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Cardinal Levada on a New Apologetics - Comments

mmurray's Avatar Comment 1 by mmurray

Well feel free. But the suggestions in the original article aren't very convincing. CS Lewis ? Again ?


Fri, 30 Apr 2010 21:57:00 UTC | #464414

AndrewP's Avatar Comment 2 by AndrewP

Apologists are such a sorry lot (couldn't resist that).

OK Cardy-Baby - if you choose to characterise Dawkins' books as "caricaturing Christianity", just be damned certain you don't do the same thing with Dawkins.

But that's almost inevitable, if you ask me. What one won't see from such people is a grabbing of the bull by the horns, and doing a point-by-point refutation of the books of Hitchens and Dawkins. Chiefly because they cannot.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:04:00 UTC | #464415

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 3 by Don_Quix

Rephrasing the same old tired and thoroughly refuted arguments over and over again doesn't count as "new apologetics".

The only way there can ever be "new apologetics" is if the Crapolic Church invents some "new doctrine".

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:14:00 UTC | #464417

Alan Canon's Avatar Comment 4 by Alan Canon

This article reminds me of a line in Arthur C. Clarke's "The Fountains of Paradise," where an extraterrestrial space-borne probe with an onboard AI is asked to give its judgment of Aquinas' Summa Theologica: "sense-free random noise."

