Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #108

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

Hey folks, sorry for not getting any newsletters out the last few weeks, but I’ve been exceedingly pre-occupied with the radio station. We’re having engineering work done on our tower all this week in the hope of greatly improving our signal (please say a prayer that it works as planned), but we had about 3 weeks or so of work to prep the site for what is being done this week. We were clearing trees, stumps, rocks and roots; digging drainage trenches and trenches for new water lines; laying down the new water lines; and on and on. Needless to say, I’ve been out of the office a great deal in the last 3-4 weeks and have gotten very backed up with everything else.

Hopefully, by tomorrow, this will be behind us and I’ll be able to get the station back on the air and get back to a more normal schedule.


This is the first installment of my book, which I’ve tentatively titled, Apologetics for the Scripturally-Challenged, with a subtitle of, (How Anyone Can Use the Bible to Explain and Defend Catholic Teaching) – by the way, I’m open to suggestions regarding the subtitle.

This issue will start off with the Introduction to the book – why I’m writing this book and what I hope to accomplish with it. As I said previously, I’m using you guys as my first-line editors, so if you see any spelling or grammatical errors, please let me know. And, if you have any suggestions for wording or re-wording a particular sentence or phrase, please let me know. If you think something should be added or deleted, please let me know. As always I will read all suggestions and I might actually take a few to heart.

One thing, though, that you need not mention, is if any spaces appear between letters of a word or if there are any screwy characters appearing in the text – that is caused by the misinterpretation of code between your server and mine (or some such thing). In other words, that is something that appears in the email, but does not appear in the original text.


Apologetics for the Scripturally-Challenged, or, How Anyone Can Use the Bible to Explain and Defend Catholic Teaching.


This book, in a sense, is the written version of a series of talks that I have given on apologetics over the last several years.  Each chapter of the book is based on one of my talks.  (Let me stop here real quick to say that if you’re wondering what the word "apologetics" means, it is simply an explanation or defense of something – see Chapter 1 for a more complete explanation.) 

But, the book is different from the talks in that each chapter is being written with four particular themes, or what I call "strategies," in mind.  These four strategies slowly came together in my mind over a number of years.  A few years ago, after already having developed about 13 or 14 separate talks on various apologetics topics, it became clear to me that there were some common threads running through those talks, and through the advice I was giving people on how to approach apologetics conversations with their family members and friends.  These common threads, sometimes explicit and sometimes implicit in the talks, were not so much apologetics, as they were apologetics strategies.  I realized that I needed to develop these strategies more fully.

So I took these common threads, or strategies, and developed them more fully in a talk that I called Apologetics for the Scripturally-Challenged, from which comes the title for this book.  The four strategies I developed in this talk are: 1) The Ignorant Catholic; 2) Being Offensive (Aw-fensive) Without Being Offensive (Uh-fensive); 3) It’s the Principle of the Thing; and 4) But That’s My Interpretation!  

But, again, I developed these strategies more fully after I already had a number of apologetics talks which I had been giving for years.  In other words, the talks that I had already been giving quite often used these strategies, but not in a way that had been fully developed or that could be said to be systematic in any manner.     

So, what I hope to do in this book, is to basically put my existing talks to paper, but in such a way that I explicitly and systematically incorporate one or more of the four strategies mentioned above into each and every chapter.  So, the chapter on the topic of, say, "Once Saved, Always Saved," will not just have the apologetics pertaining to that topic, but will also show you how to use one or more of the apologetics strategies when engaged in a discussion on "Once Saved, Always Saved."  The hope is that the reader will not only have the apologetics knowledge necessary to refute the doctrine of "Once Saved, Always Saved," but that he will also have the apologetics strategies that will allow him to effectively use that knowledge to present a compelling argument for the Catholic position on that particular topic, and on the other topics dealt with in this book.

It is my belief, and any number of emails, letters, and phone calls that I have received confirm my belief, that any Catholic Christian, even someone who is a bit unsure of themselves when it comes to the Bible, can engage any non-Catholic Christian – no matter their level of familiarity with the Bible – in a discussion of religion, using only the Bible, in such a way as to effectively answer any questions the non-Catholic may have, successfully defend against any attacks the non-Catholic may make, and even confidently challenge the non-Catholic’s beliefs in such a way that they will have to re-think what it is they believe and why. 

But, how can the Catholic, particularly the scripturally-challenged Catholic, do such things if they’ve never been taught how?  That is the goal of this book – to teach every Catholic how to explain and defend their Catholic Faith, using just the Bible, some common sense, and a little bit of logic. 

All of which is not for the purpose of winning an argument, but rather for the purpose of planting seeds.  Seeds that will hopefully cause the non-Catholic Christian to think about the Catholic Church, and the Bible, in a whole new way.  Plus, an added benefit of learning how to defend the Faith, is that Catholics tend to learn the Faith at a whole new level. 

I have heard from many, many folks that apologetics was a key that opened the door to a whole new level of participation for them in their Faith.  They better understood the Sacraments, the Mass, Mary, the Communion of Saints, the Pope, Purgatory, and much more.  They started reading the Bible more.  They started reading the Catechism.  They started teaching RCIA classes or Religious Ed classes at their parish.  They’re prayer lives deepened.  And on and on.  All of which – whether planting seeds with non-Catholic Christians, or better understanding their own Faith - serves to build up the Kingdom of God.   

John Martignoni

January 23, 2009


"Perhaps one of the most striking things about your CD series is that while teaching people how to explain and defend the faith, you are also engaging them in their own faith formation in a way that is entertaining, enthusiastic, and energizing."

Melody Hobert-Mellecker

Director of Faith Formation

St. Joseph Parish

Hills, IA

In Conclusion

Well, that’s the first draft for the Introduction – let me know what you think.

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Apologetics for the Masses