One thing that I’m good at is debating. It’s probably because I’ve done a lot of reading, have a great memory, and am really good at asking the right questions. In other words, I can really put my interlocutor on the spot. In terms of apologetics, this helps, but sometimes debating doesn’t get one anywhere. If someone loses an argument, it doesn’t mean they’re going to convert to your faith. It may contribute to it in the long run but it’s a stretch. It’s hard to get people out of their comfort zone. It’s a tactic one must use sparingly.
Over Christmas, I thought about many things. A few days before Christmas, I read an article on Rorate Caeli about a small group of Catholics in Turkey. These Catholics aren’t Polish immigrants or Italian foreign workers. They’re Turkish converts from Islam. What inspired this little group of Turks in Erdogan’s Turkey to reject Islam and Kemalist Secularism? Playing a large role in their conversion was the Traditional Latin Liturgy. What an amazing Evangelization tool! The line from the Turkish Catholic which touched me the most was:
Over the Christmas break, I was up north in my hometown visiting family. I was talking with my mom about history and the important tools of historiography. We weren’t talking about Church history, but the history of WWII. The discussion focused around how bad history from WWII was. At this point my mom remembered an episode from a history class that she took in University. The professor had told her class the following: “Since the year 1800, there has been no history, only journalism.”
When I first started this website back in 2015, I wanted to make a Recommended Reading section. When I originally made it, I only put a few books on the list and they were very basic. I’ve learnt a lot more about apologetics dealing with the online community since then. I now have a better idea about what is important and where focus needs to be put. I hope that my readers find this helpful. Here are my recent additions to the list:
I hope that everyone is having a great 2018. Recently I’ve been reading many medieval Christian polemics against Islam. When reading medieval Christian literature, we can’t ignore what St. Thomas Aquinas says. Sadly, I must admit the Angelic Doctor dropped the ball on this one; at least according to what he wrote in the Summa Contra Gentiles. This won’t be popular amongst my Traditional Catholic friends but I believe that I have a good argument on this one.
Earlier this year, the Turkish Islamic scholar Mustafa Akyol came out with the book The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims. The book is interesting, I’ll say that much. I had meant to read it earlier but other things got in the way. I picked it up yesterday and finished it today and am now going to share some of my thoughts on the book.
Church history is my speciality. I’ve been studying it in depth for eight years. One of the greatest rules of doing history is enemy attestation. We don’t have the surviving writings of many heretical groups but we have Catholic polemics against them and can therefore determine many of their beliefs.
Above is one of the most one sided debates that I’ve ever seen. It’s between Robert Spencer and Adnan Rashid about the existence of Muhammad. I’ve written about this topic before so I won’t elaborate on it here but I want to touch on the terrible tactic used by Rashid. Although I believe Muhammad existed and am not a fan of the Spencer brand of apologetics to Muslims, I think that Spencer easily won this debate.
For some reason I’ve had more than one discussion recently involving DNA sequencing and genealogy. You’re probably familiar with the whole thing where you spit in a capsule, send it to these companies and they tell you where your ancestors were from, supposedly. There are a lot of people on Youtube who make videos opening their results and they’re shocked because they didn’t know that they were Greek, Russian, Armenian, Jewish, etc.
I used to be a huge Dennis Prager fan. I subscribed to his podcast, owned his first five books and listened to any talk of his on YouTube that I could find. When I became a Traditional Catholic, I looked to only Scripture and Tradition for my guidance and my trust in Prager started to wane. However, I still regarded him as a “voice of reason” even though he wasn’t as influential toward my worldview as he once was.