About This Site
This web site is about helping people know more about the Catholic Church. For non-believers, this site makes a strong case for theism, and Christianity in general. It shows that God is transcendent and immanent and revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. We are always looking for good writings in defense of theism, especially Christian theism and those articles shall be included in our Philosophy or Apologetics sections. The philvaz.com domain is ranked high at Google/Yahoo (thanks be to God), so your articles will get good exposure.
For Protestants, this site makes a strong case against Protestantism and makes a strong case for Catholicism. It shows that Jesus built a Church and that Church is the Catholic Church. These articles are found in the large Apologetics section.
We also include converts to the Catholic faith for those who are looking into the Catholic Church. For Catholics, this site will strengthen your reasons for Catholicism. But it doesn't stop there. It also includes Spirituality articles that will bring you closer to Christ Himself.
This site is under the patroness of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima, guide our words so that we may bring souls closer to the Word (John 1:1,14; Hebrews 4:12-15). Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Our Lady of Fatima, save a soul, forgetting not our own.
What is Evangelical Catholic Apologetics?
"Apologetics" refers to a "reasoned defense" (taken from the Greek word apologia, see 1 Peter 3:15). This site, "Evangelical Catholic Apologetics" presents some of the better Evangelical and Catholic apologetics writings, debates and links available on the web, and concentrates on issues dividing Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics. The name is used both in the sense of "Evangelical and Catholic" as well as "Evangelical versus Catholic" (dealing with Evangelical-Catholic issues covering our basic agreements and differences).
(In the future, I might expand on this and give you my views on the "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" or ECT documents -- the controversial ecumenical documents signed by leading Roman Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals. On the whole, I agree with the major thrust of the documents that we can agree to cooperate on major social or moral issues, but that there are still serious doctrinal differences that keep us from full communion.)
Two newer positive ecumenical books I would heartily recommend written by evangelical Protestants:
Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism (Baker Academic, 2005, 2008 paperback) by Mark A. Noll / Carolyn Nystrom and The Legacy of John Paul II: An Evangelical Assessment (InterVarsity Press Academic, 2007) edited by Tim Perry with many contributors.
On Apolonio Latar
(updated December 2002)
About nine months before January 15, 1985, I became a person. On January 15, I was born. I became a child of God at baptism, and would in the future become a "spoiled brat of God." I grew up asking a lot of questions as most kids do. My family was fairly devout (also had a Seventh-day Adventist background) and I had gained interest in my faith, though I was not really religious. I certainly "believed" in God and went to Church every Sunday (or Saturday), but that does not make me religious.
The conversion began when I read the Bible (not a picture one!) in 8th grade for the first time. I experienced God and soon found out that I can no longer live by the standard of "high self-esteem." I found out that to be happy, which every man desires, one must abandon himself for God. It seems as if Christ spoke out to me from the Bible saying, "Come to me." He does not want me to be dependent on myself, but to Him. He showed how He is the only One worthy of depending your whole life on. I soon began reading the Bible a lot and reading theology books.
I was influenced greatly by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. I found out that love, which many books and movies are about, is not some kind of emotional feeling, but an act of giving one's self. It is hoping for the best of the other person. And Christ said, "Love God and your neighbor." But to love God, one must know who He is. When you love someone, you try to find out everything about them. It is the same with God. One must know who He is in the first place. So I dedicated myself to knowing Him so that I can love Him.
In other words, I had a desire for the Truth. However, once I was searching for truth, many different people claimed many truths. I questioned, "Why am I Catholic? Does it matter?" There are many religions out there and many different sects of Christianity even. Does it really matter where I belong? Aren't they all the same? I said to myself, "What does Christ say?" Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Though it may sound uncomforting to accept the Truth, not to accept it however, would mean you have pride within yourself. To say otherwise would mean doing your will, not His. We must not reject the Truth because it does not "feel good," we must accept it because it is what God said. And so I looked to other religions. Buddha, Muhammad, Socrates, Confucius, etc never claimed they were the Truth. Other religions did not accept the resurrection of Christ. Logically, both cannot be right at the same time saying contradictory things. One has to be right.
And so I concluded, from the historical evidences, that Christ resurrected. This means that any religion that says otherwise is wrong. Though I figured out that Christianity was the true religion, I had one more problem. There are many denominations in Christianity! I then saw movies such as "Stigmata" and "Dogma." Those movies seem as if the Catholic Church was a rich, powerful, lying Church. So I began to ask people questions such as, "Why doesn't the Catholic Church accept the Gospel of Thomas? What is she hiding from the people?" Of course, I made a fool out of myself since the answer was that the Gospel of Thomas was a Gnostic writing from the second century. I found out that Hollywood, Jack Chick, Alexander Hislop, Dave Hunt, etc were all propagandists.
Many Protestants were quoting Bible verses that seem contradictory to Catholic teaching. Although I did not memorize verses, I do remember the context of some because I have read them many times (I soon recognized that in order to counter the Protestant arguments, I needed to memorize some verses). They were saying things like, "Catholics worship statues, bread, wine, Mary, etc." These are misconceptions about the Church and I soon found out, with the help of many Apologetics organizations such as Catholic Answers and EWTN, how to counteract the arguments.