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:21:00 UTC | #464419

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

a "new" apologetics is not only timely but urgent ... In the New Testament, the First Letter of Peter (3:15) provides the classic starting point for the project of apologetics
Either you’re conservative or you’re not.
I want to appeal again to the master apologist Knox
Oh, you are.
the five basic questions of apologetics ... The existence of God, the Old Testament as prophecy, the Person of Christ, the New Testament as a reliable record, and the Church as authorized teacher" (Walsh, op.cit. p. 111).
You don’t consider any of those questions; you already know which conclusions you will defend. This is hardly scientific.
these basic questions presuppose and rely upon the preambles of faith
No. Either some answer to a question is justified by evidence, in which case we should believe that, or else we should be fence–sitters. Faith, if by faith one means belief without sufficient evidence, is not OK.
These philosophical conclusions - about the human power to know objective truth, about the existence and spiritual nature of the soul, about the existence of a personal God, and about the necessity of religion - were the necessary preparation both for theology and for practical apologetics.
Shame your grounds for claiming these things are terrible (except the first one).
grounded the credibility of Christian revelation
A book claiming stuff is true doesn’t ground that book or its claims, especially when the book’s disparate parts contradict each other anyway.
It develops revelation from its Christological center, in order then to present the inescapable responsibility of human reason as one dimension of the whole. This shows that the human relation to God does not consist of two more or less independent parts, but is indivisibly one; there is no such thing as a natural religion in itself, but each religion is ‘positive', though because of its very positivity it does not exclude the responsibility of thought, but includes it. Vatican II had no reason to suppress this basic idea developed with such care by Vatican I; on the contrary, in dealing with the onslaughts of atheism it will have increasing importance
Only if it offers evidence of the claims it aims to defend.
when we see the likes of Richard Dawkins and his fellow apostles of the so-called "new" atheism
The new apologetics is self–labelled. The new atheism is not. This author wants to make fun of others for claiming the same things he claims, even if they don’t claim it.
caricaturing the doctrines and philosophy of the Christian tradition
How? Prove it.
How ripe the times are for a new apologetics!
No. How ripe the times to put up or shut up with regards to evidence, the criterion which shall not go away.
About a decade ago ... I chose as my topic "Toward a New Apologetics." ... What would a new apologetics look like?
Apparently, sloth.
its scientific basis
Things which have a scientific basis don’t need anything other than the gradually shifting consensus of scientists to lend it credence.
a loving and nondefensive but nonetheless clear response to the arguments against the Catholic faith. These include arguments raised on the one hand by those who misrepresent God's Word by reading the Bible as a code
Your main concern is numerologists? Try instead being worried that your beliefs are not supported by evidence.
faith must rescue reason from its own self-inflicted wound of scepticism
A failure to fill a responsibility must rescue fulfilling that responsibility from its own self–inflicted wound of success ... NO!
reason finds itself strengthened in its dialogue with faith
A thing finds itself strengthened in its dialogue with its absence ... NO!
A new apologetics for the new millennium should focus on the beauty of God's creation.
You mean the teleological argument? That’s been dead for ages.
The witness of our lives as believers who put our faith into practice by work for justice and charity as followers who imitate Jesus, our Master, is an important dimension of our credibility as dialogue partners in a time of a new apologetics.
Good deeds do not lend credence to your metaphysics.
for the poor, for economic justice
The Vatican is worth 750 billion dollars. If you care for the poor or economic justice, sell, say ... one per cent of the Vatican?
a lasting contribution to the creation of civilization of love
said a homophobe who doesn’t support a woman’s right to choose and doesn’t sympathise with the victims of priests’ sex abuse or wish to see justice served there.
If freedom is directed toward reinforcing the individualism of a "me-first" culture, it will never realize the potential offered by the One who made us in his own image and likeness as free to respond to the great gift of divine love
It’s always about him, isn’t it? Self–aggrandising nutter. Doesn’t loving the vulnerable come before loving the omnipotent?
We need to pursue the dialogue with science and technology.
God of the gaps isn’t dialogue.
Many scientists speak of their personal faith; yet the public face of science is resolutely agnostic.
Many married people speak of their extramarital sex; does this mean adultery is compatible with marital ideals?
Here is a fertile and necessary field for dialogue. Teilhard de Chardin attempted an apologetics for the world of science with great imagination, though not entirely successfully. Surely the new millennium will offer new opportunities to expand this key dimension of the dialogue between faith and reason. And among the questions that most need attention today is that of evolution in relation to the doctrine of creation.
It will never work. This was perhaps most effectively exemplified by the Catholics’ solution to the evolution problem: make it doctrine. No. That’s not how to help science.
I found interesting the principal theme of Lewis' argument for God and Christianity: the innate sense of right and wrong, of good and evil, as proof of a divine author. Here again is a key theme for apologetics: the longing for the good, and its related themes of a natural moral law and of the validity of human reason common to all humanity. For Lewis, as for today's apologetics, an important sub-theme was a right understanding of human sexuality.
If you’re going to use ethics to prove God (which doesn’t work), at least know what is ethical. Human sexuality is not understood properly by the RCC.
a new apologetics must take into account the ... interfaith context ... questions of spirit and faith engage all the great religious traditions and must be addressed with an openness to interfaith dialogue. Similarly, our ecumenical progress has shown us the many gifts we share in common with fellow Christians: C.S. Lewis is but one, even if outstanding, example. Our apologetics will only be strengthened by common witness and testimony with our fellow Christians
What about other religions, or the non–religious? You’re still bigoted.
The spirit of contemporary society is skeptical of truth
No. It’s skeptical of your claims about the truth.
The relativization of truth is not the necessary precondition of real dialogue; the desire to know the other in the fullness of his or her humanity is
What you need is evidence.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:30:00 UTC | #464421

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 6 by Michael Gray

Cardinal Who?
Meet the new apologetics / Same as the old apologetics.
Won't get fooled again!

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:50:00 UTC | #464427

AndrewP's Avatar Comment 7 by AndrewP

Bravo Jos Gibbons. You nailed the sorry son'm'a'bitch.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:53:00 UTC | #464428

TrumpetPower!'s Avatar Comment 8 by TrumpetPower!

You know...if they weren't trying to sell a story that features not just talking animals but talking shrubbery, a story that concludes with their hero, the zombie king, devastating the world in a massive zombie outbreak...

...well, if the weren't trying to peddle such obvious fourth-rate fiction as meaningful for anything other than cheap mindless entertainment, maybe they wouldn't be such a sorry lot, hmmm?



