For me, apologetics proved to be the turning point of my life and eternity. I'm thankful for the scholars who so passionately and effectively defend the truth of Christianity - and today my life's goal is to do my part in helping others get answers to the questions that are blocking them in their spiritual journey toward Christ.
I wonder how appropriate it is to try to 'argue someone into the kingdom.' Many apologists hotly deny any such charge, but I don't believe them. The tenor of almost all apologetics literature makes it plain that this is their intent.
We preach sermons, write books on apologetics, conduct city-wide evangelistic campaigns. For those alienated from the church, that approach no longer has the same drawing power. And for the truly needy, words alone don't satisfy; "A hungry person has no ears," as one relief worker told me. A skeptical world judges the truth of what we say by the proof of how we live.
Our Christian faith - and correlatively, our account of apologetics - is tainted by modernism when we fail to appreciate the effects of sin on reason. When this is ignored, we adopt an Enlightenment optimism about the role of a supposedly neutral reason in the recognition of truth.
An argument in apologetics, when actually used in dialogue, is an extension of the arguer. The arguer's tone, sincerity, care, concern, listening, and respect matter as much as his or her logic - probably more. The world was won for Christ not by arguments but by sanctity: "What you are speaks so loud, I can hardly hear what you say.
Writing is a vocation and, as in any other calling, a writer should develop his talents for the greater glory of God. Novels should be neither homilies nor apologetics: the author's faith, and the grace he has received, will become apparent in his work even if it does not have Catholic characters or a Catholic theme.
I'm noticing an exciting trend around the country: a resurgence of interest in Christian apologetics (the defense of the faith). This is a reaction to the current attacks on the essentials of Christianity that are coming from militant atheists, radical professors, and Internet gadflies.