able to address non-Catholics and secularists.

      However, as Catholics we have a distinct and incredibly deep Patrimony and Ecclesiology which I think are essential to Christianity in its fulness, and the Bible has to stand always in in relation to these and not ‘alone’. However, my comment was addressing the fact that I’m seeing a tendency amongst Catholics who are getting excited by Apologetics, Catechetics, and the New Evangelisation (and rightly so), to get caught up in an intellectualism which can come across as cliquey and somewhat elitist – which isn’t aimed at Scott Hahn et al. so much as the narrowing of the richness of Catholicism to arguments/the cerebral and Biblical proof-text shoot out (i.e., Scott Hahn, et al, ‘alone’, or whichever Catholic ‘guru’ you follow). This, in some quarters is turning into a conformism or ‘dissent hunting’ within Catholicism which one finds a characteristics of many Protestant congregations, and seems unhealthy to me.

      Catholicism stands on it’s own. In a sense, it doesn’t need our defense because it is bigger than us, unlike Protetantism which is the sum of the beliefs of the adherents. So, also, it is true irrespective of whether it can be justified Scripturally owing to the Nature of the Church, and I think there’s a tendency to fall into the trap of allowing the tail (Protestantism/Secularism) to wag the dog, when they’re the aberration. I don’t have to ‘apologize’ for being Catholic or justify it. The burden of Proof (if there is one), is actually on the Protestant then, in a sense.

      Fr Robert Barron pointed out the problem in a recent video, Evangelizing Through Beauty (3 minutes in), although, I’m sure he’d be the first to say that Beauty, in and of itself, ‘alone’ won’t cut the mustard, either…:

      So, all that said, Apologetics is vital, and I think you all do a great job (I’ve listened to lots of your talks, including your debate with White), and I pray the conference goes well.

      • Paul Rodden

        Sorry, but it just struck me a different way of expressing it.

        Protestantism functions primarily on the plane of Epistemology, yet Catholic Apologetics seems to respond with Epistemology too when, if we take Catholicism seriously, shouldn’t we be responding with a Metaphysical reply which is the primary plane from which we function?

        By playing the ‘Epistemology game’, aren’t we participating in a sort of ‘bait-and-switch’ manoeuvre? Because, if we persuade them in, won’t they suddenly realise Catholicism doesn’t function from an Epistemological foundation but a metaphysical one, so they’re dealing with a completely different animal rather than a ‘bells and smells’ form of Protestantism?

        So, ‘arguing’ for the Sacraments, for example, isn’t about making them intellectually satisfying or resistant to challenge, but simply an act of docility to the realism of God really present, isn’t it? Yet, I find by trying to defend ‘it’ I can only do it by objectifying the reality, reducing ‘it’ to a concept and thereby tacitly promote a metaphysical reductionism and so ‘Protestantise’ the reality, and so admit to my interlocutor that Ockham was right.

        So to debate on Protestant terms, aren’t I somehow supporting his worldview that Epistemology is the primary reality?

        • Paul Rodden

          The Protestant asks, ‘What is Truth’, and the Catholic responds, ‘Come and see!’.