EAC Memographer
BAAWA Knight of Blasphemy
``All but God can prove this sentence true.''

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:00:00 UTC | #464430

Danish's Avatar Comment 9 by Danish

If I must choose, I'll take the "me-first" culture over the "Church-first" culture. Luckily, these are not the only choices.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:18:00 UTC | #464433

Logicel's Avatar Comment 10 by Logicel

Brain-dead lump of an apologizer for rotting Catholicism blubbers: About a decade ago ... I chose as my topic "Toward a New Apologetics." ... What would a new apologetics look like?

Jos Gibbons, with a sparse precision worthy of a surgeon, responds: Apparently, sloth.

I love it.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:41:00 UTC | #464440

eclampusvitus's Avatar Comment 11 by eclampusvitus

New Apologetics, eh? I guess this implies the Old Apologetics are insufficient. They're right, they are.

Bring on the new Apologetics. Hit us with your best shot, we're more than ready. Make it count. Go all in and show your hand.

Of course they will weasel out of the whipping they will receive, and the followers who donate money to the murderers of thousands upon thousands of innocent Africans and the rapists of children will believe they won. Well, at least most of them will.

We can't do it all at once. We will do it, though.


Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:49:00 UTC | #464442

jel's Avatar Comment 12 by jel

I tried to read it, I really did but I could feel my brain going into melt down mode. An awful lot of words to say, what exactly? I believe therefore it must be true? And these are supposed to be the intelligent xtians?

Sat, 01 May 2010 00:07:00 UTC | #464447

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 13 by HappyPrimate

I can just imagine the priests of Zeus, Athena, etc meeting to discuss how to renew and revitalize the lagging faith of the ancient romans. I feel fairly certain they went down kicking and screaming. At some point, it fails and you really can't get it back. Hopefully this time science and reason will be the victor.

Sat, 01 May 2010 00:34:00 UTC | #464449

Alovrin's Avatar Comment 14 by Alovrin

Subsequently apologetics turned its attention to Moslems, then to atheists, agnostics, and religious indifferentists.

Oh inventive!

Finally apologists came to recognize that every Christian harbors within himself a secret infidel

And that damn recalcitrant kiddyfiddler won't listen to anyone!

Sat, 01 May 2010 00:50:00 UTC | #464452

Philster61's Avatar Comment 15 by Philster61

Wow.This is a hoot of a website. Check out this link from the same site. Talk about trying to worm your way out of everything.Seriously though, this is the fundamental core of mentality.... Family&canal=Chastity

Notice the "click to donate here link". Guess they are in need of money to fund the forthcoming lawsuits. Yup,Ratzinger should be arrested thre moment he sets foot in Britain

Sat, 01 May 2010 01:14:00 UTC | #464453

mrjohnno's Avatar Comment 16 by mrjohnno

I'm sure under EU law, an arrest warrant would be valid in all member states.

Sat, 01 May 2010 02:10:00 UTC | #464455

Quine's Avatar Comment 17 by Quine

The call for a new apologetics for the 21st century does not, in my view, amount to a "mission impossible".
Bring it. You will find out.

P.S. This is like a self defeating prophesy. If their religion were true, one might expect the answers to have been sent in a vision to the Pope long ago. That they have not, may be because there simply are none, which is consistent with the thing being just another old superstition.

Sat, 01 May 2010 02:59:00 UTC | #464458

sonnygll's Avatar Comment 18 by sonnygll

Ah yes, apologetics.... As in making presupposed excuses after the fact.

Sat, 01 May 2010 03:16:00 UTC | #464461

jamiso's Avatar Comment 19 by jamiso

Just head over to the huffingtonpost....they have a religion section now, I think there are about 6 articles right now about what a bad bad fundamentalist militant atheist dawkins and his minions are

Sat, 01 May 2010 04:33:00 UTC | #464463

atkinson's Avatar Comment 20 by atkinson

Let me offer a (new) atheist apologetic - a proof there's no god:

Just look at the word! God. Spelt G - O - D. Do you see an F ? How about a U ? No C or K either.

