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Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics Paperback – August 27, 2005
From the Publisher
Have you ever been questioned about your faith as a Catholic? Do you have friends or family that are trying repeatedly to "save" you? Are your co-workers or classmates asking you questions about Catholicism when there really isn't time to go into detail?
If you deal with any of these situations, Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics was written for you! Unlike other Catholic apologetics books, Guerrilla Apologetics teaches the how, as well as the why, of defending the faith.
Written with real-life situations in mind, Guerrilla Apologetics teaches a method that is concise, conversational, and effective. It uses a questioning style to allow Catholics to put their challengers on the defensive, but in a charitable way that will foster discussion of faith - instead of quarrels or shouting matches. After all, talking about your faith shouldn't mean losing friends.
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Too often we take the arrogant approach of assuming we already know what the other person believes. But, the very nature of Protestantism being based in individual interpretation makes knowing what the other person believes problematic. The only way to know what a Protestant believes is to ask them what they believe. And, in so doing, they will be left with examining their beliefs further and perhaps seeing inconsistencies in their logic. Humility, as St. Francis said, trying to understand rather than being understood, is the first step. Leaving questions that do not have easy answers allows self examination and self discovery. Most people will react negatively and defensively to assertions that they are wrong, but tough questions give them pause and allow them to seek the answers on their own time (and on the Holy Spirit's time).
I remember some years ago as a Protestant discovering this approach with cult members and it seemed very effective in that scenario. This may not be a "new" approach but it has perhaps not been explored as much from a Catholic perspective as Mr. Nowak has done.
This short little introduction to the "guerrilla" approach should give us food for thought. It is not intended as a step-by-step tutorial but more as a thought-provoker in how to effectively share your faith by understanding others. Rather than the approach of a know-it-all who has memorized all the pithy comebacks for a ready defense, it is the approach of one who walks humbly yet on the offense all along the way.
Some say that the best defense is a good offense! Moreover, Nowak knows that defense alone is a bad strategy: "Boxers do not stand and block until their opponent collapses....Likewise, it is a very difficult (not to mention long) process to convince someone that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ by waiting until you have convincingly answered all of his or her objections."
Nowak provides 10 sample questions that you can start using to ask your not-yet-Catholic friends. Nowak posses the question and then gives a page or two of Bible verses, history, and reasoning for accepting the Catholic position. For example, Question 4(b) asks, "Does your church teach with the Authority of Christ?" Nowak, after briefly reviewing Matthew 16:17-19, says, "While the argument that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and thus used the Aramaic word `kephas' is a common defensive apologetical argument, let me point out the guerrilla way to address the topic - ask your friend, `What did the followers of Christ call Simon, Kephas or Petros?'" Nowak then provides Bible references where Simon is more often called Kephas.
Question 10, which is about Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper, is the "ultimate Guerilla Apologetics topic," says Nowak: "If Catholics were to hold up signs at sporting events and other public displays, the passage should be John 6:53-55."
I especially like how Nowak reminds the reader in the Introduction about how a personal relationship goes much further in helping a loved one see the truths of Christ's Catholic Church than winning an uncharitable argument.
While definitely not a comprehensive evangelization/apologetics guide, this small book is a good first step in learning the art of fishing for souls via asking questions. The Lord told us He would make us "fishers of men" and as Nowak knows, questions are the baited hook by which the Holy Spirit can then reel them into the boat.
I see from Nowak's book he also has a website, [...] so, I hope this little book is just the beginning of bigger and better things to come. Meanwhile, an excellent companion book to this one might be Patrick Madrid's Search and Rescue.
This is out of the book (Does your church teach with the Authority of Christ?) This is a great question this other review gives us no answers. A Catholic may tell you Peter is the first Pope, but how is that since Peter never went to Rome?
Another thing found in the book,("While the argument that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and thus used the Aramaic word `kephas' is a common defensive apologetical argument, let me point out the guerrilla way to address the topic - ask your friend, `What did the followers of Christ call Simon, Kephas or Petros?'" Nowak then provides Bible references where Simon is more often called Kephas.)
This is important becuse, Peter is not the only rock the Church was built on.