There are other Protestants however, who are more "scholarly," but still use anti-Catholic propaganda. They say things like, "Catholics believe in indulgences, propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass, the Assumption, etc" which is accurate, yet say it in a way as to scare people. But the main reason why I did not become a Protestant is because the doctrines of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and Sola Fide (faith alone) are contrary to Scripture. Sola Scriptura is never taught and Scripture speaks of faith working through love (Gal 5:6). So I basically limited my study to the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormonism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Messianic Judaism. The Bible however, does not speak of apostasy. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will guide the Church to ALL TRUTH and would be with her FOREVER (John 14:16f; 16:13; 1 Tim 3:15; etc). That fact knocked out the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormonism, although there are other factors as well.
So I was left with three choices: Catholicism, Messianic Judaism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. To choose from the three, I had to read the history of the Church and the Church Fathers themselves. I found out that the Church believed in the Real Presence of the Eucharist and it was actually the Catholic Church who gave us the Bible! That fact knocked off Messianic Judaism.
I know from my studies, that the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy separated in 1054 AD. From reading the Church Fathers, I have found out that the Church recognized the Papacy and the Papacy was always the source of orthodoxy. To depart from it is to depart from the faith. I also saw how without the Roman Primacy, the whole of Christendom would have fallen into heresy. Thanks to the Papacy, Christendom is still orthodox.
I concluded therefore the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church of Christ, His Mystical Body. While this was going on, I had to pray a lot. I soon prayed the rosary every day as a habit and this led me closer to Christ. Mary has directed me to Christ in every way and without her, I would not have found Christ. It is through my devotion to her that I found out that the Catholic Church is the only true religion. So if anyone who reads my articles are impressed in any way or have come closer to Christ in any way, it is from the grace of God through Mary that I possess any good qualities.
As of right now, I am still developing. I am developing to be a person of the beatitudes which John Paul II encourages each youth to be. I may have lost many friends because it is not popular to be a devout Catholic (they call you a "religious fanatic"), but it is all worth it. I may be humiliated, unpopular, or even hated, but so was Christ. I am grateful to say "I am not afraid."
Socrates once said, "an unexamined life is not worth living" and after examining my life, I have found out that life is worth living and Christ is worth dying for.
God love you,
On Phil Porvaznik
I'm a little bit older than Apolonio....I'm from the Tampa Bay area, Florida.
I originally created this site (Summer 1998) as a place to make available some of my previous FidoNet religious discussions and debates which is where I got started in online apologetics (in 1994) before the Internet and World Wide Web took over. First, some info on the pretty much defunct FidoNet (At least I haven't visited there regularly since moving to the Internet permanently in December 1998).
FidoNet is an "ancient" Bulletin Board Service (started in 1984 by Tom Jennings) going the way of the dinosaur. While many local BBS are shutting down, one can still access the FidoNet conferences through the Internet. One such web site that carries the complete FidoNet backbone is ED KOON'S FIDONET based in sunny Clearwater, Florida. The conferences (also called echoes) are for text-based messages for discussions of numerous topics of interest. The RCatholic conference (sometimes called Roman Catholic Question and Answer) of FidoNet was started by JON GUIDRY in 1995.
I was an active participant for over two years on RCatholic, and another two years on OpenBible (at one time moderated by inveterate anti-Catholic critic and Reformed Baptist apologist James White) where I honed my "skills" as a Catholic apologist. Many of my discussions/debates available on this web site are from that participation in FidoNet. While the discussions have sometimes heated up, I have tried to remain civil and in the process discovered how fun apologetics can be. We have debated many a Protestant Fundamentalist and others who disagree with Catholic teaching in Fido RCatholic (and OpenBible).
Here are all my saved unedited FidoNet religious discussion text files from 1994-1998 (6 meg zipped file)
Since the Internet is quickly taking over making the local BBS scene obsolete, there is also an RCatholic-L mailing list and web site through Yahoo Groups that fulfills the same purpose as the old FidoNet RCatholic conference. You can join RCatholic-L by going to the Yahoo Group HERE (maintained and moderated by Sean M. Brooks)
Who am I? I am a cradle Catholic by birth and Baptism, software engineer/web development by profession, with a B.S. degree in Computer Science from USF (I am now trying to teach myself Game Programming). I was influenced in my early 20's by such noted Evangelical and Fundamentalist apologists as Walter Martin, Norm Geisler, John Ankerberg, Dave Hunt, and later James White, etc. I still enjoy and use some of their Evangelical apologetics (for example, on my defense of the Holy Trinity). In 1992, I discovered Catholic Answers and read Karl Keating's classic Catholicism and Fundamentalism which helped me realize the flaws in some of their Evangelical Protestant (and sometimes anti-Catholic) apologetics. This Rock magazine and the tapes of St. Joseph Communications (Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Gerry Matatics in his glory years) have also been crucial influences in bringing me back to the Church (I am a revert of sorts).
There are many articles on this site that answer Evangelical or Fundamentalist anti-Catholic polemics. I try to be mostly polite in my discussions, and toss in a little humor now and then.
God bless you as you explore this site.
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