No child who spells should think it odd to say there ain't no fuck in god !

Sat, 01 May 2010 05:51:00 UTC | #464467

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 21 by SaganTheCat

I hope I can take for granted that it will have its scientific basis in a renewed fundamental theology

i had trouble reading this article. when i got to this statement i gave up altogether

Sat, 01 May 2010 05:53:00 UTC | #464468

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 22 by prolibertas


Sat, 01 May 2010 06:32:00 UTC | #464473

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 23 by Roland_F

For this apologetic to be credible, we must pay greater attention to the mystery and the beauty of Catholic worship, of a sacramental vision of the world that lets us recognize and value the beauty of creation as a foreshadowing of the new heavens and the new earth envisioned in 2 Peter and the Book of Revelation.

Yes provide me a new colorful fairytale of wishful thinking about the “foreshadowing of the new heavens” after the end of days, sitting bored on a cloud playing harp for eternity is so utter boring.
We must not hesitate to bow to the ground in reverence and take off our shoes when we stand on holy ground.

Ok but only the shoes, and keep your pants on especially when little boys are around !
and that our creation in God's image and likeness makes all humanity able to love God above all things and love our neighbor as ourselves

When everyone is really like god themselves including neighbor humans - all are the same ‘likeness’ and essence of god, why on earth should we love god YHWH (or Elohim ?) above all ??
What a cardinal creationist.

Sat, 01 May 2010 06:59:00 UTC | #464477

at3p's Avatar Comment 24 by at3p

Can't wait for the ridiculous statements to start pouring in... it's going to be like hunting trees with satellite-laser-guided tactical nukes.

Sat, 01 May 2010 07:05:00 UTC | #464478

cyberguy's Avatar Comment 25 by cyberguy

What really struck me was the constant reference to the need for "dialogue", as if the dialog was an end in itself. The goal of the dialogue was never explained.

There is to be no decision point or conclusion to this dialog. Just a vague tapping of the hoop down the road, to buy more time, and make it look as though something is being achieved.

That is all it is - buying time, and trying to drum up some new recruits - which is another way to buy time.

One day they will all be history. Hope that day is soon.

Sat, 01 May 2010 07:25:00 UTC | #464482

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 26 by Stafford Gordon

"Give us a child by seven and we'll give you the man." I might have known they'd be touting for children on the net.

Yandri looks like a sweet girl, quickly, before she gets any older, let's prevent her from thinking for herself and educating herself out of poverty.

We can fill her mind with love/guilt, faith/fear and miracles/lies rendering her a possession of mother church; won't that be nice!

Sat, 01 May 2010 07:53:00 UTC | #464486

jel's Avatar Comment 27 by jel

20. Comment #485251 by atkinson on May 1, 2010 at 6:51 am

rated as excellent, i'll use that thanks.

Sat, 01 May 2010 08:13:00 UTC | #464489

ANTIcarrot's Avatar Comment 28 by ANTIcarrot

"What would a new apologetics look like? From the above, I hope I can take for granted that it will have its scientific basis in a renewed fundamental theology, where faith and reason, credibility and truth, are explored as necessary foundations of the Catholic Christian faith."

Does this paragraph mean anything beyond a bold statement about liking the sound of his own voice?

Theology isn't scientific. Neither the bible nor the roman catholic church has any credibility. How about we explore the idea that you once thought slavery was a pretty good idea, every bit a fervently as you now believe that homosexuality and condom use are bad, and what this implies about your ability to give worthwhile advice? Also, how about opening up the vatian's secret files and letting qualified independent experts see exactly how much the church really knew about the child abuse crimes you stand accused of?

Sat, 01 May 2010 08:17:00 UTC | #464490

RSC's Avatar Comment 29 by RSC

Any suggested books for an objective history of the catholic church? Most I've found are written by the deluded faithful.

Sat, 01 May 2010 09:32:00 UTC | #464498